West Fargo Mayor responds to criticisms following several city leaders leaving administration

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(West Fargo, ND) -- WDAY Radio's The Jay Thomas Show spoke to West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis about a number of city administrators leaving the city within the past month. 

Mayor Dardis spoke in response to comments made in a previous show by West Fargoans for Transparency, Accountability, and Professionalism in City Government President Steve Marquart. The group is asking why the city's administrator and heads of Human Resources, Communications, Information Technology, and other city employees who were fired in the finance department. Dardis says The City Administrator position is being filled by an external recruiting organization named Baker Tilly. The estimated cost for the Baker Tilly's services add up to $26,000. The remaining four open positions will be filled through an internal process, and Mayor Dardis says the Finance Director position is currently narrowed down to two candidates which will be interviewed next week. 

Mayor Dardis says he is committing to comments made during around when the City Administrator announced their resignation to the City commission, saying they wanted to go in a new direction compared to former staff. Baker Tilly will interview the commissioners to learn what each member is looking for in a new City Administrator. In the end, all five members of the commission will be involved in the process of selecting a City Administrator for West Fargo. 

Speaking on the salaries for several leadership positions that some residents claim are too high, a critique that has been levied against the city. A salary survey was shared between Fargo and West Fargo in 2019. Mayor Dardis says those salaries calculated in the Fargo survey were based on metrics taken from "like-sized" cities. Dardis says they also conducted a salary survey of their own, then used data from the Fargo survey in their final calculation for the salary totals. 


Original Air Date: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2023