Bemidji City Council hires firm to recruit and select next city manager, implements wage increase

The Bemidji City Council took action on a number of items in their meeting Monday.

Last month, after a sole firm returned a proposal to take on the task of recruiting and selecting a new city manager, the council repeated the process and received four bids.

Minnesota-based BakerTilly was selected for the job on a 4-3 vote, with councilmembers Ron Johnson, Gwenia Fiskevold Gould, Emelie Rivera, and Lynn Eaton voting in favor. Councilmembers Audrey Thayer and Josh Peterson, as well as Mayor Jorge Prince, spoke in favor of interviewing two firms as a council before making a decision.

The council also unanimously approved implementing a 6 percent wage increase for all staff members, including part-time staff categories, effective next month.

City Finance Director Ron Eischens, after completing a job study, found that some positions had a double-digit percentage difference below the market rate.

The annual cost of the increased rate would be $476,000, with more increases expected in some departments, including police.

In the last item of business, the council awarded a bid for the Norton Avenue Reconstruction project to Northern Paving. Work will begin from 15th to 23rd Street on Norton tentatively on Monday.

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