Category Archives: Off-Duty

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Final sale price for former Fleet Farm building in West Bend

The final numbers are in regarding the sale price of the old Fleet Farm, 1637 W. Washington Street, and the site of the former Tri-Par, 1613 W. Washington Street.

According to the West Bend City Assessor’s office the sale of Fleet Farm to Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. closed May 8, 2020.

The building at 1637 W. Washington Street had been listed for sale at $3,250,000 for the 49,680-square-foot parcel.

The old Fleet Farm closed Nov. 17, 2019 when the new Fleet opened at 3815 W. Washington Street.

Records show Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. paid $3,100,000 for the former Fleet Farm site on the southeast corner of Highway 33 and 18th Avenue.  The parcel was last assessed in 2019 at $2,174,700.

The former Tri-Par parcel, just to the east of the large former Fleet building, sold for $190,000 to Kwik Trip Inc. Corp. That parcel was last assessed in 2019 at $250,000.

The City of West Bend currently has two Kwik Trips, one on Silverbrook just north of Paradise Drive and the second on Decorah Road and S. Main Street. There are also two more Kwik Trips on tap as construction is set for a new store on Highway 33 east and on Paradise Drive and River Road.

The timetable on development of Kwik Trip No. 5 has yet to be determined. The old Fleet still needs to be razed but the early thought is they’d like to have the store open “sometime next year” in 2021.

Other details from the Kwik Trip:

– There is a car wash at the W. Washington Street location

– Construction will start this year, 2020, on the Kwik Trip No. 3 and No. 4 locations in West Bend. Kwik Trip officials said the two projects may be “staged at the same time” but it is not aware which will be started or completed first.

Oaken Hogg bourbon bar opening in downtown West Bend

“We are a bourbon bar,” said David Casper, owner of the new Oaken Hogg in downtown West Bend. “We’ll be focused on that spirit and all things associated with what comes out of a bourbon barrel.”

Casper and his wife Nicole have had their eye on opening an establishment for a few years. His wife’s family had restaurants and taverns in the Kenosha area. Casper’s background is advertising and alcohol promotions, as well as a love of bourbon.

“I’ve been a bourbon; I hate to say ‘connoisseur’… it’s just one of those things that just came together. We figured it complimented what West Bend already has to offer,” he said.

The Oaken Hogg will serve all types of alcohol and cocktails but bourbon is the focus.

The couple are currently remodeling the former Café Soeurette location, 111 N Main St, West Bend.

Casper said the Oaken Hogg will open in phased implementation. “This isn’t going to be a restaurant,” he said. “We’re opening the bar first and offering charcuterie for the time being. Then we are looking to open a restaurant in 10 to 15 months to coincide with the Riverwalk because we do have space on the riverfront.”

In 2018-19 the City of West Bend redeveloped the east side of the Riverwalk. Adding a new retention wall, decorative paved sidewalk, white bridges, and trees.

The project to redevelop the west side of the Riverwalk is currently in a fundraising/planning stage.

The Caspers have lived in West Bend seven years. “We love the community,” he said. “For a very brief period we looked at some surrounding areas but West Bend is the place.”

Casper believes “any community can be a bourbon community.”

“It’s a quintessential American spirit, very versatile, and it has grown significantly in the last decade; it’s not your grandfather’s drink anymore,” he said.

Bourbon, according to Casper, also appeals to more women than ever before.

“Our goal is to introduce it to those who may not have considered bourbon a drink they would try and make it accessible to people.”

Casper said his flavor of choice is Makers Mark. “They are so many good bourbons out there. I have tried hundreds of them and the best one is always the one in the glass in front of you,” he said.

The initial plan was to have a soft open July 1, however the Caspers said they are playing it by ear right now.

Opening day announced for Skinny Vic’s Diner & Coffee Stop

It is official. Skinny Vic’s announces it will open June 1, 2020.  Owner Vicky Lehnerz took us on a quick sneak peek at her new diner and coffee stop. There has been a lot of work done converting the former Golf Etc. store, 804 W. Paradise Drive, in West Bend into an eatery.

