What is Public Administration Associates, LLC?
Public Administration Associates, LLC, is a consulting firm specializing in local government recruitment and management studies. PAA was organized in April 1998 by partners William Frueh, Denise Frueh, and Stephen Hintz. In September, 2017 Kevin Brunner became a partner, after serving as an associate since 2015. Please see below for information on each partner and current associates.
What expertise do the partners have in local government?
President/Partner Kevin Brunner has over thirty-two years of experience serving Wisconsin local governments. He served as manager/administrator in Saukville, Monona, De Pere and Whitewater and worked as an assistant Administrator for the city of Appleton and Kenosha County. He recently retired from public service after serving as Director of Central Services/Public Works for Walworth County. Brunner became a Partner in PAA in September 2017. Kevin was the recipient of the 2007 Manager of the Year and 2012 Service Innovation awards, both from the Wisconsin City and County Management Association (WCMA). Brunner is a past president of the WCMA and served on the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and Alliance of Cities Boards of Directors. He is a MPA graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute.
Vice President/Partner David Bretl is the current County Administrator of Walworth County where has served for 18 years. Dave has moderated the county’s Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (a collaborative effort among municipal, county and town governments) since 2008 and serves as an advisor to Leadership Walworth, a program designed to develop public, non-profit and private sector leaders. In 2005 he helped organize a county-wide private-public economic development initiative, WCEDA (Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, Inc.) In 2015 that organization honored him by establishing the Dave Bretl Community Betterment Award. Dave was the Wauwatosa City Attorney from 1996-2001 and served as the Assistant City Attorney for Sheboygan and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for Washington County. He currently teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in business and public administration. Dave received his Master’s in Public Administration and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Secretary-Treasurer/Partner Chris Swartz has served as a municipal manager in Wisconsin for over 30 years, most recently as Village Manager for the Village of Shorewood (2004-2017), Administrator for the Village of Sussex (1990-2004) and Clerk-Treasurer Administrative Coordinator Village of East Troy (1986-1990). He started his career as a researcher for the Citizens Governmental Research Bureau/Public Policy Forum (1983-1985). Chris, as an independent contractor was hired by the North Shore Communities to study Dispatch and Fire Consolidation for the North Shore communities of Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Glendale and Fox Point (1985-1986). He retired from Shorewood in 2017 as a credentialed manager as designated by the International City Management Association ICMA). Swartz has a Master of Science degree in Urban Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1983) and an undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Swartz has been recognized for his innovative approach to economic development, strategic and financial planning, organizational development and intergovernmental cooperation. He is known as a mentor to emerging public administration leaders through his tenure as an adjunct professor within the Masters of Public Administration(MPA) graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his involvement in the MPA Alumni Association. Swartz has been formally recognized for his lifetime achievements, including Wisconsin City/County Management Association “Meritorious Service Award”(2015), James R. Ryan Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Policy Forum (2017) and Wisconsin Economic Development Association Fredrick C. Pearce Lifetime Achievement award (2017).
Associate Stephen Hintz served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh from 1972 to 2001 where he taught personnel, budgeting, and municipal management in the Master of Public Administration program. For twenty years, he served as executive secretary of the Wisconsin City/County Management Association. Hintz holds a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has been consulting with municipalities on recruitment and management issues since 1980. In 1998, Hintz was elected to the Oshkosh Common Council and was the Mayor of Oshkosh from 2002 to 2004. In 2001, he received the prestigious Sweeney Academic Award from the International City/County Management Association for his lifelong work in promoting public administration.
Associate William Frueh has served local and state governments since 1962, as a City Manager in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Newton, New Jersey; Shawnee, Oklahoma and retired in 1996 after 20 years as the city manager of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He also served as the Director of Economic and Community Affairs for the State of Oklahoma. Oshkosh Citizens and the Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper named Frueh as one of the ten people in Oshkosh who most influenced the development of Oshkosh during the twentieth century. Frueh received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University and has experience as a City Engineer and Public Works Director. He has been actively consulting since 1996 and is a Life Member of both the International City/County Management Association and WCMA.
