What part of not renewing a contract is so difficult to understand?
Proctor City Council removes police chief
By Lisa Kaczke on Feb 22, 2017 at 4:51 p.m.
Proctor police chief Walter Wobig stands by a rail crossing as he talks about Proctor’s emergency readiness in May 2015. (file / News Tribune)
The Proctor City Council voted Tuesday to remove Proctor Police Chief Walter Wobig from his position.
During its Tuesday meeting, the city council approved the non-renewal of Wobig’s contract in a 3-2 split vote, with Councilors Jake Benson and Jim Schwarzbauer opposing the motion. Mayor Phil Larson told the News Tribune on Wednesday that the decision was “just to not renew his contract” and the council wasn’t terminating Wobig.
“There were several circumstances that led to the decision,” Larson told the News Tribune. Wobig couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Proctor police Sgt. Kent Gaidas has been named the police department’s interim chief.
Wobig, 56, has held the position of Proctor police chief since 2002. A native of Duluth, he had worked for nearly two decades in law enforcement in Florida before returning to the Twin Ports in 2002 to work for the Proctor Police Department.
Wobig’s contract expired on Dec. 31, 2016, and his removal was effective immediately following the council’s decision. Wobig’s contract was among the contracts continued by the council until “negotiations or contracts are agreed upon and ratified by both parties or an impasse,” according to meeting minutes.
In a brief discussion prior to the council’s vote on Tuesday, Benson said he didn’t understand why Wobig’s contract wasn’t being renewed. Benson pointed out the council hadn’t participated in a contract negotiation meeting with Wobig, “so what we’re saying is, we’re not bargaining in good faith.”