By Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent

John Dinsmore, new county administrator replacing the recently retired Larry Krohn, outlined goals and strategic planning on Feb. 28 to the five-person Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners.

“These goals and planning are part of our efforts to fine-tune county government and let county taxpayers know how their dollars are being used,” said Dinsmore. “We pledge to be transparent with all of the residents of Otter Tail County.”

The new county administrator said the county’s comprehensive plan will reflect consultation with county employees and county residents.

“We have an excellent county organizational structure to ensure county-wide consistency and quality,” he said. “At the same time, we know that some operations of county government can be refined.”

Dinsmore said that promoting career development and succession planning will be top priorities in his new role as county administrator.

He previously served as Otter Tail County’s community services division director.

“In succeeding months, we’ll create a process for how information is shared with county residents and other public outlets,” said Dinsmore. “We’ll enhance our county website and also communicate through press releases, social media and through close communication with area newspapers and TV and radio appearances.”

Internal changes will also continue, he said, an example being the shift in county government to a paperless and web-based system.

“Another example is county employees buying into use of a new software package, Laserfish,” said Dinsmore.

The selection of Dinsmore to replace Krohn as county administrator took place during the Jan. 10 county board meeting after an internal candidate search process was completed.

Dinsmore is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, with degrees in psychology and criminal justice.

He also holds a Masters of Science in Management from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee. Dinsmore completed all course work in the Doctorate in Public Administration program at Hamline University, St. Paul.

More about duties of county administrator

The county administrator is a liaison between the elected county board members and heads of county divisions who run the day-to-day operations of Otter Tail County government.

Otter Tail County has close to 450 employees who comprise the various divisions in county government.

Divisions include Community Services, Public Works, Land Services, Finance and Internal Services, as well as the County Attorney and Sheriff.

The county administrator and staff members assist the five-person county board with agendas, minutes, research and scheduling for county board meetings, budgeting and other county-related activities.