West Fargo, North Dakota – Mayor Bernie Dardis of West Fargo responded to remarks made by West Fargoans for Transparency, Accountability, and Professionalism in City Government President Steve Marquart on a previous program.
The group wants to know why the city’s administrator and the directors of Human Resources, Communications, and Information Technology were fired from the finance department.
According to Dardis, the position of city administrator is being filled by an external recruiting firm called Baker Tilly. The approximate cost of Baker Tilly’s services is $26,000. The remaining four open positions will be filled through an internal process, and Mayor Dardis reports that two candidates for the Finance Director position will be interviewed next week.
Mayor Dardis affirms his adherence to statements made around the time the City Administrator announced their resignation to the City Commission, stating that they desired to move in a different direction compared to former staff. Baker Tilly will conduct interviews with the commissioners to determine what each member desires in a new city administrator. In the end, all five members of the commission will participate in the selection of a West Fargo city administrator.
A critique that has been leveled against the city is that the pay for a number of leadership positions is excessively high, according to some locals. 2019 saw the sharing of a salary survey between Fargo and West Fargo. According to Mayor Dardis, the salaries computed in the Fargo survey were based on data collected from “similarly sized” cities. According to Dardis, they also conducted their own salary survey and then used data from the Fargo survey to calculate the ultimate salary totals.