The city shored up leadership of two departments Monday, Sept. 9, hiring a senior center director and assigning an officer to lead the fire department on a temporary basis.

Alders unanimously agreed to a contract with Stephanie Ehle to take over at the Verona Senior Center, which has been without a director since April 22, when Mary Hanson agreed to resign under pressure. Ehle starts Oct. 7, according to her employment agreement.

Daniel Machotka, the Verona Fire Department’s deputy chief of supportive services, will handle the fire department as the officer in charge after chief Joe Giver begins his three-month paid leave Sept. 27 before his official retirement Jan. 2.

Ehle has been director of the Pregnancy Helpline for the past year and a wellness consultant for four years before that. She has an academic background in health and gerontology and has led health and wellness activities for the City of Madison, senior living complexes and UW Hospital, according to her resume.

City administrator Adam Sayre, who was part of the screening committee, told the Press she has strong management and leadership skills, interviewed well and has a good personality.

“She’s going to be able to lead the center,” he said. “She’s caring and compassionate. You need to be able to handle what the center is throwing at you.”

Ehle will be paid $58,137.

Machotka has been with the department since 2010, initially serving as the department’s training officer.

He was promoted to lieutenant in 2015 when the city began its first 24/7 staffing at the fire station, and he took the newly created position of deputy chief in 2017, a job that consolidated supervision of maintenance of the station and vehicles, as well as hands-on mechanic work.

During the term of his agreement, which runs through Dec. 31, Machotka will be paid $105,698 annually.

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