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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Crivitz Board Filling Posts Of Police Chief, Village President

Issue Date: December 22, 2020

The Village of Crivitz is in the process of hiring a new Police Chief, and also is in need of candidates for Village President.

At the start of its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15 the Board had accepted the resignation of Kurt Kostuch as Village President and elected Trustee Jeff Dorschner to temporarily replace him. Dorschner reportedly agreed to serve only until the term expires on April 20, 2021, following the Spring elections on April 6.

There will be a special Village Board meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23 to consider hiring Kostuch as Interim Police Chief at $28 per hour for up to 20 hours per week effective immediately, as recommended by the Public Safety Committee after a long closed session for candidate interviews on Monday, Dec. 21. The committee also recommended closing police chief applications on WileNet at 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4.

In a letter dated Monday, Nov. 30 current Interim Police Chief Randy Miller had informed the board that he was resigning the position effective Thursday, Dec. 31 and a special meeting was held on Nov. 30 for interviews, after which advertising was begun to recruit and interview candidates for the police chief position.

Kostuch submitted his resignation as village president on Dec. 15, prior to the start of that evening's regular monthly board meeting at which it was accepted.

Meanwhile, deadline for filing nomination papers for the elections on Tuesday, April 6 is fast approaching. Crivitz Village offices to be filled include those of trustees Fred Franzen, Gloria Kainz and Dorschner as well as the Village President position vacated by Kostuch. Dorschner temporarily stepped aside from his trustee post to fill the Village President vacancy.

Clerk/Treasurer Marilyn Padgett said as of Monday evening, Dec. 21 no one had filed nominations papers for the village offices, but Franzen had filed a notice of non-candidacy. Dorschner and Kainz both are expected to seek return to their trustee positions.

Present for the Dec 21 Public Safety Committee were Padgett and Village Attorney Frank Calvert. Kostuch was the only person admitted for the Public Services Committee's long closed-door session on Dec. 21 plus all Village Board members - Dorschner and trustees Franzen, Amy Grandaw, Kainz, Mike Strandt and Stew Swanson. Public Safety Committee members are Franzen, Grandaw and Kainz, who is chair. Waiting outside the meeting room were Ray and Angie Majewski, County Board Supervisor Ginger Deschane and a member of the press. Kostuch remained outside the meeting room for the first 10 minutes and then was called in and remained until they returned to open session.

Kostuch defeated incumbent John Deschane to be elected to the Village President post in April of 2019. In his Dec. 15 letter of resignation he wrote that he was resigning "to pursue a life long goal."

"I thank the village residents for having faith in me as trustee for 14 years and to trust that faith in me as President. Alone in this current term we have saved the village over $90,000 in grants alone," he wrote and added, "It was a pleasure working for the residents, employees and board members. I know we do not do it for the money but for the love of Crivitz.

The letter went on, "Many, I am sure, had their doubts on how well I would do as President and I am confident I proved them wrong. I ran the board as a team, not as an I. We worked together on a lot of things in a very short amount of time and accomplished them efficiently."

As notable accomplishments he listed the purchasing of the new public works tractor via a USDA-RD grant; 10 year road plan to start paving roads and subdivisions; becoming the future home of Kwik Trip, and getting the Extraterritorial Zoning agreement with the Town of Stephenson passed, "which no board in the history of Crivitz could accomplish," and added that all this had been done in a Pandemic. The village also started its own garbage collection and teamed up with the Town of Stephenson for recycling again, which he said will result in estimated total savings of over $30,000 a year including adding another part time employee year round. "We have paved a bright future for Crivitz," Kostuch's letter concluded.

In his resignation letter, Miller had thanked the village "for the awesome opportunity to serve as your interim police chief for the past year," and declared, "Without a doubt, it has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had in my Law Enforcement Career." He said Padgett and Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Uhl "have been nothing less than heroes to me in the help that they provided me if and when needed."

He said over the past year the police department very likely logged one of its most productive years ever, in large part because of the board's help in getting whatever they needed and having a full staff dedicated to taking on whatever came in. "I'm proud of the work that Officer David Pusick, Officer Patrick Callahan and I were able to accomplish in that time frame," Miller wrote. He said both are quality officers that serve the community well.

"As I stated when things changed for the police department a couple months back, I would need to evaluate and assess how this would affect other things that are important to me," Miller said in his letter. "This included my full time job as an employee with the Marinette County Sheriff's Office and our family as well, to name a couple. After three months of seeing how this would work, I feel it is no longer something that I can effectively continue to serve in and be your interim chief of police."

"I'd like to thank you all again for this opportunity and hope you are soon able to find a quality candidate to fill this very important role. If you ever find yourself in need of help or have a question, please do not hesitate to reach out to me," Miller's letter concluded.

The Dec. 15 board meeting started with accepting Kostuch's resignation as village president, following by nominations for interim president.

Grandaw nominated Dorschner and Franzen nominated Grandaw. Dorschner was elected on roll call vote with all in favor and was promptly sworn in as president and assumed the duties of that office.

After approving all the normal reports the board voted unanimously to accept Miller's resignation as interim police chief.

The board also approved an amendment to the employee handbook regarding sick time, accepted an engineering contract with MSA for the Spur Street project in the amount of $1,200, after Dorschner explained this issue came up unexpectedly and was an engineering report needed to qualify for the $10,000 MSIP Grant for the Spur Street project.

They also approved an operator's license for Shyann Watruba, who had a satisfactory background check.

Final action of the meeting was a motion made by Kainz, seconded by Strandt and approved by all, to close the current Police Chief application and review process and re-advertise on WileNet with the same qualifications and new wage scale until the position is filled, with the Public Safety Committee to review applications and conduct interviews.

The Dec. 15 board meeting had included no comments from pre-registered citizens and taxpayers, and the Dec. 21 committee meeting had no provision for public comment.


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