Janesville65.2°

Milton rushing to fill city administrator vacancy

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
September 23, 2010
— Although former City Administrator Todd Schmidt just finished clearing out his office Tuesday, the city council isn’t wasting any time trying to fill his old position.

After a two-hour closed session Tuesday night, the council selected five finalists from a stack of 29 applicants to fill the vacant position.


The council plans to interview the finalists Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and it’s possible the council could be ready to make a final hiring decision by Oct. 5, Schmidt said Wednesday. That could put a new administrator at the helm sometime in October.


The finalists, according to a list released Wednesday, include:


-- Steven Marshall, most recently the deputy village manager in Bensenville, Ill.


-- Peter Meyers, administrative analyst for the city of Casper, Wyo.


-- Phillip Rath, village administrator/clerk in Clinton, Wis.


-- Jesse Thyes, assistant village manager/community services director in Brown Deer, Wis.


-- Jerry Schuetz, chief of police in Milton.


Schmidt vacated the administrator position Wednesday to become village administrator in Waunakee. But he had agreed to work as an independent contractor to help the city recruit and screen candidates.


The council said at the time that having Schmidt recruit his own replacement would save the city thousands of dollars compared to hiring a search firm.


The council originally planned to hire a new administrator by the end of October or early November. Mayor Tom Chesmore said the process needed to be sped up because of the increased workload that comes with Schmidt’s departure and the fact that the city’s 2011 budget needs to progress.


“It’s going to be a gauntlet run now,” Chesmore said Wednesday. “The council told Todd (Schmidt) last night that we want to move forward with this process quickly. We’ll be extremely pounded by this thing, but we’re looking to make a decision right away.”


Meanwhile, Police Chief Jerry Schuetz is serving as interim administrator.


The council had been reviewing applications since last week, Chesmore said. He noted that each of the five finalists showed a track record of strong communication with city staff and residents, which is one of the council’s top priorities.


Chesmore said the council ultimately seeks a candidate willing to work within the core city staff structure and development plans Schmidt put in place.


“Not that we want to clone Todd (Schmidt), but we don’t want someone to come in here and trash out departments and make bold changes that don’t need to be made,” Chesmore said.


The council has approved a maximum salary of $80,000 for the position, Schmidt said. In 2010, Schmidt’s salary was $78,416, according to city records.



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