For almost 20 years, Randy Eide has been a reliable fixture at city hall. He served as the Public Works Director from June 2004 until his retirement in January 2023. What exactly does the Public Works Director do, you might ask? The answer is a lot. The director is responsible for field operations of the following departments: wastewater, water, community services (streets and parks), and building inspection. The Public Works Director also helps with economic development and growth for the city, working on zoning issues and developer agreements.
"The public works director handles engineering questions and issues for all of these departments," said Eide. "While the city still needs to rely on Cedar Corp and other engineering firms to perform work for the city, the director provides continuity between the city departments, other entities like the county and UW Stout, and the various engineering firms we deal with."
Eide, a native of Whitehall, WI, has a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UW Madison. After graduation, he enlisted in the US Air Force and eventually earned a master's degree in Engineering Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Eide served as a civil engineer at several bases around the world. After 21 years of serving his country, Eide retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He settled back in Wisconsin and soon took over as Menomonie's Public Works Director.
“The Public Works Director is essentially the second in charge for the city after the city administrator,” said Mayor Randy Knaack. “With 125 employees to oversee, it’s a big job and we as a city have been very blessed to have Randy in that position and now to have David stepping in, we are twice blessed.”
Eide's replacement is likely to be familiar to many people in Menomonie. David Schofield is a 1998 Menomonie High School graduate who played on two state championship football teams. His father, Ken, served as the city attorney for many years, and his mother, Nancy, who passed away in 2021, was a professor at UW Stout.
"David is a big win for the city," said Eide. "He's a hometown boy vested in the city, and he wants to do good things, and he will do good things."
Schofield has a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Iowa. He worked for several years at Cedar Corp in Menomonie and most recently was an Associate at Short Elliot Hendrickson in Chippewa Falls. Schofield and his wife Diane (Slinden), also an MHS graduate and standout athlete, live in Menomonie with their two daughters.
"Mr. Eide did a remarkable job in his eighteen years in the position and left large shoes to fill," said Schofield. "As a lifelong resident of Menomonie, I've benefited from the hard work and dedication of current and previous generations of public servants who have made the city what it is today. I look forward to using the experience I've gained during my 20-year career as a consulting engineer to continue and expand that legacy."
Schofield officially took over as the Public Works Director on January 30th.
"I've really enjoyed my time with the city," said Eide. "It's been a team effort. We've made some great improvements in our infrastructure and have moved the city forward. I'm confident that the improvements will continue."
Eide lives in Menomonie with his wife, Mary, a pastor at Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church in Elk Mound. His retirement plans include spending time with his grandchildren (they recently welcomed their 5th grandchild), fishing, and volunteering.
"I really have an appreciation for this community, and I plan to stay here and give back," said Eide.