Washington Co. Supervisors vote a final time on elected County Executive
With two Washington County Supervisors absent, (Roger Kist and Brian Gallitz) the County Board voted for a second time on a resolution to change the form of government to an elected county executive, rather than an appointed county administrator.
It was June 12, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted 13-13 on a resolution to create a county executive position. A tie vote resulted in failure of the motion.
Electronic vote above from June 12, 2019 meeting 13-13 tie.
Two short weeks later, the issue was brought back for review. On Friday, June 28 Supervisors Chris Jenkins, Russ Brandt and William Symicek requested a county executive resolution be placed on the July 10 county board meeting for reconsideration.
During the Wednesday, Sept. 11 meeting the County Board voted 13 – 11 to approve creating an office of County Executive of Washington County.
This means in April 2020 there will be a race for the seat for Washington County Executive. So far county administrator Joshua Schoemann has not indicated if he will run for the post. He said he’s going to take a couple days and then make a statement on his decision.
A quick look at some of the change in vote since June:
District 1 Supervisor Kristine Deiss changed her vote from an initial ‘nay’ on June 12 to a ‘aye’ on Sept. 11.
District 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins, who requested the issue be brought back for review, voted ‘nay’ twice on the issue.
District 10 Supervisor William Symicek, who also requested the issue be brought back for review, voted ‘aye’ twice.
District 16 Supervisor Russel Brandt, who also requested the issue be brought back, changed his vote from a June 12 ‘nay’ to a ‘aye’ on Sept. 11.
District 22 Supervisor Rock Brandner changed his vote from a June 12 ‘aya’ to a Sept. 11 ‘nay.’
A couple notes as the process moves forward:
Supervisor Jenkins – “I brought it back and then voted against it a second time because it still deserved time to do the research and get feedback but for me, I feel our electorate voting has pretty limited knowledge on county government. To me now laying this task on the people in the county to have this very important vote, honestly it scares me a bit. So now that it’s past there’s going to have to be a lot of education on what sort of role (county executive) this is. I also feel the difference in position is we will now be tasking the operations of the county to someone who wins a popularity contest. There’s a role for that in democracy but I hope we find a balance. Finally, I thought it was brought up initially because we lacked leadership. I love Joshua Schoemann (current county administrator) and if he decides to run that will be great but I worry about the monster we just created has just opened the position to anyone who wants to run. Education of the electorate is going to need to be done.”
Voting in favor of now changing the county administrator position to an elected county executive position means the county just violated the terms of Joshua Schoemann’s contract. It means the county will have to pay him $130,000 because of a violation of the original terms of agreement.
Schoemann has been on tour the past year and a half talking about the dire situation of the county’s fiscal health. He’s often compared it to “falling off a financial cliff.”
A question was posted to supervisors about how they could vote to spend $130,000 in taxpayer money in this fashion.
Supervisor Jenkins – “I don’t know. I didn’t vote for it.”
Supervisor Kristine Deiss – “That is a legal binding contract. But what would happen down the road? I don’t think you can equate changing this form of government into the dollar and cents because the supervisors knew that was going to be a cost but I don’t equate that to the decision that had to be made because the decision affects our future and how this county will be run and that’s the bigger picture… as far as I’m concerned.”
Supervisor Peter Sorce – “It’s all Communism. I asked one question, let’s bring in some guys from Milwaukee and let’s talk to them and they told me to go screw myself. That’s the kind of a board we have.”
On a side note: The County Board did not take up the POWTS issue. It was removed from the agenda as the county executive vote was expected to take up a majority of the meeting. The POWTS issue is slated now to be voted on at the October 2019 meeting. Early indications are it is being recommended to vote it down.
Fund for Lake Michigan awards grant to the City of West Bend for Downtown Riverwalk improvements
Opening of the newly renovated Riverwalk on the east bank of the Milwaukee River in downtown West Bend has fueled excitement over plans to reconstruct the Riverwalk on the opposite bank of the river.
The concept plan for the west bank Downtown Riverwalk was unveiled last month. Improvements include areas for the public to sit and relax along the river, an accessible fishing deck, a kayak launch, and a new bike/pedestrian path under the Washington Street bridge that will link the Riverwalk trail in downtown West Bend to the existing trail north of Washington Street.
“The City of West Bend is grateful to the Fund for Lake Michigan for this design award. Our community prides itself on both quality of life and a strong downtown business district, so there is widespread support and anticipation for the west bank reconstruction,” said West Bend Mayor Sadownikow.
