WSP approves hiring of new city manager

If good things really do come to those who wait then expectations will be riding high for West St. Paul’s new city manager.

Matt Fulton, a former city manager of Coon Rapids and New Brighton, became the first person to hold the city’s highest paid position in nearly two years, following the city council’s approval of an employment agreement at its July 22 meeting. Fulton was selected after extensive vetting and interviews that winnowed an initial pool of 42 applicants for the position.

After the vote, Mayor John Zanmiller said he believes Fulton would be a worthy heir to a role that has been without a permanent replacement since former manager John Remkus accepted an early retirement package in 2011.

“It’s been a long process, but I’m confident through the work of the consultant and the council we’ve got the right person for the job,” Zanmiller said.

The city council had been close to hiring Craig Clark, city administrator for Worthington, after he was recruited by an in-house committee of council members last October. However, the offer fell apart during salary negotiations. Assistant City Manager Sherrie Le has served as acting manager in the interim.

Fulton was city manager in New Brighton for 13 years before he was hired by the City of Coon Rapids in 2006. Fulton resigned from that position in 2012 at the request of the Coon Rapids City Council. Council members didn’t disclose the reason for the split, other than to say there was no impropriety involved.

Fulton told the West St. Paul council at the July 22 meeting he was enthusiastic about the new opportunity and optimistic his 30 years of experience would help to guide the city through upcoming challenges.

“I’m very excited about joining the organization and joining the team,” Fulton said. “I am looking forward to eventually moving to West St. Paul and becoming an active resident as well.”

According to the terms of his employment agreement, Fulton’s first official day on the job will be Aug. 5.

— Luke Reiter

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