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Cali Owings, Published March 22 2014

Dilworth hires city administrator

DILWORTH – Dilworth plucked its newest city administrator from the bluegrass state.

After an extensive search process, the City Council voted on Saturday to offer the position to Peyton Mastera, a project administrator for Murray, Ky.. – a town of about 17,700 people.

The City Council, mayor, representatives from city departments and the community met with five candidates Friday and Saturday – narrowed down from an initial field of 43 applicants.

Mastera was the only finalist who hadn’t previously held a city administrator position.

But city officials saw potential for growth in Mastera, who oversaw commercial, residential and utility projects in Kentucky.

They reviewed all of the participants’ evaluation forms of the candidates and determined that Mastera would be a good fit for the city.

In this new role, Mayor Chad Olson said Mastera will gain experience in human resources and management and build on his “broad background” in project management.

Since earning his master of public administration degree from Murray State University, Mastera has worked for the city of Murray as a city planner and projects administrator.

Mastera said those roles prepared him for the city administrator position because he has a lot of experience working with different city departments on projects.

“That’s kind of the role of the city administrator. You just push the right buttons and make sure that things get done,” he said.

Mastera said the position was ideal because he wanted to relocate to a metropolitan area and take on a city administrator role for a smaller community like Dilworth.

While deciding to make an “up-country” move nearly a thousand miles away from home was tough, he said spending time with Dilworth city staff made it easier.

“That’s really what ultimately sold me – getting to work with them,” he said. “The pride that they have within the community and overall attitude that they have coming into work every day – that was something was really unique.”

Mastera will replace Dilworth’s current city administrator Ken Parke, who plans to retire at the end of April.

His base salary as city administrator will be $70,220. He will be eligible for step increases at six months and a year based on performance evaluations.

Larry Kruse, city administrator for Thief River Falls, Minn., Donald Lorsung, city administrator for Isanti, Minn., Mitchell Berg, former Bayport, Minn. city administrator and Harper County, Kan. administrator Albert Roder were all finalists for the position.

Mastera won’t be the only fresh face in Dilworth. Last week, the city hired Ty Sharpe, a Roswell, N.M., police sergeant as its new police chief after a similar search process.