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City of Kaukauna

Grignon Mansion Board Meeting Minutes – January 27, 2020

Posted on Feb 25, 2020 by


Adopted by the Grignon Mansion Board on February 24, 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020

The meeting was called to order by John Brogan at 5:30pm in the Hydro View Meeting Room at the Kaukauna Municipal Services Building.

  1. Roll Call
    1. Present: Pennie Thiele, Al Borchardt, Bruce Werschem, Shellee Ziegler, John Brogan, Diana Driessen
    2. Absent: Lisa Verhagen & Brian Schell
    3. Others in Attendance: Patty DeGoey, Allyson Brunette


Welcome Others in Attendance


Review/Approval of Prior Minutes – A motion was made by Pennie Thiele to approve the prior meeting minutes and was seconded by Bruce Werschem.


Appoint Grignon Mansion Board Secretary

    1. Board made the decision at suggestion of Board Chair Brogan to appoint a new secretary through the election process at the next (February) meeting.


Nominations Opened for Election of Officers

    1. Pennie Thiele nominated for Board Chair
    2. Bruce Werschem nominated for Board Vice Chair
    3. Shellee Ziegler nominated for Board Secretary



Report from City (Brunette)

Issues with soccer field damage in Lower Grignon Park: Use of the Grignon Mansion property by Outagamie County’s school days local history program involved a tug of war game on the Lower Grignon Park soccer field. The conditions were very wet and the event likely should have been postponed or cancelled, but poor decision-making was exercised by the Outagamie County organizers and the soccer field was irreparably damaged. The field could not be used for play for the remainder of the soccer season and this is the only City full size soccer field in the community. As such, all event organizers that intend to host events on the Grignon Mansion grounds need to go through the special event application process AND request special use of park facilities in writing through the Health and Recreation Committee. We cannot have one group’s use of City park facilities preclude or inhibit future use by other recreational groups.

Executive Director position posting update:

Posting Timeframe: The position will be posted in the first week of February and will be posted for 3-4 weeks (traditionally positions are only posted for 1-2 weeks).

Position Marketing: The position will be posted on the City website, LinkedIn, UW System and technical college network, as well as on AASLH (American Association of State and Local History museums) and shared with leadership at the Neville and Milwaukee Public Museums.

Round #1 Interview: A first round interview in early March will be held at the City and will involve City of Kaukauna HR, City of Kaukauna Planning & Community Development and one member of the Friends of Grignon Mansion. This interview will focus on the candidates’ professional background and expertise, as well as their vision for local history museums and the City’s.

Round #2 Interview: A second round interview will include all candidates simultaneously taking a tour of the Grignon Mansion led by members of the Friends of the Grignon Mansion, the Board Chair from the Grignon Mansion Board and someone from Planning and Community Development.

Round #3 Interview: A final round interview for up to 3 candidates will be conducted in a closed session Grignon Mansion Board meeting (executive session as allowed under state statute for personnel matters) where the Grignon Mansion Board will select a final candidate for appointment.

The timeframe would ideally be to extend an offer letter in mid-April 2020 with a start date in May 2020.

Request from Kaukauna Public Library: KPL is creating backpacks for families to check out that include educational materials on Kaukauna destinations and would like to create one for families to check out that includes passes to visit the Grignon Mansion and educational materials on the Mansion. The Friends of Grignon Mansion are working directly with KPL to have this program up and running before the Mansion opens for the season in May.

Other City Reports:

Financial report for 219 Grignon Fund: Allyson Brunette provided a copy of the unaudited 2019 account information for the account where the City holds the Community Foundation funds each year. The account receives the grant amount each year from the Community Foundation and pays out bills from that account for items such as utilities, security system, building maintenance on the interior of the building. The 2019 grant amount was reduced by about 25% from 2018 amounts due to the poor financial performance of the market in Q4 of 2018 to an amount of $5,846.21. The current grant amount is not sustainable to fund the deferred maintenance projects that have been accumulating at the Mansion. A better model moving forward would be to structure a City budget in the way that 1000 Islands does, where there are line items for property maintenance. A conversation with the Finance Department also indicated that some major capital projects that are anticipated should be put into 2023 and beyond capital improvement schedules. The Friends requested to see a copy of this account’s expenditures on a quarterly basis.

Repairs to Balcony and Woodpecker damage, paint needs at Mansion: Diana Driessen coordinated two quotes from contractors to execute repairs at the Mansion in the fall of 2019. Allyson has followed up with the lower cost contractor multiple times with no reply and suggests moving the project to an open bidding process through the Board of Public Works. The Board discussed what other exterior improvements might be an option for the Mansion that the State Historic Preservation Office would support.


Report from Friends (DeGoey)

Friends Finance Report: The November and December Treasurers Reports were distributed by Patty DeGoey. As of December 31st, the ending account balance was $46,743.07.

Report on Christmas Event: Christmas event had low attendance this year (less than 300 people in four day event). Feels that marketing of the event may be a challenge, as well as not reaching individuals from outside the immediate market. The North Pole of Kaukauna relocating to Chilton means that the trolley that visits both locations will likely not occur in 2020 and beyond. Allyson shared that the new City Communications personnel (Brittany) will work with the new Executive Director to build maintenance of the Grignon Mansion social media platforms into her responsibilities as a part of the City.

Other Issues: N/a


Report from the Chair (Brogan)



Other Business:

No updates on Augustine Street railroad crossing from Canadian National Railroad

Would like to update electrical work to have light switches that are currently located by ceiling in gift shop moved to a lower location that any volunteer can reach. Allyson will get a quote from an electrician onsite this month.


Next Board Meeting:

Meeting dates set for 2020 include:

Monday, February 24, 2020

March 2020 meeting will be scheduled around Executive Director interview schedule and will be communicated in late February/early March.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020

Monday, June 29, 2020

No July 2020 meeting

Monday, August 31, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday, November 30, 2020

No December 2020 meeting

All meetings will be held at 5:15 PM in the Hydro View Room at the Municipal Services Building.


Adjournment – A motion to adjourn was made by Pennie Thiele at 6:30pm, seconded by Shellee Ziegler.