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Panel recommends new Sauk County highway commissioner

August 10, 2017

A Sauk County committee has recommended the hiring of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation engineer to be the county’s next highway commissioner.

During a meeting Tuesday, the Sauk County Board’s five-member Highway and Parks Committee recommended Professional Engineer Patrick Gavinski for the position.

Supervisor Dave Riek of Spring Green, a committee member, said Gavinski was one of three finalists interviewed during a closed session meeting Tuesday. After the interviews, the committee returned to open session and unanimously recommended Gavinski.

The Sauk County Board will consider Gavinski’s two-year appointment to the position during its monthly meeting Tuesday.

“He came across as being a very intelligent individual that has taken the extra steps to get his (professional engineer) license,” Riek said. “He also has bridge inspection credentials, which we were looking for.”

Gavinski — who could not be reached for comment — graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, according to his resume. He has been employed by WisDOT since 2008, and currently works as a soils and materials engineer.

Gavinski would replace 25-year Sauk County Highway Commissioner Steve Muchow, who retired in April amid a personnel investigation into employee allegations. Muchow has denied any wrongdoing, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice is reviewing the matter.

Riek said Gavinski has “broad shoulders” in a professional sense, and seems well-equipped to handle any challenges related to the controversy that currently surrounds the highway department.

“I think bringing in new ideas and new perspective will be very beneficial to Sauk County,” Riek said.

Other applicants included Beaver Dam Department of Public Works Supervisor Kris Quandt, a University of Illinois graduate, and Professional Engineer Jonathan Maxwell, a UW-Platteville graduate who currently works as a transportation team leader with Baraboo-based MSA Professional Services.