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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Crivitz Starting Over In Quest for Police Chief

Issue Date: March 3, 2021

Crivitz Village Board is back to square one in its quest to select a permanent full time police chief. Sergeant Randy Miller, a deputy with Marinette County Sheriff's Department, is again filling the interim chief's position on a temporary basis, and a new round of advertising has begun to seek candidates for the full time Police Chief post.

The Police Chief position had been expected to go to Kurt Kostuch, a 19-year veteran of the Village Board, who had resigned his position as Village President so he could be a candidate. He had been serving temporarily as interim chief, but also no longer holds that position.

Following a closed session discussion and report at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24, the board voted without dissent to accept Kostuch's resignation as interim police chief, pull his application for the full time police chief post, re-hire Miller as interim chief, and advertise again for police chief candidates.

Miller had been named interim police chief after the retirement of long-time Chief Mike Frievalt in late 2019. He had resigned that post effective Dec. 31, 2020, but had continued to work for the village as a part time officer while Kostuch took over the interim chief responsibilities.

Efforts to hire a new Police Chief for Crivitz have been in progress since the retirement of the village's first-ever Police Chief Mike Frievalt retired in late 2019.

The position was advertised, and Kostuch was one of the applicants. He reportedly had been tentatively selected before the board was advised that legally his hiring could not be considered while he served as Village President, a position he had been elected to in April of 2019 after 17 years as a trustee.

In December the Village Board had accepted Kostuch's resignation as Village President and elected Trustee Jeff Dorschner to temporarily replace him.

Then, in January, the board offered Kostuch the full time Police Chief position, pending a satisfactory background check. The job includes a salary of $65,000 a year and would have come with a 5-year contract. He had already been tapped as interim police chief effective on Dec. 31, when Miller's resignation became effective.

The unanimous vote to accept Kostuch's resignation as interim police chief and pull his application for the full time police chief post followed an hour-long closed, executive session. Participants included Dorschner; Trustees Gloria Kainz, Michael Strandt, Amy Grandaw, Stew Swanson; Village Attorney Frank Calvert and two individuals who identified themselves as investigators with Langan Investigations of Green Bay who had been involved with the background investigation of Kostuch. Trustee Fred Franzen was absent. There may have been other participants via Zoom. Miller and at least one other person were present for the open portion of the meeting via Zoom, but were told they would be disconnected during the closed session.

The investigators were in the room with the board for almost an hour, and nearly 15 minutes passed before the board returned to open session after they left. Dorschner announced there had been no action taken in closed session.

Grandaw, with a second from Kainz, promptly moved to accept the resignation of Kostuch as interim police chief and pull his application for the full time Police Chief position. All board members present voted in favor.

Motion then was made by Grandaw, seconded by Kainz and unanimously approved to hire Randy Miller as full time interim police chief at $28 per hour effective March 15 and begin advertising again for candidates to fill the post on a permanent basis.

Earlier in the meeting the board had approved offering a part time position as police department patrol officer at $22 per hour, not to exceed 1,120 per year, to Ryan Nemetz.

Nemetz is a full time officer with the Peshtigo Police Department.

In other business at the meeting Dorschner announced that Water/Sewer Superintendent Glen Franzen had been selected by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as winner of one of its two "Outstanding Performance of an Operator" awards for 2020.

In a letter to Franzen, with a copy to the Village President, DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole had written: "It is my pleasure to acknowledge the hard work and effort that you have demonstrated as a wastewater operator over the past year."

The DNR selects two operators statewide from plants of any size each year and presents the awards at the annual Wisconsin Wastewater Operators Association Conference, which was held virtually this year.

Cole said staff members reviewed operators around the state and Franzen was nominated and selected as one of the two winners. Cole said Franzen was nominated by Laura Gerald, PE, of the Green Bay DNR office, who works with 40 other wastewater treatment plant operators "... and says he (Franzen) is the best one she's seen."

Cole's letter declared: "Glen is very detail oriented and has plans for slowly updating his plan every year to fit into his small town's budget. He has a spreadsheet with items broken up through the years and he checks them of as they get completed. He has used the old lagoon system at the facility innovatively to be able to accept septage and biologically treat it before it enters the package plant. All eDMRS were submitted on time in this current permit and there have been no exceedances."

The letter concluded, "We appreciate the daily commitment you make to protect our natural resources."

"Bravo to Glen," Dorschner declared, as he and other board members expressed thanks and congratulations to Franzen.

Dorschner reported that construction on the Crivitz Kwik Trip is slated for groundbreaking in mid-March with opening tentatively scheduled for mid August. Kwik Trip will use the Village Hall for two hiring events, Dorschner said.

Due to changing the regular monthly meetings from the second to the fourth Wednesday of each month the board changed dates when newly elected officials will be seated after the spring elections.

To enact decisions made at previous meetings, they approved an ordinance which cuts the number of standing committees from six to two and increases the per diem pay to $75 per committee meeting. This keeps the overall cost the same, since there will be fewer committee meetings. The new committees are "Administrative and Development," and "Operational." Board of Review and finances are under the jurisdiction of the Administrative and Development Committee. Utilities, Public Works, Public Safety, Parks and Recreation are now all governed by the Operational Committee.

With no dissenting votes the board wrote off $6,278,76 in uncollectable sewer funds and $507.97 in non-sufficient fund checks to Marinette County, approved payment of $3,266.50 from the Sewer Fund to Richlen Excavating for manhole replacement, approved purchase of two tasers from Axon Co. for the Police Department at a cost not to exceed $2,850, purchase of an SCBA hose connector for the fire department for up to $1,200, approved purchase of headlights for the fire department pumper for $800, and agreed to discontinue use as a park for a property on Hall Hay Street that has been known as "Lilac Park."

Also approved without dissent were motions allowing Alex Zielinski to hold a softball tournament and craft show fund raiser fundraiser for Down's Syndrome from July 30 through Aug. 1 at the village ball field, authorizing Crivitz Youth Softball to make improvements to the village ball field starting March 1 as presented to the Parks and Recreation Committee on Feb. 17, and agreeing to sponsor the 2021 Crivitz Business Association Easter Egg Hunt at the Crivitz Community Veterans Park starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 3.

The board set the schedule for the 2021 Flea and Farmer's Market for Thursdays from May 27 through Sept. 2 and one on Friday, July 3, plus an additional market at the park on July 4. Fee is $50 per vendor, with one market date given free to vendors who reserve for the entire season.

Operators licenses from Feb. 24, 2021 through June 30, 2022 were approved for Karen Wysocki and Christina Wilund, who had both received satisfactory background checks.

The next regular monthly board meeting is set for Wednesday, March 24 at 6 p.m.




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