As part of the design, the engineering firm Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) Inc. is investigating ways to address water quality issues posed by stormwater runoff from nearby streets, roofs, and parking lots that flows directly into the Milwaukee River.
The design will include green infrastructure to capture and treat runoff in the immediate area of the Riverwalk area. SEH is also exploring the possibility of incorporating stormwater treatment for runoff that flows into the project area from outside of the Riverwalk.
The Fund for Lake Michigan has generously awarded a $100,000 grant to the city to help pay for project design and engineering.
Fund for Lake Michigan Executive Director Vicki Elkin said, “The West Bend project is an opportunity to achieve long-term measurable improvements in water quality while supporting the City’s recreational and economic goals. We are excited to fund it and to see more and more municipalities address their development needs in a way that promotes a sustainable Lake Michigan.”
Designating State Hwy 28 as Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway
On Wednesday, September 11 state Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) and Representative Tim Ramthun (R- Campbellsport) along with leaders from Washington County gathered in the Senate Parlor in the State Capitol to introduce legislation to honor 9/11 victims and designate a portion of State Highway 28 as the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway.
Seventeen veterans from Washington County on September 28 Honor Flight
There are 17 veterans from Washington County participating in the 54th Stars and Stripes Honor Flight’s (SSHF) that will take off Saturday, September 28.
One of the oldest veterans will be 92-year-old Richard Mihalek of Germantown who enlisted into the Navy in 1945 when he was 17 years old.
Other local veterans on the flight include: Vietnam Army Kenneth Zimmerman Hartford, Vietnam Marines Thomas Kilcourse Hartford, Vietnam Army Dennis Marthaler Hartford, Vietnam Air Force Daniel Maciejewski Hubertus, Korea Army Clifford Conaway Jackson, Vietnam Army Harry Krueger Kewaskum, Vietnam Marines William Richter Slinger, Vietnam Navy Ronald Buechler West Bend, Vietnam Navy Leonard McGinnis Jr. West Bend, Vietnam, Army Paul Fellenz West Bend, Vietnam Army Ronald Hausner West Bend, Vietnam Army James Wollner West Bend, Vietnam Army Roger Kaschner West Bend, Vietnam Navy Bruce Post West Bend, Vietnam Army Michael Reseburg West Bend, Vietnam Army Adrian Krueger West Bend
Two Allegiant Airlines A320 aircraft will leave Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport at approximately 7:00 a.m. on flight day, bound for Baltimore Washington International Airport with 171 local veterans (and their guardians) ready to experience a full day of honor and thanks.
On that day, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight will welcome 9 WWII veterans, 13 Korean War veterans, and 149 veterans of the Vietnam War.
Southeastern Wisconsin veterans who will be taking their Honor Flight on September 28 have a wide variety of service histories, including service as Vietnam War paratroopers, helicopter pilots, reconnaissance Marines, tank gunners and artillery soldiers.
After the planes land in Baltimore on flight day, the veterans will board coach buses to tour Washington DC’s WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and more. The day will also include viewing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. A DC Park Police escort will ensure that the veterans do not spend time stuck in traffic.
Be sure to come to SHRED Day at Horicon Bank in West Bend on Saturday, Sept. 14 for ‘After the Honor Flight’ and meet local veterans who have been on the flight and those prepping to take part on September 28. The free event runs 10 a.m. – 12 noon.
“We are so honored to welcome another 171 local heroes to their Stars and Stripes Honor Flight,” said Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. “Our veterans will join us from all over southeastern Wisconsin for this trip of a lifetime. So many of our oldest veterans came home many years ago without a true homecoming. We look forward to welcoming them home the way they should have been welcomed home decades ago. We are so grateful to our volunteers and our community for their support of our veterans and our mission.”
Prior to the September 28 flight, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has flown 7,018 local veterans on these trips to Washington, DC since 2008, and has honored more than 50 veterans locally who were not able to fly.
As an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and no offices, the organization is proud to share that $.97 of every donated dollar goes directly to flying and honoring veterans.
Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast. The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit Washington DC without assistance. Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have taken well over 223,000 veterans to see their memorials.
