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Wanted: New Platteville city manager. Apply by March 19.
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If you meet the following qualifications, the City of Platteville would like you to apply for the position of city manager by March 19.

The city is looking for someone with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and preferably a master’s degree, with “at least five years municipal experience.”

The position description — approved by the Common Council Feb. 10 — indicates a desire for a “strong background in budgeting/finance, long range strategic planning, [and] intergovernmental relationships, especially developing and maintaining community relationships.”

The description also seeks 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.”

The position profile describes Platteville as “a safe, accessible place with a small town atmosphere that values open space, education, recreation, culture, and wellness for all its citizens.” The profile also describes Platteville as “a regional center for business and higher education” that “embraces, promotes, and preserves its history, agricultural economy, and scenic rural landscape,” and has a focus on “planned growth, affordable housing, economic development, and sustainability initiatives.”

A 12-point description of the position’s duties notes 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 description lists a salary of $90,000 to $110,000, plus benefits.

The council is likely to review candidates with Public Administration Associates of Oshkosh, the search firm, in its March 24 meeting, five days after the application deadline.

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.

April–October 1971: Ivar VanAkkeren (acting).
October 1971–July 1974: Larry Hunt.
August–October 1974: Fay Dobson (acting).
October 1974–July 1979: LeRoy Schindler.
August–October 1979: Steve Buggs, city attorney (acting).
November 1979–October 1986: Merle Strouse.
November 1986–March 1987, September 1992–January 1993, October 1994–February 1995, October 1999–January 2000, March–August 2003, March–June 2007: Duane Borgen (acting).
March 1987–September 1992: Dave Waffle.
January 1993–October 1994: Rosemary Kulow.
February 1995–October 1999: Alan Probst.
January 2000–March 2003: Eric Berlin.
August 2003–March 2007: Lon Pluckhahn.
June 2007–January 2011: David Berner.
January 2011–May 2015 (projected): Larry Bierke.