Kewaunee city officials hope to hire a new permanent city administrator by the end of May under a timeline drafted by interim administrator Art Osten Jr. and approved by the City Council on Monday night.
It was Osten’s first council meeting since being hired in January to serve in the temporary role. Osten has more than 30 years of experience serving local governments, including 16 years as a municipal administrator.
Kewaunee is the fourth municipality for which Osten has agreed to serve as an interim administrator, and he also does occasional recruiting for Public Administration Associates in Oshkosh. Algoma City Administrator Jeff Wiswell filled in as interim administrator for a few weeks until Osten arrived.
Kyle Ellefson resigned in August to become village administrator in Johnson Creek.
The council unanimously adopted Osten’s hiring timeline and, given his experience as a recruiter, agreed to have him oversee the process rather than hire an outside consultant.
On a motion from Alderman Arthur Schiller, the council agreed to increase the salary range, which had been listed as $65,000-$75,000, to $70,000-$85,000.
Schiller noted that the county and local school districts pay their top administrators much more.
“I think we’re under market,” he said. “This is a complex job with a $10 million budget.”
In other actions Monday, the Kewaunee City Council:
++ agreed to pay up to $1,000 to insure the vintage Fresnel lens from the Kewaunee Pier Head Lighthouse as it moves to its new home at the Kewaunee County Historical Society’s History Center downtown.
Mayor Sandi Christman said the city needed to show a willingness to insure the lens before the U.S. Coast Guard would agree to transfer ownership.
++ hired Joshua Jacobs from among three candidates for water/wastewater operator at $18 an hour.
++ awarded the bid for cemetery mowing to Lawn & Landscape Specialists at $58,295 for a three-year agreement.
++ authorized the Fire Department to sell Engine 803 to the highest bidder.