With last week’s announcement that Sister Bay Administrator Zeke Jackson is leaving for a similar position in southeastern Wisconsin, the village finds itself in search mode again.
“We’re sad to lose him, but we always look at how long administrators stay in place, and it’s generally in the three- to five-year range as opportunities come along,” said Sister Bay Village President Dave Lienau. “You don’t want to hold anyone back. You wish him well, and this sounds like a great opportunity for him.”
He said the village board would meet to decide how to proceed in the search for a new administrator.
“I suspect it will be similar to when Mr. [Robert] Kufrin left us four years ago, and that’s how we got Zeke, was to do a nationwide search,” he said. “We also go through several town and municipal organizations. They have several posting boards. That will be the first way. We’ll also talk about using a search firm, and trying to go local.”
Lienau said the last time the village did a national search, the candidates fell into two categories – someone from a small community looking to step up in their career or someone in the twilight of their career looking to retire in Door County.
“That was the circumstance with Mr. Kufrin,” Lienau said. “He had some property up here and was looking to continue his career until he could retire and Zeke was the other end of the scale.”
Lienau said it was a pleasure working with Jackson the past four years.
“Zeke has had trial by fire if you will. When he first came here, he was dropped right in the middle of all of our reconstruction projects, so he certainly has some great experience under his belt because of that,” he said. “He was always very forward thinking and very progressive in what he tried to do for the village and for the board. He had a strong and important hand in working with developers and contractors and pulling everything together downtown economic development-wise. It’s always one thing for elected officials to get involved, but we’re just part-timers. It takes a professional administrator like Zeke to sit face-to-face and work through all the details and have us sign off on it. I am in great admiration of Zeke and people in that position.”
As happens being in the public eye with public projects, Jackson has both admirers and detractors in the community. However, a comment he made in a story published Oct. 23 by the Racine Times Journal about the move to the Village of Waterford in Racine County will not endear him to the county: “I tried to find a community that was poised for a balance of growth and development and quality of life and excellent schools. I have a daughter in kindergarten, so the schools in Waterford are actually a little better than the schools in Door County.”