The Winnebago City Council has approved the hire of a new chief of police at their regular meeting last Tuesday.
And, they didn't have to look far to find one.
The personnel committee recommended promoting full-time officer Mike Beletti to fill the role left by Bob Toland, retiring police chief.
Toland also submitted a letter of recommendation for Beletti.
"We felt strongly that this was the best choice,"?city administrator Chris Ziegler says. "Beletti is well respected in the community."
The job had not been posted externally yet, since it was recommended they promote within.
"Our last two chiefs were similarly promoted from the department," Ziegler adds.
The council approved the hire of Beletti and wished Toland luck in his retirement, which is effective as of Nov. 30.
"Mike is a hard worker," councilman Scott Robertson says. "And, he is involved in the community, we see him around town a lot, and not just with a badge on."
However, by promoting within, the department is left with another hole to fill.
"By hiring Mike, a full-time position has opened up as well,"?Ziegler says.
The personnel committee recommended that the council also post the full-time position internally.
"This, again, is in line with what we have done in the past,"?Zeigler adds. "We feel that there are several strong candidates in our part-time officer ranks."
The council approved that the job be posted internally and if there aren't enough applications or qualified applicants, the job will be advertised.
So, with the holes in the department filled after Toland's retirement, the retiring police chief said his farewells.
"I want to thank the council and city staff for everything," he says.
He also assured the council that the department is in good hands after he leaves his role.
"I feel I'm leaving the department in good shape. I have faith in my officers and I?know that they will continue to do good work for you,"?Toland adds.
In other business;
The council looked at a petition submitted by a Winnebago resident to resurrect the skate park project which has been in the works for a number of years.
The petition was strictly informational and a plan still needs to be set in place.
"There's a lot of ground to be covered to raise enough money for the project,"?Ziegler says.
Ziegler shared with the council that the Winnebago Economic Development Authority (EDA) may be interested in partnering with the county EDA on the community rehabilitation program.
They plan to wait for more information to surface before making a decision to join.
The council discussed a potential work session to be held prior to next month's regular council meeting.
"There is still some work to be done on the budget,"?Ziegler adds.