Accepts position in Brown County
By Angie Landsverk
Patrick Wetzel is leaving his administrative position in the city of Weyauwega to become the administrator in the town of Lawrence.
He submitted his resignation last week. His final day working in Weyauwega will be May 1.
The Weyauwega Common Council will be reviewing firms to assist with the search for a new administrator, as well as with interim administrative duties.
The Brown County town of Lawrence is near Wetzel’s hometown of Ashwaubenon.
“It’s the chance to go back home,” he said. “I wasn’t certain when I left to come here that I would ever have the opportunity to go home.”
That is his response when local residents ask him why he wants to “leave a place where a lot is happening and there is a good staff,” he said.
Wetzel became Weyauwega’s new city administrator/clerk/treasurer in January 2013.
Prior to that, he worked for the village of Ashwaubenon a total of 11 years.
That included four years as a part-time intern and seven years in full-time positions.
Wetzel graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in finance and received a master’s of public administration degree from UW-Oshkosh.
He also served on the Brown County Board of Supervisors for five years.
Wetzel’s former colleagues and friends followed his work in Weyauwega.
For quite some time, many asked him when he would return to his hometown area.
Then Wetzel learned of the opening in Lawrence.
“It’s a little bit bigger community. It’s a growing and developing community,” he said. “Their population in the last 10 to 15 years has tripled.”
The population of Lawrence is about 5,000.
A lot of residential development has occurred in the town, and now it wants to attract commercial and residential development, he said.
“What was interesting was a lot of the developments Weyauwega was trying to attract, I would hear Lawrence was among the other communities being considered,” Wetzel said.
In addition to being near Ashwaubenon, Lawrence is also a neighbor of De Pere.
“Interstate 41 runs right through the community,” he said.
Communities in the area are familiar with Wetzel due to his previous work in Ashwaubenon and tenure on the Brown County Board.
“There’s a lot of intergovernmental relationships and cooperation up there,” Wetzel said.
When Wetzel became Weyauwega’s administrator, he and his wife, Libby, had one son.
Now, they have two sons.
Mason is 5 years old, and Owen is 2 years old.
Libby is a registered nurse and is from Green Bay.
Wetzel appreciates the support of his family and said without them, he would not have been able to be a part of “all the good things we did for the city (of Weyauwega).”
During Wetzel’s four-year tenure in Weyauwega, a number of projects took place.
Among them were the expansion of both the city’s municipal building and wastewater treatment plant, park projects, the expansion of Agropur, the addition of the travel plaza and creation of new Tax Incremental Financing districts.
The city is finalizing a new industrial service agreement with Agropur.
“The biggest thing I’m proud of is developing the staff. A lot of people were new in their roles when I started, so growing with them was a fun thing,” Wetzel said. “The city is in a better position than we were four years ago, when I was hired. The next administrator is going to come on board with upgraded facilities, a well-trained and dedicated staff and a community-minded city council.”