City Responds To Funkhouser Withdrawl

Apr 12, 2017

Rhinelander City Hall
Credit Wikimedia Commons Royalbroil

Tuesday, the person offered the the job as Rhinelander Police Chief said he was declining the position he had accepted.

Wednesday, city officials revealed more details from their perspective of the job offer.

March 16, David Funkhouser was named the top person of three finalists to take the job vacated by Michael Steffis. While the independent Police and Fire Commission names the top candidate, the city council is left to agree to a contract, which was left open Monday. Tuesday, Funkhouser withdrew to remain as Kiel police chief.

Interim City Administrator Keith Kost said the city offered Funkhouser $79,000 to $85,000, using the city's recently adopted pay grade system that would have made the Chief the second-highest paid position within the city. Kost says along with that offer, the position offers 40 says of paid time off, state retirement, moving expenses and health, dental, and life insurance coverage.

Kost said Funkhouser twice declined to make a counter offer to the city

. Kost declined further comment for this story, but in the press releaseĀ  said it was disappointing the Police and Fire Commission chose to announce the candidate before the city could negotiate an employment offer and hoped that wouldn't be repeated.

The press release is below.

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

CITY OF RHINELANDER

From: Interim City Administrator, Keith Kost

RE: THE VACANT CHIEF OF POLICE POSITION

We are disappointed that Dave Funkhouser, candidate for the position of police chief for the City of Rhinelander declined the employment offer by the City of Rhinelander.

This position was posted at the salary range of $79,000 to $85,500. An offer was made to the candidate within that range with a full benefit and fringe benefit package, including 40 days of paid time off, full Wisconsin Retirement System benefit and moving expenses in addition to health insurance, dental insurance and life insurance coverage. Although it is clear he was not happy with the initial offer, the candidate twice declined to provide a counter offer when requested.

The City utilizes a Grade and Step system for employees. This system was put in place in late 2016 and early 2017 with the help of consultant Carlson Dettman. The salary offered was at the 102.5% Step, 7 wage steps higher than minimum for the highest pay grade. The salary offer would have been the second highest paid position within the City.

We wish Dave Funkhouser well as he has chosen to remain with the Kiel Police Department. It is disappointing that the Police and Fire Commission chose to publicly announce the candidate before the City could negotiate an employment offer with him. The Police and Fire Commission is in charge of selecting a candidate and submitting that candidate to the City. The City is in charge of negotiating with the candidate salary and benefits.

The City will await the next candidate picked by Police and Fire Commission and hope that the City can negotiate an offer with the candidate before the selection being publicly announced.