Dan Drescher wants to better the community of Lake Mills.
Since moving back to the Lake Mills area in 2011, Drescher has done his best to do that, working as a lawyer with Kiessling & Lesperance and developing a good reputation with private individuals and the business community in the area.
Now, Drescher is taking that desire to make a difference into the public service realm, as he took over as the Lake Mills City Attorney earlier this month. Drescher replaced longtime attorney Vickie Schmidt, who retired in December after serving in the position for 23 years.
With such a hard act to follow, Drescher is planning to get better at it over time.
“I’m looking at this position as something I’ll need to grow into, and it’s something that has great longevity,” Drescher said.
It’s not surprising Drescher would want these things. As a Lake Mills native, the area has been a place Drescher has called home for many years.
A 1999 graduate of Lake Mills High School, Drescher then got his undergraduate degree from UW-Madison before studying law at Florida Coastal School of Law and graduating from there in 2008.
He then spent a few years practicing law in Colorado before moving back to Lake Mills in 2011 and going to work for the firm headed by Bill Kiessling and Tim Lesperance.
During his more than six years with Kiessling & Lesperance, Drescher worked with many local businesses, private real estate and individuals.
“It was general practice. Especially in the beginning, I was willing to take whatever came through the door and figure it out,” Drescher said.
Overall, it was a great learning experience for Drescher. It gave him a chance to reintroduce himself to the community and establish relationships through time.
But even more so, he learned about how to be a face in the community.
“Bill is a former municipal judge and is a fixture here in the community. His father owned the firm before him. I saw how important all the community ties were,” Drescher said. “Bill was involved in all sorts of groups and other nonprofits. I haven’t been as involved as he was, but ultimately, that’s really important.
“If you want to have a presence in the community, you have to be present.”
Since taking over as the new city attorney, Drescher has dived head-first into the issues facing the city – and there are plenty of them.
“I’ve had constant communication with the department heads and there are issues all over the place,” Drescher said. “The rebuild on East Lake Street – hopefully we get the result we want with that. There are issues with local residences. There’s a lot of construction going on this summer as well too.” The reviews have been good so far from other city staff, as well.
“He’s pretty much what I was hoping for,” Lake Mills City Manager Steve Wilke said. “He catches on quick and has good connections. He’s ready to learn the job.”
But, there are plenty of aspects of the job Drescher need to improve upon.
One of the biggest is in human resources. The city attorney also is the director of human resources for the city, a job that takes up maybe ¼ of the position.
“Although I’ve represented businesses before, I haven’t worked as human resources. I’ve worked with smaller employers that don’t deal with the same considerations as a larger employer,” Drescher said. “Managing the politics of this position will be something that I have to grow into. I want to be impactful and I want to better the community.”