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W’bago begins search

By Staff | Oct 8, 2012

The recent resignation of the city administrator has left the Winnebago City Council with some planning to do.

A special meeting was held Monday to formally accept Austin Bleess’ resignation and to set a timeline for filling the position of city administrator.

Some members of the council didn’t agree with how quickly the timeline was set to play out, with Oct. 11 being the first day to review resumes.

Councilmember Scott Robertson thought that there wasn’t enough time being dedicated to the process.

“I’d like to see it take more time,”?he says. “This is a big decision and I’d hate it to be made hastily.”

The proposed schedule for hiring a new administrator sets the first round of interviews to take place Oct. 15.

The second interviews would then be held Oct. 18 in hopes to offer the position to a replacement by Oct. 19, Bleess’ last day.

Bleess told the council that the major fall projects are in line to be completed before his departure.

“I will take care of utility bills and payroll before I?leave,”?he adds. “And Megan (Boeck) will cover it next month.”

Bleess did suggest that the council contact the payroll clerk in Wells, if for some reason Boeck is unable to complete payroll or utility billing.

The council also discussed the idea of hiring an interim city administrator until they decide on a replacement for Bleess.

“I have already started contacting some people for the interim position but haven’t heard back from any of them yet,”?Bleess says.

At the Sept. 11 meeting the council approved the hiring of Heidi Schutt and Jeanne Kortuem as on-call office assistants. They will, in Bleess’ and Boeck’s absence, make sure the desk will be covered all day to assist customers.

In the meantime, the position has been posted and applications and resumes will be looked at by the personnel committee, which consists of Mayor Randy Nowak and council member Rick Johnson and Bleess.

Council members also took time during this special meeting to thank Bleess for his time as city administrator.

“We were lucky to have you and wish we could’ve kept you longer,”?Johnson says.

The council will continue the discussion of hiring an interim at the next regular council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.