Katie Rodriguez, the chair of the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Committee, will become the next city manager of Richfield.
The city announced her selection last week after interviewing four finalists for the job. She will replace Steve Devich, who worked for the city for more than 38 years.
“The City of Richfield is enjoying a renaissance and is well positioned to benefit from expected demographic, investment and cultural trends,” Rodriguez said in a news release. “I am excited to work together with the City Council, staff and residents to ensure Richfield is a place everyone can thrive.”
In a phone interview Saturday, Rodriguez declined to elaborate on her new position, saying only that she was looking forward to getting started.
The Richfield City Council will approve her contract on Dec. 11. She will then assume her duties on Jan. 2.
Rodriguez was first appointed to the Metropolitan Council — the governmental agency for the seven counties that comprise the metro region — by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2013 and was reappointed in 2015. A resident of Maple Grove, she represents 11 cities in northwest Hennepin County.
She was the chair of the council’s Transportation Committee and a member of the Transportation Advisory Board. Before joining the Met Council, she was the business manager for the Minnesota League of Women Voters and finance director for the Village of North Aurora, Ill.
Rodriguez was selected from a pool of 33 candidates, according to the city, which hired consulting firm HueLife to help conduct the search. Four finalists, including Assistant City Manager Pam Dmytrenko and Community Development Director John Stark, were brought in to City Hall for a two-day interview process earlier this month.
On Saturday, Richfield Mayor Pat Elliott said choosing a new city manager and deciding between the four candidates was one of the hardest decisions he had to make while on the council. “If we could’ve had a multiheaded city manager, we would,” he said.
He said Rodriguez had a robust financial background and “strong leadership and strong personality” that could “better promote work the city has been doing.”
“Her vision for Richfield’s future and commitment to building an inclusive community makes her a great fit for the position,” he said in a news release.
The city manager is Richfield’s top administrative role. Responding directly to the City Council, the person oversees general operations, finances, human resources, litigation and more.
Devich, who began working for the city in 1984, announced his retirement this summer. His last day as city manager is Friday, Nov. 30.
“With everything, there’s a beginning and there’s an end,” he said earlier this year. “As much as I love this job and I love this city, I’m not foolish enough to think I can work forever.”
Elliott is also leaving city government at the end of this year. Richfield Council Member Maria Regan Gonzalez was elected mayor in this month’s general election.