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City of Port Washington, WI, City Administrator

T H E  C O M M U N I T Y

Originally founded as a village in 1848, and later incorporated as a city in 1882, Port Washington is a historic fishing village located along the shores of Lake Michigan, 30 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee. The original harbor was built in the 1870s, and the marina’s lighthouse, built in 1860, still stands today, hosting a historical museum. Today, it is the county seat of Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, and part of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The City is known for offering “a touch of New England charm combined with Midwestern friendliness” and has been named by Midwest Living to their Top 100 Best Midwest Small Town Getaways. Port Washington, today, is a tourist destination with a vibrant downtown and community events.

Port Washington’s population of 12,831 resides within seven square miles including four miles of waterfront. The city offers superior housing choices, excellent education provided by the Port Washington-Saukville School District, abundant tourism and community event offerings, and award winning health care throughout the county.

Port Washington has experienced considerable residential, commercial, and employment growth in the last two decades. In fact, its growth rate is the highest of any community in Ozaukee County and outstrips population growth in most of the county.

Port Washington, by itself, has enough events, activities, and recreational opportunities to keep someone thoroughly engaged for a lifetime. Adding to Port Washington’s attractiveness are the additional world-class amenities offered throughout the greater Milwaukee metro area of more than one million people.


We are a welcoming destination for living, working, and visiting that capitalizes on our strengths, provides quality services, and empowers diverse community engagement.

T H E  O R G A N I Z A T I O N

The City Council, comprised of a Mayor and seven Alderpersons, is responsible for establishing and approving an annual budget and providing the general policy direction of the City. The City’s day-to-day operations are under the general direction of the City Administrator. There have been two City Administrators in the last 35 years.

Port Washington is a full-service city including Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS), Engineering, Streets, Water & Sewer Utilities, Inspections, Community Development, Parks & Forestry, Recreation, Library, Marina, Senior Center, Finance, Human Resources, Clerk, and Administration.

The City has 89 FTEs plus robust part-time, paid on-call/volunteer, and seasonal employment, and a $25 million budget (all funds).

C I T Y  P E R S O N N E L

The City Administrator directly oversees all department heads to include the Assistant City Administrator/HR Director, City Clerk, Finance Director/City Treasurer, Director of Public Works, Recreation Director, and Director of Planning and Development. The City Administrator further directly manages the Inspection and Zoning Manager and all 89 FTEs through the department and division heads.

Administration – 7 FTE

  • Management/HR, 3
  • Clerk, 2
  • Finance, 2

Community Development – 2.5 FTE

  • Planning, 1
  • Inspection, 1.5

Fire/EMS – 5.5 FTE

  • Fire, 1.5
  • EMS, 4

Police – 27.25 FTE

  • Administrative, 7.25
  • Sworn, 20

Public Works – 35.25 FTE

  • Engineering, 4.25
  • Forestry, 3.5
  • Marina, 3
  • Streets, 10.5
  • Sewer, 4
  • Water, 10

Recreation – 11.75 FTE

  • Pool/Programming, 2.75
  • Senior Center, 1.75
  • Library, 7.25


Accountable: We are results-driven, responsive to community needs, and deliver on our responsibilities on time and on budget.

Innovative: We recognize that our work does not stand still and requires us to experiment and explore new frontiers as we deliver our services.

Trustworthy: We strive to have open dialogue with citizens and stakeholders and act with integrity to fulfill our commitments.

Industrious: We acknowledge both the value of existing good practices and the need to try new things and unite them with an ethic of hard work, efficiency, and responsible use of resources.

Friendly: We foster relationships that make our community a warm and inviting place where people want to live, raise children, and support their neighbors.

B U D G E T  &  F U N D  S T R U C T U R E

For financial reporting purposes, the City has one major fund. A fund is considered major if it is the primary operating fund of the City.

The City reports the following major governmental funds:

  • General Fund – accounts for and reports all the City’s general operating financial resources.

The City reports the following special revenue funds:

  • Marina Fund – accounts for and reports all the City-owned Marina activities.
  • Library Fund – accounts for and reports all the City’s Library activities.
  • Recycling Fund – accounts for and reports all the City’s Recycling Program activities.
  • Open Space Fund – accounts for and reports funds restricted for open space expenditures.
  • Revolving Loan Fund – accounts for and reports all the City’s Revolving Loan Program activities.