Skinny Vic’s is also in the running for a Class B liquor license with the City of West Bend. The new diner is in the same strip mall as Home Depot. The diner will feature a Coca Cola theme with a 1950’s feel; it will include homemade breakfast and lunch and gluten-free options.

 

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County Ride ReStart – Update    By Janean Brudvig

Dear Volunteers & Community Partners,

First, a warm THANK YOU to the many who have helped over the past weeks to create a “community of kindness” for our isolated seniors. A very special shout-out and welcome to our 30+ NEW VOLUNTEERS! We could not be more grateful for the many Kindness Calls & Cards, Food Delivery, grocery shopping, and medication pick-up you are providing – what a tremendous difference you are making!

Right now, we are working on “phase-one” to resume our ride service. As we do this, ensuring the health and safety of our volunteer drivers and senior clients continues to be our main concern. As we create our guidelines, we are looking to several sources, including the CDC, Blueprint for opening Washington/Ozaukee Co. and other transportation programs across the state. From these we will craft the best plan for Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.

We anticipate that with our Board of Director’s approval, the guidelines for Interfaith’s Ride ReStart will be out early next week. “Phase-one” rides will begin on Monday, June 1.

Help Corner will be opening on a limited basis on June 1.

The services we have provided over the past weeks will continue unchanged. This includes outdoor work now that the weather is finally cooperating. Currently, all in-home services remain suspended.

Please watch for Interfaith’s Ride ReStart guidelines early next week. If you have any questions, please give our office a call 262-365-0902 or email me a janean@ifc4seniors.org

When I asked our team to share a “best work moment” from the past weeks – the resounding choice? Percolate Drive-Thru, of course. Sharing a smile (and donut) with so many of you, though from a distance, warmed our hearts. We miss you all very much. Again, thank you from all of us for everything you are doing. Stay healthy and safe, and we will see you soon!

With Gratitude,

Janean Brudvig

 

Help needed finding sentimental property stolen in West Bend

Reaching out for some community support in hopes of helping a young man in West Bend who had some personal items stolen from a storage locker in his apartment on Vine Street. The items are extremely sentimental and any help sharing the story and finding the items would mean the world.

My aunt had to move and gave me her collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia since it was one of my favorite films. I had them locked in the basement of my apartment building in a wood and chicken wire storage unit. The unit was still locked when I realized the items were missing, unfortunately I don’t check my unit consistently but they had been in there over a year with no issues, but we have had issues with our front door not locking. I know this had to have happened within the last month, around Mother’s Day or so, because I noticed them still in there. There is a gap between the ceiling and the storage units which someone could potentially climb over.

When talking to the police they thought it was possibly someone looking for stuff to sell for drug money. They took a collection of Dave Grossman figurines that were stored in a vacuum box. The person dug through all of my plastic bins and also took an autographed plate with a scene from the film.

I will say this meant more to my family because my aunt had a connection to one of the minor actors from the film and attended a conference where she was able to meet the living cast members and had a few sign the plate; that was one of the items taken.

I understand these are just things but it meant a great deal to my family and I hope I could retrieve them to some capacity; the figurines are replaceable but the plate was the more valuable item.

I have done a little digging and contacted several pawn shops with no luck. I have attached a photo I found online of what the figurines looked like.  If more people know, the opportunity of getting them back might be better.

I created an email for anyone with information could reach out to me, kpsark2020@gmail.com

 

Happy 72nd birthday to Veteran Art Schmid of West Bend | By Delaney Braun

More than 75 cars lined up on Decorah Road in West Bend on Wednesday, May 13 for one of the most special birthday parades held since the State of Wisconsin went into a lockdown.

Art Schmid is an admirer of antique cars and enjoys going to car and motorcycle shows in the summer.

Schmid was born in West Bend on May 13, 1948. He graduated West Bend High School in 1967, studied tool and die at Moraine Park Technical College, married the love of his life Debby Wolf on June 30, 1979 and they had three children together.

