City administrators Chad Adams of Medina and James Zarling of Fairmont were selected as League of Minnesota Cities Leadership Award winners for 2011. The honorees were announced June 16 at the League’s Annual Conference in Rochester. The Leadership Award is considered to be the League’s highest honor for appointed city officials, and is given annually in celebration of outstanding service.
Adams, who received the Leadership Award for appointed officials from cities with populations of less than 10,000, served as Medina’s administrator from 2003 until May of this year, when he left to take a position in Albert Lea. He was cited for developing the city’s first capital improvement plan to deal with road and utility needs of the city.
Additionally, Adams helped to obtain grants that were essential in the construction of the Field House in the Hamel Legion Park. He is also credited for commencement of the lighting of the ball fields in that park, and was instrumental in securing additional public safety equipment for the city’s fire and police departments.
Zarling, who received the Leadership Award for appointed officials from cities with populations of more than 10,000, has lived most of his life as a resident of Fairmont and Martin County. He was cited for being instrumental in the occurrence of more than $250 million in new development in the value-added agriculture and renewable fuels businesses since 2002.
Zarling also was lauded for his role in the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility, and for his prudent financial management. Under his leadership, Fairmont has maintained a healthy bond rating and a modest debt load.
About the judges
Judges for the 2011 C.C. Ludwig Awards were Jane McPeak, associate professor for the School of Business, Public & Nonprofit Department, at Hamline University; Louis Jambois, executive director of the St. Paul Port Authority and former executive director of Metro Cities; and Mary Quirk, volunteer resources leadership project manager with the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration.
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