Citizen Wausau

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New Director of Development named under Difficult Circumstances

by on April 17th, 2009

Today Ann Werth was named to the City of Wausau’s Director of Development position.  I am glad someone has been named to fill this position given the trauma that surrounded it with the departures of Mike Morrissey, Kristen Fish and Bill Nagle.

This pick comes hot on the heels of the mayor and a strange set of circumstances.

First, the Fillmor is defaulting on its mortgage.  Clearly this is a high visibility property in downtown Wausau, and Ann Werth was quoted in the story saying the city is possibly going to lose the money it invested. This attaches her face to this story, regardless of the truth of it.

Secondly, the mayor refused to release the names and resumes of the other applicants, in what the WDH called a clear violation of open records laws, and what I called a violation of the core value of transparency the city had seemed to trumpet, but not lived up to. This created speculation regarding the hiring choice and the competitive qualifications of other applicants.

Finally, depositions in the Van De Yacht matter have been rumored to have taken place.

So, I wish Ann Werth well in her new position.  She is a long time city employee and a downtown favorite, so it seems like this will be a good fit.  We feel it is shame that Mayor Tipple has created such a firestorm to place Ann into on her first week of work.

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