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Fargo City Administrator Selection Committee Announces Four Finalists for Dec. 16 In-Person Interviews

A total of 31 applications were received for the position and reviewed by Committee

12/14/2022 3:45 p.m.

  • Finalists for Fargo City Administrator Position
    Finalists for Fargo City Administrator Position

The City of Fargo City Administrator Selection Committee is announcing four candidates for advancement as finalists.

Kenneth Haskin, Pat Oman, James Puffalt and Michael Redlinger have accepted invitations to the in-person interview process, with the Selection Committee conducting public interviews on December 16 beginning at 7 a.m. in the Fargo City Commission Chambers. These interviews will be broadcast and livestreamed across The City of Fargo’s channels and multimedia platforms. In addition, it will be streamed on

The City Administrator Selection Committee has been tasked with recommending one candidate to the City Commission at the conclusion of the interview process. A total of 31 applications were received for the position and reviewed by the Selection Committee. The City of Fargo retained the executive recruitment services of Baker Tilly to conduct this comprehensive and inclusive search.

Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney remarked, “The role of Fargo’s City Administrator is critically important. As the regional leader, Fargo’s chief administrative officer works closely with the City Commission in ensuring our nearly 2,000 employees are offering world-class services every day for our residents, visitors and businesses. The Commission establishes the vision; the City Administrator creates the path and sets the pace. I look forward to the in-person interviews and finding Fargo’s next City Administrator.”

The 11 members of the City Administrator Selection Committee will make no further comments about the process at this time.

KENNETH HASKIN | Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Kenneth Haskin is the City Manager in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Cape Girardeau is located along the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri and operates under the Council/Manager form of government. The municipality has over 660 full-time employees and an annual operating budget of over $100 million. The City provides a full complement of municipal services to its residents, including a regional airport with commercial air service. Haskin has over 25 years of progressive, responsible experience in public management as a senior-level administrator. His educational background includes graduating from Brinkley High School (Arkansas), Bachelor’s in Management from Henderson State University (Arkansas) and a Master’s in Public Administration from Webster University (Missouri). He is credentialed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), an active member of the Arkansas City Managers Association and Texas City Managers Association and a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador/Board member.

PAT OMAN | Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
Pat Oman has worked in government administration for 20 years, first as Regional Community/Economic Development Director (East Central Regional Development Commission) and Director of Economic Development in Carlton County, MN, where he also served as Executive Director of the County Economic Development Authority/Housing Redevelopment Authority. He served successive public administration positions as a County Administrator in Mille Lacs County, MN, and City Administrator in Moose Lake, MN, where he also served as Executive Director of the City Housing Redevelopment Authority. In 2021, he was appointed County Administrator for Becker County, MN. Prior to working in the public sector, he held private sector positions as an Executive Director for a nonprofit economic development corporation in Chippewa County, WI, and Product Development Engineer/Corporate Manager for Honeywell International, Minnetonka, MN. He has Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and History from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and Master’s degrees in Manufacturing Systems and Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. He has graduate level training in Advanced Program Management (Honeywell International), Economic Development Practices (International Economic Development Council), Economic Development Finance Professional certification (National Development Council) and Public Information Officer training (Homeland Security Emergency Management).

JAMES E. PUFFALT | Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
James E. Puffalt has an extensive career in the municipal industry and 30 years as a City Manager in Canada, having served in Dauphin, Manitoba, Estevan, Saskatchewan, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and currently in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He has a proven track record as a change agent and visionary leader who creates high-performing customer service based teams. He has had great success in focusing cities on their core business services, creating the most efficient and effective method to deliver those services and transforming cultures to become entrepreneurial. His expertise includes efficient and customer service-based government, strategic planning, community safety, economic development, effective governance, municipal and inter-governmental team building, enhancing relationships and communications with all stakeholders and inclusion and diversification. His roles over his career have been Chief Policy Adviser & Chief Strategist, Chief Administrative Officer and Coach. He is a lifelong learner and holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Canada West, Vancouver, British Columbia.

MICHAEL J. REDLINGER | Fargo, North Dakota
Michael J. Redlinger is the Interim City Administrator for The City of Fargo, and previously served as its Assistant City Administrator from July 2016 through June 2022. In his current role, he is responsible directly, and through subordinate supervisors, for the performance of approximately 1,900 City personnel, including part-time and seasonal staff. Prior to joining The City of Fargo, Redlinger served as City Manager, Acting City Manager, Assistant City Manager and Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Moorhead, Minnesota (2001 - 2016). He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public, Human Service and Health Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Redlinger is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and has served on various committees for ICMA. He has presented at national and regional conferences, and locally to organizations in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan community. Redlinger is a past board member and treasurer of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees and holds the position of Trustee Emeritus.

The members of the Fargo City Administrator Selection Committee are as follows:
Dr. Tim Mahoney | Mayor
Arlette Preston | Deputy Mayor
Denise Kolpack | City Commissioner
Dave Piepkorn | City Commissioner
John Strand | City Commissioner
Nicole Crutchfield | Director of Planning and Development
Brenda Derrig | City Engineer
Steve Dirksen | Fire Chief
Ben Dow | Public Works Director
Dr. Terry Hogan | Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Jill Minette | Director of Human Resources
Melissa Lura | HR Manager (Committee Facilitator and Non-Voting Member)