News & Notes: Jan. 22

Jan. 22, 2013

Police chief

candidates down to two

West Allis - Two candidates are still in the running to succeed Michael Jungbluth as West Allis police chief.

They are Interim Chief Charles Padgett, who previously had been a deputy chief in charge of operations, and Rick Balistrieri, who retired as a deputy chief in the West Allis department more than a year ago.

Joseph Kempen, chairman of the West Allis Police and Fire Commission, said the panel will start interviewing the candidates later this month and will probably choose one in early February.

"Both are outstanding candidates," Kempen said.

The city received eight applications for police chief, he said.

Jungbluth's last day was in mid-November, and his official retirement began Jan. 1.

Greenfield schools deal

with two vacancies at top

Greenfield - The Greenfield School District will hire both an interim superintendent and an interim business manager until candidates can be found to fill both positions permanently, the School Board decided Monday.

Superintendent Conrad Farner departed last week to take a job as human resources director for the Cedarburg School District. Kristen Kollath, director of business services, will leave next month to accept a position with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The board had offered the interim superintendent position to Todd Bugnacki, director of elementary education, but he said he had to decline because of pressing needs in his current position. He was invited to apply for the superintendent's job.

To get the best candidate for superintendent, the board wanted to take its time with an eye to filling the position at least by July 1. There was a feeling that the appointment should be made considerably earlier so the new superintendent can help choose a business manager. The superintendent and business manager work so closely together that a good match was felt to be important.

Panel seeks mid-course

for stadium, field rentals

Greenfield - With rental fees potentially being much higher for the new Whitnall High School stadium, the School Board Finance and Facilities Committee started work Monday on how to make the new fees attractive enough to make the schools some money and still be fair.

The highest potential rental fee of $552 for the first four hours and $500 after that would be for profit-making athletic organizations that want to rent the stadium.

But the committee also is thinking about groups such as parochial schools that don't have running tracks or athletic fields and want to use the Whitnall track or fields a couple times a week. Charging them more than $1,000 a week would not be reasonable, the committee said.

The committee will try to find a middle ground with fees structured for each of five types of users.

Under the old policy, groups could rent just about any outdoor school athletic facility for $35. Despite the comparatively low price, there was very little interest, said Matt Karshna, buildings and grounds supervisor.

Even at more than $1,000 for an eight-hour athletic event, the proposed rental would be about the middle of the road in terms of what stadiums are rented for, he said.

The fees also would be higher for the baseball and softball fields, which also are new. A top fee of $150 is proposed, compared with the current $35.

The committee will talk at its February meeting about fees for the various types of users. Full School Board approval isn't expected until March.

New Year's Eve

blaze probably electrical

West Allis - The cause of the New Year's Eve fire that destroyed Happy Hobby at 8021 W. National Ave., has been officially ruled as undetermined.

But fire investigators, including the state fire marshal and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, have found no cause to believe that the fire was suspicious, said West Allis Fire Dept. Lieutenant Jay Scharfenberg.

Although the exact cause of the fire could not be determined, investigators suspect an electrical problem, Scharfenberg said.

The blaze left the one-story building a total loss. The Fire Department estimates the building loss at $160,000 and probably $300,000, conservatively, for the contents.

Firefighters were called about 9:45 p.m. Dec. 31.

Boucher Nissan takes

step toward expansion

Greenfield - The concept of the Boucher Nissan Dealership, 4141 S. 108th St., expanding onto the lot next door was endorsed last week by the Greenfield Common Council.

Actual plans regarding the site and landscaping elements still need city approval, and the plan also needs approval to combine the Boucher parcel and the one next door at 4201 S. 108th St.

Some concerns that the expansion might increase the flooding that has plagued the area were raised at a public hearing. But Mayor Michael Neitzke said a large stormwater project west of the site should help reduce flooding from Wildcat Creek.

Practice facility cleared

for youth baseball

West Allis - The way is clear for an indoor baseball practice facility for youth teams to occupy a small part of a 200,000-square-foot building at 5325 W. Rogers St.

The Common Council last week approved a special-use permit for the Wisconsin Youth Sports Association, which coordinates teams, leagues and tournaments. The practice facility will be for those teams to rent batting cages and areas to practice running and throwing.

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