Job vacant since Keith Kost’s abrupt resignation April 25
BY NAOMI KOWLES
For the Star Journal
GovHR’s Sr. Vice President Lee Szymborski released three names to the Star Journal on Tuesday of candidates who made it past the first round of interviews for Rhinelander’s vacant city administrator position. On that list is Daniel Guild, as of Tuesday, the former village administrator of Weston.
A joint statement from the Weston Village Board and Daniel Guild stated that Guild had voluntarily resigned as village administrator, a move coming on the heels of a 30-day unpaid suspension for violating the terms of his employment. That suspension, according to the release, was retroactively voided in conjunction with his resignation. The release took the opportunity to thank Guild for his service and reflect on his successes in the community.
According to the Wausau Daily Herald, a 2017 work performance review found Guild “tardy and unavailable,” unreceptive of constructive criticism and unrealistic in his demands for his staff. However, they also reported that no official complaints had been filed by residents or village employees. When Szymborski was reached for comment, he said that Guild told Szymborski that he did not know the reason for the 30-day suspension.
When Szymborski was asked why a candidate on suspension was being considered for a position that has experienced its own share of upheaval in the past few years, he said that he looked for candidates with the background and experience to be a good fit for Rhinelander, and that “bumps along the way” were normal.
Guild is one of three candidates that made it pass a round of seven interviews from an original pool of 39 applicants, according to city attorney Carrie Miljevich. Three more interviews are scheduled for this coming Friday, the names of which were not released.
Guild is presently the only candidate who hails from Wisconsin. Also on the short list is Jeff Eder, city administrator in East Peoria, Illinois; and Stephen Kil, town manager of St. John, Indiana.
Eder was hired in July of 2016 on a 2-year contract as city administrator for East Peoria, according to the East Peoria Times-Courier. That contract would be up this month; the Daily News Journal also named him in May as one of 11 finalists for city manager of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a city with a population well over 100,000. His Linkedin page also lists work experience as director of community development and director of economic development, as well as a master’s degree in business administration.
According to Kil’s Linkedin profile, he has been the town manager of St. John since 2000, and holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Indiana University. He was charged in 2015 with the theft of political signs in St. John. According to the Kingman Daily Miner, Kil had first approved the action with the town attorney as abating a zoning violation. Kil appeared in court for the misdemeanor charge this March, at which time he was also a finalist for the city manager position in Kingman, Arizona.
Rhinelander’s city administrator position has been vacant since interim city administrator Keith Kost’s resignation on April 25. Kost was aiding in the search for a full-time administrator prior to his resignation, and had recommended GovHR to the city council as the best company to spearhead that search. The council approved the hiring of GovHR in February at a cost of $19,500.
Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson canceled a Wednesday morning meeting with the Star Journal and did not return a request for comment.
The city administrator position is being advertised at a salary of $87,000-$95,000 plus benefits.