01STOCK_WALCO_GOV_CENTER

Walworth County Government Center

ELKHORN

Mark Luberda told the Walworth County Board he was “very sad” to hear that longtime County Administrator Dave Bretl was retiring.

Still, the Williams Bay resident and director of administration for the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin saw the administrator job opening as a “great opportunity.”

But before the county board unanimously approved Luberda’s contract at a special meeting Dec. 19, Supervisor David Weber wanted to remind Luberda that this would be a 24/7 job.

“The county doesn’t sleep,” Luberda responded. “I get what it takes to work in local government and be responsive to both the elected officials and the citizens of the county. That’s never been a problem for me at all.”

He is set to start work Jan. 20. The board also approved extending Bretl’s contract until Feb. 7 to help with the transition.

Luberda’s contract is for $152,880 per year plus county benefits. As long as his job performance is satisfactory, he is entitled to a 3.5% raise in 2021 and 2022.

His contract is through 2022 with both sides set to negotiate a possible extension in 2021.

Luberda could not immediately be reached for comment, but a video of the meeting shows him saying he was “very excited for the opportunity.”

He said he has worked in local government for more than 30 years, including at the county level for Kenosha County and at the municipal level. He has worked in both urban and rural areas, he added.

Bretl, who introduced Luberda at the December meeting, said he “rose to the top of our selection process,” which began in September.

After approving Luberda’s contract, the board applauded. Luberda’s wife, Linda, also spoke briefly and said she thinks the county made a good choice.

Walworth County had previously considered naming its government center after Bretl, who has been the county administrator for 19 years.

But at an executive committee meeting Nov. 18, committee members “expressed concern” that the county did not have an ordinance about naming facilities after people.

Some questioned whether other notable figures should get their own recognition and if such recognition should come after Bretl’s retirement, according to meeting minutes.

A motion to postpone discussion on the resolution, “to allow time to consider an appropriate honor and time frame for implementation,” passed on a 4-1 vote. The opposing vote came from county board Chairwoman Nancy Russell, who before the meeting had expressed confidence the resolution would pass.

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