Timeline of activities for the Saturday, September 28 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight:
4:30 am –Veterans and their guardians begin check in at Mitchell Airport’s main concourse
5:45 am – National Anthem and boarding entertainment by vocalists “Bounding Main”
6:30 am – Flights depart for BWI Airport, water cannon salute on runway
9:30 am (ET) – Flights arrive at BWI Airport, load buses for DC tour
6:30 pm (ET) -Return to BWI Airport, load planes for departure back to MKE
8:30 pm (CT, approximate) Return flights land at Mitchell Airport, veterans deplane for parade through the airport’s main concourse. The 484th Army Band and the Brookfield Central Lancerettes dance team will provide spirit for the Homecoming parade.
Active senior living apartment complex closer to fruition in West Bend TIF District
The development of a new active senior living apartment-style complex moved one step closer to fruition this week as the West Bend Common Council emerged from closed session to approve a purchase agreement with New Perspectives on the south half of TIF #12.
The proposed five to six-story active senior living apartment-style complex is being proposed on a 4.45-acre parcel on the south end of the former Gehl property just to the west of S. Forest Avenue.
RTN Development, LLC, based in Minnesota, stepped forward with the proposal. The purchase of the property is still being negotiated.
Nick Novaczyk, is CEO with RNT Development. “This will be a market-rate rental,” said Novaczyk. “There will be about 130 to 150 units with underground parking.”
“With the purchase agreement we will now push our concept forward with regard to how big of a building, how many parking stalls, and other things to get this accomplished,” said Novaczyk.
The project, according to Novaczyk, is to be completed in partnership with New Perspective Senior Living, the very same organization serving the West Bend community with independent living, assisted living and memory care on Continental Drive.
That former Gehl Company property had been under remediation for the past 7+ years.
“We liked this spot in particular because of its proximity to downtown,” said Novaczyk. “Also, the access to the Eisenbahn State Trail, MOWA, and the riverwalk.”
The northern end of the Gehl lot will also be under development as the City announced an agreement on May 6, 2019 with RafRad LLC and Kinseth Hospitality with the intention of constructing a hotel and office building in the downtown on a portion of the 8-acre site formerly home to Gehl on the southwest corner of Water Street and Forest Avenue.
Novaczyk said the timeline on occupancy is expected to be “in early 2021.”
Hartford Union H.S. Mary Scherr awarded 2018-19 NFHS gymnastics Coach of the Year | By Teri Kermendy
Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is proud to announce Mary Scherr has been named 2018-2019 National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Gymnastics Coach of the Year for Wisconsin.
“I was very surprised and honored to receive this award.” said Mary Scherr.
Annually, the NFHS identifies and recognizes a coach from each state for significant achievement in their sport. State level recipients are considered for NFHS Sectional Recognition. National Coaches of the Year are then chosen from the sectional winners in which Scherr will be considered.
“Mary is an outstanding coach to our young athletes at HUHS and promoting the sport of gymnastics. She is well respected not only by the North Shore Conference coaches but also by coaches around the state. HUHS is very lucky to have Coach Scherr.” said Scott Helms, HUHS Athletics and Activities Director.
WBFD receives $169,090 FEMA grant
West Bend Fire Chief Gerald Kudek appeared before the West Bend Finance Committee this week to discuss acceptance of a FEMA grant.
The purpose of the FEMA – Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program is to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.
After the extremely competitive grant process, FEMA has determined that our project for the Plymovent Exhaust System in all of our stations was consistent with the AFG Program’s purpose and was worthy of this award.
Diesel engines, used in fire trucks, produce a mixture of toxic gases and particulates from the combustion process. These hazardous vehicle exhaust emissions in a fire station are one of a firefighter’s most significant cancer health risk. It is essential to create healthy and safe working conditions by reducing these risks.
The Plymovent Exhaust System will eliminate this hazard from our fire station with a vehicle exhaust capture and removal systems. The automatic start-up and disconnect source capture systems are the recommended method for controlling exhaust emissions in our three fire stations.
The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is a 10-percent match program.
The budget for this project is $186,000. FEMA’s awarded grant amount is $169,090.90, and the City’s portion would be $16,909.10. The Finance Committee approved the request.
Aldi in West Bend to temporarily close for remodel starting next week
Neighbors in West Bend are going to have to change their shopping patterns as Aldi, 1114 S. Main Street, prepares to close for a month.
The store is undergoing a significant remodel and addition. It will close Wednesday, Sept. 18 and officially reopen October 25.
Clerks at Aldi are handing out the above coupon at the checkout register. The opposite side features $5 coupons* to shop at Aldi in Hartford or Menomonee Falls while West Bend undergoes an upgrade. (*The $5 coupon is only good with a minimum $30 purchase.)
