© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rhinelander Council, Mayor Clash Over Administrator Resignation


Members of the Rhinelander city council and new mayor Chris Frederickson clashed Monday evening at a special meeting to discuss the abrupt resignation of interim City Administrator Keith Kost.

The council wanted answers from Frederickson as to why Kost would leave so quickly with 8 weeks left until he was scheduled to leave. The city is in the process of hiring a new administrator.

Council member George Kirby said he talked to Kost and wanted Frederickson to follow his campaign promise of transparency and tell the public why Kost resigned.... 

"...if we're going to look for transparency and honesty, the reason for Keith's resignation, do you really want to boil it down and tell us why he resigned? That's going to be up to you...(Frederickson)..thank you..."

Kirby says the city can't go forward if the matter is put under the rug.

Council member Dawn Rog says Kost did a tremendous job and she was very concerned about the impact of his abrupt departure...

"....for all the things Keith was able to accomplish in the time he was here. The fact that we have a long-time city resident, a long-time city business person, people look up to in this community, and that something happened so abruptly that this individual would have to do what he did...."

Frederickson said the difference that led to Kost's resignation dealt with a personnel matter that by law could not be talked about in public....

"....when I talked to Keith Kost I asked him 2-3 times to not to resign and to reconsider. That being the case he handed his resignation that said immediately. That was his choice, it's not something that I chose to do. I don't want to sit in this seat as a city administrator. I don't want to rule with an iron fist or anything else...."

The city is in the process of hiring a full-time administrator and council member Sherrie Belliveau  said she was afraid the way this matter played out would not look good for potential administrator candidates.

When asked after the meeting by reporters as to the nature of the discussion that led to Kost's resignation, Frederickson repeated it was a personnel issue.

The council voted to take up the matter in closed session at it's meeting this month, and will talk about fiscal ramifications of hiring another interim manager at an upcoming finance committee meeting.

Up North Updates
* indicates required