Christopherson resigns as city administratorJACKSON — Two years and two months after taking the helm as Jackson city administrator, Pat Christopherson submitted his resignation to accept the role of county coordinator at Kanabec County.
JACKSON — Two years and two months after taking the helm as Jackson city administrator, Pat Christopherson submitted his resignation to accept the role of county coordinator at Kanabec County.
Jackson City Council accepted his resignation during its April 17 meeting.
During a phone interview with the Daily Globe, Christopherson explained the primary reason for his resignation was to accept a job to be closer to his wife, Kristen, who currently works as an athletic trainer at the University of Minnesota.
“It was necessary to accommodate my wife’s profession,” he said, adding that for two years, Kristen struggled to secure employment in the Jackson area.
Kristen finally applied to the U and was hired seven days later.
“It really reiterated how frustrating it was for her to find a job here,” he continued.
Kristen began her new employment in December. Christopherson, in effort to move closer to his wife, decided it was time to pursue a new job. He is scheduled to begin his first day May 7.
Looking back, he said there are various projects in the city that he enjoyed being a part of, including the new hangar project at the Jackson Municipal Airport.
The new storage hangar is primarily funded by Federal Aviation Administration dollars and matching grants, Christopherson said, adding that of the
$600,000 project cost, the city is only responsible for about $45,000.
“That will be nearing completion by the middle of May,” he added.
Around the same time the airport hangar is completed, construction of a new fire hall is slated to begin.
Mayor Wayne Walter who was elected in November 2010 added that Christopherson played an important role in securing finances for the fire hall.
“He’s been a great help in getting projects done and starting some new ones,” Walter said, adding that the city will also start two new street projects this year.
Despite all the new projects, Jackson residents have experienced a minimal tax increase for the past three years, Christopherson detailed.
“Last year we increased the levy by less than 1 percent so we’ve been basically, flat,” he said. “What we’ve accomplished is not too much detriment to tax payers while still being a really progressive city. We’re positioning ourselves very well.”
Apart from being city administrator, Christopherson fondly spoke of his role as hockey coach for the Worthington boys’ hockey team.
“I had a great time with the boys and the families involved. One of my biggest regrets is leaving them,” he said. “We’re really building a consistent and competitive program.”
As he prepares to embrace his new position as county coordinator, Christopherson is already aware of several upcoming changes in his new job scope.
While he was heavily involved in project management for the city of Jackson, he will have less of that role in Kanabec County.
“They have a county engineer in place already,” he added. “I’ll also be working more with elected officials and county staff members.”
Christopherson’s last day at Jackson is May 4.
The city has started advertising for a new city administrator, Walter said.
Walter has formed a committee including himself, council members Fred Bern and Gary Willink, Steve Walker, Steve Handevidt and Christopherson, for the selection process.
“Personally, I’m looking for an outgoing candidate, with experience dealing with the public and able to handle office staff,” Walter detailed, but noted that the committee will be meeting next week to determine qualities they are seeking for as team.
The deadline for applications is Monday but if a qualified candidate is not found, Walter said there is a possibility of hiring a search firm to recruit a city administrator.
Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.