Personnel File

Karen Dettmer

Appointed in 2019 to serve as Superintendent of the Milwaukee Water Works.

Served as Public Works Coordination Manager for the Department of Public Works for two years.

Spent almost ten years at the Department of City Development.

Photos

Content referencing Karen Dettmer

City Hall: Port Director Leaving For Job in Biden Administration
City Hall

Port Director Leaving For Job in Biden Administration

Adam Tindall-Schlicht spent four years atop Port Milwaukee, making major improvements.

City Hall: Committee Endorses New Public Works Leaders
City Hall

Committee Endorses New Public Works Leaders

Council likes mayor's picks for DPW commissioner and city engineer.

City Hall: Mayor Taps Jerrel Kruschke To Lead Department of Public Works
City Hall

Mayor Taps Jerrel Kruschke To Lead Department of Public Works

Kruschke, current interim commissioner and city engineer, has risen quickly through the ranks.

City Hall: Patrick Pauly Appointed Head of Milwaukee Water Works
City Hall

Patrick Pauly Appointed Head of Milwaukee Water Works

Civil engineer has worked at city-owned utility since 1991.

Biden’s Infrastructure Czar Visits City, Touts Lead Lateral Funding

Biden’s Infrastructure Czar Visits City, Touts Lead Lateral Funding

City has replaced 524 laterals this year, but Biden administration says that will greatly increase with federal funding.

City Hall: Who Wants To Be Milwaukee’s Public Works Czar?
City Hall

Who Wants To Be Milwaukee’s Public Works Czar?

Mayor Cavalier Johnson seeking new Public Works Commissioner.

City Hall: Who Will Lead Public Works Department?
City Hall

Who Will Lead Public Works Department?

Proposal would give Mayor Johnson ability to pick non-engineer to lead key department.

Transportation: Wells Street Could Gain Raised Bike Lanes
Transportation

Wells Street Could Gain Raised Bike Lanes

Quarter-mile stretch will be rebuilt through East Town.

Milwaukee Water Works Releases Annual Water Quality Report
Press Release

Milwaukee Water Works Releases Annual Water Quality Report

Water Quality Meets or Exceeds all State and Federal Standards

City Hall: Karen Dettmer Leaving City For Federal Job
City Hall

Karen Dettmer Leaving City For Federal Job

Interim Public Works Commissioner, former Water Works leader will join federal EPA.

City Hall: Workers Seeking Raises Find Open Ears, Empty Pockets
City Hall

Workers Seeking Raises Find Open Ears, Empty Pockets

Pension cliff and stagnant wages are pushing city toward a 'tipping point.'

Eyes on Milwaukee: The Couture Starts Massive Concrete Pour
Eyes on Milwaukee

The Couture Starts Massive Concrete Pour

78 truckloads of concrete for building's base. Developer exploring direct link to US Bank complex.

Water Sector Employers Join Together to Recruit and Train the Workforce of Tomorrow
City Hall: Official Milwaukee Christmas Tree Becoming Art, Beer and Mulch
City Hall

Official Milwaukee Christmas Tree Becoming Art, Beer and Mulch

You can own or drink a piece of the city's 108th annual holiday tree.

City Hall: Federal Funding for Lead Pipe Removal Likely a Year Away
City Hall

Federal Funding for Lead Pipe Removal Likely a Year Away

But Milwaukee Water Works officials were encouraged by show of confidence from VP Harris.

City Hall: New Assessment Commissioner Chosen
City Hall

New Assessment Commissioner Chosen

Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson picks Nicole Larsen to first serve as Chief Assessor, then Assessment Commissioner.

Johnson Ceremonially Sworn In As Mayor

Johnson Ceremonially Sworn In As Mayor

Milwaukee's acting mayor hosts a ceremony of pomp and circumstance to tell his story.

Johnson Plan Targets Reckless Driving

Johnson Plan Targets Reckless Driving

Acting-mayor-to-be and mayoral candidate Cavalier Johnson releases detailed plan of action.

