The Park Rapids City Council voted on Tuesday to appoint Andrew Mack as the full-time city planner.

Previous planner Ryan Mathisrud had resigned, effective Oct. 26, to take other employment.

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City Administrator John McKinney said city staff received two applications in response to the listed position, and the personnel committee interviewed Mack on Nov. 13.

"He did an outstanding job of responding to questions, and made a very impressive presentation of his background and intentions," McKinney said about Mack. "We recommend that the council approve his hiring."

Council member Tom Conway, who was present at the interview, said he was "extremely impressed" and that Mack "did admit to having grant-writing experience. The way he came across, it seemed like he would be a team player, and I think staff agreed."

According to the curriculum vitae that McKinney shared with the council, Mack earned a bachelor's degree in local and urban affairs at St. Cloud State University, 1983; a master's degree in city and regional planning at the University of Texas Arlington, 1987; and certification with the American Institute of Certified Planners, 1990. He is also certified as a septic inspector with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and a tree inspector with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Since 2008, Mack has been a partner and principal planner with Rural & Urban Planning Services of Bemidji and Silver Bay, a consulting business that Conway said Mack had agreed to set aside upon being appointed as city planner.

Previously, Mack served as community development director in Pine City, 2016-17, and Orono, 2014-15; senior planner with the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board, 2008-14; partner and principal planner with Planning Development Research of Minnetonka and Clearwater, 1991-2008; senior planner in Rosemount, 1994-96; planning and zoning administrator in Burnsville, 1989-91; senior planner with Northwest Associated Consultants, 1988-89; community development director in Sulphur Springs, Texas, 1984-88; and market research analyst with Osgood Urban Research in Dallas, Texas, 1983-84.

McKinney said Mack, who grew up in Hopkins, was offered the first step of the position's six-step salary range, pending the council's approval and the outcome of a pre-employment background check. Anticipating a favorable outcome, McKinney said Mack would start on Dec. 1 at $23.57 per hour and would become eligible for insurance on Jan. 1.

"We thought it would (make) December a chance for him to get on board, up to date on how we do things and what needs to be done," said McKinney. "We have some projects that we want to move forward, certainly by the beginning of next year."

Conway moved to appoint Mack as city planner, and the motion passed with no dissent.

City canvass board

In a special hearing in their roles as the city canvass board for the Nov. 6 election, council members verified the final vote counts, including winning candidate Ryan Leckner's 690 write-in votes for mayor, previously reported as 650 due to a clerical error.

Other write-ins for mayor included one vote each for Rod Hooker, Leag Deitchler (sic), Radinovich (sic) and Donald Trump.

Write-ins for city council included two votes for Charles Schmitz and one each for Teresa Leshovsky, Carter Hedeen, Amy Bunnell, Pat Mikesh, Pam Hauber, Tom Petchl (sic), Ivanka Trump and Leckner, whose seat on the council was not up for election.

City Treasurer Angela Brumbaugh, Rapids Spirits Manager Scott Olson and Mayor Pat Mikesh commended City Clerk Margie Vik for the smooth running of the Nov. 6 municipal election and Public Facilities Superintendent Chris Fieldsend for his staff's prompt and cost-effective cleanup of the council chambers after the election.