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Butler clerk departs for job in St. Francis

After five years, Timothy Rhode says goodbye

June 7, 2011

Village of Butler - After five years as the Village of Butler clerk and village administrator, Timothy Rhode took the city administrator position in the City of St. Francis, a community just north of Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee County.

"I will miss him absolutely," said Richard Ensslin, Village President. "He did outstanding work for us."

Rhode, who started his tenure in St. Francis the day after Memorial Day, said he enjoyed his time in Butler and was proud of his accomplishments while there.

"I loved working at Butler. I enjoyed it tremendously. I thought it was the right time to make a move," he explained. He sought to move on to a municipality with a larger population. According to Rhode, the City of St. Francis population is about 10,000 people where Butler is only 2,000.

Ensslin said that using experience gained in Butler to move to bigger communities is not rare for staff, citing that the village has had six clerks since 1972.

"We're kind of a stepping stone for those who are aggressive enough and have enough qualifications to make the next step," said Ensslin. The next step is a larger community where there is greater responsibility and more money, he said.

"He was ready for the next step," added Ensslin.

Before making that step, Rhode said he accomplished a lot in Butler. "I guess the three items I am truly very proud of is helping the Friends of the Library build the new library with no taxpayer dollars, the reconstruction of Hampton Avenue using federal stimulus funds and the remodel of Village Hall," he said.

He said that whoever replaces him is a very lucky individual who gets to work with great elected officials, a great community and a phenomenal staff.

The Village of Butler is at work to fill the vacated position. "We advertised right after Tim gave his notice at the end of March," said Ensslin.

Interviews have been held for perspective candidates. Ensslin said that a decision could be made at the next Village Board meeting on June 7.

They are looking for candidates with Rhode's education - he holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a master's degree in public administration from UW-Milwaukee.

Ensslin said they are also looking for someone who a strong background in budgeting and finance, someone who is a "people person" and who can handle the variety of whatever or whoever comes to the Village Hall counter. "We typically get someone who has been an assistant in another community," he added.

With the position open, Ensslin said that Deputy Clerk Carolyn Jahnke and Treasurer Barbara Spinney are filling in until a replacement is found.

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