Lahner declines offer to become Elk River city administrator

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
Kevin Lahner has declined an offer to become Elk River’s next city administrator.
Lahner is the city administrator in Burlington, Wis., and has decided to stay there, Elk River Mayor John Dietz said at the Monday, Sept. 19, City Council meeting.
In offering the job to Lahner earlier this month, council members had agreed that Calvin Portner was their next pick and that Portner would be offered the job if Lahner were to decline.
Dietz said the city is now in the process of negotiating with Portner.
Portner is the administrative services director for the city of Plymouth, Minn. 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.
Lahner and Portner were two of 71 applicants for the city administrator position, which opened up when Lori Johnson resigned in June.