Jun. 21—NORTH MANKATO — North Mankato has a new city administrator in place after the City Council approved an employment agreement with Kevin McCann Monday night.
McCann, who has for years served as the city's finance director, will be paid a salary of $149,000.
Former City Administrator John Harrenstein, who had served in the post since 2013 and took the city administrator job in Altoona, Iowa, earlier this year, was paid $149,240.
The salary was questioned by resident Barb Church, who said the amount is nearly 88% of what the relatively new Mankato city manager received in her first year.
"The Mankato city manager has far more responsibility, including an airport, a larger population, more employees, a larger council and a much bigger budget," Church said. "You're offering really close to the top of the range." The council had earlier set the salary range for a new administrator between $135,000 and $155,000.
Church said that in Minnesota the general salary range for administrators has been $70,000 to $95,000.
Mayor Mark Dehen said average salaries from a few years ago are no longer competitive as the number of candidates for administrator or city manager spots is dwindling as more are retiring and fewer candidates are available to replace them.
"The pool of applicants available for this position is going down," Dehen said. He noted that a new administrator is being appointed almost every day in the Twin Cities metro area and the rest of Minnesota.
In the end Dehen, council members Billy Steiner, Sandra Oachs and Diane Norland approved the new contract. Council member Jim Whitlock was not at the meeting.
McCann said he's ready to jump into the new job.
"I'm looking forward to working together...Looking to help North Mankato move to the next level."
McCann beat out two other finalists for the job — the city administrator of Eagle Lake and the parks and recreation director for the city of Shakopee.