Two new members named to Janesville city manager committee

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

JANESVILLE—The two new members of a committee that will advise the city council on the hiring of a new city manager are O'zell Golden and Rich Gruber.

The city council voted Monday night to allow council members Sam Liebert and DuWayne Severson to each choose one more committee member. The council voted to give them 24 hours to submit the names.

Liebert chose Golden, a retired bus driver and part-time minister. Severson chose Gruber, a vice president for Mercy Health System whose job involves community relations.

Council President Kathy Voskuil appointed the original 11 committee members, and other council members said Monday they had no objection to those. But Liebert and Severson said they wanted a voice in the committee's membership, which led to Monday's vote.

The additions bring the committee membership to 13.

Severson and Liebert last week objected to Voskuil's unilateral action, saying that as co-equal council members they should have a voice.

Liebert said the committee lacked representatives from minorities and labor.

“Sam and I just want to see what's best for our community and make sure everybody from our community is represented,” Severson told The Gazette.

Severson works for Mercy Health System, as does Gruber. But they work in different areas, and Gruber is not his boss, Severson stressed.

Gruber is highly involved in the community, Severson noted, and he has worked with other members of the committee.

“It's not because he's a Mercy employee,” Severson said.

Liebert said Golden drove for Van Galder Bus. He volunteers to help minority youth and with the YWCA and Diversity Action Team.

Golden is black, Liebert said, and it is important that the committee reflect the face of the community.

The original l1 members of the committee are Mark Bush, chairman of Data Dimensions; David Cullen, CEO of JP Cullen & Sons; Kay Deupree, representing neighborhoods; Kristin Fillhouer, assistant dean at UW-Rock County; Lisa Furseth, executive director of Community Action; Jeff Helgesen, president of Helgesen Development; Steve Kennedy, vice president of Rock Road; Ed Madere, retired city manager; Joe Pregont, president and CEO of Prent; Dave Riemer, owner of Harris Ace Hardware; and Larry Squire, regional president of Johnson Bank.

The committee is scheduled to interview city manager finalists Friday, Aug. 23.

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