Matt Podhradsky, the acting city administrator in Chaska, is expected to be named to the job on a permanent basis Monday night, city officials said.

"I get the sense that that is what is going to happen," said Chaska Mayor Gary Van Eyll, one of four City Council members who expressed a desire to hire Podhradsky after interviewing him and another finalist for the job.

"He was very passionate about the community," Van Eyll said. "When we talked to him, we knew he was the person to lead us."

Podhradsky was one of five finalists for the job, which opened in August when City Administrator Dave Pokorney decided to retire after almost 25 years leading Chaska's City Hall operations.

Pokorney, who helped establish many of Chaska' signature elements such as its community center and town golf course, also hired Podhradsky as an assistant several years ago after he served as city administrator for Winsted in McCloud County.

Van Eyll, a big supporter of Pokorney, said the continuity will help the city because Podhradsky knows how the city leadership has worked and how it likes to decide business matters.

However, he said he does not expect Podhradsky to be a clone of Pokorney.

"Matt is his own man," the mayor said. "But if we take all the things that Dave accomplished in 20 years and if Matt is around for 20 years and accomplishes that, then we will be very happy with the choice we will be making."

Podhradsky was unavailable for comment late last week, but prior to interviewing with the City Council, he said he would chart his own course if hired.

He agreed with council members that his intimate knowledge of how things work in Chaska would be beneficial.

"I don't know if it was an advantage, being interim," Podhradsky said last week. "As far as knowledge of Chaska, I probably had a leg up."

Podhradsky said the city, like other municipalities, will face tough financial times because of the economic slowdown that has hit the country.

He said this will especially be true with the continuing decline in property tax valuations, from which the city derives a lot of its money. He estimates that city properties have lost about $40 million in taxable market value this year.

"I don't think we've seen the bottom yet," said Podhradsky. "Property valuations are going to continue to be an issue."

Heron Marquez Estrada • 612-673-4280