The position of Vilas County Parks & Recreation administrator, established in 2012 and currently held by long time county employee Dale Mayo, will be debated to end at the Sept. 22nd county board meeting after the county Forestry, Recreation & Land Committee voted 4-1 to rescind the position and re-establish a parks technician position in its place as an hourly position.
Committee member supervisor Art Kunde, of Conover where the majority of the 41,000 acre Vilas County forest is located, cast the vote against in a passionate statement.
“This committee has lost its way, we need two separate departments,” Kunde said, referring to the increase in public recreational opportunities created on the county forest since 2012. “You’re wrong to do this and I’ll have the rest of my comments expressed at the county board meeting.”
Committee chair Holly Tomlanovich claimed “the research that I did showed the ship not running well with a lot of unrest . . .and the job is not getting done effectively” but gave no specifics examples.
While the 2012 county board resolution required a three-fourths majority to establish the administrator position, there was no agreement if it required a three-fourths majority to eliminate the position.
“I believe it will be a simple majority,” Tomlanovich said while Kunde felt “it will require a three-fourths vote.”
The resolution claims many issues prompted it, again without identifying specifics. It states there is “an ongoing series of problems within the Forestry, Recreation & Land Department resulting in confusion, duplication, and misdirection as regards management responsibilities, personnel, reporting structure and department operations.”
Human Resource administrator Richard Kipley was asked if he was consulted on this position change and if the Human Resource committee was with his reply being “it was not brought to their attention.”
The resolution, if passed, would downgrade Mayo’s title but not his present salary and he would remain a county employee. He would be titled as a “parks technician and report directly to and come under the direction of the Forest Administrator.”