Mandan News

New Morton County staff hired

By Brian L. Gray


The Morton County Commission has appointed several new positions during a special meeting on Monday.

Tim Nilsen, of New Salem, was named the new director of Morton County Parks. He has been serving as the interim director since the retirement of the former parks director, Vern Davis.

Nilson has been employed with the county parks for 29 years, working for two years as an employee and 27 as a park superintendent.

Five individuals applied for the parks director position. Nilson’s new position began immediately after the commission’s approval.

The county decided to make the position full-time due to the growing demands of the park system. Nilson’s salary will be $56,498 for a six-month probation period, and after the six months he could receive a 5 percent pay increase.

The county also named Thomas Doering, of Bismarck, the new emergency manager and communications director. He replaces Tammy Lapp-Harris, who resigned from the position for personal reasons.

Doering is currently employed at the state Department of Emergency Services. He will receive $55,618 a year as the emergency manager. The county received 20 applicants for this position.

The commission also discussed how to cover the position of county schools superintendent. It is now taking applications for the part-time position until May 13 to make a decision during the commission’s next meeting on May 14.

The county decided to make the position part-time, at roughly 15 hours a week, because the position will supervise only 28 rural students in two schools, said Wendy Bent, county human resources director. Salary will be negotiable based on experience.

The position is a first of its kind for Morton County. The county is deciding how to replace the vacancy that will be left by County Superintendent of Schools Karen Kautzmann, who will retire on July 1. The county superintendent supervises rural schools in both Burleigh and Morton County, but when Kautzmann retires the position will no longer exist, because Burleigh chose not to continue the position due to the falling enrollment of rural schools.

The Mandan School District has offered to help supervise the rural schools in Morton County, but the commission chose to employ someone instead, because they were informed by the state’s Department of Public Instruction that there could be conflicts of interest if any annexation proceedings were to take place.

Morton County is also taking applications for a county planner through May 9. The current county planner, Aaron Nelson, announced he accepted a new position and is resigning. The pay range is $45,828 to $65,868 per year.