Frederickson Issues Statement On City Hall Investigation
Following a controversial meeting Monday at Rhinelander city hall when the city council split 4-4 on terminating the contract of City Attorney Carrie Miljevich, the tie to end her employment was broken by Mayor Chris Frederickson to end her contract.
Friday morning Fredrickson issued a press release about the reasons for the termination. Miljevich said Monday she was surprised by the move that led her and council member Dawn Rog to call the action sexist. Another issue has been a vote of no confidence made by 5 city employees against Administrator Daniel Guild. An investigation into that matter is being done by an outside firm. Public Works Director Tim Kingman reported to WJFW this week he felt intimidated by the questioning. We have the release below.
As Mayor of the City of Rhinelander, I again confirm that I do not comment on pending personnel matters, some clarification is in order. In response to a Letter of No Confidence filed by several city employees, we have assigned that to outside persons to investigate. Mr. Macy is an attorney with the law firm of von Briesen & Roper, a firm the city has worked with for several years on employment matters. He was assigned from their Fox Valley office since he has no history with anyone involved. Rick Hermes is a Senior Account Executive with Integrated Public Services which is part of the McMahan group of companies which serves as a resource to municipalities across the state. He is also the past, retired administrator for the Village of Kimberly. Mr. Hermes as well does not have any history with the current people involved. I selected these individuals because they are not connected to any employees of the city, including Mr. Guild. I met with them both the week they came to Rhinelander to begin their investigation. I have directed them to provide a full and fair investigation. Neither I or Mr. Guild have directed them in any way as to how they should do the investigation or as to what outcome should be. I have encouraged all employees to fully cooperate with them.
As I mentioned, a majority of the city mentioned it was time for different legal counsel and the council simply exercised it's right under the current Services agreement it has with Attorney Miljevich. Being municipal attorney is a difficult job and Attorney Miljevich has served the city well. The council's decision is not a reflection on her work or her dedication to the city. At the same time a fresh approach with a firm with greater resources can assist the city as well. No one attorney can know everything. With the evolution of municipalities and the multi-million dollar business that they are, we will look to providers that can bring a wide range of expertise to the city. For now, and for the next 60 days, Attorney Miljevich is the city's primary legal counsel. Again, we appreciate the work Attorney Miljevich has done and look forward to working with her positively and professionally during the remainder of her time with us as City Attorney.
As a final comment, I encourage opinions and debate. At the same time, I would ask that all of us eliminate unnecessary and hurtful commentary. While people can and should have differences of opinions and the right to raise complaints and concerns, insults only provide a negative view of the City of Rhinelander and do no help solve problems. Please join me in providing a more constructive inclusive and professional dialog in helping move Rhinelander forward.