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Mitchell names first city administrator

Stephanie Ellwein

An administrator who has worked for Brookings County for 13 years will become the city of Mitchell's first-ever city administrator, Mitchell Mayor Ken Tracy announced at Monday night's City Council meeting at City Hall.

Stephanie Ellwein, a Pierre native and University of South Dakota graduate, has been selected to fill the city's newly created city administrator position and will start work July 14, Tracy said.

"I think that she's going to be a very nice addition to the city," Tracy said at Monday night's meeting. "I believe that her qualifications and her personality fit very well, and I'm looking forward to her start."

Ellwein will manage the day-to-day affairs of the city's government, but will be accountable to the mayor. The council agreed to add a city administrator to the city's government last December, and agreed to hire someone for the position the same way it hires any other city employee, which meant the issue was unable to be referred to a public vote.

"I think it's just going to be an amazing experience," Ellwein said by telephone prior to Monday night's meeting. "I look forward to it, very much so."

In her position with Brookings County, Ellwein manages the day-to-day operations of the Brookings County Commission, acts as the head of the county's human resources department and assists the commission in preparing the yearly budget and in union negotiations. When Ellwein was appointed to her position with Brookings County in 1999, it too was a newly created position.

"I think that comes with its own challenges and rewards and it will be interesting to go through that process again," she said.

Ellwein said that experience should help her as she transitions into her new position in Mitchell.

Tracy said he expects Ellwein will spend several months learning about the city and evaluating how the government operates before making any major recommendations.

"I would not expect there would be any drastic changes immediately," he said in an interview Monday.

Ellwein is the second major hire by the city in recent weeks. At the June 3 council meeting, Tracy announced he will recommend Shane Crowe to be the next director of the city's Public Works Department. Crowe is a South Dakota School of Mines and Technology graduate currently working as a civil engineer and private consultant in California. He is expected to start no later than Aug. 25, if Tracy's recommendation is approved by the council.

The city is also looking for a new Corn Palace director, and recently started accepting applications for the position, Tracy said Monday.

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