Merrill Finance Director Given Warning

Merrill City Council - PHOTO: Larry Lee © 2015 Midwest Communications
Merrill City Council - PHOTO: Larry Lee © 2015 Midwest Communications

MERRILL, WI (WSAU) -- A local finance director has been given a formal warning regarding her job performance.

The Wausau Daily Herald is reporting that Merrill finance director Kathy Unertl has received a warning after making mistakes on the city's 2019 budget. She received the warning from City Administrator David Johnson on January 7th. The warning details "unsatisfactory performance" for a mistake she made while preparing the city's budget.

According to the warning Unertl has been advised to double and triple check her work on the city budget. The warning also notes that if another mistake of the same nature is made there would be "progressive discipline."

Unertl admitted back in January that she had made a mistake in the 2019 budget in calculating TIF valuations. She understated the tax levy increase to the city council in November when they finalized the budget. Which caused a tax increase of 7.4% as opposed to the stated 5% increase.

In the space for remarks to Johnson, Unertl apologized for her mistake and said she would improve. She wrote, "I'm sorry that this occurred, I will redouble efforts to verify fiscal information such as budget and city communication efforts."

Unertl has been disciplined by the city before. In December of 2013, Johnson put a note in her file stating her reaction at a meeting in November of 2013 in regards to a salary freeze was inappropriate. The 2013 note read, "You are reminded that, as a Department Head, you must be circumspect in your public display of emotion. Please refrain from further such displays in order to avoid formal disciplinary actions."