Elk River city administrator resigns

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
Elk River City Administrator Lori Johnson has resigned.
Mayor John Dietz said he received an e-mail with Johnson’s resignation Monday afternoon, June 6. He added the item to the council’s agenda that night, and the council voted 4-0 to accept her resignation. Council Member Jerry Gumphrey was absent.
The council also unanimously approved a seven-page separation agreement and release. Under that agreement Johnson would receive a severance payment of six months’ salary. Her annual salary was $119,077, according to the city’s website. City Attorney Peter Beck said the separation agreement was prepared in anticipation of the possibility of Johnson’s resignation.
Here is Johnson’s letter of resignation:
“Mayor John Dietz: It has been an honor to serve the residents of Elk River for the past 26 years. However, I am excited to move on to other opportunities, and therefore, respectfully submit my resignation. I wish the Council and the staff the very best in the future. Best Regards, Lori Johnson.”
In a prepared statement, Dietz said Johnson served with dedication and a strong commitment to the residents of Elk River. “The council would like to thank her for her many years of service, for all that she has done to make Elk River a great city,” Dietz said.
Johnson was initially hired in 1985 as Elk River’s first finance director and served in that role until 2004, when she became director of finance and administrative services. In 2005 she was promoted to city administrator after former City Administrator Pat Klaers resigned.
Johnson’s last day of employment with the city was Monday, June 6.
In a related matter, the council approved an agreement for executive search consulting services with Springsted Incorporated in St. Paul at a cost not to exceed $19,300. Sharon Klumpp of Springsted was at the council meeting.
Springsted will help the city in the hiring of a new city administrator. The city plans to initially have an interim city administrator before filling the position permanently.

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