Top candidate of seven applicants chosen by council

Photo by Robert Williams
Stephanie Poegel will take over for Jordin Roberts as the Frazee city administrator beginning in mid-December.

By Robert Willams

Editor

The City of Frazee received seven applicants to replace Jordin Roberts as city administrator and selected Stephanie Poegel, the current city clerk/treasurer of the City of Audubon as Roberts’ replacement. Poegel is transitioning from her current position. Her last day there is Friday, Dec. 9 and she will start in Frazee on Monday, Dec. 12.

Poegel grew up south of Pelican Rapids, near Erhard. She graduated from Pelican Rapids high school in 1996 before earning a two-year liberal arts degree at Fergus Falls Community College and her bachelor’s in Mass Communications, with an emphasis on Public Relations, from Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

After working in sales for a year, she began working in the community education department of the Lake Park-Audubon school district from 2002-2008 running the after school program and the Raider Gazette newsletter that expanded from an 8-page publication to 32 pages under Poegel’s direction.

The newsletter was a replacement for the Lake Park Journal and Audubon Gazette newspapers that no longer exist.

Poegel also worked as the early childhood secretary for the school during that time and eventually transitioned to a part-time position in the Lake Park city office in 2008. The position evolved to a full-time position in two years and she eventually became the deputy clerk in Audubon. During the transition of clerk employees, Poegel began to take on more responsibilities out of necessity and was hired as the city clerk/treasurer in Audubon in 2016.

“I kept doing those things and then I wanted more and more and liked what the clerk was doing,” she said.

City administration was not her first pursuit in college. She studied teaching to begin her academic career, then changed to agricultural business and international business before deciding on public relations. The final change and her current career path are not without a sense of irony.

“In all those business classes, what pushed me away was taxes,” she said. “I took those tax classes, nope, I hate taxes. I don’t ever want to deal with taxes. That’s what a lot of my job is now, dealing with taxes.”

The Frazee opening was a natural progression for her current career path.

Poegel spent Wednesday going over the position with Roberts in the Frazee city office and came away with a basic goal for starting the position.

“How do I get up to speed and how do I make sure I’m not behind the 8-ball with all of the projects going on,” she said. “It’s going to be exciting having new challenges.”

Poegel lives in Lake Park with her husband Bernie and three children, two sons ages 17 and 10, and a 13-year -old daughter. The family plans to remain in Lake Park given the children’s ages and their comfort levels in attending LP-A schools.

One of Poegel’s first tasks will be to change over software systems to operate payroll, utility billing and fund accounting in Frazee, something she did for the city of Audubon. Her plan is to keep that system in house. The city council had discussed shopping around for a payroll services company and other accounting systems, but Poegel’s hire will likely negate the need for that.

Poegel was the top candidate of an original list of seven candidates. The city council originally ranked each candidate’s application and resume to trim the field to five candidates. The other four were Jordan Grossman, Shari Oxton, Traci Goble, and Laura Leuder.

Two candidates were immediately removed from consideration for not meeting the minimum requirements for the position. The field was cut to two finalists of Poegel and Nealley, a city clerk-treasurer for the city of Taylors Falls since 2018.

Roberts’ position was open for applications from November 1 to 14, posted on the city website, Facebook page, Indeed, and the League of Minnesota Cities Employment Opportunities portal. 

All of Roberts’ duties will be handled by mayor Ken Miosek during the transition to Poegel’s start date.