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?

Kevin Brunner portrait
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.
David Bretl
David Bretl has as served local governments in Wisconsin for twenty-nine years. He retired in early 2020 from his position as County Administrator and Corporation Counsel for Walworth County, Wisconsin, a combined position that he held since 2003. He began working as a consultant for PAA in 2018 and joined as a shareholder in in 2020. During his nineteen years at Walworth County, Dave was involved in the two board downsizings, the replacement of most of the County’s facilities and the consolidation of six departments. Dave helped organize and moderated the county’s Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (a collaborative effort among municipal, county and town governments). 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. In addition to conducting studies and recruitments at PAA, Dave served as the Interim Administrative Coordinator for Sauk County, Wisconsin and the Interim Village Administrator in Willaims Bay, Wisconsin. Dave earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Law Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Chris Swartz portrait
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).
Stephen Hintz portrait
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.
William Frueh
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.
Denise Frueh portrait
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.
Dave Tebo
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.
Duane Gau
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.
Sue McDade
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.
Timothy Franz
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
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.
Darrell Hofland
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.
Steve Kubacki
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.
portrait of Dr. Mamadou Coulibaly
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.
Bruce Stelzner Headshot
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 headshot.
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.
anthony brown
Anthony Brown is the current City Administrator for the City of Port Washington, WI. Anthony has over a decade worth of experience serving Wisconsin local governments. He has served in different municipal management capacities in southeast Wisconsin and the Fox Valley. Mr. Brown is recognized as a functional, hands-on servant leader, who believes in empowering employees to become leaders. He is experienced in all local government management duties including budgeting, financial management, human resources, community and economic development, strategic planning, and performance management. Anthony has a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on municipal management and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis on law studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition, Anthony has sought additional educational opportunities by graduating from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Budget Academy, obtaining his Lean Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belt Certification, and getting accredited through the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). Brown works on executive search and general consulting projects for PAA.
PAA Associate Jon Hochkammer headshot.
Associate Jon Hochkammer has over forty years of public sector experience in Wisconsin.  He recently retired from his twenty-one-year employment with the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA). While employed with the WCA, Jon served as Director of Insurance Operations, Legislative Director and Outreach Manager.  He was elected Wisconsin State Senate Sergeant-at-Arms in 1994 and held that position for eight years during which he also served as President of the National Association of Legislative Services and Security Association.  Jon gained extensive first-hand experience working at the local, state and federal level through these employment opportunities.   Jon has twenty nine years of local elected experience.  He was elected to the Manitowoc County Board of Supervisors in 1984.  He served for eight years including serving as its board chairperson/administrative coordinator.  He was elected to the Verona City Council in 1997 including serving as Mayor from 2006 - 2018.  Jon was President of the Dane County Cities and Villages Association from 2007 - 2018.   Jon is a member of the Leadership Wisconsin Board of Directors.  He is President of the Friends of the Dane County Bookmobile Board and chairs the Dane County Area Agency on Aging Access Committee.  Prior service with Dane County includes the following boards: Area Agency on Aging Board (Chair), Specialized Transportation Commission, Human Services Board, and Library Board (Chair).  Additionally, he was Fitch-Rona EMS Commission Treasurer, Verona Fire District President, Newton Fire Department President and 1st Assistant Chief, and on the Madison Family Medicine Residency Board.
PAA Associate Karl Frantz
PAA Associate Karl Frantz has thirty-five years of municipal management experience, including thirty years as an administrator in the state of Wisconsin. Frantz obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Daniel Evans School of Public Affairs. He began his career as a Management Assistant in the City Manager’s office for the City of Mercer Island, Washington before serving as City Administrator in Renville, Minnesota; Jefferson, Wisconsin; and Baraboo, Wisconsin.  He retired in 2021 after 17 years of service as the Village Administrator of Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin. Frantz has extensive experience in economic development and redevelopment, formation of tax increment districts, zoning administration, long and short-term financial management and budgeting, human resource management, and implementation of organizational change. Throughout his career Frantz has demonstrated a collaborative and team-based approach to leadership, placing the development of positive relationships at the center of his work with staff, elected officials, and the public. Colleagues and community members describe Mr. Frantz as approachable, personable, and calm, with a knack for developing consensus and maintaining civility when dealing with sensitive and sometimes contentious issues. Frantz works on interim management and general consulting assignments for PAA.      
Chuck Butler profile image.
Chuck Butler has over 30 years of experience in Fire and EMS management and operations. He retired in 2021 as the city of Sheboygan’s Assistant Fire Chief of Operations/EMS Services Director, a position he held for 11 years. Prior to that assignment, Butler was Commander of Research Development and Training for the Sheboygan Fire Department. Butler is an accomplished EMS leader and manager at both the municipal and county levels. He is the current chair of the Sheboygan County Emergency Current Chair Sheboygan County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and Commander of the Sheboygan County Hazardous Materials Response Team. He is a licensed paramedic and holds a BA in Integrative Leadership and Emergency Management from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Butler works on Fire and EMS-related consulting work for PAA.
Shawn Murphy PAA Associate profile image.
Shawn Murphy has held positions in state and local government for over 30 years with 26 years' experience as a Municipal Administrator.  After obtaining his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1986 and Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1990, Murphy began his career as a Budget & Program Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Murphy served as Assistant Village Manager in Whitefish Bay from 1992-1997; Village Administrator in Prairie du Sac from 1997 to 2007; City Administrator in Verona from 2007 to 2010 and City Administrator in Portage from 2012 to 2023. Murphy has a strong track record of collaboration and was involved in the formation of the North Shore Fire Department, the reformation of a joint Police Department between Prairie du Sac and Sauk City; worked closely with the Sauk Prairie School District to create the Sauk Prairie Recreation Commission that includes 6 municipalities and was involved in the creation of a joint municipal court commission that includes 4 municipalities. Murphy was an active member of the Wisconsin City/County Managers Association (WCMA) and the International City Manager's Association serving on numerous committees. In 2023 Murphy received a lifetime achievement award from the WCMA. Murphy works on interim management assignments and executive recruitment projects for PAA.