The city of Waupaca’s next finance director/treasurer is no stranger to the area.
About 25 years ago, Kathy Kasza and her husband Richard began traveling from the Milwaukee suburbs to the Waupaca area for the annual Iola Old Car Show.
They camped at Hartman Creek State Park and biked to the Wheelhouse Restaurant.
During one of those trips, they noticed a house for sale in the town of Farmington.
They decided to buy it, planning to eventually retire there.
Now, Kasza is moving here full time a bit sooner after being hired by the city of Waupaca.
The Waupaca Common Council met in closed session for about 40 minutes on Sept. 23 before reconvening into open session and taking action.
“I think I’m a good candidate. I think I can bring a lot of new ideas, financial expertise to the city of Waupaca,” Kasza said prior to the council ratifying Mayor Brian Smith’s appointment of Kasza to the position.
Jean Peterson, the city’s current treasurer, is retiring the end of October, and Kasza will work with Peterson for a few days in October before starting full time on Nov. 17.
Kasza will bring more than 25 years of government accounting and 15 years of supervisory experience to the city.
As a member of the Wisconsin Government Finance Officers Association, she saw the city’s upcoming opening advertised there.
“I looked at it. At the same time, (City Administrator) Henry (Veleker) called me to say he was looking for somebody with technical knowledge for the interview panel,” Kasza said.
She decided to not apply for the position at that time.
“When they were not able to find the person with the skills they were looking for, I talked to my husband, and we agreed it was time to make the move,” Kasza said. “Our goal had always been to retire here. They knew I had the technical skills.”
As a result, she became a candidate for the position.
Kasza is currently the clerk/treasurer for the village of Greendale, a position she has held since 2008.
“My first day for Greendale was the presidential primary, and I had never been a clerk,” Kasza said as she smiled.
She was interested in that position for several reasons.
Kasza grew up in Greendale, and she and Richard live in Greenfield, a community right next to Greendale.
Her career in government began in Greenfield, where she was a part-time bookkeeper.
Through technical college and night school, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting and worked her way up to being the city’s assistant comptroller and held that position for 15 years.
When the position of treasurer/comptroller was vacant in Brown Deer, she applied and got it. Kasza worked there for eight years.
She and Richard live in Greenfield, because when she worked for that community, there was a residency requirement.
Kasza grew tired of the commute from Greenfield to Brown Deer and then applied for Greendale’s clerk/treasurer position when it was open.
Kasza has the designation of a Certified Public Finance Officer, which she says is like the “CPA for government accounting.”
“My whole family is in public service,” she said.
Richard works for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.
Their daughter Tricia is a dispatcher for the Milwaukee Fire Department, and their son Daniel is a staff sergeant with the 82nd Airborne.
In addition to their two children, she and Richard have two grandchildren.
Kasza enjoys golfing and likes to do 5K walks.
“I’ve done the firemen’s one twice now,” she said of the 5Alarm Dash.
She is a member of the Greendale Lions Club and treasurer of the Greendale Entertainment Association, an organization which puts on two children’s resale clothing sales twice a year, with more than 300 sellers.
Kasza plans to become involved in Waupaca, too.
“I’ll definitely be active in this community,” she said.