Jerrel Kruschke Appointed City Engineer
Mayor Barrett finds a familiar face to replace Samir Amin.
Continuing a decades-long trend, the man chosen to be Milwaukee’s next City Engineer is a Department of Public Works (DPW) veteran.
Mayor Tom Barrett nominated Jerrel Kruschke to serve as City Engineer, a cabinet-level post. His appointment, to what is effectively the number two position at DPW, is subject to Common Council confirmation.
Kruschke, 41, would serve as the head of DPW’s Infrastructure Services Division, which employs over 1,000 people at its summer peak. The division handles everything from filling potholes to planning new bridges.
The position, which pays a maximum of $147,336 according to a job listing, was listed nationally. Kruschke earned $99,884 in 2019 according to publicly available records.
Kruschke would replace Samir Amin, who opted to retire when the council moved to hold new equity-focused hearings on all reappointments following Barrett’s re-election. Amin, who held the post since December 2018, was viewed by insiders as a shoe-in to be reappointed and was recommended for reappointment after his first hearing. But he decided to step aside after 32 years with the city. Director of operations Laura Daniels is also retiring after 36 years with the city. Both left to high praise from council members and colleagues.
Keep your eye on whoever gets tapped to serve in Kruschke’s current job next. It’s becoming a good career launchpad. His predecessor as public works coordination manager, Karen Dettmer, was promoted to serve as Milwaukee Water Works Superintendent.
Kruschke’s appointment is one of two cabinet appointments making its way through the council. Makda Fessahaye was nominated to serve as head of the Department of Employee Relations. Barrett must also find a permanent Health Commissioner; Marlaina Jackson holds the job on an interim basis. The mayor, under state law, is not responsible for hiring a new police chief or fire chief.