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‘Bago wants to make an offer

By Staff | Jun 30, 2019

Jacob Skluzacek addresses the Winnebago City Council in his interview this past week. The council is hoping to approve his contract by their next meeting.

The city of Winnebago is one step closer to filling the city administrator’s position which has been vacant since former administrator, Chris Ziegler, resigned from the post on Feb. 22.

The City Council has directed David Frundt, the city attorney, to offer the city administrator position to Jacob Skluzacek and to negotiate a salary with him. If the negotiations are successful, the council will still have to give final approval to the contract. This could be done at their next regular council meeting scheduled for July 9, at 7 p.m.

Skluzacek is originally from Lonsdale. He graduated from Winona State University in May of this year with a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Skluzacek interned for the city of Winona.

The special council meeting last Monday night began with the council conducting a second interview with Skluzacek, who was the only candidate brought back for a final interview.

Council members had a very positive impression of Skluzacek and his responses to their questions.

“I was very overall very happy with his answers and that he focused on teamwork,” council member Calvin Howard said. “I liked the fact he is from a small town and he wants to settle down.”

Skluzacek’s enthusiasm was also noted by many members of the council.

“He is easy to talk to and very approachable,” council member Rick Johnson added. “He was very upfront and honest with his answers.”

After the council had finished discussing the interview, they talked about other options instead of hiring an administrator.

One of those options was to fill the city office positions with a clerk/treasurer, a part-time administrative assistant, and two part-time office assistants.

The clerk/treasurer would handle the day to day operations of the city. Personnel issues would be handled by the personnel committee. The part-time administrative assistant would take on the more detailed duties of utility billing, licensing, police transcription, etc. This person would be cross-trained with the clerk/treasurer duties.

The office assistants would handle the deposits, answering phones, filing and mailing. They would be cross trained so they could carry out the administrative assistant’s duties if that person was gone.

It was calculated the cost savings of going this route would be $30,000 to $35,000 per year.

“I am in favor of hiring a city administrator,” Howard stated. “I think a good administrator can be worth the extra cost.”

His opinion was echoed by council member Jean Anderson.

“I am of the opinion you get what you pay for and we need a perceived leader,” Anderson remarked. “My feeling is we hire a new city administrator.”

After forming a general consensus to proceed with hiring a city administrator, the council went into a closed session to discuss salary options for the position.

When they came out of closed session, the council announced they were authorizing Frundt to pursue salary negotiations with Skluzacek.