With his new job, Planning and Parks Department Administrator Jay Shambeau cut about 45 minutes from his daily commute.
“Sometimes it was more than an hour,” Shambeau said of his winter commute to Calumet County. In his first three days, Shambeau, 43, has learned there is much to learn.
“It obviously takes some time to learn the history of the department and all the services and programs it provides,” he said. “I inherited a solid staff. I know of the great county park system. I’m excited to be working with everyone here.”
“I think Jay will do well in this position,” County Supervisor Michael Miller from West Bend said. Miller is the chairman of the County Board’s Planning, Conservation and Parks Committee, which has oversight responsibilities for the six division Planning and Parks Department.
“He has experience in both planning and running an organization,” Miller said.
Prior to heading up Calumet County’s staff, Shambeau was Kewaskum’s village administrator for two years and was Clark County’s planning director from 1993-2006.
“He brings in a lot of good experience,” Miller said.
Shambeau, his wife Sandy and their four children have lived in Kewaskum for eight years.
He was one of 18 applicants to replace Paul Mueller, who retired after 33 years as department administrator. County Manager Joshua Schoemann picked Shambeau from four finalists for the job in April and the choice was subsequently backed by the PCPC and approved by the County Board earlier this month.
Shambeau has a master’s degree in public administration from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a bachelor’s degree in regional analysis and geography from UW-Green Bay.
Park project remains in limbo
Plans for heated restrooms in Heritage Trails County Park will be tucked into the back of a file cabinet for at least the next two years, officials said.
“It’s not something the county is moving forward with in ’14 for sure and likely not in ’15,” Shambeau said Wednesday.
Delays for the estimated $200,000 restrooms is not new. The project was pushed back a year in 2012 and wiped off the county’s Capital Improvement Plan last year after a drawn-out argument about the project’s worth.
“I hope it’s a long-term possibility,” County Supervisor Michael Miller said. The West Bend resident is the chairman of the County Board’s Planning, Conservation and Parks Committee.
“I really feel if we want to attract people to use our parks as they should be, we have to have facilities like the restrooms. But I don’t see it happening in the next year or two.”
Heritage Trails, with 234 acres, is the last of the county’s large parks without flush toilets. The park has had six soccer fields since 2002, but is closed winter months in part because it lacks restrooms.
The project became a focal point for a faction on the County Board that believes the county has spent enough on acquiring and improving its parks.
The Heritage Trails restrooms have been argued over since they were proposed. Some supervisors said it is a waste of money to put restrooms in a park not heavily used. Others said the park is in use by soccer clubs most of the year and year-round restrooms would draw more people to use the park including winter.
With restrooms, the park could be used for winter activities, such as a rest stop for the snowmobile trail that runs through the park, snowshoeing, crosscountry skiing and sledding, department personnel have said.