Residents question hiring of new Caspian treasurer public protest
CASPIAN—At its regular meeting Feb. 11, the Caspian City Council voted to hire a new city treasurer.
The council voted 3-1 to offer Gina Kosmopoulos the position after the council’s initial choice, Jessica Carlson, turned down the offer.
Mayor Mike Varney, Joe Varney and Jody Menghini voted to offer the position to Kosmopoulos, while Tony Dallavalle voted no and Mark Stauber was absent. City Manager John Stokoski later said that Kosmopoulos had accepted the offer as treasurer.
At a special meeting earlier, the city had decided to offer the position to Carlson.
During the designated public discussion time and at the end of the regular meeting, many people said they opposed the board’s decision to offer the city treasurer position to Kosmopoulos.
Those who spoke questioned why the three board members would choose Kosmopoulos, an applicant with five years of banking experience and no mention of a college degree, over other applicants with several years of experience and college degrees.
“It says she attended Fox River Valley Technical College in Appleton for general studies,” Joe Varney said. “It doesn’t say if she graduated or not on this, but I’m fairly certain she did.”
When someone asked why a few of the board members ignored the recommendations of the present city treasurer and city manager, there was confusion over who interviewed which candidates.
Joe Varney said that he felt some of the candidates had an unfair advantage because of the interviewing process. Some candidates were interviewed by the city manager, the present city treasurer and mayor, while others were interviewed by other board members.
“But their experience (counted for) more than the unfair advantage,” Dallavalle responded.
Mayor Varney said that he knew that Kosmopoulos had some banking experience, was familiar with software and that she had stated that she was familiar with several computer programs.
“She appears motivated and teachable,” he said.
Also during public comment, David Lincoln introduced himself as Menghini’s brother-in-law and voiced his concerns at the present state of city matters to Mayor Varney.
“I’ve known Jody for many years,” Lincoln said. “We’ve helped each other out in times of need--we’re family. That is how I know that when she ran for city council, it was at your request. She sat at my house and told my wife and me that. So you had eyes and ears there when she joined the Caspian Community Center Board at (your) request.
“Plus, she is also a secretary that works for you. That I consider your vote. Whatever you say, she’s going to do. I don’t feel it’s personal, Mike. I’m upset because you have
your son—who I don’t blame—who would do whatever you ask. I don’t see why you need three votes on this board,” he said.
Lincoln went on to say that if Mayor Varney would have