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Vander Sanden

I’m writing my first Under the Clock Tower while a couple of sports “pundits” are talking on the AM radio about the recent aftermath of the 2017 Green Bay Packer season. Fans know that after the disappointment that was this year, the general manager has been reassigned and the defensive coordinator was let go.

There was no one “let go” within the city of Columbus, but some recent personnel activities has me excited for what this new year brings, much like some new faces and ideas that are coming to Green Bay for next season to return our team to its rightful place among the NFL’s elite.

There has been a couple of news articles published sharing information about the new Columbus city clerk and director of planning and development. I want to explain to you my process for altering some of the organizational structure in your city government with the appointment of the new Clerk Megan Moen and Director of Planning and Development Matt Schreiber.

I was surprised and not surprised all at the same time when longtime City Clerk Anne Donahue came to talk to me last summer about her future plans to journey into a long and well-deserved retirement. Anne’s impact on Columbus is unquestioned, but her plans allowed me to look at our team and see if tweaks and adjustments were needed. Anne was much more than a city clerk, having overseen zoning and planning issues as well. In order to fill that huge gap she left, I spoke with the mayor and city council about redefining the clerk’s role and the economic development director.

Megan Moen, who is acclimating to our organization very well, brings energy and experience in approaching record-keeping and elections in innovative ways. She has ideas to improve our “flows” and I’m very optimistic that those ideas will lead to a more effective city government in many ways, which is also more efficient.

With Megan focusing on those areas in the clerk’s office, the planning and zoning needs are passed to Matt Schreiber, who is our new director of planning and development. I credit the hard work of former economic development directors for assisting Columbus with growth over the past few years, but the restructure at city hall allowed for us to have an experienced individual with knowledge and experience in urban planning, something that Matt brings to the table. The last two years has seen considerable interest by developers, business people and even new families relocating to Columbus. With all this interest, it is important to look at this growth potential and see if it is wise growth and in keeping with the best interest of our community. Matt Schreiber has rolled up his sleeves and dug in since starting his position in mid-December. I plan to keep him busy!

Megan and Matt are off and running, alongside all of the other hardworking and dedicated employees here at city hall. We are all working to make 2018 the best ever. With that, I hope 2018 is the best ever for you as well.

If you have any questions on this or any other issue before city government, please contact me at city hall at 623-5900 or via email at