Position Description

County Administrator
Location MC - Wausau
MC Department County Administration
Application Deadline Date 1/13/20
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Marathon County in Northcentral Wisconsin is a great place to live, work, visit and conduct business. Our county government is highly regarded and contributes to a high quality of life by:

  • ensuring public safety;
  • protecting natural resources;
  • preparing for emergency and disaster responses;
  • protecting vulnerable populations;
  • creating and maintaining a high quality infrastructure for transportation;
  • providing education and fostering economic development; and
  • using process improvement techniques to improve public services.

Eligible Marathon County employees enjoy competitive salaries, flexible schedules, and a range of excellent benefits, including:

  • Pay for Performance System
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Wisconsin Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan
  • Post Employment Health Plan
  • Income Continuation Insurance
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) and holiday pay
  • Flexible Schedule possibilities for Life/Work Balance
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Flexible Spending Account to set aside pre-tax dollars for childcare and medical expenses
  • Life insurance
  • Educational Reimbursement Program
  • Employee Recognition Programs and a Positive Workplace Culture


The purpose of this position is to serve as Chief Administrative Officer for the County.  The County Administrator is responsible for coordinating the overall operations of all departments of the county and providing staff assistance to the County Board of Supervisors and its officers, under the guidance and supervision of the County Board, as provided for in Chapter 59.18 Wisconsin State Statutes County Code.  The County Administrator is supported by a Deputy Administrator, Organizational Excellence Program Manager, Executive Administrative Coordinator, 22 Department Heads, and approximately 750 FTE employees.  The county annual budget is approximately $171,000,000 and the administrator provides indirect oversight of an additional $67,000,000 provided to North Central Health Care, a three county organization providing mental health and skilled nursing care under WI Stats. 51.42. The County Administrator works closely with the County Board Chair and is evaluated by the Executive Committee of the County Board on an annual basis.

Anticipated Start Date:  April/May 2020



Master’s degree from an approved college/university  in Public Administration or a related field with five years of county or municipal administrative experience at an executive level. Professional and personal behavior that is consistent with Marathon County Core Values.  Equivalent combinations of job-related education and work experience may be considered.  Driver's license or ability to obtain reliable transportation required.   

The ideal candidate has significant experience in high-level decision making, fostering relationships with key members of the community & agencies, building strong management teams, is a prudent manager and inspiring leader.  Our Administrator will have the mindset to see the “big picture” in a variety of settings and will be able to tackle issues to advance community dialogue and stimulate action to improve the community’s well-being.  And finally, the Administrator will contribute to a positive work culture, take pride in our community, welcome diversity, and exercise a high level of integrity while executing the County’s Mission/Strategic Plan.



  • Charged with carrying out overall operations that support the policy set forth by the County Board Supervisors, outlined in the Strategic Plan addressing top priority objectives, with the desired outcome to obtain Marathon County’s goal to be the healthiest, safest, and most prosperous county in Wisconsin.
  • Plans, directs and coordinates the administrative practices of Marathon County government to ensure effective use of resources (e.g. develop human resource and financial policies).
  • Coordinate and direct all administrative and management functions of the county government not otherwise vested by law in boards or commissions.
  • Annually, and otherwise as necessary, communicate to the board the condition of the county, and recommend such matters to the board for its consideration as the county administrator considers expedient. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the county administrator shall be responsible for the submission of the annual budget to the board.
  • Analyzes and recommends a county organizational structure, including program development to facilitate effective delivery of services and recommend revisions as needed.
  • Prepares and maintains a county long-range strategic planning program with the County Board.
  • Makes recommendations regarding county staffing needs that ensure effectiveness of operations and cost efficiency.
  • Analyzes and recommends a county organizational structure, including program development to facilitate effective delivery of services and recommend revisions as needed
  • Coordinates major capital projects such as interoperable radio/microwave communications, UW-Stevens Point at Wausau for Civic Engagement, Sports Complex, etc.
  • Appoints most members of boards, commissions, etc; appoints and supervises most non-elected department heads; interviews and selects new personnel; plans, assigns, coordinates and reviews work; acts on problems and concerns; approves leave; evaluates performance and recommends and/or approves discharge or disciplinary action where necessary.
  • Assists in preparing agenda for and attends County Board meetings and various committee and other meetings; recommends organization and staffing levels; assists boards, commissioners and committees in monitoring the activities of operating departments.
  • Serves as public representative of Marathon County government; acts as spokesperson on many issues with the news media; represents Marathon County at various legislative meetings and hearings; acts as liaison, including public speaking to various groups, service clubs, other jurisdictions, and state and federal government.
  • Leads department heads using a results-focused performance management system that provides a framework to encourage employee contributions and includes goal setting, coaching, feedback, and professional development planning.  Assigns work priorities and responsibilities to department heads.  Establishes work plans with specific outcome measures for the appraisal of the work of department heads.
  • Develops and reviews policies related to Personnel, Finance, Economic Development, Planning, etc.
  • Serves as mediator in issues, problems and disputes involving department heads and other municipalities.
  • Approves and signs contracts, leases, grants, property transfers, etc.
  • Reviews and responds to complaints regarding County personnel and operations; ensures proper response.


