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WTIP talks with the new Cook County administrator

James Joerke is the new county administrator for Cook County.

With his contract approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners Sept. 22, Joerke arrives to Grand Marais and the North Shore area in early October. His first day working for Cook County is Monday, Oct. 12.

Joerke arrives from Kansas City where he was an associate executive director for the non-profit organization Bridging the Gap, an organization that focuses on the environment and clean water. Prior to that, he served as the deputy director for the department of health and environment for Johnson County in Kansas. Joerke was born and raised in Michigan. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public affairs.

Joerke takes over a key leadership position for the county from Interim County Administrator Rena Rogers. The pervious county administrator, Jeff Cadwell, left to take an administrative position in Mahnomen County, Minn., in September 2019.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Joerke about the county administrator position in Cook County and what drew him to northeastern Minnesota.