Clintonville – Tuesday Evening City Council members approved the “Interim” hiring of former Little Chute Administrator Chuck Kell effective Monday October 21st 2014. WGWI sent an information request to Clintonville Clerk-Treasurer Peggy Johnson on wages of Chuck and in a reply Johnson informed WGWI Chuck will be paid $75.00 per hour. WGWI did some background on Chuck and here is what we found:
Appleton Post-Crescent May 23, 2012 Little Chute Administrator Chuck Kell’s future on agenda
LITTLE CHUTE — For the sixth time in two months, the Village Board will meet behind closed doors today to discuss the employment of Administrator Chuck Kell.
Meeting records show the board first convened in closed session on March 22 to discuss Kell’s employment. Meeting agendas have described the discussions as a “performance evaluation of the Village Administrator.”
The board has taken no action since March and Wednesday’s agenda says no action will be taken once the board returns to open session.
Village President Michael Vanden Berg would not comment on what’s being discussed or what actions the board could take once the ongoing meetings conclude. Trustees Jim Hietpas, Larry Van Lankvelt and Tammy Frassetto also would not comment on the closed session proceedings.
Other village trustees could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Clerk Vicki Schneider said in her experience, the only action she’s seen from a closed session meeting on a performance evaluation is a salary increase.
According to village code, the board is in charge of setting the administrator’s salary. The board also can remove the administrator from office by a two-thirds vote.
Chuck Kell currently earns $105,560 annually. Before his appointment in November 2005, he served as director of planning and zoning for Portage County and was the president of the Village of Whiting for three terms.
Earlier this year, Kell was named a finalist for the administrator post in the Village of Weston, a community just outside of Wausau. He was part of the village’s top five picks, but was turned down last month when community leaders decided on another applicant.
Stevens Point City-Times February 8, 2012 Former Whiting Chief Chuck Kell: “My Conscious is Clear”
by Brandi Makuski, City- Times Editor
Chuck Kell has had a lot of fingers pointed his way.
Kell, former Village of Whiting President who also served as Portage County Planning & Zoning Coordinator, said his hands are clean in the McDill Pond debacle that began last June, when the water was drawn down to a mere 10 inches after crews discovered a leak in the dam. Recent inspections by engineers have uncovered improper procedures were used during the 1999 dam construction, but Kell said his actions were by-the-book. “I didn’t have anything to do with the design or the construction,” Kell said. “I would have expected the DNR to have address that before the project was built.”
Kell left the Village of Whiting in 2005 for what he called “career advancement” to take a job as Village Administrator in Little Chute, WI. According to Kell, his role was an administrative one, which involved completing and filing permits for rebuilding the dam. The improvement project was a hybrid one performed jointly by both DOT and county forces when the highway- and hence the bridge- was widened.
Kell said he knew the village had lots of experience with the old dam, but hired a consultant to help see the new project through. Even so, he says a subcontractor with dam expertise was needed. He also said he couldn’t remember names of the hired parties. “As for how it was actually built, I honestly couldn’t tell you if the village looked at that.”
He would have expected frequent and thorough inspections from both the DOT and DNR. “Whether the dam was inspected adequately, I couldn’t tell you; that’s all in the hands of the DOT.” Kell said he’s picked up “bits and pieces” of the current situation from online media.
“The way I see it, it sounds like there was a design flaw in the plans.”
Kell said any number of people should have noticed the problems, from the construction firm that was hired to the sewage treatment plant employees.
“But the plans were approved by the village, so in my mind, if there was an issue, I would lay it on the engineering firm,” he said. He also added his conscious is clear.
“I’d been in the village for 25 years, and I felt I did as much as I could for the county,” he said.