The County Administrator will need to demonstrate a broad range of competencies.  Those listed in this section are particularly important to success in this role.

Leading People

  • Performance Management – Ability to develop and implement strategies to maximize employee performance and foster high ethical standards in meeting the County vision, mission and goals.
  • Team Building – Inspire, motivate and guide others toward accomplishment of the organizations goals; encourage and facilitate cooperation within the organization to develop a common focus; and develop leadership skills in others through coaching, mentoring, rewarding and guiding employees.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Champion diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of all people.
  • Integrity and Honesty – Foster a high standard of ethics and instill mutual trust and confidence.
  • Conflict Management – Recognize and deal with disputes in a rational, balanced and effective way focusing on the County’s overall goals.

Leading Change/Continuous Improvement

  • Ability to foster a work environment that encourages creative thinking and the ability to maintain focus, intensity and persistence, even under adversity.
  • Demonstrate openness to different ways others do things by employing a continual spirit of learning; an environment where sharing a new thought, a new technology or even a traditional technology or traditional thought processes in a new way is encouraged.

Communicating and Building Partnerships

  • Ability to explain and advocate facts and ideas in a convincing manner while communicating and negotiating with individuals and groups.
  • Ability to develop a network with other agencies and individuals who can help solve issues and identify the internal and external forces that impact the work of the organization.
  • Employ interpersonal skills that convey understanding and integrity.
  • Utilize effective communication skills – both verbal and written
  • Ability to influence others and effective negotiating skills
  • Ability to recognize the value in partnering with others.

 Exercising Business Judgment

  • Demonstrate skill in adjusting priority changes, performing research, compiling and analyzing data, and making recommendations
  • Understand the highly visible role of the position and the actual/perceived impressions upon the public resulting from personal conduct and interactions with others 
  • Ability to apply the theories, principles, and practices of public administration.
  • Demonstrate expertise in financial, human resource, and technology management, to align with the county’s goals.
  • Employ effective and efficient decision-making.

Outcome and Results-Driven

  • Produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies. 
  • Ability to establish clear expectations, stress accountability and continuous improvement.


Annual salary range (E92):  Minimum $94,437 - Midpoint $122,768 - Maximum $151,100 



Selection of the successful candidate may be made by assessment of experience and education, criminal background check, credit history, oral interview, reference check, written management assessment, and other appropriate job-related selection procedures.  All applicants will be notified as to the status of their application.



Marathon County will make arrangements to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary and reasonable to afford an individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the recruitment process. Please notify the Employee Resources Department office or phone (715) 261-1451 to request special accommodations prior to the application deadline.



Wisconsin Statutes, Sections 19.36 (7), 64.09 (5), and 64.11 (7) require public employers to treat the following items as a public record: Each applicant’s application, records, recommendations and qualifications except as provided in Section 19.36 (7), Wis. Stats. that allows the identity of an applicant to remain confidential if the applicant requests in writing that the County not provide access to this information.
If you choose not to have this information become a public record, you must make such a request in writing to the Employee Resources Department. If you become a finalist for the position, your identity may be disclosed as required by law.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:    January 13, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

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