Shane Fineran is the new Waconia city administrator, returning to the community where he served as assistant city administrator from 2009-2014.

The selection was announced last week following hour-long interviews Wednesday by the full city council of Fineran and two other candidates, and nearly three hours of deliberations. The other finalists, selected from a field of 65 applicants, were Mike Darrow, previously the city administrator for New Richmond, Wisc., and Jasper Kruggel, currently the city administrator for Le Sueur, Minn.

Fineran replaces Susan Arntz who left last fall to take a position as city manager for the city of Mankato.

“We were fortunate to have three great finalists in the city administrator process,” said Mayor Kent Bloudek. “Shane really impressed the city council with his knowledge of the community, as well as his extensive management experience in Carver County, both as city administrator in Watertown and previously as assistant city administrator with Waconia. We are excited to welcome Shane back in Waconia and know he will do a great job and continue to move the city in a positive direction.”

Fineran has been Watertown city administrator since 2014 and has served in local government for 16 years, including his earlier stint in Waconia and a position in nearby Scott County. He has Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Public Administration degree from Hamline University.

Fineran said he is “excited about the opportunity to come back to Waconia, renewing previous relationships and getting to see what’s changed.”

In the city council interview, Fineran emphasized he could hit the ground running based on his previous experience with the city and interactions with city and county staff.

Fineran also joked at the interview about hoping to return to Waconia for “two of my favorite things – to get a car wash and a Dilly bar,” he said, referring to recent action by the city council authorizing a new car wash business and Dairy Queen in town just down the road from each other.

Fineran is expected to start in Waconia in mid-June to give time for Watertown to get its city administrator selection process started.

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