Sherburn putting on a new face

SHERBURN – In the past year, Sherburn has debuted several new faces at City Hall. Some are known around town but are taking on a new role in government, while others are new or returning to the area.

“It’s still pretty new, but we’re getting things off in a positive direction,” said Dorothy Behne, who became mayor at the beginning of the year.

Nicole Steffensen is the city clerk, replacing Irene Schlephoff, who retired at the end of the year. Shortly after Steffensen took over, the city found itself searching for a new administrator.

“I had lots of advice, and I was still able to contact people on how to do things, so I wasn’t left high and dry,” Steffensen said of her new job. “But it is nice to get back in a routine and have people in the office.”

The city hired Sam Hansen as administrator. He began earlier this month.

“I’ve been learning something new every day,” Hansen said. “We’ve just been dealing with issues as they come up, and catching up on the day-to-day operations.”

Hansen also has updated the city’s website,, and created a Twitter account @CityofSherburn. A Facebook page for the city is also in the works.

“Our big thing right now is the Cup and Saucer, having that sold or given away,” Behne said. “Then our hopes are to find some things to put in our other empty buildings. My hope is to encourage businesses coming to town, something unique, like the quilt shop.

“We realize our chances of getting businesses aimed just at the local people are limited. About 75 to 80 percent of the people here work out of town, so when they need something they leave. We need things that will draw people to Sherburn.”

Another newcomer to city staff has been helping on a different front. Tyler Koch recently returned to the area to work in Sherburn’s public works department, after being at the head of public works in Las Vegas.

“I moved back after my grandmother died,” Koch said of his return to the area. “They have a farm that’s been in the family for 73 years. I’m helping start it over … There’s just no place like home.”

But for his day job, he is assisting Sherburn’s other public works member Mark Updike.

Three of the new faces – Hansen, Steffensen and Koch – are all MSU-Mankato graduates.

“It’s all been positive,” Behne said. “It’s been a very open door situation, and from what I’ve heard from the community, people have been happy about it.”