North St. Paul appoints familiar person as interim city manager


Former Oakdale city administrator Craig Waldron has been appointed North St. Paul interim city manager. file photo

A week after four-year city manager Jason Ziemer tendered his resignation, the North St. Paul City Council appointed his temporary replacement. 

Dr. Craig Waldron, 67, officially became North St. Paul’s interim city manager Oct. 13. He’ll hold the position while the city searches for someone to permanently take the job.

Ziemer, who became city manager in September, 2013, resigned from the position Oct. 6. 

Waldron is likely a familiar name. 

He was the Oakdale city administrator for more than 20 years before leaving the city to teach at Hamline University in the fall of 2014. Before Oakdale, he was community development director for eight years for Roseville, where he lives today.

He’ll continue to teach public administration and other courses at Hamline while putting in roughly 20 hours a week in North St. Paul.

Having worked next door to the city for two decades, Waldron said he had a good relationship with its staff and a working relationship with the city council. “I already had a soft spot in my heart for North St. Paul,” he said.

Waldron said that city officials reached out to him around the time that Ziemer resigned. “‘Could we sit down and at least chat about it?’” he remembered the conversation going. “That was kind of it.”

A Hamline graduate with a doctorate in public administration, Waldron had taught courses there as an adjunct instructor when the opportunity arose three years ago to become a faculty member. 

“When I went over to Hamline it was one of those windows that doesn’t open up very often,” he said. “In addition to being a city administrator, one of my dreams was to be a faculty member.”

On how he’ll approach his new, if temporary job, Waldron said he’ll tread lightly.

“You tackle what needs to be done but you don’t try to make earth-shattering changes,” he said. “You want the next, full-time manager to put their fingerprints on the really big stuff.”

Waldron, who described himself as a “junky” for city government, said he’s willing to help the city council search for his replacement. For now, he’s just excited to have been given the opportunity to work for a city again.

“It will be fun to be back in the saddle for a while,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to wear a snowman lapel pin.”

 

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813


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