Elk River city administrator search narrowed to four
by Joni Astrup
Elk River’s search for a new city administrator has been narrowed to four candidates. They will be interviewed by the Elk River City Council on Thursday, Sept. 8.
The finalists are:
•Calvin Portner, who has been the administrative services director for the city of Plymouth, Minn., since 2008. Prior to that he held several positions with the city of Brooklyn Park, including assistant city manager, and was the district field director/field representative for U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad. He also served in the U.S. Air Force. Portner has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University in St. Paul.
• James Hurm, who has been the city administrator/port authority director/executive director for the city of Austin/Austin Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Austin, Minn., since 2003. Prior to that he held a variety of positions including executive director of the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council in Sioux City, Iowa, and the city administrator in Shorewood, Minn., Hales Corner, Wis., and Tracy, Minn. He also worked as a legislative assistant to Congressman Mike Blouin. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University and a doctorate in public administration from Hamline University in St. Paul.
•Kevin Lahner has been city administrator in Burlington, Wis. since 2008. Prior to that he was the interim city manager and assistant city manager in Keller, Texas and held municipal positions in Flower Mound, Texas. He also was a news reporter in Denton, Texas. Lahner has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and a master of public administration from the University of North Texas.
•David Minke is currently the project manager at Anoka County and prior to that the Anoka County deputy county administrator. He also has been the assistant town manager in Castle Rock, Colo., the city manager in Bemidji, Minn., and the city administrator in Princeton, Minn. and Glenwood, Minn. He also served in the U.S. Army. Minke has a bachelor’s degree in arts and government from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and a master’s in urban studies and public administration from Minnesota State University in Mankato.
A total of 71 people applied for the Elk River city administrator position. The job was most recently held by Lori Johnson, who resigned in June and is now the city administrator in Otsego. Bob Thistle is serving as the interim city administrator.