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Bellevue board to interview DPW director candidates

By Heather Graves

BELLEVUE – The process to hire a new Department of Public Works (DPW) director continues to move forward – however, after not being very successful in filling the position in the past, board members decided unanimously at their June 26 meeting to do things a little differently this time around.

The position was left vacant in May when former DPW director David Betts left the village for an unknown reason. Village staff would not comment on the details behind Betts’s departure.

Betts held the position for under two years.

The DPW director is responsible for all DPW services, activities, divisions and sections including administration, engineering, streets, water, sewer, storm water, sanitation, fleet/facility as well as recommending and administrating policies and procedures.

Director of Community Development Andrew Vissers said the search for DPW director is somewhat complicated because the position requires technical expertise as well as the ability to manage and engage employees and the public.

The application process for the position wrapped up last month.

Village Administrator Diane Wessel said the village received a total of 10 applications.

Now, village staff will move on to the interview process.

After the initial screening, the pool of candidates was narrowed to seven.

“We have quite a few quality candidates we intend to interview,” Wessel said.

Wessel proposed to the board an interview panel, which would include herself, as the village administrator, the community development director, a Green Bay metropolitan planning organization representative, a public works director from a neighboring community and a village board member.

Wessel said this is how the hiring process for the DPW director was done in the past.

Board members, however, decided to change things up a little in order to have more input.

Trustees decided to not include a board member on the interview panel, but instead have staff bring the three finalists to the full board for formal interviews.

“The last few haven’t gone necessarily well,” said Trustee Tom Katers. “I like the idea (of the full board) being a part of the process. It would be nice to have their input on it as well instead of just one.”

Katers served on the interview panel when Betts was hired in August 2017.

Interviews are scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks.

Board members also authorized staff to contract for background checks for finalists – this includes criminal history, character references, news media, social media, personal financial history, verification of education/employment history and driving record.

Depending on how many references and previous employers the candidate has – the estimated cost of a background investigation is $500-$1,000 per candidate.

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