Milton Common Council accepts Schuetz's resignation, starts recruitment planning
MILTON—Before asking the Milton City Council's approval to accept the resignation of City Administrator Jerry Schuetz, Mayor Brett Frazier turned to him and asked, “You sure about this?”
After unanimous approval and heartfelt messages from council members to Schuetz at a special meeting Friday, the conversation turned toward finding a new city administrator.
The council will use an accelerated recruitment process conducted by city staff.
“Our city in one way or another will not skip a beat,” Frazier said.
Three area people already have expressed interest in the position, Frazier said.
The three candidates, whose names were presented to the council in closed session Friday, have “extremely good credentials and very relevant experience,” Frazier said.
“We are relatively confident they would be finalists for this position,” Frazier said.
The three are “extremely motivated” in pursuing the position, Frazier said.
The job will be posted for 10 days, and it is open to anyone. When the city administrator position was up for grabs in 2010, 29 people applied, Frazier said.
The council expects near that same number this time around, he said.
“This job is very attractive to a large number of people,” Frazier said.
The staff's recommendation of an accelerated recruitment process was also fueled by the need to fill the position as quickly as possible, Schuetz said.
An interim administrator was an option, but the city is looking to transition to a permanent replacement, Frazier said.
The other recruitment option was to hire a nationwide recruitment firm. That option would take 12 weeks and cost about $15,000, Schuetz said.
The city is working with a recruitment firm to fill the finance position that's been vacant for a few months. That's only because it's a difficult recruitment, and the first attempt to find someone using selective recruitment was unsuccessful, Frazier said.
“The position is so important and so difficult, the council thought it was important,” he said.
The council planned to discuss in closed session Friday if the city administrator job will stay near Schuetz's salary of $87,700, Frazier said.
“That compensation rate is certainly fair for the caliber of professional we're seeking,” he said.
The city of Milton expects more than the average city administrator, Frazer said.
Council member Dave Adams remembers back in 2010 when the city was going through the same hiring process.
Deadlocked for about two hours on choosing a city administrator, Adams made the wrong decision, he said.
Jesse Thyes, then village manager in Brown Deer, was offered the job first, but the contract fell apart over a residency requirement. Schuetz was then offered the position.
“I've felt foolish ever since,” Adams said.
Schuetz exceeded expectations, and his service has been gratefully appreciated, Adams said.
Adams sentiment echoed that of other council members' Friday.
“You've set the bar very high,” council member Nancy Lader told Schuetz.