Business Manager/Associate Denise Frueh received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin. She has over 20 years of experience in serving municipal governments, as Deputy Assessor for the City of Oshkosh, WI and as a consultant to local governments. In addition to serving as the business manager for Public Administration Associates, she has been actively consulting since 1996 on numerous executive searches and administrative studies for Midwest municipalities in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.
Associate Dave Tebo served as a Municipal Administrator in Wisconsin for 25 years, most recently in the Village of Poynette (1994-2000) and Town of Greenville (2000-2017). Tebo has a master’s degree in Public Affairs & Administration from UW-Madison and a bachelor’s in Urban & Regional Studies from UW-Oshkosh. Dave is a Credentialed Manager (CM) by the International City Management Association (ICMA) and Certified Public Manager (CPM) by the State of Wisconsin. He is experienced in all local government management duties including: budgeting, financial analysis, human resources, community development, planning and economic development. Project areas Dave had in-depth experience and success with in Greenville include: Land Use Planning, Sustainability, Land Stewardship (Creation of Two DATCP recognized Agricultural Enterprise Areas), Grant writing for Trail Construction and Administration ($3 million in trail projects over the last 15 years), and Economic Development (TID Development and work with Fox Cities Regional Partnership). Tebo’s work in Greenville was featured in the book The New Public Service-Serving, Not Steering by Janet and Robert Denhardt in 2007.
Associate Duane Gau has over thirty years of experience in Wisconsin local government. He has worked on cooperative agreements, boundary agreements, TID management, personnel management, recruitment, public works/utilities and finance. In 2001, as Village Administrator, he assisted in a merger of a Village and Township to create a new governmental entity. Gau provided organizational analysis and salary studies for the Villages of Holman and Cross Plains and has served as interim administrator for the Villages of Mount Horeb, Holmen, Maine, Brokaw, Town of Texas and interim Public Works/Utilities Director for Ripon Wisconsin. He provided recruiting services for Cottage Grove, Mount Horeb, Holmen and Cross Plains. Duane has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee and a associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Madison College Technical College. He is member of WCMA.
Associate Sue McDade has over 30 years of experience as a local government recreation and facilities administrator. She is currently the Community Services Director in Waunakee, Wisconsin, a fast-growing north Madison suburb. Responsibilities include recreational programming, supervision of the community center (including a fitness center, gymnasium, community room and senior center), and development of the park system, currently consisting of over 200 acres of park land. Mc Dade obtained a master’s degree in Recreation and Park Administration from Penn State University. She is a past president of the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association (WPRA), serving from 2014-2016. She is the recipient of numerous Wisconsin and regional honors and awards, including the prestigious WPRA Professional Award of Merit in 2010. McDade teaches courses in the Recreation Management Program at Madison Area Technical College.
Recently Retired Timothy Franz is the fire chief of the Oshkosh Fire Department and has been in the fire service for over 30 years. Franz has an associate’s degree in fire protection from Fox Valley Technical College and a bachelor’s degree in fire science from the University of Cincinnati. He also is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. Franz is a past president of the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs’ Association and has served as a consultant on various fire and emergency management studies. Recently, he has worked on PAA fire/EMS studies for Verona, Sevastopol, Door County, Buchanan, five Oconto County Townships, and the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department.
James Austad is an instructor in the Fire Protection Program at Fox Valley Technical College. He is a 28 year veteran of the fire service, spending 22 years with the Oshkosh Fire Department. He was the battalion chief in charge of the emergency medical services division of the Oshkosh Fire Department. Austad received an associate’s degree in fire protection from Fox Valley Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in business management from Silver Lake College, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He also is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Officer Program. Austad has recently worked on the PAA Sevastopol, Door County, Buchanan, Oconto Township, and Sturgeon Bay Fire Department studies.
Associate David Berner received his bachelor’s degree from UW-LaCrosse. He served in various local government leadership positions for over 33 years including Mayor of Rice Lake, Town Administrator of Menasha, City Administrator of both Tomah and Monona and City Manager of Platteville. Since retiring from active public service in 2011, Berner has served as a management consultant and interim municipal administrator. Most recently, he served the City of Lake Geneva as its temporary administrator.
