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New Slayton City Administrator settling into position

justine wettschreck/Daily Globe New Slayton City Administrator Josh Malchow started March 1 and is meeting people on a daily basis -- something he is enjoying greatly.

SLAYTON -- Josh Malchow has been in his new position as Slayton's City Administrator for a week now, and is getting to know more and more people every day.

Malchow hit the ground running March 1, meeting city officials and citizens from the start. On his second day on the job, he met with Murray County's new Congressman Collin Peterson.

"I meet someone new each day, attending chamber meetings, county board, regional development commission," Malchow said. "I'm meeting the movers and the shakers, one at a time."

He's used to small town living, having grown up in Winnebago. He attended Blue Earth Area High School, graduating in 2006 and earned bachelors degrees in public administration and political science, then went on to Minnesota State University, Mankato, to earn a masters in urban and regional studies. He also holds certificates in public management and local government management.

In high school, Malchow had contemplated getting into the medical field, possibly as a flight nurse. He had started taking classes for Emergency Medical Technician, and his major in his first year of college was nursing.

He did an undergraduate internship with the city of Staples, which is when he knew he wanted to work in local government management.

"State and federal politics are a lot bigger, and you don't always get to see the results of what you are doing," Malchow explained. "I wanted to work on a local level, where you pass it on the streets everyday, and people can stop in to talk. It is the most personal level of government there is."

In Winnebago, Malchow spent school breaks and summers working in his father's Hardware Hank store, where he learned he liked talking to people, and especially liked listening to people.

"Listening to someone when they have a problem is huge. There is nothing you have going on that makes you too busy to talk to the people you are serving," he said.

Slayton may be a little larger than Winnebago -- the 2010 census puts Winnebago at 1,437 and Slayton at 2,153 -- but the small-town feel is what drew Malchow to southwest Minnesota.

"A place where people stop you on the street to ask how your uncle is doing, that kind of thing," he said. "I love that. I want to have personal relationships with the people I serve."

He plans to focus special attention on economic development, stating the Slayton EDA has been very progressive and he would like to see that continue and grow.

"Right now we have three tax increment fund (TIF) areas, and I'd like to do research into getting more," Malchow said. "There are lots open in the industrial park, and I'd like to bring more businesses to town. I want to work with (the EDA) and keep things happening."

Daily Globe Reporter Justine Wettschreck may be reached at