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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Name Richard Badgley As New Peshtigo Police Chief

Issue Date: September 6, 2018

Peshtigo has a new police chief. By unanimous vote at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, Peshtigo City Council unanimously approved selection of Sgt. Richard (Rick) James Badgley, a 37-year veteran with the department, to permanently fill the position. Badgley has been serving as interim chief since the resignation of Chief Joseph FitzGerald on June 29.

"I take great pride in this decision," Mayor Cathi Malke declared after the vote. "He's been protecting and serving us for 37 years, and I see no one who's a better fit for the job!"

Chief Badgley thanked the Council for its confidence and for giving him the chance to serve as chief. "I've been devoted to this city and this department for 37 years," he said, adding, "Yes, I am going to make mistakes, but I want to be part of the team." He said he wants to keep the department as it is, except they will need to hire a new patrolman, since they are now down one.

"Again, welcome aboard Chief. We're happy to have you," Malke told him. Malke said after the meeting that Chief Badgley has a talent for handling people in situations that could become difficult. She told of a situation some time ago when Badgley was called to handle a fight between campers at three sites in Badger Park Campground. She had watched him defuse the seriously volatile situation with words alone, averting possible violence and with need for arrests.

Badgley had been recommended for the Chief position at the end of a long closed session of the Personnel Committee on Thursday, Aug. 23, but the decision was not made public until Tuesday's Council meeting.

Approval came on a motion by Personnel Committee Chair Debbie Sievert. Salary is approved at $58,000, with benefits to remain at the current level.

Sievert commented their committee had a very busy month. In addition to the Aug. 23 session they had interviewed Police Chief candidates and held lengthy closed session discussions at meetings on Wednesday, Aug. 1, Wednesday, Aug. 15 and Monday, Aug. 20.

Long-time Alderman Mike Behnke, who is a member of the Personnel Committee, said after the meeting that the selection of a new chief had been a long drawn out process. He expressed hope that Badgley will groom the next person in line to make choosing the new chief a whole lot easier next time. He described Chief Badgley as "personable" and said he has great people skills, "which is something you cannot learn from a text book."

"Badgley's knowledge of the city and the people who live in it brings a whole lot to this position," Behnke said, adding that he is glad they had a chance to judge his performance during his time as interim chief before deciding to make the appointment permanent.

Badgley was born in Rhinelander in 1952, and earned an Associates Degree in Police Science from Nicolet College in 1973 after attending classes there for two years. He worked at Rhinelander Paper Mill from 1973 to 1975, and then was employed as a Three Lakes Police officer from 1975 until 1982, when he joined the Peshtigo Police Department, where he has served ever since.

He and his wife, Carol (Scholtes) Badgley, are members of St. Mary Catholic Church and have four adult children - Jennifer, Jamie, Richard and Rachel.

Also on recommendation of the Personnel Committee Council approved hiring of Michael Maus as a firefighter for the city's volunteer fire department.

A request from Anne Bartels to use the Badger Park Pavilion for the Marinette County Environmental Field Day to be held on Thursday, Oct. 4 was approved without dissent. To a question from Alderman Jillian Schutte on reasons for waiving the rental fee Malke said this is an educational event that has been held there for years and benefits the school and the community.

Council also approved a request from Steve Kaempf to change the traffic flow on East Park Drive for the Historical Day Parade on Saturday, Sept. 29, and a fireworks display permit for the same date as requested by Historical Day Committee Member Joe Nystrom. The parade is to follow the same route as last year.

Malke noted Fire Chief Steve Anderson had approved the fireworks plans for that event, and also for the fireworks display permit requested by Rebecca Demarce for the Peshtigo High School Homecoming on Saturday, Sept. 21. In response to questions, Demarce said plans are to shoot off fireworks whenever Peshtigo scores a touchdown, and have a display when the game is over.

"Let's hope for a high scoring game," Malke joked, and Behnke contributed by asking how many touchdowns they were prepared to celebrate.

Request from St. Mary Catholic Church for a Class B retailer's license for the pig roast/picnic to be held on Sunday, Oct. 28 was approved, as was a bartender license for Siler Little to work at The Store in Peshtigo.

George Cowell, Director of the city's Department of Public Works, reported utility/DPW workers have been aggressively pursuing water line valve replacement. They have done nine to date, and patched the roads afterwards. They will start soon on commercial water valve inspections.

Work by Barley Excavating of Menominee is to start work early next week on the Emery Ave. reconstruction project from Thompson Street to McGraw. Design plans drawn by Cowell have been approved.

Two bids were received for the 2018 portion of the more extensive Aubin Street reconstruction, which will be done in three phases over three years. The job was awarded to Northeast Asphalt for the low bid price of $88,965.95. The other bid was from Peshtigo Asphalt for $94,146.75. Work will include water main, pulverizing, grading, replacing driveway entrances, and replacing sidewalk where necessary.

The street sweeper, still under 2-year warranty, is at International in Green Bay for service. The transmission went out on the 5-yard dump truck. DPW workers have leveled, applied top soil and seeded the now vacant lot next door to City Hall.

Recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Committee to change the 2019 fee schedule by increasing the non-residential seasonal boat launch fee from $18 to $20 for the season and the non-camper dump station fee from $5 to $7 was not presented for Council approval, as fees go first to the Finance Committee for budget deliberations.

By unanimous vote Council approved a "Strategic Transportation Aids" resolution calling on the state to provide ways to sustainably fund Wisconsin's transportation system.

The resolution is described as part of the "Just Fix It" campaign in partnership with the League of Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin. Malke said the intent is to tell the governor and other state officials "that we need help for our roads."

The resolution states the funding increase adopted in 2011 helped, but is not enough to keep ahead of inflation. The resolution calls on the Governor and Legislature to "Just Fix It," and agree upon a sustainable solution: one that includes a responsible level of bonding and adjusts user fees to adequately and sustainably fund Wisconsin's transportation system.


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