Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75 | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : news : city news May 24, 2017

4/20/2017 7:29:00 AM
City officials nix joint meeting on police chief search
Commission hopes to get next pick to City Council in early May

Jamie Taylor
River News Reporter


There is yet another new twist in the city of Rhinelander's ongoing search for a new police chief.

Last week, a number of city alderpersons as well as members of the police and fire commission had endorsed the idea of holding a joint meeting between the commission and either the city finance committee or the full City Council in the wake of the commission's first choice for the police chief job, Dave Funkhouser of Kiel, turning down the position.

Accusations that the city had disrespected Funkhouser were hurled after he advised Rhinelander mayor Dick Johns he had decided against coming to Rhinelander and members of both groups expressed a desire for all parties to sit down and get on the same page before the commission chooses between the remaining two finalists, interim chief Ron Lueneburg and sheriff's captain Lloyd Gauthier.

However, the River News has now learned that meeting will not be held as finance committee chair Mark Pelletier and council president George Kirby, with input from the mayor, have decided against it.

Pelletier and interim city administrator Keith Kost confirmed the decision Tuesday morning.

Kost said the primary concern is the statutory separation of authority between the commission and the council.

"There are two totally separate functions that are involved," Kost said.

The commission is supposed to make decisions involving the hiring, promotion and discipline of police and fire personnel separate from political concerns, while the elected officials have the authority to determine pay and other benefits.

Kost said the council and finance committee are very nervous about the potential blurring of boundaries that might result if a joint meeting were held.

"The statute sets up specific boundaries that are not to be blended," Kost said. "Police and fire are to select a candidate, they don't have any power of the purse. The council has no selection power, but they set the salary and benefits."

Commission chairman Todd McEldowney said the commission has been informed of the council and finance committee's decision. He said the commission has tentatively scheduled a meeting for May 1 to interview the two finalists and make a selection to be sent to the finance committee.

"They will then determine a compensation package," McEldowney said.

The finance committee is scheduled to meet May 2 and will hopefully finalize the compensation package for the chosen candidate at that time.

If that happens, the full City Council would be able to approve the offer at its May 8 meeting.

"The hope is to get the name to finance, have them meet with the successful candidate that next day and have a chief in place," McEldowney said.

Pelletier said such a timetable is workable, noting there would be enough time between the finance and council meetings to address anything that isn't resolved in closed session at the May 2 meeting.

The city has been working for five months to find a successor to Mike Steffes who left in November to take a job with the Department of Justice.

Before the search got underway, the finance committee set the salary range for the next chief at between $79,000 and $85,500. Several sources have told the River News that Funkhouser was offered a salary in the middle of that range.

In addition to the salary, the benefit package included 40 days of paid time off, full Wisconsin Retirement System benefit and moving expenses in addition to health insurance, dental insurance and life insurance coverage.

Funkhouser withdrew his name from consideration April 11 without making a formal counteroffer.

Jamie Taylor may be reached at jamie@rivernewsonline.com.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE


Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Classifieds
Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'

Marshfield Clinic - 1
Twitter

Reader Poll

Gov. Scott Walker is widely expected to run for re-election in 2018. Will you vote to give him a third term in office?

Please select one:
Absolutely
No way
I have no idea at this point
I may not even vote

View Results










Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions


The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2017 1up!

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved