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City council whittles field to three candidates for vacant seat

After a final morning of interviews the Rosemount City Council whittled down a field of 18 applicants to three in its efforts to fill its vacant seat. Matt Kearney, Pamela VanderWiel and Robert Leuth will interview a second time for the seat.

To narrow the field each city council member wrote down a list of their top five applicants. Kearney and VanderWiel were on all four council members' lists. Robert Leuth was on three of the four lists.

After some discussion on whether to ask the top three or the top six back for second interviews the council decided on the trio.

"It feels unjust to reject some of these people," said council member Kim Shoe-Corrigan during the council's discussion about how to proceed with the process. She later said she hopes they can get the remaining candidates to serve the community in other ways.

Shoe-Corrigan asked city administrator Dwight Johnson to make sure each candidates knows of other ways they can get involved in the community, such as serving on city commissions or with volunteer groups.

Council member Jeff Weisensel said there could be a case made for any of the applicants to fill the position. He added that he wanted to find the person who will take the council to the "next level."

The council started interviews Tuesday and wrapped up Saturday morning. Each applicant answered the same eight questions.

The council has slated Wednesday night for second interviews, starting at 6 p.m. If an applicant has a conflict they will try and do it Tuesday evening after the regular council meeting.

The council hopes to make a decision Wednesday evening. The person selected will fill the remaining two years on Kurt Bills' term. Bills left the seat to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

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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