The city administrator candidate the Verona Common Council will be considering this month has been identified.
Brian Wilson, village administrator in Belleville, is the lone remaining candidate among three finalists for the position that were narrowed May 20. Since then, the city has been involved in background checks.
During the past week, the other two apparently became no longer available, and Mayor Luke Diaz confirmed Monday night a background check is being done on Wilson. He reported after a closed-session discussion the previous week that the background report is expected to be finished in time for the council’s next meeting, Aug. 12.
According to reports from two Minnesota newspapers, two other candidates are out of the running. Aaron Reeves has resigned from his administrator job in Cloquet, Minnesota, to lead the city of Hudson, Wisconsin, and Bath Township, Michigan, superintendent Dan Wietecha was chosen by Hastings, Minnesota, to be its next administrator.
Verona’s council decided July 22 to extend the contract of its interim administrator, Adam Sayre, the city’s permanent planning and development director, after it became clear the city would not have an administrator hired before his contract ended July 31. It now runs through November.
Wilson, who has been with Belleville since 2015, spent four years before that as the administrator for the Town of Beloit and has 22 years of government experience overall.
A year ago, he was a candidate for Sauk County’s administrator job, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. The newspaper reported Sauk County supervisors claimed he had withdrawn from the search, which he refuted.
He also was a finalist in March for the Gardner, Kansas, city administrator position, according to the Gardner News, and in 2018, he was among 21 semifinalists for the Murfreesboro, Tennessee, city manager position but did not make the final 11, according to the Murfreesboro Post.
Diaz has told the Press the background check is extensive, and while it is carried out by a police officer – in this case, the Oregon Police Department is doing it to avoid conflicts of interest – it is less a record check than it is gathering information and interviewing people to ensure a good fit.
Alders interviewed the three finalists twice each, holding a first round of interviews April 29 and May 3 and a second round May 20. A background check started shortly after the interviews.
Reeves was a finalist at Hastings, a city of 22,700, in addition to making the final cuts in Verona and Hudson, a city of 12,700. Both Hastings and Hudson are suburbs of the Twin Cities.
Wietecha was also a finalist for the New Ulm, Minn., city manager position in March, according to New Ulm newspaper The Journal.