The Rugby City Council approved the hiring of Liz Heisey as city auditor during a special meeting Thursday.
Heisey, originally of Hot Springs, S.D., is returning to Rugby, where she previously lived for more than two years. Heisey will be joined by husband Brian Heisey and daughter Shelby Heisey, a freshman in high school.
“We like the small-town community and strong family values,” Heisey said. “And the smaller school district and low crime.”
Heisey most recently lived in Casper, Wyom., where she worked as a staff accountant in the oil industry. She also previously worked for the game and fish department and a school district in South Dakota.
Mayor Arland Geiszler and Council Members Bruce Rheault (Ward 1) and Jim Hoffert (Ward 3) served on the hiring committee. The five council members present voted unanimously to hire Heisey. Council Members Neil Lotvedt (Ward 1) and Dave Bednarz (Ward 2) were not present.
“It’s going to be a big benefit to our city hall staff to have a full-time auditor,” said Hoffert, who also serves as council president and chairman of the Finance Committee, “because the extra burden for Phyllis and Candy has been taking away from other functions.”
Deputy auditors Phyllis Johnson and Candy Munyer have assisted in daily operations since the resignation of former auditor Dawn Hauck in September. She cited citing frustration with issues not being addressed.
Hoffert declined to comment on whether the issues leading to Hauck’s resignation have been resolved.
“We want to give (Heisey) a fresh start and have her in charge of the books and managing the city staff,” Hoffert said.
Previously, Kari A. Pedersen, of Harvey, was hired in December to fill the auditor position but pulled her application for personal reasons, according to the mayor. That announcement was not preceded by a vote of the council.
In light of the news of Benchmark Electronics closing in Dunseith, Ward 2 Council Member Gary Kraft asked why a late applicant from Benchmark was not interviewed.
The mayor and Hoffert explained that they followed protocol in sticking with the deadline for applications.
Water plant update
Ward 4 Council Member Terry Wentz, the chairman of the Public Works Committee updated the council on improvement to the water plant. Five non-working heaters will be repaired instead of the original plan to replace them.
Ward 3 Council Member Joel Berg questioned whether neglect led to the five heaters not working. Wentz said the city crew has been short an employee for about two years and that likely led to some maintenance falling behind.
Wentz also mentioned replacing the plant’s air compressor, which is a 1990 model. The city has received one bid for $8,400 and expects another bid soon.
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