Rhinelander council approves Vruwink as new city administrator
By Katie Thoreson
Rhinelander has a new city administrator.
The Rhinelander city council unanimously approved Zach Vruwink’s contract Wednesday night in a special session.
Earlier this week, Mayor Chris Frederickson announced the city had successfully negotiated an employment contract with Vruwink.
Mayor Frederickson hired Vruwink as a consultant in May 2020 to help with administrative duties after the termination of former administrator Daniel Guild following his arrest.
Council members had a few questions before voting mostly about Vruwink’s salary, retirement compensation, and travel allotment.
At $111,500, Vruwink’s salary is more than past city administrators.
Rhinelander human resources director Doreen St. Onge said his salary still comes under the $133,000 the city budgeted for the position this year.
“We did do comps for city administrators for other municipalities and the range I actually put into my monthly HR report for council it was between $97,000 base up to a $115,000 base for comparable,” said St. Onge during the special city council session.
Frederickson said it’s also close to past compensation just with a different balance of salary and benefits.
For comparison, former administer Daniel Guild’s contract paid him $95,000.
This is Rhinelander’s sixth city administrator since 2015, including two people who served as interim administrators.
The city said Vruwink was their top candidate but did not say out of how many.
Vruwink immediately started as city administrator following the meeting.