Darrell Hofland has 35 years of municipal management experience in Wisconsin, most recently as City Administrator for Sheboygan (2016-2020), Village Administrator for Grafton (1990-2016), Village Administrator for Little Chute (1986-1990), and Administrative Assistant to the Mayor for Appleton (1985-1986). Mr. Hofland was the first recipient of the Meritorious Service Award in 2000 by the Wisconsin City/County Management Association and Wisconsin’s first Credentialed Manager by the International City/County Management Association. He is experienced in all local government management duties including budgeting, financial management, human resources, community and economic development, strategic planning, and performance management. His academic credentials include attainment of a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from American University with a concentration in Financial Management and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Psychology from University of Iowa. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
PAA Associate Steve Kubacki has nearly 40 years of Municipal Government experience in the State of Wisconsin beginning with the City of Janesville as an Environmental Technician, Assistant Director of Public Works and Street Superintendent. He has since served as an Administrator for the City of Brillion, Villages of Germantown, Ashwaubenon and Suamico and Chippewa County.
He has extensive experience and knowledge in economic and community development working to create, plan, administer and manage extremely successful TIF districts in Suamico, Germantown and Ashwaubenon, including the TIF district that now encompasses the “Titletown” Development District that surrounds Lambeau Field. Other areas of expertise include Public Works Administration & Management, Environmental Issues, Comprehensive, Strategic and Neighborhood Planning, Public Agency Collaborative Efforts, Major Capital Project Management, Organizational Analysis (Downsizing, Rightsizing & Reorganization), Human Resources/Personnel Management and Budgeting.
Steve retired from the Village of Suamico in May of 2019 and has worked on a number of projects for PAA for the cities of Park Falls and Marinette. He is a graduate of UW- Stevens Point with a BS in Resource Management and has completed graduate level coursework at both UW- Whitewater and Oshkosh in Public Administration and Urban/Regional Planning.
Having been the 1st or 2nd Administrator in 4 Wisconsin Municipalities, he knows the upsides, nuances, challenges and potential pitfalls of the transition to the City Administrator/Manager form of Governance.
Associate Dr. Mamadou Coulibaly is a specialist in the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Coulibaly is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where he teaches and conducts research on information processing, data analysis, mapping, and solutions to environmental and socioeconomic problems. He received his Ph.D. from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2004. Coulibaly has previously worked on mapping for PAA on the Lodi (2019)and Little Chute Fire Department (2020)Studies.
Associate Bruce Stelzner has over 30 years of experience in Wisconsin local government. Stelzner has served as a County Highway Commissioner, Public Works Superintendent and Business Park Administrator.
His responsibilities have included administration, management, design, and construction of public works/ utilities; highways and bridges; public infrastructure, personnel management, asset management, fleet management, building and grounds management.
He developed and provided administration of a county owned business park. Including overseeing the planning; development of covenants and deed restrictions, development and construction, and sales of industrial acreage. He has worked with WEDC, TIF development, and obtained Wisconsin Certified Site status for the industrial park.
He has developed and negotiated road use agreements that have become the statewide standard for local governments and industries in Wisconsin. He has also developed and negotiated jurisdictional transfer agreements that have become a standard for WisDOT and local governments of Wisconsin.
Stelzner has served as the State Director for the National Association of County Engineers and President of the Wisconsin County Highway Association. He remains an active member of both NACE and the WCHA.
Stelzner has served as the Chairman, Co-Chair or member of many national, State, and Local committees including the NACo Transportation Steering Committee, FHWA State Transportation Innovation Council, Wisconsin Regional Planning/MPO, Wisconsin Local Roads and Streets Council and many other boards and commissions.
He has been a speaker and presenter at events including the National Association of Counties, National Association of County Engineers, Wisconsin County Association, Wisconsin County Highway Association, Wisconsin Towns Association, and other local governments.
In 2015 Stelzner was nominated for the Gladfelter Public Service Innovation Award thru the UW Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs.
Michael Romas is a 35-year fire service professional. He served as Assistant Chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department and retired as Chief of the Sheboygan Fire Department. His education includes bachelor’s degrees in education and fire service management, MBA, and completion of the Executive Fire Officer program. He is a career fire-service educator, instructing within departments, for the state technical college system, and is currently an instructor for Emergency Response Specialists.