By Heather Graves
BELLEVUE – Though Administrator Ben Krumenauer has called the Greater Green Bay area home previously, he said his return to the area as the new administrator of the Village of Bellevue is different.
“I think the big thing that I saw value to Bellevue is it’s a progressive community,” he said. “It likes to do things. It likes to be a part of something. It has a plan in place. And there’s always been this understanding that in time, Bellevue will be fully built out. And it’s neat to see that community growing.”
Krumenauer said he’s excited that he gets to be a part of that growth in his new role.
“The village is going through a comprehensive plan,” he said. “We’re going through financial planning, and kind of like the next stage. Within the last couple of decades, Bellevue went from a town to a village, and now I get to be a part of it – kind of taking the next steps of what a village means and offering more for our community and offering more for the residents and businesses within it.”
Krumenauer said one of the things that makes Bellevue unique, which many may not think about, is that it is the first municipality visitors hit when coming into the area on Interstate 43.
“Growing up in the I-41 corridor, we always knew that when you get to De Pere, we knew De Pere was the first community coming into Green Bay,” he said. “Well, Bellevue is the first community into Green Bay on the other side. When you are going up I-43 from Milwaukee, there are communities and things to do, but you really don’t see a lot until you hit Bellevue – and then you can either go on 172 and around or continue on 43 to the Leo Frigo. And it’s a pleasure being a part of a community that is kind of that gateway into the Green Bay area.”
Krumenauer attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for his undergraduate, earning two bachelor’s degrees – one in in urban and regional studies, planning and environmental design and another in urban and regional studies, geography – in 2008.
He later went on to obtain a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Before starting with Bellevue June 27, Krumenauer served as the village administrator for the Village of Osceola, a role he held since 2019.
He also served as assistant planner/civil engineer technician/central services coordinator for the City of Oshkosh from 2007-14, and served as the regional bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission from 2014-16.
Getting settled in
Krumenauer said over his first couple of months as administrator, he is focusing on getting to know what the village is.
“(That means) getting to know the staff,” he said. “I have been taking department tours, meeting with department heads and their staff and learning more about the community, more about what the board’s priorities are. I mean, they hired me for various reasons, and getting to know what they see as a priority is really important for me.”
Krumenauer said filling the role as village administrator – a role that has been temporarily filled by Community Development Director Andrew Vissers – is going to do two things.
“One, is it’s going to free up Andrew to focus on the community development side of things again, and his staff. His staff took on more burden, because he was taking the administrator role,” he said. “Then more personally for me is, the administrator now has the opportunity to start tackling some of the items that were kind of pushed onto the wayside for the last 11 months.”
In his role, Krumenauer said it’s his job to enact the policies that the board creates, and develop procedures to implement its decisions and motives.
“I’m hired at the will of the board,” he said. “And as the board continues to promote those policies, my job is to create the solutions to those requests. So I think a good way to look at it is I’m always one that wants to learn about opportunities. I always want to support the efforts of the board and get to know them as best as I can. So when a situation arises, I can come up with an answer before the questions are even asked.”
Krumenauer said that also means getting out into the community and meeting residents.
“I’m going to be meeting with residents – going to socials and picnics,” he said. “It’s kind of like the first 100 days in office for the president – it’s really their opportunity to learn the system. Same with me.”
Krumenauer said he wants the Bellevue community to get to know him.
“And I want to get to know them,” he said. “I want them to understand that I’m here for them. Yes, I’m at the will of the board, but I am here to represent the whole village, and I’d like to get to know everybody.”
Krumenauer said this move to Bellevue is a collaborative effort of his whole family – wife Amber and their three boys.
“It’s not just me that is part of the Village of Bellevue and the Greater Green Bay area – it’s my wife and my kids, too,” he said. “We’ll be going to school locally, shopping locally, and if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I’m doing. So hats off to my wife and three boys for taking this adventure with me.”