Schmid spent three years in the U.S. Army; he fought in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. During his service overseas, he is one of the many Vietnam veterans impacted by Agent Orange, a herbicide sprayed on trees and vegetation during the war. This fertilizer is known for giving Vietnam veterans like Schmid forms of cancer later in life.

Schmid is currently battling MDS (blood cancer) and since he is exceptionally susceptible to illnesses such as COVID-19 he could not go out to admire the cars and motorcycles that usually bring him extreme happiness.

But that did not stop his family and friends from bringing the cars to him.

Over 75 family members and close friends burned some rubber for a 15-minute long 72nd birthday parade led by the West Bend Police department. He was accompanied by his immediate family cheering him on and celebrating his extra special day. Schmid and his family expressed their gratitude for everyone that came out to help celebrate his 72nd birthday.

As a member of Schmid’s family, it was truly heartwarming to see his grin from ear to ear every single time a car passed by his driveway. Special thanks to Debby Schmid, Kayla Lang, and Karmen Weins for helping plan this extraordinary event! Happy 72nd Art!

Guest Editorial | Looking for leadership                          By Kraig Sadownikow

I’m learning the leadership we thirst for has to be found within each of us because it is not coming from our elected representatives.  The Declaration of Independence makes it clear (I had to check the exact wording from the copy hanging in the lobby where I work) that “All men (people) are created equal” and that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable Rights.  Among these are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.  We have all had a history class and we have all heard the words before.  Given the state of our nation reading and typing this today feels brand new, like I have read it for the first time.  The rights are given by our Creator, not the government.  The Declaration today gave me goose bumps….here’s why:

The leadership, and lack of it coming from Madison is inexcusable and disrespectful to those who sacrificed on our behalf.  Prior generations overcame their legitimate fears so we would have the luxury to be afraid today.  Prior generations feared an oppressive British government, they feared starvation if crops did not grow, they feared things like a mainland strike by Japan, dangerous and unsafe work environments, children going off to fight in any number of wars and they feared another terrorist attack.

In every case the American people stood up and fought.  They fought with their brains, hearts, fists, and technology.  They fought alongside their neighbors and their communities, they sacrificed, created, and endured.  They fought for themselves and for us.

The fear we feel today is not new, but our reaction to it is.  Today, we fight to stay at home.  Today, we are thrown a few ‘government’ dollars to keep us quiet until the next allocation and are told where we can go, with whom, when to go and how we should dress.  In an effort to feel safe and unafraid, we are risking our freedom and independence.  We have given up fighting for the rights we were endowed with.

We have a Governor who continues to get away with insulting our intelligence by granting nuggets of freedom as if they are his to give.  He is so confident in our complacency of thought that with a straight face, he announced big box retail can have hundreds of customers while our local flower shop can have only 5, not 6.  We have also been told to limit the size of gatherings to 10.  Which is it?  100’s, 10, 5 or something else? What will it be tomorrow? He has granted us permission to allow our dogs to get a haircut, but not us.  We have been told to accept as logical the idea that we can stand in line to order a sub sandwich to-go, but not sit down and eat it.  Standing good, sitting bad.  We are told he will determine when it is safe enough for him to give us our lives back.

Wisconsin legislative leaders ran to the Supreme Court, crying foul without a substantive plan of action to recommend even if they win the case.  On Tuesday, in a radio interview, Assembly Speaker Vos was asked about GOP elected officials being more vocal and communicating better with constituents.  He claimed they are using every tool at their disposal and standing on the steps shouting and screaming will only harden the Governor’s resolve.  He also inferred the ‘shouting and screaming’ was the people’s responsibility not his.   I guess Robin Vos has a different idea of leadership than I do.  Leaders rally others around passion, commons sense, intelligent thought, decency and the rule of law.  Not shouting and screaming.  Additionally, I take offense to the idea that being a leader of action and representing freedoms does not fall under his job description.  We live in a Representative Democracy which, by definition, means we elect officials to represent us.  Taking action on behalf of the people is his job.  We elect him to do that job, so we can do ours.  I am not asking him to do my job, just begging him to do his.

