Aberdeen’s city manager has been hired for the same job in an Iowa town.
Joe Gaa, who has been city manager for Aberdeen since summer 2020, has been hired as city manager for Marshalltown, Iowa.
Gaa confirmed that he’s leaving Aberdeen and said he plans to give his formal notice to the city council Monday, Aug. 21.
He said his last day in Aberdeen will be during the second week in September.
Gaa has served as Aberdeen’s second city manager. He followed Lynn Lander, who held the job for 11 years after Aberdeen switched to a new form of government with a city manager and a part-time mayor.
Gaa came to Aberdeen from Dickinson, N.D., where he was also city manager. Prior to that, he was city administrator in Woodbine, Iowa, and Cheriton, Iowa.
Gaa said he started his city management career in Iowa and while he left after eight years, he’s always been interested in returning.
Gaa has worked for new Aberdeen water source
During his time in Aberdeen, Gaa has been a driving force behind finding a way to get a new source of water for the city. The idea formed is called Water in Northern South Dakota, a cooperative effort with WEB Water and BDM Rural Water. The idea is gaining ground, but hundreds of millions of dollars are needed to make it a reality.
With it, all three entities would draw water from the Missouri River as WEB already does.
Gaa was the target of ire from former water treatment plant supervisor Bob Braun, who resigned earlier this spring after claiming the city’s water treatment plant needed many improvements or would eventually fail. Since Braun’s departure, Gaa has said many of the plant’s maintenance issues have been completed. Braun said it was difficult to get that work done while he was working because the plant was short-staffed.
Marshalltown, like Aberdeen, has a population of about 28,000. It’s west of Cedar Rapids in central Iowa. Gaa said many issues facing Marshalltown, like housing and workforce, are similar to the challenges Aberdeen faces.
Aberdeen’s water treatment plant supervisor is one position Gaa will focus on filling before his departure. Another is the superintendent of the wastewater treatment plant as the current superintendent is retiring.
Gaa signed a three-year contract with the city of Marshalltown, and the city council voted unanimously to hire him, according to The Times-Republican newspaper in Marshalltown.