By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Platteville council hires new city manager
Start date July 1
1 Kurt at forum
Karen Kurt, photographed at the city manager finalist forum April 24, was selected city manager Monday.

Karen Kurt is getting a new job without the word “assistant” in the title.

Kurt, the assistant city manager in Edina, Minn., was unanimously chosen as Platteville’s city manager by the Common Council after an executive-session meeting Monday afternoon.

Kurt will replace Larry Bierke, whose last day was Friday after almost 4½ years as city manager. Director of administration Duane Borgen has been serving as acting city manager since Saturday.

“I am excited to come to Platteville and to get to know the city and the residents,” said Kurt in a City of Platteville news release. “I have been very impressed with the community members I’ve met so far. Their enthusiasm for their hometown is contagious.”

Kurt was chosen over three other finalists — City of Oshkosh organizational development specialist Brian Chapman, New Glarus village administrator Nicholas Owen, and Mauston city administrator Nathan Thiel — from a pool of 34 applicants for the position. 

“We are excited that Karen has accepted our offer to lead this city,” said Common Council president Eileen Nickels in a City of Platteville news release. “We believe that her experience in city administration and in human resource management will serve our citizens well. We were excited about her involvement in community development, particularly with neighborhood associations and redevelopment projects.”

At the finalist forum April 24, Kurt described herself as “a systems thinker — sometimes government can be very siloed, and I like to bring people together for the big picture. You need to know the right questions to ask.”

Kurt has been assistant city manager in Edina, which has a population of about 49,000, since August 2011. She previously held human resources positions for the cities of Roseville and Eden Prairie, Minn., along with a similar position with Minnesota Technology Inc., a nonprofit economic development organization.

Kurt said at the forum she was looking for positions closer to her family, which lives in eastern Iowa.

Kurt’s LinkedIn profile listing of her Edina accomplishments includes redesigning the city’s two-year budget process, which gave Edina the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget award. She also was part of efforts to identify city government core values, called Edina IQS (Integrity, Quality and Service), with customer service training for new city employees; developed policy for recognizing neighborhood associations; and coordinated Vision Edina, “a 20-year visioning project that will serve as the foundation of the City’s coordinated land use plan and drive future capital improvement projects.”

Kurt graduated from Cornell College in New York, and has a master’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Kurt makes $130,559 as the Edina assistant city manager, according to the City of Edina website.