Nate Burkett interviewing for the city manager position

West St. Paul City Council Selects New City Manager

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With the pending retirement of City Manager Ryan Schroeder, West St. Paul has been in the process of hiring a new city manager. Today the City Council interviewed three finalists and came to the unanimous decision to make an offer to Nate Burkett, the current assistant city administrator for Shakopee.

The new hire isn’t official yet as the Council has to negotiate a contract with Burkett, which will happen in the next week. If the Council officially approves a contract, Burkett would probably start in May. The Council did not have consensus on a second choice, though multiple council members remarked that all three finalists were strong candidates.

About Nate Burkett

Burkett currently serves as the assistant city administrator in Shakopee, a role he’s had since 2016. Previously he served as the county administrator in Aitkin and Todd Counties. During a presentation to the public, he described growing up in a family business and his experience in the National Guard as helping develop his strong work ethic.

“It’s important to me to be leaving the world in a better place than I found it,” Burkett told the City Council during today’s interview.

Burkett values family and friendships, enjoys biking, running, and being on the water, and is always learning something new. He’s currently teaching himself computer coding.

“I’m really excited about what this community has to offer,” Burkett said at the end of today’s interview. “People in my field relish the opportunity to be in a position with this much potential.”

The Process

Current City Manager Schroeder announced his retirement back in December, but offered to stay on until a replacement could be found. Schroeder served just over four years, the longest term for a city manager in West St. Paul in 20 years.

The City Council received 32 applicants for the city manager position from across the country, and a subcommittee comprised of Mayor Dave Napier, Council Member Wendy Berry, and Council Member John Justen interviewed six semi-finalists. They then narrowed the list down to four candidates to bring in for interviews. One of the four withdrew due to a medical emergency, and the remaining three finalists made presentations and answered questions from the public on Friday and met with the City Council.

March 29, 2021 Update: Interview

Here’s a Pioneer Press interview with Burkett.

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