City Council approves retirement payout for parks director
Jeremy Biolo to replace Gunder Paulsen
BY KEVIN BONESKE
The Rhinelander City Council has approved a retirement payout for parks, buildings and grounds director Gunder Paulsen, who will be leaving his position early next month after three decades of being a city employee.
The resolution backed Monday by council members authorizes Paulsen to bank $55,987.28 of unused paid time off for 2016 and 2017 into a health reimbursement account effective on the date of his retirement Jan. 3.
Paulsen, who was present Monday for his final City Council meeting as the parks director, was also recognized in a proclamation by mayor Dick Johns, who noted Paulsen previously worked at the city-owned Northwood Golf Course before becoming the parks director in 2002.
“Gunder will be missed by all, and that’s all of us, Gunder,” Johns said. “Thank you, Gunder, for your hard work.”
During Paulsen’s tenure as the parks director, he had been at odds with former city administrator Bill Bell, who proposed in 2010 to eliminate Paulsen’s position by consolidating “turf management” of the parks and golf course and utilize additional seasonal part-time employees instead of a full-time parks director.
However, Paulsen disputed Bell’s claims about achieving more work production at a cost savings with the proposal, which was never approved by council members.
The City Council gave final approval Monday to the salary of Paulsen’s replacement as parks director. Jeremy Biolo, currently a city parks maintenance man, will receive an annual wage of $55,231.01 when he takes over next year as the parks director.