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Newly hired finance director backs out at last minute

March 29, 2011

Wauwatosa's selection for finance director backed out at the last minute, so the Common Council will act on a replacement tonight.

John Ruggini, the assistant fiscal and budget administrator for Milwaukee County, is the recommended candidate. His resume shows he has been coordinating the county's $1.5 billion operating budget since 2008. That has entailed supervising eight staff members, analyzing departmental requests, developing cost-saving initiatives and working with county officials.

Prior to the county job, he worked in Chicago for the Government Finance Officers Association as the manager of the research and consulting center. In that role, he assisted municipalities and school districts by evaluating financial, human resources, payroll and technology systems, helped negotiate better financial contracts and researched opportunities for intergovernmental cooperation.

City Administrator James Archambo called Ruggini a "strong candidate" and pointed out that he is a Wauwatosa resident.

That may get a larger majority of the council on board with his hiring. Four aldermen opposed former candidate Craig Kammholz's hiring because he lived outside the city and he didn't have plans to relocate. Several aldermen said it was the debate about residency requirements that led the first candidate to back out.

Kammholz is the director of financial services and special deputy controller for the city of Milwaukee.

"For his own reasons, he elected not to take the position," Archambo said.

The position has remained vacant since an unexpected retirement in October.

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