Beaver Dam hires new city clerk/finance director

April 17, 2019

Beaver Dam will have a new city clerk.

On Monday, the Common Council unanimously voted to hire Jeff Wiswell Sr. to become the finance director and city clerk for Beaver Dam, effective on or before April 30. He will replace John Somers, who is retiring soon after more than 20 years in city hall.

Wiswell most recently served as the city administrator for about five years in Algoma, a town of about 3,100 near Green Bay in Kewaunee County. His base rate wage with Beaver Dam will be $8,000 a month, which works out to $96,000 a year.

“We felt that his way of thinking was similar to John’s approach in the way a city operates,” said Mayor Becky Glewen.

Glewen said that his references were sound and that he gives the impression of being a committed hard worker, even working on a book.

“He’s given every indication he’s in it for the long haul here,” Somers said.

Glewen said that Wiswell was looking to live closer to Madison after commuting from there to the Green Bay area while working for Algoma. She said she felt very comfortable that he’ll put in at least a few years as the city undergoes expected transition.

Wiswell has decades of experience serving in local government. According to his resume, he served 10 years as a supervisor on the Dane County Board and was a member of the Monona Common Council from 2003-12, including as council president and acting mayor.

Wiswell also worked in the state legislature as a budget and policy analyst and a chief of staff and has worked with budget and policy in different state offices. He was the president of Wiswell Group, an organization that represented various industries and associations to lobby for economic projects and legislation, including Miller Park in Milwaukee, while working with real estate.

Council President Robert Ballweg, in his last day on the council, said he will be sad to see Somers go after working with him for many years, but is excited about Wiswell taking on the position.

“He’s absolutely the right fit that we need at this time to move us in the direction that we need to move,” Glewen said.