Scandia’s new city administrator is settling in to both his new role and his new community.
Though Ken Cammilleri only took office as Scandia City Administrator a few weeks ago, he says he is already immersed in and ready for the challenges and the opportunities.
A bachelor and a dog owner, Cammilleri has rented a house in Scandia, not far from the village center, and already considers the city his home.
Originally from Port Washington, Wis., Cammilleri earned his undergraduate degree at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee.
While Cammilleri had initially contemplated obtaining a law degree, he instead found himself drawn to public service. Cammilleri was influenced in part by his father, who worked for 30-plus years as a health inspector, serving multiple cities and communities throughout his career.
“His stories about serving the community were inspiring to me,” he said.
Cammilleri started out in the field as a deputy administrator in Wind Point, Wis., a community of 1,700 people on the shore of Lake Michigan. He also worked in Washburn, Wis., before landing the top administrator job in Pine City, Minn., in June 2013.
Cammilleri felt right at home in Pine City and figured he could have stayed there for a long time. But, as it sometimes does, life got in the way. Cammilleri had to leave the role to help a family member with some health issues.
“I don’t regret it,” Cammilleri said. “I liked Pine City. It’s sad I had to leave, but I’ve found myself a new place.”
Cammilleri makes a daily routine of going for a swim at the YMCA facility in Forest Lake. In his free time, Cammilleri is a frequent state park visitor. He enjoys camping and, at the moment, chasing fall colors along the hiking trails.
As for the job, Cammilleri admits he has a good bit of catching up to do, as he faces an initial backlog of code enforcement issues that built up over the summer—a normal ebb and flow, he said, that usually tapers off come winter.
With the city having recently approved its comprehensive plan, Cammilleri noted that the next steps will include updating ordinances and zoning codes to meet the plan’s goals.
In Cammilleri’s experience, working through such issues goes far more smoothly when the community is included as much as possible in the discussion. In his view, it is much harder to hear