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Council holds second round of interviews
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MONROE - The City of Monroe Salary and Personnel spent almost an hour in closed session Tuesday, to discuss candidates, reference checks and compensation for the city administrator position.

The committee was gearing up for a special closed session of the Common Council today. The council will meet with department heads to discuss the candidates and continue discussion of the candidates' qualifications, compensations and employment agreements.

The council will also conduct second interviews with the candidates at that time, and the meeting's agenda states the council could possibly take action regarding the position in open session.

Rex Ewald, Monroe, and James Mogen, Rice Minn., are being considered for the position.

Both men were called separately into the meeting room Tuesday.

Attorney Todd Schluesche has been retained to provide outside legal counsel to assist with the hiring process.

Background checks of the candidates were conducted earlier this month by a member of the Monroe Police Department

Ewald is the current city attorney for Monroe and holds degrees in economics and geography and law. He has practiced law in Monroe since 1979.

Mogen holds a degree in environmental studies and law, and is currently working on a graduate certificate in public administration.

The 2010 budget includes about $138,000 for the office of administrator, which included $90,000 for salary and about $34,500 taxes, insurance and pension. About $13,000 has been set aside for maintaining the running of the office and position.

The legal fees account was reduced from $114,000 last year to only $60,000 for 2010, with the expectation that the new administrator will be performing almost half of the legal duties.

The position of City Administrator also includes human resources duties.

Candidates for the position needed a juris doctor degree from an accredited law school and five years legal experience with three in municipal law. The city administrator will be required to write policies, ordinances, resolutions, contracts and agreements, and other legal documents, as well as provide litigation, prosecution and other legal services for the city. Human Resources duties include overseeing all personnel matters.