Ron Lueneburg now in charge of RPD
BY KEVIN BONESKE
The recent departure of Michael Steffes as Rhinelander’s police chief after nine-plus years to accept a position with the state Department of Justice has resulted in captain Ron Lueneburg taking over as the city’s interim police chief until a permanent chief is hired.
Despite the added responsibilities of being in charge of the police department, Lueneburg asked the city’s Finance, Wage and Salary Committee on Tuesday that he not receive additional pay in the interim, in which applications for police chief are being accepted through the end of the year before the selection process begins.
Based on the monthly compensation schedule effective June 11 as it relates to the police chief and captain, Lueneburg received about $640 less per month than Steffes.
Instead of seeking more monetary compensation, Lueneburg sought a revision to his vacation allocation and access to a vehicle.
Lueneburg noted his seven days of vacation remaining in 2016, and given the difficulty of being able to use all those days before the end of the year, he asked that he be allowed to cash in three of those vacation days, carry over another three for future use and be allowed to use one day this year. In addition, he requested the use of an unmarked police car as a take-home vehicle to be able to come in to work at any time of the day.
“I think that’s a very generous offer,” said committee member Sherrie Belliveau.
Committee member Tom Gleason said Lueneburg deserved a pay increase even though he wasn’t asking for one.
“He obviously is well deserving of it, because he is taking on the added work load of the chief and the captain,” Gleason said. “Now he’s working two jobs for one person.”
Committee members agreed to Lueneburg’s request, also noting he declined a pay increase as the interim police chief.