Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Wahlen may soon be out as Mount Pleasant administrator"

From The Journal

Kurt Wahlen
"MOUNT PLEASANT — Kurt Wahlen appears to be on his way out as Mount Pleasant village administrator. 

"The Village Board has called a special meeting Monday to discuss a separation agreement with Wahlen, whom the new board majority has generally opposed. 

"The closed-session meeting has been set for 7:30 a.m. at Village Hall, 8811 Campus Drive. Board members then may reconvene in open session to vote on matters discussed in closed session. 

"Wahlen expects Monday will be his last day on the job. 

"'Elections have consequences,' Wahlen said when reached by phone Thursday. 'That's what I'm facing here.'

"Power on the factional Mount Pleasant Village Board shifted after the April 5 election, with the new majority often at odds with the current administration. The most high-profile example is a controversial Highway V water and sewer project, which Wahlen helped bring to passage before the election.

"Questions over Wahlen's job status were first raised June 3, when the board met for 90 minutes in closed session about his contract, which had expired three weeks earlier. 

"Talks about extending the contract never materialized, Wahlen said. 

"In another meeting, a fired employee took to a public forum to make a variety of claims about 'questionable practices' under Wahlen, who denies the claims. 

"It's been part of a turbulent period for the board after two incumbents were unseated in April, in a race driven by their support for the Highway V project. In recent weeks, the board has clashed over closed-session meetings, special assessments for water mains and grant funding for Pike River work. 

"Wahlen, the former Racine police chief, began his tenure as Mount Pleasant village administrator in 2013.

"'It's time for the village to move on, and if it means getting me out of the way, so be it,' Wahlen said. 

"Village Board members and Village President Jerry Garski could not be reached for comment Thursday. The village canceled its regularly-scheduled Monday night meeting."

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