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Interviews under way for city post

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WORTHINGTON -- The three remaining candidates for the position of city administrator took part in interviews Friday, and they are expected to continue this weekend. City officials hope to have a decision made by early next week.

Applicants were given a tour of Worthington and participated in nearly three hours of interviews each Friday, answering questions about their background in economic development, how they related to staff members, their relationship with city council and citizens, and their community involvement.

Candidate Craig Clark, of Neenah, Wisc., was interviewed first.

"Being a visionary I'll cast a vision for the community," he said, "I have worked with legislators in the area. I'll create a dialogue and communication with the public while being a public servant."

Richard Johnston, of Green Bay, Wisc., has a background in municipal administration. He said he would bring a sense of integrity to the position.

"I keep an open door policy. (The public) can come in and discuss things, but I always begin that conversation with 'What I say to you is the same thing I will say to the city council about this conversation,'" he said. "Sometimes as an administrator you need to say things they don't want to hear and things the council doesn't necessarily want to hear, but it's important to say them -- to get them out in front and to essentially carry out the directives of the council."

Candidate Jeff Pederson, of Grand Island, Neb., has 25 years of experience in city government.

"I am excited about the opportunity the hospital sale proceeds present to the community," he said "I'd ponder how that can be used to improve the quality of life here in Worthington."