There is a difference between playing politics and governing.  We need representatives who will govern based on the constitution, our rights, freedoms, liberties, and responsibilities.  Governor Evers, we can see you stealing liberties under the disguise of keeping us safe.  We the people, can keep ourselves safe.  We the people, includes our first responders and health care providers who are doing their jobs.  It includes teachers and students who want to go back to work.  It includes all other business that do not need the ‘magical’ government to dictate how to keep themselves, employees, customers, and family members safe.

Once again, the best thing government can do is lead.  Lead by communicating, lead by educating and lead by getting the heck out of the way.  If you are not out of the way you are (you guessed it) in the way.

I suggest we follow the Declaration of Independence and throw off tyranny to seek out life, liberty and to pursue our own happiness.  If your happiness is found by staying at home, enjoy your time.  If it is found at a local restaurant, I hope to see you there.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Effort underway to save Great Horned owls by the old brewery building in West Bend

There was quick action taken in the community of West Bend as Bill Mitchell from the DNR stepped in to help save a baby great horned owl from its possible future demise.

On Tuesday two owl carcasses were found below the power lines near a pine tree just north of the dam on Highway 33 in West Bend.

For the past few month’s neighbors had been watching the growth of three owlets nesting inside a vent on the south side of the old brewery building. The owls had been ready to take flight when it appears two of them hit the power line and were killed.

Ric Koch of West Bend visited the owl site daily over the past few months. He spotted the dead owls on Tuesday and removed them Wednesday night to bury them. “It was pretty gruesome,” said Koch. “Their wingspan is about 6 feet and the branch of the pine tree was right up next to the power line.”

“The one baby was at that level this morning (Thursday) and the mother is in the tree to the north,” he said.

The baby, according to Koch, is pretty active. “It’ll flit around that pine tree and then go closer to the brewery building during the day to get away from the crows and then it will come back to that spot at night,” he said.

On Wednesday, after the death of the birds was reported to We Energies as tree-trimming crew came out and cut back some of the branches.

Mitchell said it’s unsettling the young owls have fallen victim to the power lines two years in a row.

Brendan Conway from We Energies said a couple crews from the West Bend service center went out today, Thursday, to look. “We can put some extra equipment on wires to help insulate them in case they’re known to be a high-traffic area for birds,” he said. “We also noticed a tree was close to the power lines so we’ve trimmed back the branches but at least they won’t come in contact with the line.”

Mitchell said he is going to work to have the tree topped off so it is significantly below the power line and less of a hazard in the future.

Enchantment in the Park makes donation to local food pantries

Organizers of Enchantment in the Park in West Bend stepped up in May 2020 with a $50,000 donation to food pantries in Washington County.

“We feel the timing could not be better with what is going on in our communities,” said Enchantment organizer Lori Yahr.

The Full Shelf Food Pantry has been a vital resource in the community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has helped families who have suffered job loss and unexpected furloughs.

Road construction on Paradise Drive in West Bend finishes ahead of schedule

A quick finish to a road project on Paradise Drive from Indiana Avenue to River Road in West Bend. Contractors began the pavement construction April 20, 2020 and finished well ahead of the mid-May deadline.

Construction included pulverizing existing roadway, grading and evaluation of roadway base, and placement of hot mix asphalt pavement overlay. The general contractor for this project was Stark Pavement Corp. from Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Teachers at St. Frances Cabrini channel a summer camp tradition

Pat Kraemer and Deb Lehnerz are teachers from St. Frances Cabrini who wanted to do something special for their K4 students.

When Mrs. Kraemer’s own children would go off to summer camp, she would pack a letter a day for them to open while they were gone; that tradition sparked an idea for Cabrini staffers.

The K4 teachers got together to make an envelope a day for each student to open with a special activity inside. Stickers to make a pattern, googley eyes to go on a scavenger hunt; fun little things for each day and the teachers delivered them along with a personal pizza to celebrate the week’s theme of Kids in the Kitchen.

“I just feel like a worksheet or video or computer wasn’t enough,” said Kraemer. “We thought if one special thing every day to open… that would make a bigger impact.”

Both teachers felt they would have mixed emotions because they would want to hug the kids … but seeing them would be a good way to connect.

