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Dwight Johnson chosen as Rosemount's new city administrator

Right away Tuesday there were two clear front runners for Rosemount's vacant city administrator position -- Dwight Johnson and Mike Mornson. Only one could have the job, though, and after extensive conversation Johnson, by a 4-1 vote, was named Rosemount's new city administrator.

"Either way you have gold or gold," said Brimeyer Group consultant Richard Fursman before the vote. Apparently Johnson shined a little brighter in the eyes of at least four of the council members.

Mike Baxter was the dissenting vote. He didn't like that Johnson didn't want to share his psychological profile with the council. While Johnson eventually did, his initial refusal left a bad taste in Baxter's mouth.

The city's department heads recommend Mornson for the position. Johnson came out second on their list. The council discussed the recommendation but eventually decided Johnson was the better man for the job.

"Mike really appealed to the department heads," Fursman told the council before their decision.

Despite Baxter's misgivings and the department heads' recommendation the other four council members voted for Johnson.

Mayor Bill Droste said he was impressed with Johnson's track record and economic development experience.

Johnson has more than 25 years of experience with city government. His most recent position was as a village manager for the Village of Homer Glen, Ill.

Before that he spent 10 years in Plymouth, which was just named "The Best Place to Live" by Money Magazine. He left Plymouth in 2003.

"It's clear in my book, Dwight is exactly what we need," said council member Phil Sterner.

Fursman will begin negotiating with Johnson for the position. During the special meeting Fursman warned the council Johnson would be at the top of their pay scale.

If for some reason negotiations fail with Johnson, then an offer would be made to Mornson.

The council had narrowed the field of candidates to five. Last weekend the council interviewed all five. The other finalists were current acting administrator Kim Lindquist, city of Austin administrator James Hurm and James Norman, currently interim city administrator.