More warehouse storage space is being added along with some interior refrigeration work currently underway.
ALDI Corporation, which has 2.5 acres, acquired 2.47 acres of land from the adjacent owner (King Pin) for expansion.
The site plan is for a 2,440 square-foot commercial building addition located on the west side of the building with minor architectural building alterations proposed to the remaining building.
In 2017 ALDI announced a nationwide “plan to remodel and expand more than 1,300 U.S. stores by 2020.”
Early plans indicate ALDI will spend “more than $37 million dedicated to enhancing stores in the Milwaukee-area.”
Gas station in Newburg closes until March 2020
Casey’s General Store, 432 Highway 33, in Newburg has closed temporarily.
“Casey’s is putting in a new store,” said Newburg Village Administrator Deanna Alexander. “The tentative plan is to open in February or March of 2020.”
The Village issued building permits earlier this year. So far, no building/design plans have been submitted to the Village. Work crews were busy taking stock out of the store/gas station this past Monday, Sept. 9. Neighbors in Newburg are familiar with how the store used to look, Tri-Par, before being bought out by Casey’s General Store.
West Bend musician wins New Horizon Award from US Polka Association
A young West Bend musician has received the New Horizon Award from the United States Polka Association (USPA). The award, which is the only national award for a young up-and-coming performer, was presented to Joe Heger at the USPA annual convention in Cleveland, OH.
The USPA is one of two major polka music associations in the United States dedicated to the promotion of the Polish genre of polka music.
The New Horizon Award is given to an outstanding young (under 21) musician who has demonstrated extreme accomplishment in performing polka music.
The USPA award was presented to Heger by Allen Bales, the leader of the Julida Boys Band which has played polka music in the Washington County area and beyond for the past 40 plus years.
Bales was Heger’s first trumpet teacher and ultimately became a great mentor and friend after he discovered a very young Joe playing along and twirling his plastic toy trumpet to the music of Hank Guzevich and his Polka Family Band at the West Bend Germanfest about 13 years ago.
Heger has been busy this summer performing with his own Polka Fusion Band and with the Chad Przybylski Band from Pulaski, WI. Since June he has logged more than 20 performances including Milwaukee Polish Fest and the Minnesota State Fair. Heger be at The Milwaukee Brewing Company and La Crosse Oktoberfest later this month.
Slinger Gridiron Club partnering with local businesses to build team success
Slinger youth football opened its season over the weekend and the Gridiron Club rolled out a partnership with new food vendors including Tony Herrera, owner of Angelo’s Pizzeria.
Bill Brewer, president of the Slinger Gridiron, said they’ve partnered with businesses before to enhance the club’s safety sponsorship and this year they’re trying something new with food vendors. “Angelo’s Pizzeria is running our concession stand this year,” he said. “Tony Herrera supports us with fundraising and our club supports his business.”
Aside from providing fresh food at the concession stand, Angelo’s Pizzeria is also donating 20 percent of the proceeds back to the Gridiron Club.
Herrera said he wants to be a good member of the community and giving back to the kids and the club is a win, win for everyone. “We serve fresh pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs and then we’re doing a 20 percent donation,” he said.
Slinger Gridiron proudly exists to provide the 5th-12th grade students in our School District with the opportunity to play tackle football. We’ve worked hard to create a fun program that builds character in our players, developing qualities in them like leadership, teamwork, discipline and courage. Our players learn that hard work is of greater value than natural ability, and that a competitive spirit and a desire to perform to capacity will help them succeed now and in the future.
Teamwork, commitment, and fair play are required, at all times, from all Directors, Coaches, and Players affiliated with Slinger Gridiron.
Germantown’s Anthony Roskopf recognized as 7,000 veteran on Honor Flight
There was a special ceremony at Mitchell International Airport today as 16 veterans from Washington County took part in the 53rd Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
Korean War Army veteran Anthony Roskopf of Germantown was recognized as the 7,000 veteran to fly on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight out of Milwaukee.
Roskopf was drafted in 1953 when he was 23 years old. “I worked on a farm at the time in Menomonee Falls,” he said. “The farm is right where COSCO is today.”
Roskopf went to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri for basic training. In July, rather than being shipped to Korea, Roskopf was ordered to go to advanced radar repair school at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. “While we were there a hurricane came into Chesapeake Bay and tore up the whole base and tipped our trailer over,” said Roskopf.
Roskopf then was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas however he worked mainly in White Sands, New Mexico. “We worked with a lot of highly classified material,” he said.