NORFOLK – The very structure of city government in Norfolk is changing.
The Norfolk City Council Monday unanimously approved Mayor Josh Moenning’s appointments of city staff. Included in Mayor Moenning’s recommendations were to replace Norfolk City Administrator Shane Weidner and City Attorney Clint Schukei. Both individuals submitted their resignations to the city on Monday.
Moenning said the move was made not as an indictment of the two men’s abilities, but rather as a reflection of a need for change regarding how Norfolk staff plot out Norfolk’s future.
“We needed a shift at the administrative level from one focused on risk management to one focused on long term planning and growth,” Moenning told News Channel Nebraska after the meeting.
Weidner was appointed as City Administrator in 2010 by then Norfolk Mayor Sue Fuchtman. He will still be serving Norfolk in the capacity of a newly created position of Public Safety Director. Weidner called his resignation “bittersweet.”
“We have our warts and scars as any organization does,” Weidner said. “But the caliber of the public servant for the lion’s share of your staff, Mayor and Council, is solid as a rock. I appreciate the opportunity to work with you all and the opportunity that our citizens have given me. It’s been an honor.”
Schukei did not comment during the meeting. He has acted as Norfolk’s City Attorney for almost 25 years.
Both Weidner and Schukei were reappointed on an interim basis of 120 days, or whenever their replacement is hired. Moenning said both have agreed to assist in the transition to whomever is selected as their replacement.
“We have two men who have served their community honorably and very well for a number of years,” Moenning said. “My hope is that within this change comes an opportunity for restructuring that best utilizes our city resources and staff expertise.”
Moenning says he expects to have Wiedner’s replacement named within the next two weeks, while a search will begin for Schukei’s replacement immediately.
Norfolk City Clerk Beth Deck, City Treasurer Randy Gates and City Engineer John Heine were all reappointed to four-year terms.