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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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City Council, Clerk/Treasurer Accept Sanction Agreement

Some issues between Peshtigo City Council, Mayor Allen Krizenesky and longtime City Clerk/ Treasurer Mary Ann Wills appear to be resolved. At its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 2, City Council approved Wills’ resignation as administrator for the Wisconsin Development Fund (WDF) and Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) programs and accepted a Personnel Committee recommendation involving a disciplinary agreement signed by Wills and her attorney, Richard Boren, on Monday, Dec. 31.

Alderman Mary Lock cast the sole opposing vote on both actions. All aldermen were present for the meeting. Those voting in favor were Personnel Committee Chair Tim Colburn, Mike Behnke, Cathi Malke, Fred Meintz and Tom Gryzwa. Wills was absent, and minutes were taken by Deputy Clerk Treasurer Vicki l. Koronkiewicz.

Lock said after the meeting that she opposed both actions because she felt the disciplinary measures were “a little harsh.”

The Personnel Committee recommendation was the outgrowth of a closed meeting discussion on Wednesday, Dec. 19, called “to discuss Personnel Issue of City Employee.” Krizenesky, City Attorney David Spangenberg, Personnel Committee members Colburn, Behnke and Malke, and Aldermen Lock and Gryzwa were present.

The Dec. 19 minutes, recorded by Koronkiewicz, state that after the committee returned to open session, “A motion was made by Behnke and seconded by Colburn “to recommend to Council the committee decision of disciplinary action to be carried forward as discussed with a signed agreement by December 31, 2012, if not signed, recommendation by the committee the employee be terminated.” Committee vote was Behnke and Colburn in favor, and Malke abstaining.

One of the first items on the agenda for the Jan. 2 Council meeting was Wills’ resignation from the UDAG and WDF administrator positions. Salary for the UDAG Administrator post was $2,340 a year, paid in addition to the clerk/treasurer salary, which, with fringe benefits, totaled $83,272.77 for 2012.

Before the vote, Lock asked if accepting the resignations meant they expected the work to be done within regular working hours of the clerk/treasurer’s office, and was told it did. She then cast her opposing vote.

A bit later in the meeting Council approved the Personnel Committee recommendation regarding the disciplinary action, after being advised Wills had signed the agreement by Dec. 31 as required.

The Peshtigo Times filed a request for a copy of the agreement under Wisconsin Freedom of Information laws, and it was provided after the meeting.

As required by the committee, Wills has agreed to:

“Demonstrate a professional, considerate, friendly, cordial, respectful and constructive attitude toward the staff, the mayor, alderpersons, department heads, fellow employees and the public.

“Create a positive work environment with staff, mayor and department heads.

“Follow appropriate directives from the mayor and to timely accommodate reasonable requests of alderpersons and department heads.

“Appropriately manage, utilize and delegate tasks to accomplish the duties of the clerk’s office.

“Implement a calendaring system satisfactory to the Personnel Committee to provide notice and keep track of vacations, absences and time out of the office for employee and staff.

“At the earliest possible availability, complete an assessment for possible anger management and follow through with any assessment recommendations, documentation of which are to be provided to the Chairman of the Personnel Committee.

“Attend training in computers, time management, office management or other training as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Personnel Committee, at the employer’s (city) expense.

“Follow such other recommendations as deemed appropriate by the Personnel Committee from time to time.”

Among voluntary sanctions in the agreement were accepting a written warning for her behavior and job performance which will not expire and accepting that the pay increase (2 percent, equivalent to $1,221.95 a year) that would have been effective on Jan. 1 is withdrawn and withheld until satisfactory progress has been made with the recommendations as determined by the Chairman of the Personnel Committee and approved by City Council. The raise is to be implemented from that time forward, but will not be retroactive.

Wills’ professional development progress is to be reviewed monthly with the Chairman of the Personnel Committee and reported to the committee until they are satisfied with the progress, at which time a set schedule for further reviews is to be determined.

Concluding paragraph of the agreement signed by Wills on Dec. 31 states: “Employee acknowledges the above and agrees to accept and comply with the recommendations of the corrective action plan. Employee further acknowledges and understands that nothing in this corrective action plan shall be construed as a contract or promise of continued employment, as all disciplinary actions authorized by law, including those listed above and including termination, are specifically reserved by the City of Peshtigo.”

Wills has been employed by the City of Peshtigo for 25 years, since June 29, 1987.

Salary for the clerk/treasurer position in 2011 was $61,097, in addition to the $2,340 salary for the UDAG post. Fringe benefits, which are fully paid by the city, include health, dental and life insurance totaling $14,232.40 a year; pension contribution of 13 percent of prior year’s salary, totaling $7,942; six weeks vacation a year, in addition to nine paid holidays and two personal days, plus sick leave accumulating at a day and a half per month up to 120 days.


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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