APPLETON – Outagamie County has named an interim emergency management director.
Christina Muller was introduced during a Wednesday morning news conference at the county’s administration building.
"I'm glad to assist the county during this process," said Muller, 36, who served as the county’s emergency management director from 2006-2012.
Muller’s appointment comes two days after the department’s previous leader, Julie Loeffelholz, was fired.
Muller says she does not plan on making changes to the department, but is already working on ensuring the emergency sirens are in working order and managing the department’s on-call services, ahead of the severe weather season.
"I believe that, what my goal to be, is bringing together and supporting the emergency management office in accomplishing what needs to be done,” said Muller. “Which is requirements for the program and also providing those emergency management services to the community."
Muller says she has no intentions of making the interim position a permanent one. She runs an emergency management consulting business on the side and has two young children.
FOX 11’s Bill Miston asked Muller if her other job might impact her county-level responsibilities.
“The consulting business has been part-time, and will continue to be part-time and will be, very clearly, separated from the duties that are here at the county," she replied.
“Was this whole process in the works before Monday?” Bill Miston asked county executive Tom Nelson.
"We had reached out to Christina yesterday (Tuesday)," responded Nelson.
Nelson has not detailed what led to the firing of Loeffelholz. However, Loeffelholz took fire from county leaders last August after sirens didn’t sound during a storm that brought with it six tornadoes, causing more than $30 million in damage.
Finding a permanent hire
"There's a range of what the salary is for this position," said Nelson of the emergency management director position.
FOX 11 found the position’s salary ranges between $58,000 and $73,000. According to county documents, Loeffelholz was set to make more than $64,442. As of her firing, she was making $63,116.
Nelson's office says Muller will be paid through a county contractor at a rate of $45 an hour. If that rate is stretched out to a year, that's more $93,000 (based on a 40-hour work week); or $7,800 per month.
Nelson hopes to hire a permanent department head over the next 2-4 months.
“We base that on the amount of time it has taken us to fill other department head positions," he said.
Once that happens, he says there will be a transitional phase to hand over the reins from the interim director to the permanent one.