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34 apply for city manager position
Special council meeting Friday
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Thirty-four people applied to become Platteville’s next city manager by Wednesday’s application deadline.

The Common Council will hold a special closed-session meeting at the Platteville Police Department Friday at 11 a.m. to review those 34 applications.

Public Administration Associates of Oshkosh, the city’s search firm, had reported 21 as of the morning of March 17, one day before the deadline. Within the next 24 hours, an additional 13 applicants had filed their applications.

The city’s criteria for the replacement for City Manager Larry Bierke included a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree, with “at least five years municipal experience.”

The position description indicated a desire for a “strong background in budgeting/finance, long range strategic planning, [and] intergovernmental relationships, especially developing and maintaining community relationships.” It also sought a candidate who can “demonstrate high integrity, open and positive communication skills,” and the ability to “have a collaborative style in carrying out Council policies, with expertise in delivering and maintaining a customer service organizational culture.”

A 12-point description of the position’s duties noted that “The successful candidate will have a demonstrated history of successful budget management, innovation in managing costs, finding operational efficiencies, and working with non-city funding sources.” It also states that “The Common Council is committed to using the strategic planning process to outline budgetary goals and organizational goals to be implemented by the city manager.”

The position lists a salary of $90,000 to $110,000, plus benefits.

The candidate selected by the Common Council will replace Larry Bierke, Platteville’s 10th city manager since the April 1970 referendum that replaced the mayoral position with a council/manager form of government.

Bierke’s last day as city manager is May 1. Bierke sent a memo to the Common Council Nov. 24 that he would not be accepting a new contract for 2015 because of two changes from Bierke’s second contract, signed in late 2011 — its residency requirement and his pay.

Bierke’s 2015 contract cut his salary and compensation 1.7 percent from 2010. The contract also included a stipulation that he live within 15 minutes of Platteville, which he said would place him “in a position of having to choose between my family and my job.”

The Common Council accepted Bierke’s resignation Nov. 25.

If Bierke stays until his May 1 departure date, he will be the fourth longest serving city manager in Platteville history, behind Dave Waffle, who was city manager for 5½ years, from March 1987 to September 1992. Waffle left to become the village administrator in Allouez, near Green Bay. City managers LeRoy Schindler and Alan Probst served four years and eight months each.

Platteville’s first acting city manager was Ivar VanAkkeren, the city’s public works director, who served as acting city manager from April to October 1971. VanAkkeren took over after city voters approved replacing the mayor–council form of government with the council–manager form of government in April 1970. The last Platteville mayor was Nolan Gibson, who served one year.

Director of Administration Duane Borgen, when he was the city finance director, served as acting city manager for almost two years in five stints between city managers from November 1986 to January 2007.