The Waukesha Common Council and Mayor Jeff Scrima will have to resolve several issues during the next several months as they begin to search for the next city administrator.
City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther is leaving Waukesha to take the administrator position in Peoria County, IL. Given the amount of referrals that were made during Thursday’s council meeting, some decisions will have to be made.
Scrima wants the council to change its previous decision to strip his supervisory role of the city administrator. Last summer, the council held a closed session meeting to discuss Luther’s contract based on issues that had risen with Scrima.
“This is for the purpose of conforming to Wisconsin State Statutes and returning to the citizens the right of being able to hold one person directly accountable for the day-to-day operation of city government,” Scrima told the council.
The change Scrima is seeking would apply to the next city administrator. Director of Community Development Steve Crandell is taking over the operations of City Hall as the interim city administrator.
“I wish we could move forward,” commented Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings immediately after Scrima’s referral.
Meanwhile, Luther publicly thanked the Common Council, city staff and the entire Waukesha community for the positive relationship she had during the last 3-1/2 years.
Then, without mentioning the specific changes to her job contract and the issues at City Hall that preceded the changes, she thanked the council for their support last summer.
“I would like to take this opportunity to personally and public thank members of the council for the action you have taken to improve the work environment and to protect me as your employee,” Luther said. “I hope you understand that this is an exceptional opportunity to advance my career and also get closer to my family, I am looking forward to the positivity and professionalism recently demonstrated in my brief stay in Peoria.”
Luther has been the frequent target of public attacks during the public comment portion of the Common Council meetings. Based on the behavior that has been expressed during those meetings, the council is now reviewing the rules and procedures for the public comment portion of the meeting.
Meanwhile, other aldermen brought forward other referrals about the city administrator search process.
- Common Council President Paul Ybarra wants the Human Resources Committee to discuss Crandell’s compensation given his dual responsibilities.
- Aldermen Joan Francoeur and Duane Paulson are asking that the city attorney’s office provide a presentation about the role of the city administrator and the structure of city government.
- Alderman Roger Patton is requesting that the Common Council hire an executive search firm to lead the quest for a new city administrator.