Bensen review to resume on May 14

by Paul Rignell

Contributing writer

The Sherburne County Board has directed Administrator Brian Bensen to call Mary Rice, a Minneapolis attorney whom the county has hired for past personnel reviews, to have her attend the May 14 board meeting in a continuing evaluation of Bensen’s own performance.

County officials are subject to annual review at the board’s discretion, but Commissioner Bruce Anderson, the retired county sheriff from Elk River who won election to the board last November, asked to open this spring review that began at the meeting May 7.

“We can pull (officials) in at any time, based on a board member requesting that,” Anderson told the Star News.

The May 7 discussion was scheduled as a closed session to follow 45 minutes of other business that included review of zoning permit requests, but Bensen exercised a right to open the start of his review to the public.

“It was interesting, but it was good to air publicly,” Bensen told the Star News on May 8. His annual reviews commonly have come in June, he added.

He is in his 35th year of employment with Sherburne County, becoming a solid waste officer in 1978, later accepting the role of planning and zoning director, and serving as administrator since 1999.