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Hodges taps state commish Cronk for coordinator post

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: July 22, 2014 - 12:08 PM

Mayor Betsy Hodges on Tuesday nominated the state's Department of Administration commissioner Spencer Cronk to be city coordinator, filling a key role that has been empty for several months.

Cronk has led the Department of Administration since Gov. Mark Dayton appointed him in 2011. As coordinator, he will oversee a number of city departments including finance, IT, the convention center, human resources and communications.

The city coordinator post, one of the most important positions at City Hall, has been led by interim coordinator Jay Stroebel for several months after former mayor R.T. Rybak's coordinator, Paul Aasen, left the city.

Cronk, who lives in Minneapolis, must win the approval of the City Council before assuming the role.

“Spencer Cronk is an energetic, collaborative and visionary leader with expertise in running complex organizations in the public and nonprofit sectors,” Hodges said in a statement.

At the state, Cronk's department oversaw the fundamental operations of government -- from maintaining state buildings to managing a massive fleet of public vehicles. Its Information Policy Analysis Division (IPAD) is a key resource for helping journalists, citizens and government agencies determine what government data should be public. The demographer's office, also within the department, helps track long term trends across the state.

“I look forward to working with the Mayor and City Council to ensure the city runs well for everyone in Minneapolis," Cronk said in a statement.

Cronk's appointment continues a trend of top-level officials moving between the city and state government.

Dayton hired Rybak's chief of staff Tina Flint Smith to be his chief of staff, while Aasen came to the city after running the state's Pollution Control Agency. Aasen's predecessor, Steven Bosacker, was Gov. Jesse Ventura's chief of staff.

Prior to his state appointment, Cronk worked as executive director of New York City's Department of Small Business Services. He has also been active in LGBT advocacy.

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