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Friday, June 21, 2024

Spielman steps down as top dog in city zoning office

The Windom City Council recently held a special meeting to accept the resignation of Andy Spielman, the city’s planning and zoning director, but also to hire him back part-time to meet a crucial city need as a certified building inspector.

Spielman has been on the job for over seven years, and the council accepted his stepdown with remorse, but also gratitude, as Spielman’s offer to work part-time is much needed in the transition of finding a new building and zoning director for the city.

As part of the resignation letter, Spielman offered to help the city fill the gap by staying on part-time for up to a year. He is taking a new job as a building inspector with the Minnesota Department of Health, so he and his family will not be leaving Windom. He will mainly travel and inspect assisted living and other care facilities in the southern region of the state.

When Spielman took the zoning position with the city of Windom, he said it took him about a year (and it can take up to 18 months for a new hire) to get all the certifications needed to do all aspects of the job. Part of this story for the council is the difficulty they face in finding and hiring a new building and zoning official.

Spielman told the council, “Just knowing the path I took with this. . .it could leave the city in kind of a tough spot without a designated building official. So I would certainly like the opportunity to do that.”

Mayor Dominic Jones responded, “Andy was and still is a great employee. I think we should take advantage of his offer, and I think it’s an outstanding offer for the city.”

The council agreed unanimously.

“Andy has been here my whole time as Mayor,” said Jones, after the meeting. “He came in here with the challenge of learning the position of a building official. From the get go, he excelled because he had the background experience of the contractor and what was needed with the position. He took that and ran with it.”

City Administrator Steve Nasby concurred, and informed that updating and understanding codes is a huge part of the job, and Nasby remembered Spielman going through intricate updates of shoreline, nuisance and land use codes during his tenure.

Nasby said the search for a new zoning official will be an arduous one, and he is very glad to have Spielman available during that process.

Spielman said he has seen people come and go with the city, but he believes the department heads currently here are a strong group and he wants to help them– and the local contractors and builders who can use his experience– during this transition.

For more details on this story, please see the Jan. 31 edition of the Citizen.

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