Guild survives vote to suspend; mayor breaks tie
By Ken Krall, WXPR news
As per an open records request, the city council went into closed session Monday evening. No action was taken during closed session. Later, in open session, council member Dawn Rog made a motion to suspend Guild, seconded by Tom Kelly. After discussion, the vote tied at 4-4. Voting for suspension were Rog and Kelly, George Kirby and Lee Emmer. Voting against the suspension were Ryan Rossing, Andrew Larson, David Holt, Steve Sauer. Mayor Chris Frederickson broke the tie by voting no on the motion to suspend, with Rog’s motion failing 4-5.
Five Rhinelander city employees Monday night presented to the city council a declaration of no confidence in City Administrator Daniel Guild.
Public Works Director Tim Kingman spoke for the employees..
“I had contacted with appropriate city personnel, the city administrator, due to an employee complaint about him, his supervisor, the mayor, both. There was two weeks with no acknowlegement of the unacceptable behavior nor any corrective action plan. I find that to be unacceptable.”
Kingman alleged Guild had become more authoritarian and allegedly failed to consult with department heads on key decisions. Kingman says the administrator’s actions allegedly have created a hostile workplace, including fear of alleged retribution.
Kingman said it was the worst working atmosphere in his seven years in the city. He requested the document be included in Guild’s file.
Kingman’s comments were made during the public input session and several citizens came forward to express views.
“This is not the place for petty bickering, this is not the place for power plays, not the place to believe ignorance is bliss, or an excuse,” said Mike Michalak said. “This is also not the place for political agendas. Please allow me to remind you that your actions reflect on all of us.”
Bill Liebert commented positively on a work plan Guild put together.
“To be perfectly honest, for the first time in my living in the City of Rhinelander…we’re finally doing something to correct issues that virtually everyone in this community has been aware of at one level or another.”
Gary Zarda said there are positives here but the squabble could be hurting perception.
“What is our city government most visibly up to at the moment? Palace intrigue and child-like squabbling. You know our searchable history is driving people away, potentially.”
No action could be taken by the council and they moved on to a variety of issues, including tabling of the reinstatement of the Finance committee which was eliminated during a recent meeting.
Later, the council set down when they would reevaluate the need for a Finance Committee and when Guild would get his six-month review per his contract.