Rhinelander takes step toward hiring city administrator
BY EILEEN PERSIKE, EDITOR
The Rhinelander City Council voted Monday night to proceed with the contract process to hire the city’s next administrator. Patrick Reagan, currently the village manager and village clerk for Lake Odessa, Mich., was one of two candidates announced last month as finalists. His tentative start date would be February 2023.
“I don’t think we’ve had a city administrator in a long time that’s been excited and energetic to work here,” said Rhinelander Mayor Kris Hanus. “He’s excited about the right things. He’s excited about the opportunities Rhinelander has; he’s coming from a smaller town that is struggling to grow, struggling to find businesses – where we have a lot of that already in process and we have a lot lined up in the pipeline.”
According to the Village of Lake Odessa website, Reagan was appointed manager in April 2019, and clerk in 2020. His previous experience includes city manager of Crystal Falls, Mich., Downtown Development Authority director and interim/assistant city manager in Portland, Michigan. He holds a Master’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University.
Hanus said another thing that stood out to him is that Reagan has visited Rhinelander several times, driving through or for weekend visits.
“When someone early on in the interview process invests the time to come to our community, stay in a hotel, someone who is not just Google mapping us … shows he wants to make this a career as opposed to just a pitstop,” said Hanus.
The council gave the administration contract parameters and Hanus said he hopes to have it all “buttoned up” at the next council meeting, Dec. 27.
Reagan would take over for Zach Vruwink who resigned in October to take a position with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.