MAYVILLE — Ryan Vossekuil is now the permanent Mayville police chief after he was sworn in Thursday following months of contract disputes and the resignation of former Chief Christopher MacNeill, who was subsequently charged with misconduct in office.

“It’s been a difficult year for us and it’s time to turn a page,” Vossekuil said.

He told a packed Common Council chamber Thursday night about how he has wanted to be involved with the police department since he was a child growing up in Mayville.

“Mayville is a great community and you have a great police department,” he said.

He thanked his wife and family for their support. He also expressed gratitude toward Mayor Rob Boelk, the Common Council and the Police and Fire Commission.

Boelk said that appointing a new police chief doesn’t happen very often, which made this a special day for Mayville.

“We will be witnessing history in the making,” Boelk said.

Vossekuil began serving as the interim Mayville police chief in April. His appointment is retroactive to April 25.

The final contract offered to Vossekuil removes a 12-month probationary period that was part of the previous offer and it increases the salary from $72,000 to $73,400. In addition, Vossekuil will attend police chief training and other training as needed. The council will then review his status on July 1.

Vossekuil rejected a contract offer in August because he was advised to do so by legal counsel. Boelk issued a news release Sept. 21 stating that Vossekuil did not make a counterproposal, leading the city to reject Vossekuil as a candidate.

The 12-month probationary period in the contract was an issue of contention. The probationary period carried the risk that Vossekuil could be easily dismissed and thus put the benefits he earned over the course of his 15-year career with the department in jeopardy.

The city previously had said it would move forward with its search for a chief, but residents criticized the Common Council and asked it to reconsider the contract it offered to Vossekuil. Boelk previously defended the probationary period, calling it standard and something that must be included in order to protect the city’s best interests.

MacNeill resigned March 31. He was investigated by the Watertown Police Department at the request of Boelk, whose request came after the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation served a search warrant on the city of Mayville on Feb. 6. Boelk placed MacNeill on paid administrative leave Feb. 9.

Ben Rueter covers Beaver Dam, Horicon and Juneau city governments for the Beaver Dam Daily Citizen.