Mayors Monday: Stevens Point's Mike Wiza

By Mike Leischner

STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) — The city of Stevens Point is in the market for a new Fire Chief.

Robert Finn has announced his retirement effective later this year, and Mayor Mike Wiza calls it a well-deserved honor. “He’s earned retirement,” said Wiza as part of this week’s Mayors Monday.

Finn is going out with one of the state’s highest public service honors in hand, as State Representative Katrina Shankland recently honored him with her first responder of the year award at the state Capitol. That means whoever comes in next will have some big shoes to fill, which is why Wiza says they are conducting a national search for the position.

“When a position of this nature comes up you want to throw a very wide net and not limit yourself to just those people in Central Wisconsin. There may be an exciting candidate in the southern or western part of the country, you pick it, who just wants to get back to Stevens Point or who maybe wants to slow down a little bit,” he said.

That doesn’t mean that those in middle management positions within the department won’t be considered. Wiza adds that they do have a succession plan and will take applications as well from those interested. Ultimately, the city’s Police and Fire Commission will have the final say in the matter. The timeline on when the new hire will start will also depend on how deep the candidate’s pool is.

“You may have a dozen great people and you’ll do second and third interviews in some cases. You may have a pool of candidates where there really isn’t a great fit and you have to relist it. So until we know what sort of pool we have to choose from, a chance to review those applications and conduct some interviews; we won’t know [how long this will take,” said Wiza.

He adds that ideally, they’d like to have someone in place by mid-January.