County Administrator Pritzl to resign

Future plans not yet announced
Warren Bluhm
News Editor

Oconto County Administrator Erik Pritzl is leaving the post, effective Feb. 7.

Pritzl announced his resignation to the county board Nov. 16, consistent with the 90-day notice required in his original employment agreement with the county.

“I greatly enjoyed serving the people of Oconto County under your leadership,” Pritzl wrote in a letter to County Board Chairman Alan Sleeter, which he read to the supervisors.

Pritzl was director of the Brown County Health and Human Services Department when he was hired in January 2022 to succeed former county administrator Kevin Hamann.

He listed as highlights the county’s support of the Lakes Country Public Library expansion in Lakewood, working with the Town of Riverview on a building project that will include northern county offices, and creation of the Library Planning Committee currently working to find a sustainable funding system for all of the library services across the county.

Oconto County government has changed since he arrived, with consolidation of committees and an influx of new county board supervisors after the 2020 census and redistricting, Pritzl said.

“There has been a learning curve in adjustment, and progress has been made through the cooperative spirit that is strong here,” he said. “Oconto County government needs to be responsible stewards of the financial resources of the county and is in a very stable position at this time. This will help support community efforts in the delivery of services.”

Pritzl said the county has a talented team of elected officials and appointed department heads committed to the delivery of high-quality, efficient services.

“I am honored to have been able to work with so many wonderful people during the past two years, and I appreciate having this opportunity,” he said. “I will assist in any way I can in the recruitment of a new county administrator and the transition of leadership … I think it’s a wonderful position for someone to step into.”

Sleeter said Pritzl called him Nov. 7 to tell him about the decision to leave.

“It ruined my day,” Sleeter said. “For the first 24 hours I didn’t do anything, I primarily kept it to myself.”

In a meeting the next day, the two men agreed to “think about it over the weekend,” and he discussed possible offers to keep him with Vice Chairman Dennis Kroll, but Pritzl confirmed his intention to move on Nov. 13, Sleeter said.

The company that helped recruit Pritzl warned of the possibility he may want to advance his career sooner rather than later, the chairman said.

“I was hoping for at least five years, but I didn’t get there,” Sleeter said. “I hate to see Erik go, he’s been an excellent administrator for this county, and he’s going to be excellent at whatever he chooses to do in the future.”

Pritzl had not yet shared his future plans as of the board meeting.