The teachers made 27 visits.

“It’s great to see their faces,” said Kraemer.

“This is a part of the year where they’ve grown so much and things are really clicking … we’re such a family,” said Lehnerz.

Special thanks to Papa Murphy’s Pizza for helping make the event a success.

Sunday morning flight in West Bend

A lone kite flyer took advantage of the brisk winds Sunday morning, May 3, 2020 and launched his Symphony Beach, 2.2 meter para-foil kite on the grassy field across from the old Amity Leather in West Bend.

The winds lifted the read, orange and yellow kite – similar to the old Astros MLB uniform colors. The kite hummed and whipped and zipped through the air.

Interfaith Caregivers hosts Drive-thru Percolate to celebrate volunteers

The first Friday of the month Percolate gathering at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County has become a tradition for many in West Bend. The local non-profit opens its doors and volunteers pour in the celebrate their mission and share coffee, conversation…. and possibly a donut or two.

Over the past month that camaraderie has been tested by the Safer at Home situation.

Early in the week however, the staff sent a memo and encouraged all volunteers to participate in a drive-thru Percolate. “Bring your own coffee… we’ll supply the donuts and masks.” What happened next is part of the power of the Interfaith organization.

“In lieu of a gathering inside we’re having a Percolate parade. We’ve safely packaged our donuts and water,” said Janean Brudvig, executive director of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.

“We know a lot of our volunteers are doing a lot of things behind the scenes with our kindness calls and food delivery and we miss them and want to show our appreciation for all they do.”

In March when the state issued a Safer at Home order the team at Interfaith put together a program to touch base with senior citizens. Kindness Calls were a way to make sure the elderly were not being forgotten.

Volunteers at Interfaith also wrote letters to senior citizens and they helped with the shopping.

Below are some details if you would like to become part of the team at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County.

A simple phone call goes a long way. Many of Interfaith’s clients are alone and shut-in during this crisis. Some are not allowed to even leave their room.

Would you have a few minutes to make a phone call to help break up their day? Offer a Kindness Call, to check-in and connect with some of our lonely seniors? For more details, please call our office 262-365-0902

On top of that, if you would like to write a card to clients we can help you get in contact with them via mail as well.

Again, if you are interested please contact the Interfaith Office.

Thank you for all you do! “Together we will create a community of kindness”

Great Ad Placement

Ghoulish, but well done

Aggressive Gator Warning in Florida

Be careful out there.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Around this time of year, Floridians don’t just have to worry about aggressive drivers on the road — they should be on the lookout for aggressive alligators, too, according to officials who on Friday had to remove a 9-foot (2.8-meter) gator from a county road.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office warned motorists that it’s that time of year when alligators, um, fall in love but might not always be so affectionate.

“It’s gator mating season. This means they could be more mobile and aggressive than usual,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

A male gator measuring 9 feet, 2 inches (2.8 meters) had to be removed from a roadway after it was spotted “being aggressive with traffic.” Sheriff’s deputies captured the reptile and relocated him to an alligator farm.

Packers Draft a Quarterback

Yep.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers traded up late in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft on Thursday night, using the 26th pick to select the potential heir to Aaron Rodgers: Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.

I would like to point out that I predicted this at the beginning of the year.

Preparing for the inevitable, the Green Bay Packers draft a quarterback.

NFL Expands Playoffs

Nooooooooooo… I disapprove of the continued “everybody’s a winner” culture. Of course this is about the money. More games = more revenue. This seems like a backdoor way to just lengthen the season.

The NFL’s anticipated playoff expansion officially passed.

League owners voted to approve expanding the postseason to 14 teams beginning in the 2020 season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.

The decision came during a conference call Tuesday, which took place in lieu of the NFL’s Annual League Meeting, which was canceled earlier this month as part of the league’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changing the playoff format required approval from three-quarters of the 32 NFL owners.

In the new format, AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Concussive Maintenance on Mars

This might be my favorite story of the day. “Hey boss, the drill is stuck!” “Just whack it with the shovel!”

NASA’s InSight lander, which is currently on the surface of Mars, has faced some unexpected problems during its mission to explore and study the planet.

