Beaver Dam Mayor Discusses Departure Of Finance Director, Impact On Budget Process

(Beaver Dam) Officials in Beaver Dam will begin the process of finding the city’s next finance director on Monday night. After about six months on the job, Jeff Wiswell submitted his letter of resignation on Tuesday, effective immediately. Mayor Becky Glewen tells that she is working with the city’s labor attorney in finding a human resources firm, essentially a “headhunter,” in filling the vacancy. That matter will be brought to the council on Monday.

Wiswell replaced former Director of Administration John Somers who retired in April after 23 years with the city. Somers was recently hired on as a budget consultant, a role that Glewen will ask city leaders to change on Monday. She says the council will be asked to terminate Somers consulting contract and instead become a “limited term employee” during the interim.

Wiswell said that his decision was based on a “combination of family matters and the understanding that his professional expertise is better suited for a public administration position.” His resignation is the latest in a series of departures of major department heads this year. In addition to Wiswell and Somers, City Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz announced last month that he is leaving to take a similar job in Watertown. Glewen calls the departure’s a symptom of a booming economy.

“We’re experiencing the same thing everybody else is,” she says, “there are more opportunities to look for a good fitting job.”

Wiswell’s resignation comes as the council is gearing up for budget deliberations, which are set to begin Monday. There was initially some talk of publishing the budget this week before deliberations begin but Glewen says the budget will not be published until after council input on Monday. That would delay budget adoption from its traditional date on the third Monday of November but Glewen says it should be finalized no later than Thanksgiving.

Glewen noted that the resignation presents a (quote) “obvious challenge” buts says she is confident that the city can “collectively get through this situation.”



Listen to our conversation with Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen recorded Wednesday afternoon: