More than 40 people applied to become Scandia’s next city administrator.

Last week the Scandia City Council narrowed that field down to seven, selecting from among 13 who were named as semi-finalists by the city’s administrator search firm.

“There was a lot of excitement for this position,” said Liza Donabauer, of DDA Human Resources.

The candidates, to be interviewed by the city council later this month, include: 

• Kathy Laur, deputy city clerk/administrator of Lake St. Croix Beach, Minn.

• Jacob LaVigne, financial analysist for the Metropolitan Council, St. Paul.

• Jake Foster, assistant city administrator, Lake Elmo.

• Richard Fisher, township manager of Upper Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, Penn.

• Cassandra Tabor, administration director, Minnetrista, Minn.

• Mark Vahlsing, city administrator, Kenyon, Minn.

• Joel Dhein, recently retired city administrator/clerk-treasurer, Mora, Minn.

Of the seven, three received more than one vote in an initial ballot of the council members. Four more were added to the list of finalists after individual council members lobbied for them during last week’s council meeting. 

As of Monday, the city office had yet to officially announce the interview dates. During their interviews, the seven candidates will be invited to tour the city and will participate in an informal luncheon with the council and other community leaders. The council will formally interview each candidate for about 45 minutes. 

The council also approved a travel reimbursement of up to $300 each for the candidates, which notably includes two candidates from more than 100 miles away—and one from outside Minnesota.

The new administrator is expected to be in office sometime in August. He or she will succeed Neil Soltis, who retired from the post on May 6.

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