CUBA CITY—A Michigan man has been chosen for the economic development director vacancy.
Gary Droessler, a member of the economic development director hiring committee, has been working on the hiring process since Taylor Gronau resigned from the position in June.
“It has been a slow and tedious process,” Droessler said. “We didn’t have many applications.”
The committee interviewed three applicants and recommended hiring Robert A. Jones.
“Robert comes from Sawyer, Mich.,” Droessler said. “With an impressive resume, equally impressive were the comments I received during the conversations I had with three of his references. Some of the comments included that he was innovative, hard working, good business sense, consensus builder, equal person, compassionate about people and his work, detail-oriented, organized and a man of integrity.”
The economic development hiring committee included Droessler, clerk/treasurer Kathy Schultz, Randy Brookens, alderman Dennis Rischer, mayor Tom Gile, Mark Frederick, Rich Brown and Cuba City Schools superintendent Roger Kordus.
The package offered to Jones includes a $50,000 annual compensation with an additional $10,000 for expense reimbursements each year, an identical package to what Gronau received in May 2013. This is an independent contractor position with a mutually agreed contract, which Droessler said is currently being drafted by the city’s attorney.
“We indicated our strong desire for him to move to or as close to Cuba City as possible,” Droessler said. “His response on all of this so far has been favorable. However, it is contingent upon the contract.”
During the Aug. 5 common council meeting, the council unanimously voted to approve the hiring of Jones; aldermen Craig Hendrickson and Dennis Rischer were absent and the Ward 3 seat was vacant due to a resignation.
“We do need to move forward,” alderman John Beinborn said. “There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed.”
Droessler said Jones could start sometime in September. Jones has family in the Rockford, Ill., area and has been wanting to move back this direction for some time, Droessler said.
Following the council’s unanimous approval of the resignation of Ward 3 alderwoman Holly Digman, the group discussed the two applicants to complete the aldermanic term. Russ Stratton and John Van De Wiel submitted applications for the position. Both currently serve on the Cuba City Community Development Corporation. Stratton previously served on the council for more than a decade.
The council weighed in on the mayor’s appointment. With a vote of 3-1, and one abstaining, Gile appointed Van De Wiel as alderman of Ward 3. He will take over Digman’s positions on the finance, sanitation and ordinance committees.
Digman’s position as the alderperson on the Cuba City Area Rescue Squad board will be filled by alderwoman Gail McWilliams.
A traffic and pedestrian hazard at the intersection of Main and Calhoun streets will be addressed with new signage.
Police chief Terry Terpstra said parking will be limited on the east side of Main Street in front of Kwik Trip to address the limited visibility from both the Kwik Trip entrance and Calhoun Street.
“The consensus was to post that area from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. no large trucks or trucks with trailers for those three spots,” Terpstra said.
He said if traffic moves further north up the block to park, it won’t be as bad of a situation as at Calhoun because there is a handicap parking spot at the corner of Webster and Main streets allowing for better visibility around larger vehicles.
Terpstra said Kwik Trip had no problems with the proposal.
The council unanimously moved to approve the installation of the signs. Terpstra was going to get signs printed and posted.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Terri Tranel asked for clarification on a situation she had. She said in 2011, her renter, Renee Wunderlin, secured a building permit to install a handicap ramp at the property Tranel owns, without Tranel’s permission.
“This includes putting a hole in a wall of the north bedroom and placing a handicap ramp on that part of the property,” Tranel said. “She [the tenant] did not ask for my permission, nor did she tell me about any city hall meeting. I believe that I should have been consulted. It was an oversight by the city granting her the permit. In the permit she states that she is the lessee. Consequently, I need to replace that where it was a doorway to a wall and replace the siding on my home.”
Tranel said she believed it was the city’s responsibility because it granted the lessee of a building to alter a building they didn’t own without the consent of the owner.
Mayor Tom Gile said the council would need time to look over the materials before discussing the issue.