by Sarah Squires
Winona City Manager Eric Sorensen announced Monday he will retire in just over a year after over 20 years serving as the city’s top administrator.
Sorensen came to his post in 1987, and on Monday night, longtime City Council member Gerry Krage remembered casting the deciding vote on the hire while he was at home, babysitting. City leaders will use Sorensen’s help to find a replacement for his post over the next year, and several said it will be no easy task to fill his shoes.
“I think you’ve done a commendable job,” said council member Tim Breza Monday night.
The city manager oversees all city operations, including Winona’s over $32 million annual budget and more than 170 employees. During his last year, Sorensen will work to trim that budget even further in anticipation of state aid cuts for the second year in a row.
Sorensen prides himself on reining in city government expansion over the last 20 years, with the city employing more than 30 less positions since he took his post in the late ‘80s.
Winona’s coffers may swell a bit after Sorensen’s retirement, with a replacement likely starting at a lower point on the city’s pay scale. Sorensen currently holds one of the top-paid positions with the city, at over $111,000 per year.
City Council members lauded Sorensen’s work over the years after his announcement Monday that he’ll leave in January 2011.
“It’s been wonderful working with you,” said council member Debbie White.