Rebecca Ewald closing out 11 years as Waterford’s village administrator

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

After 11 years at the helm of operations within village hall, Rebecca Ewald is leaving Waterford for a similar position in a community adjacent to another body of water.

Ewald tendered her resignation, informing the Village Board she has accepted a position to serve as village manager in Shorewood within Milwaukee County’s north shore. Her last day in Waterford is Oct. 13.

Ewald’s departure comes at a time of transition for village leadership. The Village Board has been in a state of flux, with several elected officials departing over the summer.

But Ewald said the decision to leave her position boils down to an opportunity knocking at just the perfect time. She said she seriously considered the Shorewood position for a variety of personal and professional reasons.

“The opportunity became available. Shorewood reached out to me, and I decided to throw my hat in the ring,” she said. “I grew up on that side of town, so it will be nice to be closer again. It’s also an opportunity to expand on my leadership roles.”

During her leadership role in Waterford, Ewald has assisted in a number of pivotal changes in the village. The community’s close proximity to the Fox River has been an asset she has frequently touted from a resident quality-of-life perspective and as a mechanism for tourism.

Ewald’s time in the village has also been marked by other notable maneuvers, including the municipality’s decision to unwind its decades long agreement with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department for exclusive law enforcement.

Nearly two years ago, the village began its contractual relationship with the Town of Waterford’s police force.

Before departing Waterford, Ewald said she has a number of important items on her task list, including hammering out an interim transition plan.

“I’ll also be helping with the (2018 municipal) budget,” Ewald said. “I’ll do my best to get things in good order. We have an excellent staff here. Waterford is in good hands.”

While she is looking forward to providing leadership to a community with more than 13,000 residents as 2017 winds down, Ewald said Waterford will always remain close to her heart.

“The people of Waterford love living here,” she said. “I think it’s a very kind place to be. I think people really want to see it succeed.”

From a professional perspective, Ewald is keenly aware she has grown because of the wisdom and insight others have imparted throughout her more than decade on the staff roster at village hall.

“Waterford has helped build me, and I don’t take that lightly,” she said. “I’m really grateful. I am humbled and honored to have been able to have worked here.”

Interim Village President Don Houston said he and his elected colleagues were sad to learn Ewald was leaving Waterford, though they are sending her off with the best of wishes.

“We definitely are going to miss her,” Houston said. “But I’m happy for Rebecca and her new endeavors.”

Houston said the board is working vigorously to seek Ewald’s successor. The position has been posted, and applicants have until Sept. 20 to submit materials. The goal, Houston said, is to begin interviews as soon as practical, possibly beginning at the end of the month.

“We’re not dragging our feet,” Houston said. “We’re going to try and get someone in place as soon as possible.”

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