City administrator leaving Clintonville
By Bert Lehman
Sharon Eveland has resigned from her position as city administrator for Clintonville effective Nov. 24.
The Clintonville City Council accepted Eveland’s resignation Sept. 29 at a special council meeting. The council also agreed to several resignation details.
Eveland will receive her full salary for the Nov. 20 through Dec. 3 payroll. The cost will be offset by the city not having to pay her insurance premiums.
Eveland will accrue vacation time through the end of November. Her sick leave accrual time will end on Nov. 19.
She will receive an early payout of 100 hours of vacation time on Oct. 8. She had banked 142 hours of vacation time. The total estimated payout Eveland will receive, including accrued vacation and sick leave, equates to $17,480.
Since Eveland had received a retention bonus of $27,000 two years ago with the stipulation she stay with the city for at least three years, Eveland must pay back $9,000 of that bonus. After subtracting the $9,000 from the $17,480 Eveland is to receive for vacation and sick leave payout, Eveland will receive an estimated pre-tax payout of $8,480 on the Nov. 26 pay date.
Clintonville Tribune-Gazette interviewed Eveland a day after the council accepted her resignation.
Eveland said her decision to resign was strictly because of family.
“I haven’t hidden the fact that even from the get go that my end goal was always to get down to the Madison area, where my husband grew up, where his family is still at. That’s always been my end goal,” Eveland said.
Because her goal was to secure a job close to Madison, Eveland said the decision to leave Clintonville was not that difficult.
When asked if city council not approving several of her recent recommendations affected onher decision to leave, Eveland said, “No, not at all.”
“I actually started looking earlier this year just because I knew there was a position that had come open, or was coming open down there,” Eveland said. “And most of the council has known that I’ve been looking. It wasn’t something that I hid.
“I have a great relationship with the council. And one of the things that I understand, and support and fully accept, that my job is to put information in front of them and make recommendations and give them options. Then they make the decisions that they make, and that’s their role. As long as I feel that I did a good job explaining things and putting the information out, then I’m comfortable with that. I don’t expect the council, and don’t want the council to just blank check approve things. I want them to think about it. I want them to make sure it’s the right move for the community.”
Eveland said she still feels Clintonville has a lot of potential, and there much work still to be done in the city.
“We’ve accomplished a lot. I think if you really step back and look at everything holistically, we really have accomplished a lot in the four and a half years (I’ve been here),” Eveland said. “But I really enjoy the work that I do, so I feel like there are going to be things that are going to be left unfinished that I would have liked to have seen all the way through. The swimming pond, getting that done and a few other things that I’ve been involved with.”
The village of Shorewood Hills is located on Lake Mendota and surrounded by Madison, Eveland said.
“It’s actually smaller than Clintonville in population. It’s actually only about 2,400 people,” Eveland said. “They got a lot going on. They got growing commercial developments. They got a lot of really cool projects coming up.
“They got a real focus on community engagement and involvement. It’s a very diverse population.”
Shorewood Hills is also a more affluent community when compared to Clintonville. Despite the difference in income levels for the two communities, Eveland said her time spent in Clintonville will help her with her new job.
“The financial experience is really the big thing,” Eveland said. “And some of that stuff, it really doesn’t matter how big your community is, it’s still interacting with people, it’s still bringing staff together and building those relationships. Some of that stuff really isn’t any different, it’s just in a different location.”
Looking back at her time in Clintonville, Eveland said she is proud of the amount of road work the city done with grant funding as opposed to using property tax dollars.
“That I think is really big for this community and I really hope that that is able to continue and that we continue to be as successful with grants as we’ve been the last four years,” Eveland said.
The thing Eveland is most proud of about her time in Clintonville is the council approving a new parental leave program.
“To me, that probably will be one of the, for my entire career probably, be one of my most proud moments is when we got that implemented,” Eveland said. “We’ve had employees who’ve been able to utilize that benefit. And I’m very thankful that the council trusted me on that when it saw the benefits that we could derive from that.”
Eveland said she feels Clintonville is currently on a path to success.
“Obviously there are still things that need to get done,” she said. “Yes, there’s a lot of work that needs to get done, but one of the things that people really need to understand is that these things don’t get fixed overnight. Is everything done? No, not even close, but I do think that a lot of the things that we’ve done over the past four and a half years have kind of started that process in the right direction again.”
Eveland said the council has not made any decisions about an interim city administrator or hiring a new city administrator, but she has provided the council with the options available to it.
“The council really needs to consider what it wants and what it expects and make the decisions from there, because it really depends on what direction they want to go in,” Eveland said. “I think it’s really important for the community to understand that there’s no dysfunction, there’s no discord between me and the council, or anything like that. This really and truly, the primary focus on this is the family aspect.”