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Decision on dispatch center leader will wait

The Dakota Communications Center has postponed hiring a new executive director until after the New Year. Interim executive director Diane Lind will continue to lead the 911 dispatch center until then.

"The board has decided to take a step back and go into a holding pattern," said Lind.

The board made the decision July 14 after months of searching for a replacement for Kent Therkelsen. The board had narrowed the field of candidates from 50 down to three but couldn't come to a final decision.

Rosemount city administrator Dwight Johnson, who sits on the board of directors for the DCC, said the executive committee couldn't come to a recommendation for the position, so it voted to retain Lind in the interim and to assess the situation again in January.

It's not clear yet whether that process will include reassessing the existing finalists or taking new applications for the position.

In the meantime, Lind will lead the center. Lind, one of three finalists for the position, has worked at the DCC since it opened in 2007. Before taking over in July she was the operations manager at the center. Lind's former duties will be taken over by Rose Kruchten, the DCC training manager.

"I expect everything will continue as it did under Kent's leadership," said Lind.

Rosemount mayor Bill Droste said that with her experience, Lind will do a fine job leading the center over the coming months. He would not speculate on what will happen in January.

The other two finalists were John Dejung, director of a public safety communications center in Madison, Wis., and Russell Sinkler, an executive with Ingenix, a health care research agency in Eden Prairie. Both men have previously overseen 911 operations in Minneapolis.

Choosing a replacement for Therkelsen has taken longer than anyone anticipated. Therkelsen, who led the opening of the center, announced his retirement in January. His last day was June 30.

A decision was expected in June but hang ups involving background checks and leadership assessments delayed the process.

The Dakota Communications Center opened in December 2007. The regional center serves Dakota County and 11 cities. The advertised salary range for the executive director is $85,000 to $125,000.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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