Hodges taps state official for top city job

Spencer Cronk, who has led the State Department of Administration since 2011, got the nod Tuesday as Mayor Betsy Hodges’ nominee for city coordinator.

Spencer Cronk is Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ nominee for city coordinator. Courtesy of the State Department of Administration

The coordinator oversees the city’s finance, human resources, information technology and communications departments. Also under the coordinator are such disparate services as animal control, emergency management and lobbying.

The Department of Administration has some similarities to the coordinator’s role in that it handles a variety of back-office functions for state government. It provides bulk purchasing, construction management and state employee workers compensation insurance, among other services.

Leaving a cabinet-level position at the state for one at the city might seem like a step down, but Cronk would manage almost 700 employees as city coordinator, up from 450 in his current job.

The coordinator job has a starting salary of $143,181 — a nice pay bump from the $119,517 Cronk earns now.

If confirmed by the city council, Cronk would succeed Paul Aasen, who left in May. Aasen also came to the city from state government, where he was the commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.