Cottage Grove finalizes economic development director hireMembers of the Cottage Grove City Council made a quick pick for the city’s new economic development director position on Wednesday, skipping a final round of council interviews to appoint a Prior Lake city official to the position.
The Cottage Grove City Council made a quick pick for the city’s new economic development director position on Wednesday, skipping a final round of council interviews to appoint a Prior Lake city official to the position.
The council voted unanimously to hire Danette Parr, the current community development and natural resources director in Prior Lake, for the city’s top community development post. She will inhabit a role different from her predecessor, Howard Blin, focusing more on marketing Cottage Grove to developers and businesses in an effort to jump-start the recovery from the recession that slowed economic development in the city.
Blin resigned his post last month after city council members made it clear they wanted to shift the position’s role from one concerned primarily with planning issues to one that will more aggressively court development to the city.
“She will, in essence, wear two hats,” Mayor Myron Bailey said Wednesday, noting that Parr will tackle both the department’s planning and zoning responsibilities as well as an expanded marketing role.
Parr has been in Prior Lake since 2004. Previously, she worked in municipal government in the cities of Eden Prairie, Inver Grove Heights and St. Paul.
She was one of five semi-finalists for the job interviewed behind closed doors by City Council members on Saturday. A final round of interviews with a narrowed field had been planned, City Administrator Ryan Schroeder said, but council members agreed unanimously on independent ranking sheets they had filled out following the interviews that Parr was their No. 1 choice.
Just four-fifths of the council took part in the interviews, however. Council member Derrick Lehrke acknowledged Wednesday that he wasn't present Saturday, citing an "extracurricular activity" not related to city business.