City Hall: Dettmer’s Appointment As Public Works Head Is Historic
City Hall

Dettmer’s Appointment As Public Works Head Is Historic

First female to lead DPW, first time that no major mayor-appointed leaders are white males.

City Hall: Milwaukee Water Works Wants Rate Hike
City Hall

Milwaukee Water Works Wants Rate Hike

But below what state PSC allows. Bauman demands to know why.

City Hall: Poorer Residents To Get Help With Water Bills
City Hall

Poorer Residents To Get Help With Water Bills

Up to $5,000 per household from federal funding. But distribution could be tricky.

City Hall: Public Works Commissioner Jeff Polenske Leaving For Private Sector
City Hall

Public Works Commissioner Jeff Polenske Leaving For Private Sector

Three-decade government veteran "retiring" for private-sector employment.

State Could Get $800 Million For Water Systems

State Could Get $800 Million For Water Systems

Federal infrastructure bill could help pay for replacing lead pipes, upgrading sewer systems and more.

Senator Baldwin Applauds House Vote to Pass Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Press Release

Senator Baldwin Applauds House Vote to Pass Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Bipartisan legislation creates Wisconsin jobs and rebuilds Badger State infrastructure

Wisconsin Local Leaders Support Passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Making a Major Federal Investment in Rebuilding Water Infrastructure
Press Release

Wisconsin Local Leaders Support Passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Making a Major Federal Investment in Rebuilding Water Infrastructure

Praise for Senator Baldwin’s work on bipartisan legislation that will help local communities replace dangerous lead service lines, address dangerous PFAS chemicals, and improve resiliency of infrastructure

City Hall: More Than 660 Street Trees Lost in August Storm
City Hall

More Than 660 Street Trees Lost in August Storm

City officials debating how to get ready for next big storm as they await bill from "unprecedented" event.

City Hall: $98 Million Plan Targets Lead Poisoning
City Hall

$98 Million Plan Targets Lead Poisoning

Proposal addressing lead poisoning of children backed by the Coalition on Lead Emergency.

City Hall: Milwaukee Water Works Pursuing Rate Changes
City Hall

Milwaukee Water Works Pursuing Rate Changes

With Waukesha coming as a customer, utility pursuing changes to its authorized return rate.

City Hall: Jerrel Kruschke Appointed City Engineer
City Hall

Jerrel Kruschke Appointed City Engineer

Mayor Barrett finds a familiar face to replace Samir Amin.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Waukesha, Milwaukee Celebrate Huge Water Project
Eyes on Milwaukee

Waukesha, Milwaukee Celebrate Huge Water Project

$286 million, 36-mile-long project begun, will bring Milwaukee water to Waukesha.

EPA Unveils New Lead Regulations

EPA Unveils New Lead Regulations

But critics say allowable lead levels for drinking water are too high.

City Behind on Replacing Lead Pipes

City Behind on Replacing Lead Pipes

As of Aug. 10, only 333 service lines to homes replaced with copper, yearly goal is 1,100.

City Hall: Council Spending Hours Reviewing Barrett’s Appointments
City Hall

Council Spending Hours Reviewing Barrett’s Appointments

Plenty of praise and criticism for department heads, including Jeff Polenske and Jeanette Kowalik.

Public comment wanted for next set of cabinet-level appointees
Press Release

Public comment wanted for next set of cabinet-level appointees

Leadership for Public Works, Water Works, Port, Health Department and Emergency Management & Communications Director set for this week

City Hall: Council Grilling, But Advancing Mayoral Appointees
City Hall

Council Grilling, But Advancing Mayoral Appointees

Most being confirmed unanimously after long meetings.

City Hall: Common Council Threatens City Shakeup
City Hall

Common Council Threatens City Shakeup

Votes to hold every Barrett cabinet appointment, wants systemic change in all city operations.

Mayor Barrett Announces First Round of Cabinet Appointments
The Water Council welcomes five new members to its board of directors
City Hall: Should City Workers Get COVID Bonus?
City Hall

Should City Workers Get COVID Bonus?

Public Works employees can't work from home, face more risk of COVID-19.

