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County offers pay raise to keep Bradley

Stutsman County Auditor/Chief Operating Officer Casey Bradley removed his name from a list of finalists to be interviewed for Minot’s city manager position after the Stutsman County Commission approved a 21 percent pay increase for his position.

The commission unanimously approved increasing Bradley’s annual salary Thursday from $103,000 to $125,000 effective Aug. 1. Commission Chairman Mark Klose said Bradley will not receive any pay increase on Jan. 1 as a result of this pay increase.

Bradley did not attend the special meeting Thursday. He said he wanted the commissioners to feel free to discuss the situation and not be uncomfortable because he was in the room.

Bradley said he had contacted the firm conducting the search for a new city manager for Minot. After talking with the firm’s recruiter, Bradley said he submitted his resume and indicated to the firm he would be interested in the job. He was contacted last week and told he was a finalist for the position and would be interviewed.

“I contacted the head hunting firm, they didn’t contact me, I contacted them,” he said.

 Bradley said he emailed commissioners on June 27 indicating he was a finalist for the position.

Bradley said the pay range for the city manager’s position in Minot was $109,000 to $147,000, which is higher than his current salary.

With the pay increase approved by the commission, Bradley said he would remove his name from the list of formal candidates for the job.

Klose said he called for the special meeting Thursday because he wanted commission members to know what was going on and consider a pay raise for Bradley. Klose said he talked with Bradley on Monday after reading Bradley’s email over the weekend.

“I asked him if he had something in mind (as far as pay) and he came back with this ($125,000), for which I am real grateful,” Klose said.

Klose said he talked with Terry Traynor, assistant director of policy and programs for the North Dakota Association of Counties, about Bradley and what county administrators and chief operating officers around North Dakota are paid.

Traynor said Thursday that Bradley is active in statewide issues for the NDAC.

“He has been very valuable for our association and counties in North Dakota,” he said.

Traynor said Bradley brings a “great deal” of knowledge about how North Dakota’s government systems work and outside knowledge on taxes and government funding programs.

With his salary increasing to $125,000, Traynor said Bradley will be one of the top-paid county auditors in the state.

Klose said he talked with two of the senior department heads working for Stutsman County about the situation with Bradley. He said he wanted to make it clear that the commission didn’t want a “swinging door” issue, where other county employees would go out seeking job offers then use that as leverage for a pay increase.

“They both said they want to see Casey stay and understand our (the commission’s) concern,” he said.

Klose said Stutsman County has been “very blessed” to have great department heads and workers.

Klose said replacing Bradley would be a chore. He said when the commission went looking to replace Bradley’s predecessor, Noel Johnson, Bradley was the one qualified candidate for the job.

Commissioner David Schwartz said since Bradley became county auditor and COO, the roads in the county have improved due to the work Bradley has done to secure state and federal sources of funding.

Commissioner Dale Marks said Bradley has improved the budgeting process for the county since he arrived.

Marks also complimented Bradley for being on top of the issues related to the industrial development taking place by Spiritwood and his help with the James River Library System Board of Directors’ effort to get a petition going to fund improvements to Alfred Dickey Library.

“With all the things going on in Stutsman County, we’ve got an experienced man right now,” Marks said. “He knows every issue, knows what needs to be done. I don’t think we should let him go.”

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454