WORTHINGTON – Nobles County will have a new county administrator as of May 1. The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to move Deputy Administrator and Emergency Management Director Bruce Heitkamp into the position that will be vacated when current administrator Tom Johnson retired at the end of April.
Heitkamp has worked as the deputy administrator for about 16 months and had previously spent almost 13 years as Adrian’s city administrator. He has work experience in the agricultural sector and with Client Community Services.
During his interview Tuesday with the commissioners, Heitkamp described himself as a Type B personality, and acknowledged he has a lot to learn. He spoke of how COVID-19 hit within months of him taking the position, and how a collaborative team has worked to respond and provide resources.
When asked if he had any reservations about moving into the administrator role, he said he did not, explaining that this had been the plan when Johnson retired.
“This has always been the goal,” he stated. “I look forward to the challenge and the opportunity to grow.”
After his interview, the commissions had a brief discussion outside of his presence. All of them expressed confidence in Heitkamp, with one concern from Don Linssen being that only one person was being interviewed for the position.
Commissioner Justin Ahlers, who made the motion to hire Heitkamp for this position, stated during the discussion that he had talked to department heads, city leaders, Adrian officials and more, and heard overwhelmingly good things.
“During the interview today, I heard a lot of ‘we’ and ‘us’ instead of ‘I,I,I,’” Ahlers said, adding that a big plus for him was that Heitkamp’s roots are here in Nobles County.