Patrick W. Wetzel brings the experience of working in municipal goverment and also of serving as an elected official to his new role in the city of Weyauwega.
He is the community’s new city administrator/clerk/treasurer.
Wetzel began his new position with the city on Jan. 14.
“I started in local government right out of high school,” he said.
Wetzel, who grew up in Ashwaubenon, applied and interviewed for a summer maintenance job with the village.
But, he did not get the job.
One week later, he received a call and learned he had not been hired for summer maintenance, because they wanted him to work in the office that summer as an intern.
As summer came to an end, he prepared to begin his first year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The village offered to keep him on part time as a finance and administrative intern.
Wetzel worked between 15 and 20 hours per week for the village, while also going to school.
At that point, he wanted to work in accounting or finance.
“I hadn’t thought about the possibility of working in city government,” he said.
Prior to his graduation from UW-Green Bay, Wetzel was offered a full-time position with the village in finance and customer service.
“I was accustomed to working for local government and was almost done with my degree and thought that if I had done it all over, I would have done public administration,” he said.
Wetzel began working full time for the village of Ashwaubenon in 2005.
Two years later, there was an opening on the Brown County Board of Supervisors.
“I applied for the position and got appointed to the seat,” Wetzel said. “I ended up doing that five years.”
Wetzel said he grew up surrounded by people who instilled in him the desire to become involved in the community and to help contribute to a high quality of life wherever and whenever he could.
During his past term on the county board, he served as chairman of the Education and Recreation Committee and also on a seven-member executive committee.
Wetzel said his experience as an elected official means he knows what is expected of both a staff and also of those who represent the taxpayers.
While working for the village of Ashwaubenon, he decided to work on his Master’s of Public Administration, at UW-Oshkosh.
Wetzel completed the degree last summer and was the recipient of the Stephen Hintz MPA Award.
In addition, he was also a recipient of the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Future 15 Award, an award presented to 15 people, who are expected to have an influence on the community.
“The night before I came to interview here (in Weyauwega), I received a call that I was chosen,” Wetzel said of the timing.
He received the award on Jan. 24.
“It’s nice to look back and realize I did some good things,” he said.
Wetzel said he has been able to achieve the things he achieved because of a supportive family.
He said his wife Libby does not get nearly enough credit for what she does to help him balance work, school and family life.
“Meeting her was the best thing that has ever happened in my life,” he said.
Libby is a registered nurse, who works as a lead at Appleton Medical Center’s Family Birth Center.
The couple’s son Mason is 1 years old.
Both Wetzel and his wife come from big families and like to spend time with them.
Leaving the community where he grew up and began his professional career is bittersweet, he said.
“I literally starated the week after I graduated from high school. When I say I grew up there, I really did,” said the 30 year old.
In all, Wetzel worked for the village of Ashwaubenon 11 years – four years as a part-time intern and seven years in full-time positions.
Before accepting the position in Weyauwega, he was Ashwaubenon’s personnel and benefits coordinator.
It was his experience in Ashwaubenon which resulted in him realizing working in municipal government is what he wanted to do.
Of his new position in Weyauwega, Wetzel said, “This was what I was looking for in my professional career.”
He looks forward to moving to Weyauwega with Libby and Mason and wants the community to be a place where people want to live and work.
“That speaks probably to a bigger theme,” Wetzel said. “I was the youngest on the County Board. I was 24 when I first got on. I want to get people interested in local government.”
He wants to be part of providing that environment here.
“I’m excited. It’s the first time I can put everything I’ve learned together in one effort,” Wetzel said. “I’m happy to be here.”