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The Princeton Public Utilities Commission is winding down the search process that’s being used to evaluate a group of general manager candidates.

Current General Manager Connie Wangen submitted her resignation letter in March. Her last day of employment will be May 31.

Wangen had informed commissioners Feb. 27 that she would be tendering her resignation.

Wangen is retiring after 33 years of employment. She and Commission Chair Mindi Siercks provided a brief update on the general manager search process at the PUC's April 25 meeting.

Siercks reported that four interviews have been completed to date. A fifth interview had been scheduled for Tuesday, April 30.

“We have one more interview to go, and from there, we will narrow it down,” Siercks said. “I think the four interviews [to date] have gone well.”

Wangen said during last week’s meeting that three of the four candidates were “very qualified” in the electric area of operations.

“We are looking to narrow our list of candidates down to a No. 1 and No.2,” Wangen said.

Commissioner Dan Erickson asked if the search committee was using a ranking process during its candidate reviews.

Siercks replied, “Yes, we have a sheet on everyone that we’ve been filling out, and we [the search committee] go through it together and check the pros and cons on each candidate. There are little things that get said by candidates.”

Wangen said most of the candidates have asked not to have their names released during the early stages of the PUC’s search process because they already have jobs.

Siercks added: “It’s a small field of business where everybody knows everybody. They don’t want to jeopardize their current employment by applying for another job, which is fair. We don’t want to wreck anyone’s career. All of them have been positive.”

Wangen reported that most of the interviewed candidates can be in place and working in Princeton in two to four weeks.

“If we have our last interview Tuesday morning [April 30], if we can make a decision that day on who we will recommend,” she said.

Erickson and Commissioner Henry Findell would then be contacted, and any finalist candidates would be asked to return for interviews, Wangen said.

“If there isn’t someone hired on the date that I leave, it’s your [the Commission’s] call [on hiring a replacement],” Wangen said, adding she believed that the Princeton Public Utilities general manager position could remain open as long as a month.

“The office staff is very well equipped,” Wangen said. “The electric and water departments meet on a regular basis.”

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