Namely, a digging probe that was built to burrow beneath the surface like a jackhammer got stuck because Mars’ soil is clumpier than scientists expected, Popular Science reports.

After a few failed attempts to get it out, NASA had to get a bit creative. Ultimately, it freed the probe up by giving it a solid thwack with InSight’s shovel.

“87% of… people sickened have recovered from COVID-19”

Some positive news.

Most people who catch coronavirus will only get mild symptoms and recover, recent data from China suggests.

Researchers there found that more than 80 percent of people diagnosed with the disease sweeping the globe only developed fever, cough and some aches and pains

It’s cause for some optimism as deaths in the US surpass 200 and the case count creeps toward 15,000.

In China, 87 percent of more than 80,000 people sickened have recovered from COVID-19, and some studies suggest people become ‘low risk’ for the transmitting virus within just 10 days of starting to feel sick.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Is a new event center a possibility for West Bend?

Developers are looking to bring an event center to West Bend. The area they have in mind is the south end of the former Gehl Co. property.

“I’m already doing the hotel and office building at the corner of Water Street and S. Forest Avenue and just south of that will be the event center and to the west of that will be an 80-unit apartment building,” said developer James Kupfer.

Kupfer and is daughter Bailey Kupfer met with city officials earlier this month.

It was Sept. 29, 2019 when an announcement was made about a new Marriott TownPlace 68-suite hotel and office building in downtown West Bend. The location of the development was the former Gehl Co. property.

Kupfer said after the hotel and office building development there will be about four acres left to the south on the Gehl parcel and that’s where he’s proposing an 80 unit, 3-story apartment building with an elevator and a 12,500-square-foot event center.

“We’ve been looking to build the event center for a number of years,” said Kupfer. “Most event centers will draw people from a 50-mile radius and Washington County doesn’t have any real, premium event centers. There are places that hold events using some other business like a restaurant or bowling alley or a club or a church that has a hall, but the trend now is to build a space that’s dedicated to events.”

Kupfer acknowledged there are large, 40,000 to 50,000-square-foot facilities in the area but he said an event center can accommodate the needs of a 25-year-old millennial bride.

“The event center will have amenities like a private room to retreat to so the bride or groom can get ready,” he said.  “An exhibition hall or large place is sometimes much too large and you feel like you’re in a warehouse. We will be specifically built for events and we’ll cater to 80 to 90 percent of weddings.”

Kupfer said he picked the location south of the Marriott TownPlace Hotel specifically to drive occupancy.

“I also own the Hampton Inn on the other side of West Bend and I get a weekly report that shows the business we turn away. This week there were 8 – 10 events we had to turn away because we were already booked,” he said.

A feasibility study has already been completed and Kupfer said he “sees the demand” and “there’s definitely demand for weekend leisure business.”

Parcel to the south on former Gehl Co. property with Forest Avenue to the east and the Eisenbahn State Trail will be to the west.

For the multi-family, Kupfer said that would be a niche development as well. “There’s no true apartment that’s attractive to the millennial,” he said. “We’re doing 60 percent one-bedroom apartments and 40 percent two-bedroom apartments. Amenities will include an exercise room, community room, underground parking.”

Kupfer alluded to the City of West Bend having a couple of development plans on the table for that same parcel. However, he said he already had equity and financing in place.

City Administrator Jay Shambeau declined comment because discussions about the project, from the City standpoint, were held in closed session. Shambeau did indicate Kupfer was probably correct about multiple plans in the mix.

One plan that is now off the table is the active senior living complex that was proposed in June 2019.  Nick Novaczyk, with RTN Development, said the timing for that project just didn’t work out and they backed off.

Kupfer predicted more information on the proposed event center would probably be made available within the next few weeks.

Public meeting March 19 for WIS 60 rehabilitation

There’s a pretty significant road project starting in April 2020. It will include Highway 60 from Eagle Drive in the Village of Jackson to WIS 181 in Grafton. The traffic detour is posted below. Construction is expected to last into September 2020. An informational meeting is Thursday, March 19 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Cedarburg Town Hall, 1293 Washington Avenue, Cedarburg.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School rolls out virtual education plan

Education leaders at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson are unveiling the school’s virtual learning program in an effort to keep students on their path to reach educational goals in the 2019 – 2020 school year.

