Oak Creek — After considering and rejecting three candidates for the position of director of the Streets, Park and Forestry Department, the city has sought outside help.
The Common Council on Tuesday hired Voorhees Associates, a public works hiring firm based in Illinois, to recruit for the position. The city will pay $11,000 for the services, with additional expenses not to exceed $4,900.
Several factors influenced the decision: The city used a firm much like Voorhees to hire City Administrator Gerald Peterson, so it is confident in the process; the applicants for the current open position have lacked managerial experience; and there is a desire to fill the post soon. Voorhees representative Robert Beezat said that if all runs smoothly, the city may have a new streets, parks and forestry director in late January or early February.
One challenge the city faces is that is offering a lower-than-competitve pay rate, Peterson said. The prevailing wage for a parks and forestry directors is roughly $90,000 annually, but the city is offering $81,000 to $85,000.
A few safety measures were put in place by Voorhees. If the new hire leaves the job immediately, the group will not consider them for recruitment for five years. If the hire leaves within two years, the group will agree to be contracted at expense-only rates to find a replacement.
Assistant Director Dave Laehn is filling the role until the city finds a new director.
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