By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The Village of East Troy’s Department of Public Works Director Mike Miller finished out his last day of work Tuesday and will now be serving the village as a consultant as Deputy Director Jason Equitz moves into the interim director position.

The change happened quickly, as Miller gave his notice two weeks ago when he was offered a position with the company he worked with before.

“I’m going back to Utilities Inc., a private utilities company based out of Illinois,” Miller said Monday morning. “It’s going to be different working with the private sector again vs. the public sector, but I’ve worked there before and know what I’m getting into.”

Village Board President Randy Timms said the Village Board met last week to discuss how to fill the vacancy and it was decided the village would promote from within and move Equitz into the director position in an interim capacity. Timms said he expected the “interim” to be removed from the title as soon as Equitz was “up to speed” on all the areas he needed to be.

Timms said the board members detailed the areas as certification, budgeting, managing personnel, reporting, communication and working with the Public Service Commission, they felt Equitz had “marginal or no experience with” and have worked out a plan with him on how to get the necessary training to fill in the gaps.

“Mike will stay on in consulting capacity until further notice and sometime between now and end of year, depending on how things involve, Jason will be named director,” Timms said.

Another reason Miller will remain on as a consultant has to do with the wastewater treatment plant certification. At present, Miller is the only one at the DPW with the proper certification and until Equitz and/or Ken Zess are certified Miller will be consulting.

But Miller said he wasn’t worried about leaving, as he felt Equitz was more than up to the job.

“I think he’ll do a good job, he’s got some management learning he’s got to do, but I told him my phone’s always on and available and the board will support him, so he’s in good shape,” Miller said.

As for himself, Miller said he hopes the village will continue with the long-term improvement plan that’s been set in place during his tenure and most of all he was going to miss the community members who always treated him with respect.

“I’m just going to miss the hometown community feel of East Troy. The people have always been nice to me and easy to work with,” he said. “I wish the Village Board and the staff the very best and thank them for the opportunity to work here.”

 

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