Seven Questions With...New City Administrator Lonnie Neuner

Like we do to welcome new businesses to Hawley, we welcomed Lonnie Neuner with our famous "Seven Questions." 


Lonnie has over 14 years of experience as City Clerk/Treasurer for the City of Lake Park. His interests include sports, hunting and fishing. He grew up east of Detroit Lakes by the Ottertail River, attended Frazee High School and is a graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Business-Finance.

Lonnie has one son who is a sophomore at Lake Park/Audubon high school.


1. Tell us about the role of City Administrator. 

The City Administrator performs responsible administrative, planning/development and supervisory work. They also identify community/city projects, goals and priorities and seeks to find solutions including financing and project management. The role is also a liaison to residents, boards/commissions and community groups.



2. You join Hawley's leadership team after many years in Lake Park. What is different about the two towns, and what is the same?

The only difference between the two towns is population and commercial development. Both towns have great employees and face the same problem like infrastructure and rising costs.


3. What are the biggest challenges facing small towns--and specifically--what challenges is Hawley facing right now? 

Some of the challenges small towns face are being competitive with wages, continuing to provide great small town amenities, finding funds to upgrade and developing new infrastructure with the least amount of taxing. Hawley is not different than other small towns when facing small town challenges.



4. Where do you see great potential for Hawley?

Hawley has great potential in many different ways. We have available commercial properties for interested businesses. Hawley has local housing developers that are busy providing great housing opportunities to the community. Hawley has a great location on Hwy. 10 at the beginning of lakes country and close proximity to Fargo/Moorhead. Hawley also has a city council who wants to provide the best life for its residents and are taking steps to continue growing the town.



5. Has there been a mentor that has helped guide you through your career? Or maybe someone who influenced you growing up? 

When growing up my parents taught me morals and values. They taught me to always do the right thing. They showed me positive attitudes can lead to a good life, no matter what your income is. Professionally, my first career job supervisor was a great mentor. He taught me that doing a great job and being a good co-worker will provide you will further opportunities. He showed me that being happy with your job and feeling good about it was very important.



6. What are your favorite local (not necessarily in Hawley) places to eat or drink? Or spend time? 

I'm a simple guy when it comes to eating. I enjoy a good burger. People who know me would say Burger Time is my favorite fast food. Places like Curly's on Cotton Lake, Billy's Bar in Vergas, the Sunlite on Little Floyd Lake or the Brygge in Detroit Lakes are high on my list.



7. How can the city of Hawley best support its City Administrator? 

The best way to support its City Administrator is to communicate and be involved. It's very important for myself and the city to know what residents are thinking, whether they agree or disagree. There are many ideas I don't come up with, and the input from the public is very important. Involvement from the community helps out a lot. When residents take initiative and become part of an organization benefiting the city or become involved in being part of the city council or city committees, it greatly helps the city as a whole and adds to the residents of the city feeling heard.



You can welcome Lonnie or share feedback with him at LNeuner@ci.hawley.mn.us.