Thomsen fills in while city seeks new administrator

The Park Rapids City Council has turned to a previous city administrator to fill the gap during a search for a permanent replacement for Ryan Mathisrud, who resigned last month.

Betty Thomsen

The Park Rapids City Council on Tuesday approved a timetable for the personnel committee’s search for a new, permanent city administrator.

Former administrator Ryan Mathisrud submitted his resignation on Sept. 22, and the council hired Betty Thomsen as an interim administrator at that time.

Thomsen has lived in Park Rapids for 20 years and previously served as city administrator from 2000 to 2004. Afterward, she worked for 11 years at Northstar Orthodontics.

“I came out of retirement to help out,” she said after Tuesday’s meeting. “I love city government. I love the challenge.”

Mayor Ryan Leckner temporarily stepped down as one of the two city council representatives on the personnel committee during the search. He appointed Erika Randall to serve in his place alongside Thomsen and fellow council member Tom Conway.


Leckner also urged the committee to accelerate its search timeline if possible, by shortening the application period from three weeks to two. Randall proposed making Oct. 30 the deadline for applications, with the option of extending it if needed.

Randall also suggested posting the position with the Association of Minnesota Counties, as well as the League of Minnesota Cities.

Conway moved to authorize the selection committee to adjust its timeline for the search as needed, to interview candidates and make a recommendation to the city council.

The motion passed unanimously. Afterward, council members understood by consensus that Conway’s motion also authorized staff to post a notice seeking applications and approved the city administrator’s position profile and job description.

In related business, the council:

  • Appointed Thomsen as the responsible authority for records management.

  • Appointed Thomsen to serve on the Fire Relief Association board of trustees.

  • Replaced Mathisrud with Thomsen and former treasurer Angela Brumbaugh with current treasurer Jeremy Jude on the list of officials authorized to sign on the city’s checking accounts, manage its investment funds and receive information about its accounts.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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