It’s almost impossible to imagine the City of Sartell with one of its foundations suddenly missing. That “foundation” is Patti Gartland, the city’s administrator, who recently announced she will resign to take another job.
After leaving her current job June 1, Gartland will become president of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corp.
Although we are happy Gartland will be using her many talents in another capacity, her resignation is a big loss for Sartell.
For the past 12 years, Gartland used a multitude of talents and a wealth of expertise in her job as city administrator. Before that, her 15 years of experience as planner for the City of St. Cloud gave her a detailed, wide-ranging, in-depth knowledge of city-related issues, especially those related to all aspects of growth.
Gartland’s detail-oriented grasp of the business of running a city were encyclopedic in scope. Her ability to work with people is extraordinary. She is a superb leader who knows how to marshal the best in everyone to get a job done. That kind of teamwork among Gartland and all of the other hard-working city staff in Sartell is one of the main reasons why Sartell is a thriving city.
Through good times and through the widespread economic slump of recent years, Gartland led the staff, always cognizant of budget restraints and the need to keep a tight reign on city spending. As a result, Sartell has been for years – and remains – the lowest for city taxes in the greater St. Cloud area.
Gartland, along with others, was also instrumental in attracting quality businesses to Sartell and keeping them here. Residential developments also did very well with Gartland’s leadership.
Yet another Gartland attribute is she was always keenly aware of regional opportunities and how Sartell fits into the larger scheme of things. It would be nigh impossible to count the many, many meetings Gartland attended – committees, special gatherings and city-related meetings. She was busy virtually every weekday and many week nights attending meetings.
She also deserves kudos for her ongoing work with legislators in matters vital to Sartell, including the efforts to get the half-cent regional sales-tax extended, money for Sartell regional park development in the state bonding bill, funds from the Legacy grant program and an ongoing effort to convince the legislature for more equitable local government aid for cities the size of Sartell.
Last but not least, anyone who has ever attended a Sartell City Council meeting knows just how knowledgeable and articulate Gartland is about city issues. Many a time, she would give detailed background about this or that issue being discussed by the council. Thus, the audience was enlightened about those issues, thanks to Gartland’s highly articulate and understandable explanations. Gartland, it was obvious, always did her homework.
Finally, Gartland’s superb grace under pressure as a coordinator and media contact in the wake of the Verso paper mill disaster last year was, in a word, outstanding.
Gartland will bring all of those talents, along with her poise and confidence, to her leadership of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corp. And, a big plus is that in her capacity there, she will continue to help strengthen Sartell.