The McFarland Village Board on Monday appointed Eric Rindfleisch, of Edgar, Wis., as the next village administrator.
Rindfleisch, 40, is scheduled to start on May 19. He has worked as Administrator/clerk/treasurer for the village of Edgar since 2011.
He has also served as an alderperson and common council president in Sheboygan, Wis.
“We're excited about Eric. As a board, we are very pleased with the candidates we had. It was a very difficult decision to make,” Village President Brad Czebotar said. “But, we're really pleased we were able to land a candidate like Eric and we're looking forward to good things happening in the future.”
Rindfleisch will take over for Don Peterson, who has held the position for over 19 years. His annual salary will be $82,000.
Filling Peterson's shoes won't be easy, but Rindfleisch is up to the task.
“To be in a position to follow up someone with 19 years of experience, someone who has made McFarland what it is today, is quiet an honor. I look forward to working with the board of trustees and village staff as well as the residents of McFarland to ensure that this community remains among the best in Dane County,” Rindfleisch said. “It will be quiet a challenge but an amazing opportunity as well.”
Peterson has indicated that he is willing to stay on to help with the transition and will be available to Rindfleisch, if needed, after he departs from the village.
Thirty-three people initially applied for the administrator position. Once the board narrowed its search to four, the candidates went through a unique interview process. The finalists participated in a community meet and greet where they answered questions from stakeholders representing a variety of McFarland organizations. The stakeholders then offered feedback to the board including opinions on each finalist’s strengths and weaknesses. The candidates went through a similar process with village department heads before final interviews with the village board.
“Eric did very well in both of those sessions,” Czebotar said. “Obviously he did well in terms of the interview with the village board as well.”
Rindfleisch’s enthusiasm, intelligence, leadership and ability to handle financial challenges were all things that impressed the board.
Rindfleisch talked about some of the challenges he faced in Edgar during a phone interview with The Thistle.
“We discovered Edgar had about $400,000 worth of short-term liabilities that were becoming long-term liabilities that within our annual budget and with state aids we were unable to pay off. By analyzing and correcting the budget, (sharing increment between TIF districts), refinancing just under $2 million worth of outstanding long-term debt and reviewing utility rates we were able to turn that into a $500,000 cash reserve to be used for capital improvement projects. All within about a year,” he said.
Rindfleisch obtained a Master's degree in public and nonprofit administration from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn., and a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He is currently working towards his certified public manager designation through the University of Wisconsin's Division of Continuing Studies with a graduation date scheduled for March 2015.
Originally a native of Sheboygan, Rindfleisch plans to relocate to McFarland with his wife Angie, and his two children Isabel, 4, and Elliot, 1. His stepson Damien, 20, completes his family. He said his favorite thing to do in his free time is spend time with them.
“My family and I look forward to making McFarland our hometown,” he said.