County Extends Administrator Contract

The Door County Board of Supervisors has approved a five-year contract for Ken Pabich, who has served as county administrator since 2015. 

“The relationship between the county board and administrator is critical to the overall success of the organization,” said county board chair David Lienau in a statement announcing the board’s Aug. 22 decision. “The board has been able to work with Ken to make changes which have had a positive impact on our county and for our employees.”

Pabich said he was grateful for the chance to continue his public-service career in Door County.

“My experiences in working with the county board, fellow employees and community leaders have made it very rewarding,” he said in a statement. “I am excited to continue to build on those experiences and be a part of a community that wants to make Door County a better place to live, work and play.”

Lienau said the county board and administrator have made significant progress in many strategic areas, but significant work lies ahead. 

“The financial health of the county and our employees are always high priorities for our county board members,” Lienau said. “Balancing these priorities while meeting our mission and vision as an organization requires a focused board and strong administrative leadership. We are excited to work with Ken to find that balance.”

Pabich was hired at a salary of $108,000 when he joined the county in 2015, according to the original contract. His new contract – effective Jan. 1, 2024, until Dec. 31, 2028 – outlines an annual salary schedule that increases 4% the second year, 4.39% the third year, 3.55% the fourth year and 4% the fifth year. His salary will be $175,000 starting in 2024 – a 22.5% increase over his 2023 salary (which had been the same since August 2022). In the final year of the contract in 2028, his salary will be $205,000. 

Prior to approving the new contract, the supervisors went into closed session Aug. 22 to discuss Pabich’s performance evaluation and contract renewal. 

Lienau told the Peninsula Pulse that the double-digit increase from this year’s to next year’s salary arose from comparable data of salaries for people in similar management positions in both public and private industry.

“It became very apparent that he was significantly lower than comparable management levels,” Lienau said.

Now that Pabich is under contract for the next five years, Lienau said the county board would turn its attention to reviewing the competitiveness of compensation that Door County’s other employees receive.