Onalaska continues search for city administrator

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WEAU) -- About a year ago, the City of Onalaska decided to have its mayor work part-time and instead hire a full-time city administrator to handle day-to-day operations.

But after several months of vetting candidates, the city still hasn't hired anyone for that role.

"They will be running the city on a day-to-day basis, they will work with me and we will form a unique bond and partnership in running the city and implementing the policies that the council sets," explained Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen.

The city has received applications for the job, but it chose not to hire any of those applicants.

Instead, the city council voted to reduce the job requirements from needing seven years of experience in public administration to five years, hoping that might encourage more people to apply.

Over the last several months, those job responsibilities have been performed by the mayor and another city council member, all on a volunteer basis.

The money that would have been used to pay the city administrator is staying in the city's general fund and being put to use elsewhere.

"It is sitting there and of course money that sits there usually finds a way of being spent, and with weather like today, we are into the overtime for plowing," Chilsen said.

But Chilsen isn't worried about finding someone soon.

"It's in the best interest of the city to do that and I believe that the city council will find somebody very soon," he said.

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