Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey nominated Kim Keller to stay on as the official overseeing the city’s inspection and regulatory agency after she stepped into the position late last year.
Frey had picked Keller to become the interim director of the Department of Regulatory Services in October after the previous director, Noah Schuchman, left for a municipal job in Duluth.
The City Council’s Executive Committee on Monday voted to refer the nomination to the full council. After a public hearing, the council is expected to vote on the nomination in July.
“I’m just really humbled by the opportunity and proud to work in a department with staff who are … so engaged in their work and committed to it,” Keller said Monday.
The regulatory services department is in charge of enforcing the city’s laws and ordinances through inspections and regulations. It includes several city divisions, such as housing and fire inspections, animal control and traffic control.
Keller has worked with the city of Minneapolis since 2006. She had previously served other roles in the regulatory services department and was a senior policy aide for two council members.
“The strategy that Ms. Keller has brought forward … has been really impressive,” Frey said during the committee meeting Monday. “Especially over the last several months, seeing her leadership come to fruition has solidified in my mind, in my view, that she is most definitely the right person for the job.”
City Council President Lisa Bender also voiced her support for Keller, though she expressed concern that council members were not involved in her nomination. Frey responded that a council member was supposed to be involved in the process but ultimately did not participate.
“As we look at our city’s looming housing crisis and all the things that we’re doing to help renters and housing stability in our city, regulatory services is really leading some of the most important and valuable work,” Bender said of the department.
Council Member Andrea Jenkins, who was the sole no vote Monday, said she wanted to use the open position “to really shake up this department and create some different changes.”
The annual salary for the director of regulatory services is between $137,608 and $163,126, according to city data.