City Hall: Milwaukee on 70-Year Pace To Replace Lead Laterals
City Hall

Milwaukee on 70-Year Pace To Replace Lead Laterals

What will the city do for property owners that want to voluntarily replace their laterals?

City Hall: Audit Gives Water Works High Marks
City Hall

Audit Gives Water Works High Marks

Outside audit of city utility found good practices for lead reduction, water quality monitoring.

League of Women Voters Presents Forum on Lead Poisoning March 6
City Hall: Pipe Destroyed in Water Main Break
City Hall

Pipe Destroyed in Water Main Break

"Very, very rare" break destroys 29 feet of water main, raises questions, devastates residents in area.

South Hawley Road to Fully Reopen on Monday, January 13
City Hall: 1,893 Lead Service Lines Replaced
City Hall

1,893 Lead Service Lines Replaced

But 75,403 remain. City still on 70-year pace to solve century-old problem.

City Hall: Council Approves Water Rate Increase
City Hall

Council Approves Water Rate Increase

Three council members object to plan that raises annual cost by $7.

Photo Gallery: PrideFest Boasted 120 LGBTQ Artists
Photo Gallery

PrideFest Boasted 120 LGBTQ Artists

45,787 people attended, making it the largest pride event ever held in Wisconsin.

City Hall: City Will Raise Its Water Rates
City Hall

City Will Raise Its Water Rates

Average customers in city and suburbs served directly will see their bills rise $7 per year.

PrideFest Milwaukee honors our community heroes
Press Release

PrideFest Milwaukee honors our community heroes

Join us FRIDAY for $1 Opening Ceremonies special

City Hall: FLAC, Get the Lead Out Fight City Over Lead Posioning
City Hall

FLAC, Get the Lead Out Fight City Over Lead Posioning

Groups have a showdown with city officials over claims surrounding city's failure on lead poisoning, infant mortality.

City Hall: Barrett Offers Upbeat State of City Speech
City Hall

Barrett Offers Upbeat State of City Speech

Mayor touts employers coming to city, The Hop's launch and a friendly governor.

City Hall: Karen Dettmer Will Lead Water Works
City Hall

Karen Dettmer Will Lead Water Works

Committee puts veteran engineer through the ringer before endorsing her appointment.

Transportation: City Extending Streetcar to Convention Center
Transportation

City Extending Streetcar to Convention Center

Short extension can be built without federal funds, adding more ridership.

City Hall: Committee Okays Complete Streets Policy
City Hall

Committee Okays Complete Streets Policy

Proposal on street design places pedestrians and cyclists on same level as motorists

Plenty of Horne: Meeting Addresses Swing Park Homicides
Plenty of Horne

Meeting Addresses Swing Park Homicides

Mayor, police, city officials, residents have a solution-oriented meeting short on anger.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Couture Seeks Commercial Tenants
Eyes on Milwaukee

Couture Seeks Commercial Tenants

44-story apartment tower will have 40,000 square left for a grocer, restaurants, medical office.

Eyes on Milwaukee: City Panel Okays Oak and Loc Complex
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Panel Okays Oak and Loc Complex

Unanimous vote allows controversial East Side apartment project to move forward.

Eyes on Milwaukee: City Panel Approves Oak and Loc Project
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Panel Approves Oak and Loc Project

5 story, 55-unit apartment building slated for busy corner, but some neighbors oppose it.

Milwaukee Downtown names its 2017 Downtown Achievement Award winners
Press Release

Milwaukee Downtown names its 2017 Downtown Achievement Award winners

Catalytic projects and downtown leaders were honored for their contributions to the central business district.

Eyes on Milwaukee: New Apartments for Oak and Loc
Eyes on Milwaukee

New Apartments for Oak and Loc

Neighbors react to 5-story, 55-unit apartment complex for East Side corner.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Postman Square, City’s Newest Park
Eyes on Milwaukee

Postman Square, City’s Newest Park

But it does have a long history. The park's roots trace back to 1889.

Development in works for Bay View lot
Citation

Development in works for Bay View lot