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DPW’s Polenske to step down as commissioner

Jeff Polenske

Milwaukee Department of Public Works Commissioner Jeff Polenske announced Friday that he will step down after 31 years at the department.

Polenske became DPW commissioner in 2018 after serving for 18 years as a city engineer. He’ll retire from his post and join the engineering firm Michael Baker International as its Wisconsin vice president and office executive. Polenske’s last day at the city will be Dec. 17.

“I have spent virtually my entire career in public service,” he said in a statement. “While this has been immensely gratifying, other professional goals are drawing me to a position in the private sector, one that will present new opportunities and challenges.”

Polenske said he was confident that DPW is well-positioned to succeed in his absence and noted that leaders of the agency’s four divisions have “significant career experience.”

The agency is in charge of a variety of functions, including street maintenance, parking enforcement and snow removal.

“Jeff Polenske has been a respected leader in Milwaukee government for decades, and he departs with a long list of accomplishments,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement. “I’m personally very happy for Jeff, and I wish him well in his next endeavor.”

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