“I know, as an elected official, what sort of information (board members) will need to effectively make decisions, because really that is the role of the county administrator: to make sure I am communicating with them,” said Sivarajah. After a fractured nomination and hiring process, Sivarajah took over as administrator on June 12. “I really am looking forward to this,” she said.
Sivarajah worked in county administration prior to her election from District Six in 2003. Now she takes over as de facto CEO of a 2,000-employee company that runs the fourth-largest county in Minnesota.
“(The board) will set policy direction and my job will be to make sure that those policy decisions will be carried out throughout the organization,” Sivarajah said.
She said Anoka County is a unique place to live, work, and serve.
“People know each other, and they care about each other,” she said. “Many times people tend to go directly to their elected official, so I probably will have fewer trips to the grocery store that turn into an adventure.”
The District Six seat, which represents easternmost sections of Anoka County including the second-largest city, Lino Lakes, will remain vacant until at least the end of the year. The filing period for the special election to fill the seat opens July 30. If two or fewer candidates file to run, the special election will be on Election Day (November 5). If more than two candidates file, Election Day will be the primary election, and the special election moves to February 11, 2020.
In the meantime, Sivarajah will transition into her new role and remain thankful for the chance to serve on the Board of Commissioners as long as she did.
“This has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” she said as she became emotional. “The citizens have given me what is so precious, and that’s their vote and their faith and confidence in me. That is just a humbling experience.”