Supervisors voted Tuesday for Tonia Mindemann to become Dodge County’s next human resources director, but the appointment came with a nudge from administrator Cameron Clapper.
Long before supervisors met Tuesday night, they received an email from Clapper saying he was made aware of some concerns related to Mindemann’s appointment.
The administrator is capable of identifying and recommending a person for positions in the county government. However, board supervisors alone possess hiring authority. They can decide to follow the administrator’s recommendation or not.
Supervisor Cathy Houchin said she found the email offensive and “out of place” for the administrator to send.
“Whether a supervisor is a fan of Tonia or not, taking an action to not confirm the appointment will likely cast a more negative reflection on the county administrator and the administrator-board relationship than it will on Tonia Mindemann,” Clapper wrote.
A competitive recruitment process took place with three candidates interviewed, according to Clapper’s email.
“All three possessed experience in human resources or related to human resources,” he wrote. “All held bachelor’s degrees, though not all in human resources. Two held master-level degrees, though only one was in human resources.
“Based on knowledge, skills, prior work experience and comportment, Tonia Mindemann was the top candidate for the position,” Clapper added. “Please consider these points when taking action this evening.”
Before Tuesday’s meeting ended, Clapper tried to explain to supervisors why he sent the email.
“I certainly did not want it to look like I was involved in any way with the county board discussion,” he said. “The language used in the email was to show that they’re others watching the county board including the (county) employees.”
Mindemann has been with the county’s human resources department for seven years. In her new role, which began Jan. 18, she will earn $56.35 an hour including fringe benefits.
Mindemann fills the vacancy left by Suzanne Immel, who was hired in March of 2022, but left the position in September of 2022.
Immel filled the void left by Sarah Hinze, who held the position for nearly 20 years and left Dodge County in January of 2022.
Then Dodge County Administrator Jim Mielke said Immel was only the third individual to hold the human resources position since 1994.