Hazelton turns down county administrator job

Says her heart is in Winthrop

WINTHROP — Jenny Hazelton, the Winthrop City Administrator/ EDA Director who was offered the Brown County Administrator job Wednesday after an hour-long interview with commissioners, said Friday she has turned down the position.

“After lots of discussion with my family and the overwhelming support of my council and many residents in town, I realized that my heart is in Winthrop,” Hazelton said. “The process was an awesome experience. Brown County has some great staff and commissioners. I am honored to have been chosen. I wish them all the best going forward.”

After about 20 minutes of discussion Wednesday afternoon, Brown County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution offering the county administrator job to Hazelton after interviewing her for an hour.

The resolution followed finalist ballots in which commissioners favored offering the job to Hazelton over St. James City Manager Sam Hansen by a vote of 3-2. Hansen also interviewed with commissioners for an hour. The position has a salary range of $112,365 to $137,335.

Two other position finalists were not interviewed Wednesday. A Kansas candidate took another job. A South Dakota candidate was not able to make the trip to New Ulm to interview commissioners and meet county staff.

Brown County commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Agenda items include a report on the status of the county administrator search and recruitment process from David Drown Associates Management Consultant Lisa Donabauer.

Brown County has an $18,000 contact with the firm to help find a new administrator to replace Chuck Enter who announced plans to resign from the job effective May 31 after several decades at the job.

Brown County Board of Commissioners Chairman Dave Borchert responded to the issue Friday.

“We have this subject on the agenda for next Tuesday. I sincerely do not know what action will be taken,” Borchert said. “The full board will discuss this and essentially whatever action will depend on a motion, second and majority approval.”

Borchert said one of several options will be to approve a resolution to offer the position to Sam Hansen.

“I can’t discuss what action that I will support until we have had a board level discussion on the subject and options that support the best interest of Brown County. I don’t know what action the board will take,” Borchert said. “The commissioners are of course not permitted to discuss this between commissioners unless we are in a public meeting and it’s on the posted agenda (open meeting laws). For that reason, I have not discussed this with other commissioners at the point in time.”