Port will hire firm to search nation for new administrator

Aldermen agree city needs expert help to find successor to Grams
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington aldermen on Tuesday agreed to seek outside help when selecting a new city administrator.

The Common Council unanimously agreed to look for a firm to help conduct a national search for a replacement for longtime City Administrator Mark Grams, who announced recently he will be retiring early next year.

The firm would be expected to develop a job and community profile, job qualifications, appropriate salary, develop and implement a marketing plan, conduct the search and identify a list of desirable candidates.

The firm could also be asked to conduct background and reference checks, develop interview questions, participate in the interviews and help with contract negotiations.

Grams told aldermen that there are three or four firms in Wisconsin that do this sort of work and he will send the request for proposals to them.

A couple of these firms have already called about it, he said.

“I think the city’s going to get a good pool of candidates,” Grams said, adding he knows of four or five people who are interested in the job.

Ald. John Sigwart said it’s important for the city to hire an executive search firm to aid in finding a new administrator, saying it indicates the city is serious about finding the best candidate.

Sigwart also floated the idea of having the firm negotiate a contract with Grams to help with the transition.

Grams isn’t planning to move from the area, he said, “so we should take advantage of that.”

The request for proposals approved by the council calls for firms to send proposals to the city by Friday, Nov. 22. The council is expected to select a company in early December, Grams said.

Grams is only the city’s second administrator. He has been at the city’s helm for 33 years, working with eight mayors and numerous aldermen  and helping the city transition from a factory town to a community driven by tourism and its lakefront location, managing tight budgets and increasing requirements along the way.

Grams announced his resignation last month, saying that at age 65 it’s time to relax.

He said that he hasn’t decided when his last day at work, although it will be around Feb. 1.


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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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