administrator of the city of Baraboo absent after 6 months of work | Government and politics


Downing had just completed this process at the end of 2019. The city announced on October 4 that it would replace retired administrator Ed Geick, who left in early December after completing ongoing projects.

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Prior to moving to Baraboo with her husband and in-laws, Downing had served as director of Baker County, Florida for three years. The Los Angeles native had previously been a purchasing agent for El Paso County, Texas. Downing holds a master’s degree in public administration from California State University-Long Beach and a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University Polytechnic-Pomona.

Downing was selected from among 56 initial applicants who applied when the city began looking for Geick’s replacement in May 2019. Geick said at the time that the city received assistance from the GovHR of Northbrook, Ill. , to select its candidates.

Five finalists were interviewed by council members, a citizens’ committee and city department heads. Three of the finalists were from Wisconsin: Kronenwetter Village Administrator Richard Downey, former Verona City Administrator Jeff Mikorski and former Monroe City Administrator Phil Rath. St. John Town Manager Steve Kil of Cedar Lake, Indiana, was the other finalist.

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Downing said at the time that she was “overwhelmed and thrilled to be chosen.”

About a year ago, Downing was dealing with county commissioners who nearly denied him a one-year contract extension in Baker County. According to reports from The Baker County Press on July 4, Downing was granted an extension after his three-year contract expired and a commissioner, citing complaints about Downing’s management style, recommended that the contract not be renewed.

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