Interim chief, sheriff’s department captain among finalists
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Following the decision last week by Dave Funkhouser not to become Rhinelander’s police chief after being appointed to the position last month by the city’s Police and Fire Commission, the commission members have scheduled their next meeting for May 1 to consider appointing one of the two remaining finalists, said commission chairman Todd McEldowney.
Funkhouser, who has been Kiel’s police chief since 2005, declined the job of Rhinelander’s chief after not having finalized an offer of employment with the City Council. Commission members are authorized to select the police chief without approval of the City Council, which is responsible for coming up with the compensation package for the person named chief to accept.
Funkhouser was one of three finalists for Rhinelander police chief along with Oneida County Sheriff’s Office captain Lloyd Gauthier and Rhinelander police captain Ron Lueneburg, who has been the city’s interim police chief since Michael Steffes resigned from the position Nov. 1 after more than nine years on the job to begin a position with the state Department of Justice.
Upon commission members announcing their appointment of either Lueneburg or Gauthier as police chief after meeting in closed session to conduct interviews May 1, McEldowney noted the city’s Finance Committee would have the opportunity to negotiate a compensation package with the police chief appointee at the committee’s May 2 meeting, after which an employment offer agreed upon could go to the full City Council for final approval at the council’s May 8 meeting.
The position of Rhinelander’s police chief had been posted with a tentative annual salary range of between $79,000 and $85,500.