Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

UPDATE: Rhinelander City Admin. Guild takes vacation after narrowly avoiding paid suspension vote, declaration of 'no confidence'Submitted: 03/13/2019
UPDATE: Rhinelander City Admin. Guild takes vacation after narrowly avoiding paid suspension vote, declaration of 'no confidence'
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander city employees didn't get a vote when the City Council selected Daniel Guild as its next administrator late last summer.  This week, a handful of employees wanted to make sure the city council and public know they're concerned about Guild "paralyzing" city operations and creating a negative work environment.

Led by Public Works Director Tim Kingman, five employees signed a declaration of no confidence in Guild. The letter was presented to Guild and the Council on Monday night.


"Our signatures on this document have not come easily or lightly," the letter states. "Although we observe current operations are often being conducted under an atmosphere of intimidation and the fear of retribution, we remain steadfast to speak to a best understanding and benefit of the City."

City Clerk Val Foley, Deputy Clerk Mary Stoll, Utility Billing Clerk Beth Mannikko, and Guild's own assistant Stephanie Rajnicek also signed the letter. (Read the letter and Kingman's public comment notes on the PDF file attached to this story.)

The declaration claims Guild has "failed to lead" the city appropriately. It cited canceled meetings and Guild failing to show up for some appointments altogether. The letter also says Guild is rarely in his office, doesn't respond to emails, and only communicates through text messages.

Newswatch 12 learned late Wednesday afternoon that Mayor Chris Frederickson told employees Guild would be on vacation for a week. Guild's voicemail confirmed his absence.

"I will be out of the office and not returning calls until Monday, March 25," Guild recorded in his voicemail. "If you have any questions, you're welcome to email me here at the city."

An email message to Guild on Tuesday night and a voicemail the next day both went unanswered as of 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Guild faced an indefinite suspension after Alderwoman Dawn Rog made a motion following Kingman's presentation.  Alderman Tom Kelly seconded Rog's motion to bring it to a vote.

The Council voted 4-4, which led Mayor Chris Frederickson to break the tie with a 'no' vote.
Council President George Kirby and alderpersons Rog, Kelly, and Lee Emmer voted in favor of suspending Guild, while Ryan Rossing, Andrew Larson, David Holt, and Steve Sauer voted against it.

According to notes from the city attorney provided to Newswatch 12 by Foley, the suspension would have been with pay. Foley told Newswatch 12 she recused herself from a closed session portion of the meeting in addition to the vote itself due to her involvement in the declaration of no confidence.

Prior to submitting the letter, Kingman told the Council he expects "other criminal type actions forthcoming" against Guild, having mentioned "over 30 active open records requests, an alleged walking quorum under investigation."

Kingman also said Guild uses "intimidation and retaliation as fundamental resources... to achieve Administrative objectives." 

The public works director fears he and City Attorney Carrie Miljevich might fall victim to Guild's "political hit jobs", but Kingman added he "Will continue to [speak out] as I am required."

Kingman turned down an interview request Wednesday, saying the letter "speaks for itself."

Newswatch 12 spoke briefly on the phone with Mayor Chris Frederickson on the matter Tuesday afternoon. Frederickson declined an immediate interview, saying he needed "some time," but couldn't promise an interview any time this week.

Guild has faced criticism from long-serving council members in the months since he was hired in Sept. 2018.

Kirby walked out of a council meeting in January when he grew upset with Guild for not including purchases the administrator made for his office, totaling around $13,000. The two held a joint press conference the next week, pledging to work together to move the city forward.

However, the next week Rog scolded Guild and Frederickson for not being open and upfront with the purchases.

Guild came to Rhinelander after spending six years as Weston's Village Administrator. There, he was suspended for 30 days without pay before taking the job in the Northwoods.


Related Weblinks:
No confidence and Kingman statement.pdf

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Nativity of our Lord Parish in Rhinelander will see more structural changes following the renovation of its worship space in February 2018.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - UPDATE 7/18/2019

An earlier version of this report conflated the two criminal complaints filed against contractor Gerald Stodola.

The first complaint filed February 14, concerns Stodola and a homeowner who alleges Stodola failed to inform the homeowner of a delay in construction. The first complaint also alleges theft by contractor.

The second complaint also filed February 14, concerns Stodola and the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce, whose leaders also allege theft by contractor. They believe Stodola used money meant for a new chamber building for other purposes.

The defense argued in both cases that the plaintiffs, both represented by the Asst. District Attorney, did not show probable cause in their complaints.

Judge Neal Nielsen rejected the defenses motion to dismiss the first complaint, saying the fact that Stodola did not finish the job he was hired to do was evidence enough to show probable cause.

Nielsen rejected the defenses motion to dismiss the second complaint because Stodla himself mentioned using funds for the St. Germain project for something else. Nielsen believed that showed probable cause.

Preliminary hearings for both cases are set for September 18, 2019.
______________________________________________________________________________________

ORIGINAL STORY 7/17/2019
_______________________________________________________________________________________

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Thursday the Rhinelander Armory will look like a war-era hospital.

No one is being treated, but rather helping others who will one day need medical help.

+ Read More

Play Video

MATTOON - Wade Reimer thinks it's pretty simple.

There's a vacant school in the village of Mattoon, southeast of Antigo.

He wants to buy it and turn it into a Christian community center, and, someday, a school.

Reimer says the community is behind him.

But the Unified School District of Antigo is not.

In 2016, people in Mattoon fought as the district closed the school, saying rural elementary schools like Mattoon were too expensive to run. A year later, many of the same people tried unsuccessfully to open their own school district.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Three emergency response vehicles sat outside Pizza Ranch in Rhinelander Wednesday night.

Not because of a fire, but because of a partnership. 

"Here we are here tonight raising money for the Little Rice ESU," said Little Rice Fire Department Chief Scott Pockat.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Staff working in the YMCA's Children's Learning Center in Rhinelander enjoy what they do.

Many of the staff members have been there for 20 to 30 years. Some are looking to retire soon, which creates opportunities for new workers

They have full time and part time positions open. Those willing to get the proper certification to work there can get some help from the YMCA.

"We can help by tuition reimbursement," said YMCA Child Care Director Diane Zarembka. "There's a couple other programs out there, the T.E.A.C.H. program, that can help with getting people to take credit classes or getting certificates."

+ Read More

MADISON - It's been a busy week for former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

On Monday, he announced he would not run for office in 2022 because he had accepted a full-time position starting in 2021 with the Young America's Foundation.

And on Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced he was appointing Walker to the board of trustees of one of the world's most highly regarded think tanks.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: