Schmelzer Tapped as New Sister Bay Administrator

Sister Bay finally has a new administrator, and she plans to stick around for a while. On June 1, Julie Schmelzer will take the seat that has been vacant since October, when previous administrator Beau Bernhoft left

“It’s mission accomplished that we wanted someone with extensive experience, and we got the person,” said village president Rob Zoschke, who commended the village staff for stepping up and filling the gap in the absence of an administrator for the second time in four years. 

Julie Schmelzer is the new Sister Bay Village Administrator.

Schmelzer comes from the Door County Economic Development Corporation, where she has served as business development manager, but her experience in municipal administration goes back much further. She has more than 30 years of experience in community development and public administration and previously served as a zoning administrator in the Door County Planning Department before taking positions in community development and as a county administrator in Wisconsin and Oregon. 

A Southern Door High School graduate, Schmelzer returned to Door County in 2020 to be closer to her two adult children. She said she’s excited to get to work in Sister Bay.

“I didn’t get marching orders, but based on my conversations with the village board, I’m hoping to bring some stability to the position,” Schmelzer said. “I’m hoping this is my job till retirement and [to] make a difference in my own backyard.”

She said one of her goals is to help the village become a more well-rounded community. 

“I don’t think Sister Bay should just be a tourist community,” she said. “I want this to be a community where people can live, work and raise a family. Housing is a big issue, and I’m excited to dig into codes and zoning to find creative ways we can bring more affordable housing to the area.”

One of Schmelzer’s early priorities is to get plans updated to maintain community character while opening doors for grants to pursue village goals. 

Schmelzer’s starting pay to serve as both village administrator and zoning administrator is $125,000.

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