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Waukesha names 4 administrator finalists

June 01, 2012
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By Laurel Walker of the Journal Sentinel

June 01, 2012 0

Waukesha - City officials have narrowed the number of finalists for city administrator to four, including two from Wisconsin and two from out of state, and spent Thursday interviewing the candidates.

All four are current municipal managers or administrators in smaller communities.

The four are:

Kenneth L. Witt, administrator of Sparta, a community of 9,590, since 2001.

Aaron Oppenheimer, village administrator of Bellevue, Wis., population 15,050, since 2007.

Shawn J. Gillen, city administrator of Grand Rapids, Minn., population 11,800, since 2007.

Thomas W. Barwin, village manager of Oak Park, Ill., population 53,000, from 2006 until March 1 of this year.

Waukesha's population is about 70,000.

In an email Friday, Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima said the process is on track for his recommendation of a city administrator to the Common Council for confirmation at a special meeting scheduled for June 26.

A contract will be negotiated in the next few weeks, presumably with a salary in the range of $110,000 to $140,000 - the amount set by the council.

Waukesha's last city administrator, Lori Luther, who was paid $117,000, left in August 2011 for a job as Peoria County (Ill.) administrator. Since then, Community Development Director Steve Crandell has been serving as interim city administrator.

About Laurel Walker
Laurel Walker covered local, school and county government for 20 years -- the last half of that at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- before she was named Waukesha County columnist in 1997. Today she writes about the people, places and events around metropolitan Milwaukee with a broad suburban focus. She was the youngest of nine children raised on a central Wisconsin farm before leaving the nest for journalism studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a masters degree at the University of Oregon. She has spent the last half of her life in Waukesha County, where she and her husband raised two sons. Though she has a fondness for life in Waukesha, she eagerly partakes in the culture of the big city to the east and the recreation of the forests to the west. With sons in the arts, she has a special fondness for symphonic music concerts and art museums. She finds peace in a good book at a Northwoods getaway weekend, adventure in family visits to the east and west coasts, and satisfaction in a column well-written that reaches readers.
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