The City of Gretna has selected five finalists seeking to replace fired City Administrator Colleen Lawry.
Three finalists have previous experience as city administrators in Nebraska. A fourth is a City of Papillion official, and the fifth person manages a small city in north-central Oklahoma.
A search consultant hired by the Gretna City Council reviewed about 25 applications before paring the list to five.
The hiring of a new city administrator marks an important step for Gretna as it tries to move past the Lawry scandal.
Lawry, who was fired in April, pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges related to her misuse of city finances. She will be sentenced in December.
The five finalists are:
» Harper County (Kan.) Administrator Al Roder. Roder has managed the south-central Kansas county of 6,000 residents since October 2011. He previously worked as city administrator of Norfolk, Neb., and Northfield, Minn.; as city manager in Denison, Iowa; and as county administrator of Becker County, Minn.
» Jeff Kooistra has more than 30 years of experience as a city administrator in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Kooistra has worked since 2006 as city administrator/clerk of Waukee, a Des Moines suburb and one of Iowa's fastest-growing communities. Before that, Kooistra was a city administrator in Iowa in Clinton and Boone. He served as city administrator of Plattsmouth from 1985 to 1989.
» Jon Cameron has more than 35 years of experience in management and administration. He has worked since 2011 as city manager of Perry, Okla., a community of 5,500. Before that he worked as city administrator of Valley City, N.D., and chief operating officer of the Florida State Hospital, the state's largest psychiatric hospital. Cameron also held other public-sector jobs in Texas and Oklahoma.
» Brent Lewis worked as the city administrator of Minden, Neb., from January 1992 until he resigned in July 2011. Before Minden, Lewis had worked in the 1980s as a city manager and finance director in Texas.
» Todd Aerni has worked as Papillion's chief building official since 2007. Before that he worked for the City of Lincoln as a building inspector.
The five finalists will have public interviews before the Gretna City Council on Nov. 14 starting at 5 p.m.
City officials said the winner of Tuesday's mayoral race between Kip Edmonds and Jim Timmerman will be invited to sit in during the council interviews and participate in the selection process.
Outgoing Mayor Sally McGuire will not participate in the selection process, the city said.
McGuire finished last in the May primary after State Auditor Mike Foley raised questions about Lawry's expenses and about a lack of oversight of city funds.
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