Sheila Murphy is on track to be McLeod County’s next administrator.

At a County Board meeting Tuesday morning, commissioners unanimously agreed to have County Attorney Mike Junge negotiate a contract with Murphy, who has served as interim director since May.

Murphy first started with the county as deputy administrator in September 2017 when Cindy Ford was administrator. The position opened when Ford retired May 31.

“(Murphy’s) background in the private sector and now the public sector helped her rise to the top,” said Board Chair Joe Nagel.

Murphy previously worked at Midwest Industrial Tool Grinding and Miller Manufacturing.

“As we enter into a new facility with a focus on efficiencies, I believe she’s the right person for the job,” Nagel said.

He also noted her experience in human resources would help fill a need for the county.

Murphy said she was happy to be selected after having worked closely with the position and learning of its responsibilities for the past two years.

“I’m looking forward to working with the department heads, the commissioners, the cities and county residents,” she said, “to figure out what the best opportunities are and to work toward them.”

Over the next year she will work closely with employees and contractors on renovations to transform the former Jungclaus Implement building in Glencoe into the McLeod County Government Center.

“We have a good project manager and really good employees. I think they’ll continue to do a good job,” Murphy said.

She said a lot of work will focus on the budget as well, as she will be responsible for finding more ways for the county to be efficient and accountable with its resources.

The decision to pursue a contract with Murphy was made quickly, as it was made on a motion tabled from the previous board meeting. At that meeting, board members had considered making the decision ahead of schedule after one of three finalists dropped out to accept a job in Wisconsin.

“We had a lot of good candidates,” said Board Vice Chair Doug Krueger, who made the motion. “Just the way things progressed, I would like to see an administrator seated.”

He said Murphy would be a good fit with the county’s goals of increasing efficiency in service and the use of funds. In the August meeting, board members noted waiting until Sept. 3 likely wouldn’t change who was selected, but Krueger agreed to requests to hold off and follow the previously announced Sept. 3 decision date.

A contract with Murphy will likely be brought to the County Board at its next meeting.

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