Waukesha City Administrator Ed Henschel announces he will retire at end of year

Published on: 7/1/2014

The city of Waukesha is in search of a new city administrator. 

Waukesha City Administrator Ed Henschel announced at Tuesday night's common council meeting that he is retiring at the end of the year.

Henschel has served as the city's administrator since the fall of 2012

"It’s been a wonderful place for me to essentially end my 40-year municipal career," Henschel told the members of the common council at the end of the meeting. "It's been an exciting career."

Henschel said he made the decision that he was going to step down "quite some time ago," but added it was emotional when he recently typed up his resignation letter.

"I think that speaks to the fact that my heart is still in the city of Waukesha," Henschel said. 

Henschel, however, said there is still much to accomplish before calling it a career. Henschel said his official last day is Jan. 4, 2015.

"My work here is not done," Henschel said. "I have a great deal that I want to get accomplished before the end of the year. I want to make sure the 2015 budget is completed and adopted and I want to make sure the management vacancies are filled as well before I leave."

One significant vacancy the city is also looking at filling is the community development director's position. Longtime director Steve Crandell recently retired. 

Henschel said he made the announcement about six months before officially stepping down so the city can get a head start on finding his replacement.

"I'm telling you this now because to do a national search we're looking at five months and it seems like a long time away, (but) it's actually a pretty tight timeline," Henschel said. "So we really have no time to waste. What I really want to avoid is a vacancy in the office of the city administrator."

As a result, Henschel said the city has already sent out request for proposals to search firms. The firm the council selects will help the city in finding a replacement. 

Henschel said the proposals are due in a couple of weeks and will hopefully be presented to the council at its next meeting. 

Before coming to Waukesha, Henschel had a long career in the area as well as out of state serving municipalities.

He served as the city administrator of Clio, Michigan, in the 1970s, was the village manager of Elm Grove for 16 years and village manager of Whitefish Bay for seven years until 2000.

He has also served as the manager of Virchow Krause & Company, a state and local government consulting firm, for nine years. 

Most recently, Henschel was the general manager of RW Management Group Inc. where he conducted consulting projects throughout the Midwest.

He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In the city of Waukesha, Henschel took over for Lori Luther, who resigned in August 2011 to become the Peoria County administrator in Illinois.

Crandell then served as the interim city administrator for more than a year.

The city went through two search firms after a lengthy process before Henschel was selected.