The Park Falls Personnel Committee of the Whole met in special session May 9 to interview Steven Kubacki for position of interim city administrator, a position tasked with transition to the new administrator form of governmental when clerk Arla Homann retires June 13.
Mayor Michael Bablick said that Kubacki comes very highly recommended by the firm Public Administration Associates which has also been chosen to recruit candidates for the permanent, full time position.
Alderpersons concurred that Kubacki’s resume looked impressive.
Bablick said it was good timing that Kubacki was in transition to his own retirement and PAA was able to interest him in this interim position.
“I have a cabin in Mercer and when this was mentioned to me, I thought it would work out fine,” Kubacki said.
He told the committee that he had been working in public administration for most of his life.
“I started in public works and TIF projects and on feasibility studies and I’ve written grants and worked on about everything that might come up,” Kubacki said. “I enjoy working, especially in a teamwork atmosphere of cooperation and communication.”
He added that he found village, city, and town governments the most effective.
“The state and federal levels are not as close to their constituents,” he noted.
Despite the challenge of the bombshell announcement of receivership by Flambeau River Papers the day before, Kubacki said he sees the community of Park Falls as very progressive and is willing to help in whatever way would be helpful.
“I think my job would be to enhance and promote the city and assist in drawing new business and new residents to improve the quality of life,” he added.
The committee voted unanimously to recommend Kubacki’s name to the full council at its meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 15.
Filling a vacant District 1 seat
In another matter to be taken up Wednesday is the full council approval of the recommendation to appoint retired law enforcement officer Dan Greenwood to the vacant District 1 alderperson seat. The seat was vacated when Bablick became mayor.
Greenwood started in the county jail in the early 1980s and was later the jail administrator, overseeing several employees and budgeting until his retirement a few years ago.
During his interview, Greenwood said that he is open minded and would be making decisions based on looking at all perspectives.
He noted that the city has been stagnant when it comes to economic growth and that should be his first priority. He said that he understands the importance of working within a budget.
Three other candidates also submitted letters of interest the week prior. They included local real estate broker Nicole Berkey, Jack Zahn, and former mayor Thomas Ratzlaff.
The voting was by paper ballot with alderman Chris Hoffman was excused. The vote will serve as a recommendation to the full city council.
Pool director posting
Finally, the matter of posting the position of pool director was approved.
Bablick served as the pool director before being elected mayor and according to city attorney Bryce Schoenborn, he can not be both.
“It is an issue of compatibility of office,” said Schoenborn. “Either the pool director’s position or the mayor’s seat can stand, but he can not be both.”
The committee voted to advertise to fill the pool position and would be posting an ad in the Price County Review.