The city of Burnsville will pay more than $97,000 to former city manager Melanie Mesko Lee in accordance with a split deal approved by the Burnsville City Council this week.
The council approved the agreement on Tuesday and accepted Lee’s resignation, effective Friday. Carissa Larsen, the city’s director of communications, said the six-month severance pay is roughly $97,383. The contract also includes payment for unused vacation.
The Board received Lee’s resignation during a closed special session on January 12, when they reconvened to continue evaluating Lee’s work.
Lee’s letter does not state the reason for her departure. The minutes of the council’s closed-door meeting the day before said the council had reached a consensus not to renew Lee’s contract.
“As we discussed, I am resigning as City Manager of Burnsville,” Lee wrote in his resignation letter.
“I am excited to see what the future holds for the city of Burnsville and wish you, the community and the organization continued success,” she concluded.
Lee, the former city manager of Hastings, became Burnsville’s chief administrator in 2019.
While in Burnsville, Lee also served as president of Metro Cities, an association representing seven county’s metro cities in state and regional affairs.
Patricia Nauman, the association’s chief executive, said any vacancy in the presidency results in a vice presidential succession. Coon Rapids city manager Matt Stemwede is next in line to lead the organization.
Gregg Lindbergh, Deputy City Manager of Burnsville, was temporarily selected to be the City Manager of Burnsville. According to city documents, his salary will start at $179,289.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Burnsville City Council member Kara Schultz praised Lindbergh’s experience in local government, including his four years on the St. Louis Park City Council. Schultz said that Lindbergh helped the city to undertake a major redevelopment that gave the city a bright future.
“To have an interim city manager with that kind of perspective, we were exceptionally lucky in that,” she said.
Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, thanked Lee for her leadership and service in a press release.
“Organizational change can be daunting, but it also represents an opportunity,” Kautz said. “Burnsville is made up of hundreds of talented employees who come to work every day with the sole purpose of advancing our vision of a dynamic city, a bold leader and a welcoming place for all. I am confident that our employees will continue to serve the Burnsville community in a professional and excellent manner.”