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Who’s the boss? Meet the five city administrator candidates

WORTHINGTON -- Worthington's hiring of a new city administrator is getting closer by the day. Interviews for the five candidates vying for the Worthington city administrator post will take place Friday and Saturday, and the public will get a chan...

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WORTHINGTON - Worthington’s hiring of a new city administrator is getting closer by the day.

Interviews for the five candidates vying for the Worthington city administrator post will take place Friday and Saturday, and the public will get a chance to get in on the action. All are invited to meet each of the candidates and provide comments during a meet-and-greet event scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Worthington Fire hall, 830 Second Ave.
Prior to the meet-and-greet, candidates were asked a few questions pertaining to the city administrator position, as well as their thoughts on improvements to the city. They were asked about its perceived strengths and weaknesses, and to share a little about themselves.
Greg Boe Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in a small town in South Dakota, but have lived in Minnesota for over 30 years. I have worked for Scott County government for almost 20 years as a major program manager, where I oversee staff, budgets, operations and community outreach. I am married, and my wife and I have two children.
What interested you in the Worthington position? I have always been impressed with Worthington over the years. The city of Worthington offers the best of both worlds to its residents: a quality small-town feel, as a place where you can get to know your neighbors, and yet it also is fortunate to have a healthy tax base, a stable population and unlimited potential. When I learned of this opportunity, I had to apply.
Describe your professional experiences and how they would benefit you in this position: I know local government well, having worked in both county and city government for many years. Having served as a local elected official, I understand the challenges and opportunities that exist for communities like Worthington from that perspective. I have also worked in the private sector, so I know what businesses need to thrive. Finally, my education in public administration should be helpful as we work to guide Worthington forward.
What do you think you can do to assist the city in making potential improvements? I will likely bring a different perspective, having spent the last 20 years living and working in a rapidly growing suburban community in the southwest Twin Cities. I have seen first-hand the challenges and opportunities that such rapid growth can bring. Fortunately, I also have my small town roots to keep me grounded. I believe the future looks rosy in Worthington, and I would like to journey with you as we move forward toward that prosperous future.
Michael Cumiskey Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a Worthington resident who is a retired public safety director after a 28-year public safety career. I’m married 31 years to a wonderful wife, and we have four children who graduated from Worthington High School. I’m a USMC veteran and hold an MBA from Southwest Minnesota State University.

What interested you in the Worthington position? I saw this position as an opportunity to serve Worthington again. I applied once before in 2008 also. I am excited about the opportunity and would love to serve Worthington.
Describe your professional experiences and how they would benefit you in this position: I have 15 years city of Worthington administration and budget experience that would be effective from day one. I have an established community network within Worthington that covers all of the city’s demographics. My community involvement includes being a past YMCA board member, a Worthington International Festival board member and a past president of the United Way of Nobles County.
What do you think you can do to assist the city in making potential improvements? Worthington’s biggest strengths are its people, its diversity, the excellent work force and the fantastic business climate. Worthington is a great place to live and raise a family. It’s one of the few areas in Minnesota that have seen consistent growth over the past decade. We have a great city, and we should be proud of it.
Daniel Ortiz Tell us a little about yourself: My wife and I were born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. We were both the first in our families to earn a college education. I have a B.A. in political science from California State University, Northridge; a master of public administration with a concentration in urban management from Arizona State University. I also attended the University of Arizona’s Southwest Leadership Program and obtained a certificate in management and organization.
What interested you in the Worthington position? From the moment I read about Worthington, I was very impressed with the diversity and progressive thinking in the community. Worthington has a great deal of potential and willingness to continue to thrive and prosper. My wife and I were drawn to the community’s values and amenities. We are excited about the possibility to be part of a community where we can both contribute and serve a greater purpose.
Describe your professional experiences and how they would benefit you in this position: Currently I serve as the city administrator in Kimball, Neb., where I am responsible for helping the mayor and council move the community forward. While Kimball is a slightly smaller community, the range of departments and services offered mirror those of larger communities. Prior to Kimball I served the city of Casa Grande, Ariz., as a management analyst in the city manager’s office. I believe my experience and upbringing provide me the tools and resources needed to work with community’s leaders to help build upon the community’s successes.
What do you think you can do to assist the city in making potential improvements? Worthington’s strengths rest in its diverse local economy, quality of life amenities, excellent school system, presence of Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington, and the community’s cultural diversity. I have no doubt that there may be opportunities to enhance the community’s strengths, but not intimately knowing the systems and relationships currently in place it is hard to determine where I can assist at this time.
Steve Robinson Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in Worthington, graduating from Worthington High School and Minnesota West Community College. I completed my education at the University of Minnesota, earning a bachelor of Civil Engineering degree. I worked in the Twin Cities area for the next seven years before returning to Worthington to join my father in a family-owned business. We eventually sold the business, and I began working for the engineering/architecture firm of Short Elliott Hendrickson. I currently am Worthington’s Director of Public of Works. Susan and I have been married for 25 years. We have two sons attending Minnesota West Community College and a daughter in the fourth grade at Worthington Christian School.
What interested you in the Worthington position? I’m excited to be working for the city and my fellow citizens. This is a rare opportunity and a great honor to be considered a candidate for the city administrator. Worthington is filled with positive opportunities and I’d like to contribute to pursuing them.
Describe your professional experiences and how they would benefit you in this position: I have worked in both the private and public sectors. This experience gives me a unique perspective on what can be accomplished through partnerships and collaboration.
Many of my engineering clients were cities and counties. I’ve worked with city councils, county boards, citizens groups and agencies in several states.
What do you think you can do to assist the city in making potential improvements? Worthington has a strong economy, great schools and medical facilities. Our businesses are growing and provide us with numerous opportunities. Having worked in both the private and public arenas, I understand the need for local governments working together, to assist our existing businesses grow and new businesses develop.
Randy Thompson Tell us a little about yourself: I am the executive director of the Worthington HRA. I have served in this position for just over two years. I am married and have two daughters. My wife is an employee of Worthington School District 518; my daughters are 18 and 22 years old. My family and I have lived in Worthington for over 18 years. I have also been employed with the private sector in banking and finance.
What interested you in the Worthington position? I am interested in the city administrator position as I have a desire for the community to continue to grow and prosper; and I would like to put my management and leadership experience to work for the residents and staff of the city of Worthington.
Describe your professional experiences and how they would benefit you in this position: I have a diverse background with both public and private sector work experience, which will lend itself well to working with the city council, city staff and the residents of Worthington. I have a master’s degree in business administration and over 25 years of work experience directly related to business, finance, housing and economic development.
What do you think you can do to assist the city in making potential improvements? Worthington is a regional center for southwest Minnesota. The city’s strengths include a strong diverse work force and many employment opportunities, including agricultural, business, administrative, manufacturing and retail. Worthington offers excellent school systems, quality health care choices and multiple retail opportunities. Worthington is postured for future growth as a regional center, and I would like to be a part of assisting and guiding elected city officials, city staff and residents in moving Worthington forward. Areas of focus may include: enlarging the city limits, additional housing, a business-friendly municipal policy, and continued improvements to recreational, retail, and arts and entertainment amenities.

The public is invited to meet each of the candidates and provide comments during a meet and greet on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Worthington Fire hall, 830 2nd Ave.

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