The city of Mequon has hired an assistant city administrator.
Justin Schoenemann starts Dec. 5 and says he’s ready to get started.
“I take on tasks head first, I dive in,” he said.
Schoenemann was chosen out of 25 applicants, according to City Administrator Will Jones, to fill the position vacated by Jesse Thyes, who took over as the village administrator in Grafton in July.
People from as far as Florida applied for the position. Out of four finalists, Jones said Schoenemann was chosen due to his experience in human resources as well as information technology (IT).
“We had a strong applicant pool,” Jones said. “But we were lucky to find him up the road.”
Jones said Mequon is looking to create a new performance evaluation system as well as launching a new website in 2017. Schoenemann has experience with such things, saying he had a hand in the launch of an updated version of the Ozaukee County website.
“At Ozaukee County, I developed their first online application tracking system and a new employee intranet,” Schoenemann said in his cover letter for the position.
He calls such work “fun.”
Schoenemann, who lives in Whitefish Bay, said he felt he would bring “higher-level excellence” to Mequon. He said he felt it was his versatility that helped him get the job.
Schoenemann is leaving his position as the budget analyst for Ozaukee County, which he started in 2013. He also worked as the program and policy specialist for the county for a little more than a year and started as an administrative intern.
His first in-field experience was working for the town of Cedarburg as an administrative intern from October 2013 through January 2014.
He said one of the main things he likes about the idea of working for a city instead of the county is being able to connect more with staff and have more interaction with residents. Even though work at the county level affects more people, this personal interaction led Schoenemann to say he felt working for Mequon would have “greater influence.”
Working since his early teens, Schoenemann’s first job was at McDonald's. He eventually worked his way up to become a “swing manager” who oversaw the training of managers and crew members.
Jones said the fact that he worked hard for that long spoke volumes to his hard-working nature.
During his interview with Jones, Schoenemann was asked what three words would best describe him. He chose trustworthy, conscientious and logical.
He said he is trustworthy due to his work as a budget analyst.
“I come with a level of experience in the field you can trust and I’ll prove it,” Schoenemann said.
Regarding his choice of conscientious, Schoenemann said whatever he turns in he wants to put his name on.
Finally, Schoenemann at one time had thought of pursuing a degree in law. However, he liked the interaction with people and chose to refocus. Due to his desire to practice law, he said that’s what led him to choose logical as his third word.
Schoenemann is active with a number of organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Government Finance Office Association, the Wisconsin City/County Management Association, and the Society of Human Resources Management.
When he unplugs, Schoenemann likes to go hiking. He enjoys his time at the family cabin but also likes the convenience of city life with many things within walking distance.
Once he starts, Schoenemann will go on an outreach tour, according to Jones, to get more familiar with Mequon and the residents.