identity of the next Platteville city manager had not been announced by the
time The Journal went to press Tuesday afternoon.
The council's Tuesday meeting agenda includes a closed-item discussion of the city manager position, followed by an item on a city manager contract.
(Updates before next week’s Journal can be found on The Journal’s Facebook page.)
The three finalists — Green County human services director Clint Langreck, Village of Marshall administrator Adam Ruechel, and Village of Kronenwetter administrator Richard Downey — participated in a public meet-and-greet at Wisconsin Bank & Trust Wednesday evening, then were interviewed in closed session by the Common Council Thursday.
Langreck, who formerly served in the Army and Army National Guard, noted the “different incentives that you have here, with the university, with the Industry Park, with the rich history and with the people here. It’s not a stepping-stone kind of situation.”
Langreck described serving in Iraq as being in a country whose government and infrastructure needed to be rebuilt from rubble. He was the executive officer of a unit with a soldier who received the Medal of Honor posthumously.
Following the Army he was the Clark County veterans service officer, personnel manager and administrative coordinator.
“I think I have the capabilities and the qualifications to do the job, and I’m looking forward to putting the technical skills into practice,” he said.
Ruechel is the son of a longtime municipal financial director in Northeast Wisconsin, and a former staffer for state Sen. Dave Hansen (D–Green Bay). He was the assistant to the village administrator and interim village administrator in Hobart before going to Marshall.
“We love it there, but when the opportunity came up, with have three relatively young kids, and I don’t want to keep pulling them out of schools,” said Ruechel about Marshall. “You guys are doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.
“I’m pretty passionate, and I like to consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and I’m going to put my heart into it. I’ve got a pretty interesting background. I’m a team player, and I want to make sure the staff has the tools they need to be successful.”
“I don’t want to come and let’s throw out everything and do it my way,” said Downey, who previously was the village manager in Elkhart, Kan., and Rock Falls, Ill. “I have about 20 years experience. I’ve done small-box redevelopment, a lot of housing rehabilitation, so I have breadth of skills, and yet I admit I don’t know everything.”
Downey also was the village manager in Washington, Ill., for six weeks before he resigned “to pursue pressing personal and family matters,” according to the Pekin (Ill.) Daily Times.
“It was not a good fit for either side,” said Downey. “I did not look hard enough at everything.”
One question often asked is how long a candidate plans on staying in a job where most Platteville city managers have lasted about four years.
“I’m visualizing myself to be here for a couple of strategic plans,” said Langreck, “eight to 10 years.”
“My median is about 7½, eight” years, said Downey. “If [we can] make meaningful help and assistance and the council and I can get along, I can be here until the end of my career.”
“I could basically see myself retiring” in Platteville, said Ruechel. “From a family standpoint, it has everything you need here.”