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Klekamp nominated to be interim La Crosse County administrator when O’Malley retires

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A La Crosse County committee is nominating Jane Klekamp to serve as interim county administrator. 

Klekamp is now the associate administrator, second in command to Steve O’Malley, who announced this week that he plans to retire this summer. 

The recommendation of Klekamp by the executive committee would have to be approved by the full county board, which meets again next week.  The committee also plans to approve a hiring process and a timeline for finding a successor to O’Malley, who has been administrator for 19 years.  

O’Malley

County board chair Monica Kruse says supervisors will have many decisions to make before hiring a replacement for O’Malley.

“We need to decide how to recruit for a replacement,” Kruse says. “We need to decide who will guide the process. HR (human resources) is the established authority or the established agent in situations like that.” 

Some county supervisors, including Pam Viner, say another person like O’Malley will be hard to find.

“I don’t know how we can even think about moving forward until we decide what it is that we need,” Viner told the committee. “Steve is unbelievable. Are we gonna find another Steve?”    

Supervisor Kevin Hoyer, who says O’Malley has done an excellent job, thinks the county still needs to look at all options, including whether to keep the job of administrator.   The county had an appointed administrative coordinator for several years, before the administrator position was established in 2003, and O’Malley was hired.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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