Controversy Swirls Around the Hiring of New Manager

At the Forest City Council Meeting, the council appeared divided on the hiring of a new Electric Department Manager. Most on the council were in favor of the idea, while still a small group did not want to see already hired and well performing individuals lose their jobs.

The council hired Duane Kuhn as the new Electric Department Manager. His job will be to oversee the line department and to manage operations at the light plant. Two other individuals already were responsible for those roles. Roger Rollefson of the light plant and Kevin Swanson of the line department were already managing their respective charges, but many on the council wanted to have a single individual who would report to the council.

Suzanne Murphy of the council voiced her concerns about what would happen to the two managers. She did not want to see them lose their positions as a result of the combining of the two departments. Meanwhile Councilmember Steve Hall didn’t like the idea of hiring for the position prior to hiring a new city administrator. That position came open when Paul Boock retired in March. Hall felt that the new administrator should be the one to oversee the hiring saying that “it was a big position to fill”. Both Murphy and Hall voted no on the hire while the remaining councilmembers all said yes to the hire.

Murphy was reassured by Mayor Rick Skjeie that neither Rollefson nor Swanson would lose their jobs. They would just be have a new supervisor to report to. Meanwhile, Kuhn was scheduled to start this week as the new Electric Department Manager.