The City reports the following proprietary funds:

  • Wastewater Utility (Sewer) Fund – accounts for and reports all the City’s Wastewater Utility activities.
  • Water Utility Fund – accounts for and reports all the City’s Water Utility activities.

F U T U R E  O P P O R T U N I T I E S

The City of Port Washington is currently undergoing a transformative phase, much like many other municipalities experiencing growth and the need for significant community investments. In recent years, the City has been diligently working on actionable planning documents to serve as guiding tools for future actions. The Mayor and Common Council are eager to work with a leader who thrives in dynamic environments and is ready to tackle opportunities head-on. Some of these opportunities include: Strategic Planning: The City Administrator is expected to continue leading the implementation of the adopted Strategic Plan, which focuses on stakeholder alignment, accountability through policies and procedures, prioritization of funding sources, and catalyzing development for revenue generation. Joint Public Safety Facility: The conceptual phase of a joint public safety facility, housing the Port Washington Police Department and Port Washington Fire Department, has commenced. The City Administrator will play a pivotal role in leading and advancing this priority project. Fire Department Expansion: In April 2024, the City will be seeking public support for adding six (6) full-time fire department positions to address growing needs related to emergency medical services (EMS), specifically significant annual trending EMS call volume increases, development trends, and an aging population. The City Administrator will be instrumental in planning and executing the steps for the upcoming referendum.

Capital Projects: Collaborating with the Department of Public Works and the Finance Division, the City Administrator will oversee two major capital projects within the next two years. Next year, a $18 million improvement project on the water treatment plant to meet Wisconsin DNR mandates and upgrade aging equipment will start. Simultaneously, the Wastewater Utility will undertake an $8 million improvement project to enhance treatment processes and replace end-of-life equipment.

Facility Planning: Several community facilities, including the Library, Senior Center, and Community Pool, are nearing the end of their life expectancy. The process of planning for their future has begun, and the City Administrator will play a vital role in building consensus around the best alternatives for these community amenities.

Economic Development: Collaborating closely with the Director of Planning and Development, the City Administrator will identify envisioned development plans for areas such as Schanen Farm and both the south and north sides of the City. The aim is to encourage affordable and diverse housing options while identifying opportunities for commercial and industrial development.

Downtown and Lakefront Plan: With the recent adoption of the Downtown and Lakefront Plan, Staff is currently developing a multi-year implementation strategy. Implementing this plan, especially in terms of parking, City-related projects, and fostering development in areas identified as susceptible to change, will be a top priority.

Partnerships: The City values strong partnerships and collaborative relationships with Ozaukee County, other local government units in Ozaukee County, and community stakeholders. These relationships should continue to be nurtured and developed under the guidance of the City Administrator.

The future of Port Washington is exciting, and the City is looking forward to welcoming an enthusiastic leader who can help make the most of these exciting opportunities.

S T R A T E G I C  P L A N  2 0 2 2 – 2 0 2 6

Q U A L I F I C A T I O N S  &  E X P E R I E N C E 

A Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Political Science, or a related field is required and a Master’s Degree in Public or Business Administration is preferred, ICMA Credentialed Manager (CM) designation is a plus. All candidates must have a minimum of eight (8) years of experience in an upper-level leadership position with municipal experience heavily preferred.

Candidate must have both personal and professional integrity and demonstrate open and positive communication skills. Must be able to demonstrate a positive, productive attitude to citizens of the City, an ability to think outside the box, and be innovative in service delivery. The successful candidate will have a high degree of emotional intelligence and be adept at self-management and relationship building.

C O M M I T M E N T  T O  D I V E R S I T Y, E Q U I T Y, I N C L U S I O N, &  B E L O N G I N G

The City is committed to building a culture where difference is valued and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. We believe that every person brings a unique perspective and lived experience that advances our mission and vision to be the Premier Community on the Great Lakes. We commit to centering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in our community, our workforce, and our decision-making. These are more than just words. They are guiding principles that shine a path forward to foster a culture based on mutual respect and passion for the community we serve.

H OW  T O  A P P L Y

Candidates should apply by October 20, 2023 (open until filled) with resume, cover letter, references, and salary requirements to:

Emily Blakeslee, Assistant City Administrator/HR Director

(262) 284-5585 x1003

Confidentiality must be requested and cannot be guaranteed for finalists.


The starting salary range is $120,000 – $160,000 +/- dependent on qualifications and experience, plus excellent benefits. The City is committed to ongoing employee education and training and dedicates funds for professional development and tuition reimbursement


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