Seven applicants remain in running
BY KEVIN BONESKE
After seven more people applied for the vacant Rhinelander police chief position when the application deadline was extended to the end of February, the city’s Police and Fire Commission decided Friday to seek an interview with one of the additional candidates Wednesday, said commission chairman Todd McEldowney.
The commission last month interviewed six candidates, who were narrowed down from a field that originally had more than 20 applicants. McEldowney, who noted the application deadline was extended to provide an opportunity for more candidates to apply, said the commission hopes to name 3-4 finalists upon interviewing the seventh candidate.
McEldowney said the commission is tentatively planning to conduct final interviews March 24, when a “meet and greet” could also be held in the community with the finalists. He also noted the commission could select the next police chief in late March.
Stephen Hintz of Public Administration Associates has been hired by the city as a paid consultant assisting the commission in the hiring process for a new chief. The city Finance Committee authorized spending up to $6,000 this year for that purpose.
Rhinelander’s police chief position has been vacant since Nov. 1 following the resignation of Michael Steffes, who left after more than nine years on the job to accept a position with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Captain Ron Lueneburg is the acting police chief while the process to hire a permanent chief is ongoing.