City Administrator

Zach Vruwink was appointed City Administrator effective March 1, 2021. He previously served as assistant to the Mayor from May 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021. Zach previously served as the full-time mayor and chief executive of the City of Wisconsin Rapids from 2012-2020. He is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. He can be reached at: zvruwink@rhinelanderwi.us or (715) 365-8600 and on LinkedIn.

City planning documents found under Plan Commission

2.01.23. - City Administrator.

(1) Office of the City Administrator. In order to provide the City of Rhinelander with a more efficient, effective and responsible government under a system of a part-time Mayor and part-time Common Council (hereinafter referred to as "Council") at a time when City government is becoming increasingly complex, there is hereby created the Office of City Administrator for the City of Rhinelander (hereinafter referred to as "Administrator"). 

(2) Appointment, term of office and removal. The Administrator shall be appointed on the basis of merit with due regard to training, experience, administrative ability and general fitness for the office, by a majority vote of the Council. For the purpose of selecting the Administrator, the Mayor and the members of the Council each shall cast one vote. The Administrator is an at-will employee of the City and shall hold office pursuant to the terms of his/her employment contract and subject to removal at any time by a majority vote of the entire Council. This Section, however, shall not preclude the Council from establishing other employment terms and conditions not inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance or the Municipal Code of the City of Rhinelander.

(4) Functions and duties of the Administrator. The Administrator, subject to the limitations defined in resolutions and ordinances of the City of Rhinelander and Wisconsin State Statutes, shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the City, responsible only to the Mayor and the Council for the proper administration of the business affairs of the City, pursuant to the Statutes of the State of Wisconsin, the ordinances of the City of Rhinelander, and the resolutions and directives of the Council, with power and duties as follows:

(a) General duties.

1. Carry out directives of the Mayor and Council that require administrative implementation, reporting promptly to the Mayor and Council any difficulties encountered herein;

2. Be responsible for the administration of all day-to-day operations of the City government including the monitoring of all City ordinances, resolutions, Council meeting minutes and State Statutes;

3. Prepare a plan of administration, including an organization chart, which defines authority and responsibility for all nonstatutory positions of the City; and submit it to the City Council for adoption as the official organization and administrative procedure plan for the City;

4. Establish when necessary administrative procedures to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of City government according to current practices in local government, not inconsistent with Subsection (4)(a)3 of this Section or directives of the Mayor and Council;

5. Serve as a member of all boards, commissions and committees of the City, as determined by the Mayor and the Council;

6. Keep informed concerning current federal, State, and County legislation and administrative rules affecting the City and submit appropriate reports and recommendations thereon to the Council;

7. Keep informed concerning the availability of federal, State and County funds for local programs. Assist department heads and the Council in obtaining these funds under the direction of the Mayor and the Council;

8. Represent the City in matters involving legislative and inter-governmental affairs as authorized and directed as to that representation by the Mayor and Council;

9. In conjunction with the Mayor, act as public information officer for the City with the responsibility of assuring that the news media are kept informed about the operations of the City and that all open meeting rules and regulations are followed;

10. Establish and maintain procedures to facilitate communications between citizens and City government to assure that complaints, grievances, recommendations and other matters receive prompt attention by the responsible official, and to assure that all such matters are expeditiously resolved;

11. Promote the economic well-being and growth of the City through public and private sector cooperation.

(b) Responsibilities to the City Council.

1. Attend all meeting of the Council, assisting the Mayor and the Council as required in the performance of their duties;

2. In coordination with the Mayor, the Council, and the Clerk, ensure that appropriate agendas are prepared for all meetings of the Council, all Council committees, and all other appropriate committees and commissions of the City, together with such supporting material as may be required; with nothing herein being construed as to give the Administrator authority to limit or in any way prevent matters from being considered by the Council, or any of its committees and commissions;

3. Assist the City Attorney in the preparation of ordinances and resolutions as requested by the Mayor or the Council, or as needed;

4. Keep the Mayor and Council regularly informed about the activities of the Administrator's office by oral or written report at regular and special meetings of the Council;

5. In the event that action normally requiring Council approval is necessary at a time when the Council cannot meet, the Administrator shall receive directives from the Mayor.

(c) Personnel.

1. Be responsible for the administrative direction and coordination of all employees of the City according to the established organizational procedures of the City and the Wisconsin State Statutes;

2. Recommend to the Council or the Mayor the appointment, promotion, and when necessary for the good of the City, the suspension or termination of department heads, except those officials selected by boards and commissions defined in the Wisconsin State Statutes;

3. Reserved.

4. Serve as personnel officer for the City with responsibilities to see that complete and current personnel records, including specific job descriptions, for all City employees are kept; conduct performance evaluations of department heads on a regular basis and ensure department heads evaluate the performance of their employees on a regular basis; recommend salary and wage scales for City employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements; develop and enforce high standards of performance by City employees; assure that City employees have proper working conditions; and work closely with department heads to promptly resolve personnel problems or grievances;

5. Assist the Common Council in labor contract negotiations and collective bargaining issues;

6. Work closely with department heads to assure that employees receive adequate opportunities for training to maintain and improve their job-related knowledge and skills and act as the approving authority for requests by employees to attend conferences, meetings, training schools, etc., provided that funds have been budgeted for these activities.

(d) Budgeting and purchasing.

1. Assist the Finance Director and City Treasurer, be responsible for the preparation of the annual City budget, in accordance with guidelines as may be provided by the City Council and in coordination with department heads, and pursuant to State Statutes, for review and approval by the Mayor and the Council;

2. Assist with the Finance Director and City Treasurer in administering the budget as adopted by the Council;

3. Report regularly to the Council on the current fiscal position of the City;

4. Assist the Finance Director and City Treasurer in supervising the accounting system of the City and insure that the system employs methods in accordance with current professional accounting practices;

5. Serve as the purchasing agent for the City in conjunction with the Finance Director and City Treasurer, supervising all purchasing and contracting for supplies and services, subject to the purchasing procedures established by the Council and any limitation contained in the Wisconsin State Statutes.

(5) Cooperation. All officials and employees of the City shall cooperate with and assist the Administrator so that the City government shall function effectively and efficiently.

(Code 1993, § 1.23; Ord. No. 01-17, 3-13-2017)