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Tyler moves ahead with city administrator search

TYLER — City council members plan to fill their city administrator vacancy later this summer.

Current city administrator Robert Wolfington resigned last month to accept the city manager position in Montevideo. His final regular Tyler City Council meeting took place last week.

Tyler Mayor Joan Jagt said the application process for the city administrator position led to seven candidates. The city personnel committee will meet Friday to discuss moving ahead with an interview process and which applicants to interview.

At its meeting last week, the council approved working with the Ivanhoe-based DSI consulting group to perform administrative services as needed until the vacancy is filled.

Jagt said much of DSI’s interim role will involve keeping track of grant applications and other deadlines that relate to city business. DSI has a long history of assisting the city with projects that relate to housing, public infrastructure and economic development.

“We’re moving ahead as planned with the administrator search,” Jagt said. “It would be great if we can have it completed by the end of August, but there won’t be any unexpected adjustments or costs if more time is needed. Working with DSI gives us that flexibility.”

She said the city will be looking for a new administrator with the right combination of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to assist in moving forward with changes such as the construction of the new K-12 campus that will serve the RTR School District. The city purchased land for the school and additional potential uses on the west side of town near the city park and community pool.

Tyler is also working with water and sewer improvements, expanded telecommunications access, and new possibilities for health care services through its Avera Tyler medical facilities.

“One of the main questions I’ll ask in interviews is why they’re interested in Tyler,” Jagt said. “We’re looking for someone who thinks ahead to the future, someone who wants to help with both day-to-day needs and long term goals.”

She became Tyler’s mayor in January. After working with Wolfington for six months, she said she’s sorry to see him leave Tyler but isn’t surprised since Montevideo is about five times larger with more city staff and more public infrastructure.

Wolfington became Tyler’s city administrator after serving Tyler and other nearby communities as a newspaper reporter and editor.

He said the upcoming K-12 school construction should lead to many good opportunities for the Tyler area. He added that Avera’s ownership of Tyler health care facilities is likely to serve as a strong foundation for maintaining well-rounded, locally-based medical services.

His move to Montevideo will bring him closer to family members since he grew up 30 miles away in Benson.

He said location will be an advantage, but that the biggest factor in his decision is the opportunity to work with a new set of city projects. It will include Montevideo’s plans to construct a regional veterans home that’s expected to produce more than 100 new jobs.

“I’ve enjoyed my work in Tyler,” Wolfington said. “It’s a great community that has a very effective city council. There’s a good vision for how to make the most of new opportunities that are opening up.”

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