Woodard, Rekowski leave holes at city hall
Two city employees with nearly 30 years of experience in Fitchburg between them left the city in the past month.
Paul Woodard, who had been the city’s public works director for 23 years, and Marcie Rekowski, a confidential administrative assistant for six years, each left City Hall in May.
Woodard took a new job as the city of Janesville’s public works director, a move city administrator Tony Roach said he understood. Janesville’s population is more than double that of Fitchburg’s.
“It’s something he was looking for,” Roach said. “You always look for that next big opportunity when it comes around. We’re happy for him.”
Roach said the city “miss(es) him already.”
“That’s a lot of institutional memory going out the door,” he said. “He’s left a top-notch staff.”
Rekowski chose to retire and spend more time with her family, as her sixth grandchild was born recently, Roach said.
Roach added that it “took everybody by surprise” when she gave her notice, but she “just felt it was an important time in her life for her family.”
Roach said Rekowski brought private sector experience to the city, along with “a lot of good attitudes about changing things.”
“(She) did a wonderful job of trying to balance the demands of dealing with the mayor’s schedule, my schedule,” he said. “She had a pretty challenging job, but she did it with grace.”
He said there were around 70 applicants to succeed Rekowski, and interviews were beginning the week of June 9.
Roach said the city is in the recruitment process for Woodard’s successor, along with a new finance director after Norma DeHaven’s death in late May.
“We’re pretty light-staffed this summer, but that’s pretty typical,” Roach said. “A lot of people leave around the same time, then you hire their replacements, then 20 years later they all leave at the same time.”
In the meantime, Ahnaray Bizjak is serving as the interim public works director and Kari Peterson is the interim finance director.