Waldo latest to weigh administrative position

RUNNING A VILLAGE GOVERNMENT – even a small one – is becoming more and more of a challenge in today’s world.

It is difficult to find people who are willing to put in the time and effort on what is pretty much a volunteer basis to fill elected village offices – the board of trustees and village president.

Yet the demands on local governments are pretty much constant, whether from village residents and constituents or from higher levels of government.

Then there is the kind of long-range planning that is required to continue a sound and strong community and encourage future growth and development.

All of that is why many communities in Sheboygan County as wellas throughout the country have turned to some manner of administration to oversee the day-to-day operations as well as long-term needs and planning.

Sheboygan County has seen the benefit of having a full-time professional administrator in Adam Payne for more than a decade and a half, with stable and often declining property tax levies and rates while maintaining and enhancing the level of services that constituents need and demand.

The city of Plymouth is also benefiting from a full-time professional administrator in Brian Yerges, with a steady tax levy and tax rate over the past half-dozen years while enjoying economic growth and streamline, more efficient services.

While the county and the city are large enough to justify a full-time administrative position, many communities in the county are too small to be able to afford such a luxury. But that hasn’t prevented some of them from utilizing full-time administration in some form.

The village of Elkhart Lake created a combined administrator/clerk/treasurer position a number of years ago and has been reaping the benefits ever since.

Jeanette Moioffer brought her years of experience and knowledge of the village to the position when it was created and she has been succeeded admirably by Jessica Reilly.

Under their leadership, the village has been able to grow and prosper while maintaining steady tax levies and rates, utilizing such tools as tax incremental finance districts, state and federal grants and more to continue providing services effectively and cost-efficiently.

Now officials in the village of Waldo, citing a lack of interest in filling elected positions, is weighing some sort of part-time administration to provide, in the words of Village President Dan Schneider, “a consistent thought process for years to come, not just for two years for a president’s term or a board member’s term. Someone who’s going to take a longer view.”

Schneider’s proposal is to add administrative duties to Director of Public Works Bruce Neerhof’s other duties, with a small increase in pay and hours.

Such a combination of positions is the likely way a small village like Waldo would have to go to create a full-time face and voice for their community, but if the examples of other local governments around here is any indication, it is likely to pay off the village – and taxpayers – in the future.

The proposal will be discussed and studied further by the Village Board, but it seems likely that it – or some form of it – will be worth adopting.

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