Kandiyohi County Board
made a change to its Nov. 21 meeting agenda immediately at the start of the meeting on Tuesday. Commissioner Dale Anderson made a motion to remove a nine-month performance review of County Administrator Kelsey Baker, which was seconded by Commissioner Duane Anderson.
The review will now take place in February, when Baker has served a full year.
The motion passed 3 to 2, with Commissioners Roger Imdieke and Corky Berg voting against the measure.
Dale Anderson said he felt the place for any discussion about Baker's performance and concerns around it can be addressed at her one-year review.
"If there is something that needs to discussed, that is an adequate time to do it," Dale Anderson said.
Imdieke said when the board did Baker's six-month review, there was an understanding to revisit it at nine months. The six-month review was done Aug. 15 in a closed session of the board, meaning the public was not able to attend or hear what was discussed. Performance evaluations are one of the allowed exemptions in the Minnesota Open Meeting Law that requires public bodies to meet in open session.
The public summary of that six-month review, approved by the County Board in September, does not say anything about a nine-month review.
There was disagreement over the
public summary of Baker's six-month review
at the Sept. 5 meeting. Commissioner Steve Gardner felt it did not adequately portray Baker and the work she had been doing. Gardner and Dale Anderson voted against approving the summary.
Following that review, Baker threw her name into the ring for the open city administrator position in West Fargo, North Dakota. When she wasn't chosen,
Baker reiterated her dedication to Kandiyohi County
Baker was hired unanimously by the Kandiyohi County Board in October 2022 to replace retiring county administrator Larry Kleindl. She officially took over the top job in February 2023.
She was one of three finalists interviewed by the County Board in September 2022. The others were Cassandra Harvey, program manager — Healthy Aging & Caregiver Supports for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation; and Jennifer Lippert, the now former director of Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services.
Baker previously served as the administrator for Swift County. She worked as the marketing and executive assistant for the South Dakota Housing Authority and in the South Dakota Department of Revenue as a public information officer. While there, Baker also completed an executive master's in public administration program with the University of South Dakota. She then took a position with the South Dakota Department of Labor Regulation.
Baker grew up in Sunburg and graduated from Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg High School. Her parents are from Kerkhoven; her mother is a music teacher with KMS and her father owns the Ford dealership in Kerkhoven.