Otsego hires former Elk River adminstrator

Mayor Jessica Stockamp says Lori Johnson is perfect fit to take city to new level of economic development

by Bob Grawey
Staff writer
Otsego has hired Lori Johnson as its new city administrator.

Johnson, who resigned that same position in Elk River June 6, officially became Otsego’s new administrator at the city’s July 11 council meeting.

Otsego Mayor Jessica Stockamp says Johnson contacted Otsego after her Elk River resignation and that city council members then met with her during a June 27 workshop to discuss the position.

Stockamp says it is a good fit for both parties.

“I feel that Otsego has a lot to offer that makes our city administration position attractive professionally,” Stockamp says.

The mayor adds that with Otsego’s potential for future growth, and that Johnson has experience in areas the city will likely need during that expected growth, it is exactly what Otsego needs as city officials look to the future.

Johnson has 26 years of combined experience in finance, human resources, administration and in economic development.

These qualifications, according to Stockamp, correspond to what Otsego faces now and in the future.

Though Otsego has had success over the past decade in attracting development, that has stalled with the poor economy. Stockamp claims Johnson’s experience should help move development forward once again as she markets the city to developers.

“Lori has experience in bringing government, developers, finance and businesses together to make projects happen,” the mayor explains. “I think her experience and approach will help Otsego continue to build upon the growth that has occurred, as well as position Otsego for the future when economic conditions improve.”

Johnson’s standing and reputation as a top professional in the community was attractive to council members, Stockamp says, and is a big plus for a city on the cusp of potential growth. But that professionalism crosses many lines.

“Lori is very respected in the community and is willing to make herself available to the residents as well,” Stockamp points out, “and she is thoughtful in her approach of how she handles making tough decisions.”

That professional demeanor, along with Johnson’s experience in city government and already being familiar with Otsego and the surrounding communities, was key in hiring the new administrator.

Otsego will pay Johnson $110,197 annually, plus paid vacation/personal time, health care coverage and retirement benefits.

Johnson officially begins her duties as Otsego’s city administrator Monday, July 25, but will attend various meetings involving city business leading up to that start date.

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