Gregozeski selected for Ashwaubenon village manager
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The village has found its next manager near Appleton.
Village President Mary Kardoskee announced Thursday, Nov. 12, the Ashwaubenon village board intends to appoint Joel Gregozeski, Town of Greenville administrator since July 2017, as village manager at the Nov. 24 board meeting.
“Mr. Gregozeski was unanimously selected as the top candidate after several rounds of interviews with village staff and the village board,” she said.
Kardoskee said village officials were “consistently impressed by Mr. Gregozeski’s work experiences, skills and personality throughout the process and (are) excited for his anticipated start date of Nov. 30 to continue to move the village forward.”
In response to an open records request by The Press Times, Village Attorney Tony Wachewicz identified Gregozeski and James Fenlon, Village of Little Chute administrator, as the two finalists for Ashwaubenon village manager.
Gregozeski has held positions in government since 2000 after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
He a has background in parks and recreation, and he previously worked for the City of Eau Claire, City of Green Bay and Village of Bellevue, before becoming the Town of Buchanan administrator near Appleton in 2013 while working on a master’s degree he received the following year in public administration from Concordia University Wisconsin.
Gregozeski said Ashwaubenon is a “great community,” and he’d like to be its village manager for “as long as they’ll have me, I guess.”
“By and large, Ashwaubenon is a very attractive community with that quality of life,” he said
Personally, Gregozeski said being Ashwaubenon’s village manager will provide him a substantially shorter commute to work because he lives in the Village of Howard, and professionally, the position offers him the opportunity to work in a larger community with a larger staff.
Ashwaubenon’s village manager position has been vacant since July when Allison Swanson resigned five months after the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Officers’ Association (APSOA) announced its vote of no confidence in her.
Swanson was hired to the position in 2011.
In May, Swanson filed a defamation lawsuit against the APSOA in Brown County Circuit Court.
The lawsuit is still pending, and APSOA President Eric Paulowski had no comment on Gregozeski being hired as the next village manager.
When asked about developing a relationship with public safety and other departments, Gregozeski said he wants to build a solid framework of teamwork with the departments, based on trust and respect, when he meets with each department upon becoming village manager.
The village board is seeking to separate human resources responsibilities from the next village manager, who will be responsible for figuring out how to handle those services, and budgeted $50,000 for next year to contract out those services.
Gregozeski said it will his short-term goal in the next six to eight months to look at how to meet the village’s human resources needs and develop a plan for the board’s consideration as to whether to hire a human resources person or contract out those services.
When asked about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the village’s budget, such as with the loss of revenue from room tax, he said he wants to maintain the status quo for services provided in Ashwaubenon and be creative with how the village uses revenue sources.
Gregozeski said he expects the pandemic will have a long-term impact on Ashwaubenon’s budget for more than a year.