Rhinelander city administrator responds to expense controversy
Star Journal Report
Rhinelander city administrator Daniel Guild has responded via press release to comments city council president George Kirby made at Monday’s meeting. Kirby took a seat in the audience rather than his chair with the other council members, and stated when asked by mayor Chris Frederickson, that he would not take his seat because he was “unsuccessful in convincing our city administrator to place invoices unknown to the council on an agenda item (he) wanted to discuss” for approval.
That item was a nearly $13,000 expenditure for office equipment and carpet squares in Guild’s office. Kirby maintained that no one on the council knew anything about the office project.
Kirby was not allowed to continue because the matter was not legally on the agenda for discussion.
In his response, Guild stated he was “saddened” by the events that occurred at the meeting, but says he disagrees with the “accuracy” of Kirby’s comments and that all expenses were made “within city department budgets and all purchasing was done legally and appropriately.”
The full press release is below:
“It has been a privilege working for the City of Rhinelander these past 4 months. During this time, I have discovered I work for a Common Council of 9 passionate individuals who care deeply about this community, in addition to having a diverse spectrum of opinions on how we, together, as a team, can best serve City citizens and taxpayers.
I was saddened by some of the events/actions of Monday night’s Common Council meeting. I am aware of the allegations George has made, and, with respect, I am not in agreement with the accuracy of this statement. I like and respect, George, and despite this incident and recent allegation, I will continue to look forward to building a more productive working relationship with him.
As to the allegations which have been made, I can guarantee all expenditures within my department were made with the knowledge of Mayor Frederickson, the City Attorney, the City Finance Director, and the City Buildings & Grounds Director. All expenditures were made within City department budgets and all purchasing was done legally and appropriately.
Clearly, disagreements remain, which is unfortunate. It is unlikely satisfaction for either side will be achieved through the news media. This is not a best practice for finding a resolution. My experiences in local government have taught me it is preferable to have elected City officials come together with their colleagues on the Common Council and work with them, as a team, to address concerns, and, as partners, find solutions, which continue to advance the greater good.
I would encourage the entire Council to do so here in this situation. Until this recent disagreement is resolved, and thereafter, my team and I remain committed to and focused on serving Mayor Frederickson and the Common Council, advancing their priorities and aspirations for an improved City of Rhinelander local government.”