Karl Lindquist, Class of '80, Takes Interim East Grand Forks City Administrator Position
Karl Lindquist has kept an eye on East Grand forks city government from several angles—city attorney, alderman and newspaper reporter. Starting on Monday, he will be at City Hall's epicenter, as the interim city administrator.
In a special meeting Tuesday, council members named Lindquist to take over the position held by Scott Huizenga, whose last work day is Friday. Huizenga is leaving the job he has had since 2008 to become the budget officer for Kansas City, MO.
Lindquist, 70, was recommended by Mayor Lynn Stauss and Craig Buckalew, the City Council president. The council vote was 5-2, with Alderman Clarence Vetter and Mark Olstad preferring to go without an interim administrator and allow department heads to run the show until a replacement was found. It's anticipated the interim position will last three to six months and will be part-time, although the hours are still undetermined. Lindquist will be paid $75 an hour but will receive no benefits.
Lindquist volunteered for the job in a letter to Stauss and Buckalew. "On paper I have what they want," Lindquist said, citing mechanical engineering, law and MBA degrees. "Another strength is that I already know everybody."
Lindquist was a council member from 1981 to 1983, resigning to become the city attorney. He did that job for 23 years, including the handling of buy-outs after the 1997 floor. He ran again for the council in 2007, but was defeated by Mike Pokrzywinski.
Lindquist retired from his private law practice in 2006. He also reported on city government for the East Grand Forks Exponent for five years before retiring from that job in April. "Anyone we bring in won't know the city, while Karl knows the city like the back of his hand," Alderman Henry Tweten said. "He's willing to do it and step aside when we get the right candidate."
The City Administrator plays a big role in East Grand Forks form of governance. The administrator manages the day-to-day operations of the city, is the liaison between council members recommendations on all matters voted upon by the council. "the interim administrator will have the same responsibilities," Huizenga said. "Because the job is temporary, an interim administrator won't take on grandiose projects. But the job description is the same." Lindquist suggested he will take a caretaker's role. "I'll just try to keep the ship on course," he said. "That means just doing small corrections."