Administration shared the letter below with students and parents.

Dear KML Family,

Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services have issued a statement requiring the closure of all public and private schools in Wisconsin.

KML will have normal face-to-face school on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. There will be no face-to-face instruction at KML beginning Wednesday, March 18.  All co-curricular activities are suspended as of Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5.

KML will be transitioning to virtual learning, and we will share that plan with parents and students prior to Wednesday, March 18. We are planning to resume face-to-face instruction and co-curricular activities on Monday, April 6.

At this time, we are also canceling the following events:

Sacred Concert – Tuesday, March 17, Donkey Basketball – Saturday, March 21, Family Music Fest – Friday, March 27

In all things, we trust in God’s care and protection.  Please join us in praying for those affected by this virus and the medical professionals who are caring for those infected.  Pray for our students who may be struggling. Pray that we, as a family of believers, can be beacons of hope in a difficult time to point others to Christ and His saving work for mankind.

Private School Choice Programs

During the 2020-2021 school year, KML will once again participate in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) and the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP).

As part of the application process, students new to the Choice Program must provide proof of income and residency documentation. Continuing Choice students only need to provide residency documentation.

Open enrollment for WPCP is February 3-April 16. Open enrollment for MPCP is February 3-20, March 1-20 & April 1-20. All required supporting documentation must be received by KML during the open enrollment periods.

KML was accepted as a WPCP school beginning in the 2015-2016 school year and entered the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) in the 2016-2017 school year. We are excited to offer the opportunity for families who qualify to receive a voucher from the State of Wisconsin to pay for their children’s tuition.

WI Department of Instruction Website

In order to apply, you will need either your 2019 federal tax return (first two pages of Form 1040; signed and dated) or your Social Security Number. We recommend using the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Process of income verification rather than the Department of Revenue (DOR) method especially if your financial circumstances have changed over the last several years.

After you apply online, you will need to provide proof of residency and proof of income documentation to our office at KML. Proof of residency is typically a utility or phone bill. Proof of income is typically your federal tax return. The WI DPI will give you a full list of acceptable documentation.

Milwaukee and Wisconsin Parental Choice Program Income Limits (For families living in any city or town other than Milwaukee or Racine. Also note that $7,000 is subtracted from your Adjusted Gross Income if you are married.)

Presentation Explaining the Application Process (This presentation explains eligibility requirements and how to apply.) For more information, contact Principal Jamie Luehring 262-677-4051 x1104; jamie.luehring@kmlhs.org

Regal Ware announces recipients of 2020 J.O. Reigle Scholarships

Emma Penfield and Faith Mertzig are the latest recipients of the J.O. Reigle Scholarships awarded annually by Regal Ware. The scholarship program was established in 1963 in honor of Regal Ware’s founder, the late J.O. Reigle.

The award recognizes the outstanding scholastic achievements of one or more graduating high school seniors in Kewaskum and is designed to assist the recipients in their pursuit of a college education. To be eligible for the $28,000 J.O. Reigle Scholarship a student must have attended Kewaskum High School for at least the previous two years and maintained at least a “B” average for the first 3½ years of high school.

Emma, the daughter of Brian and Marcy Penfield of Kewaskum, plans to major in Biology. Emma served in leadership roles in Student Council and National Honor Society. She was also a member of KEY Club, Spanish Club, HOPE Club, Forensics, and Freshman Mentors. Her community involvement includes attending the Wisconsin Association of Student Council (WASC) Leadership camp and being a tutor for Math and English students. Emma’s leisure time interests include running, hiking, swimming and time with family.

Faith, daughter of John and Tina Mertzig of Campbellsport, plans to attend St. Norbert College to study Elementary Education. Faith has served in leadership roles in National Honor Society, Academic Bowl, Badger Girls’ State, Global Education and HOPE Club. Her community involvement includes serving on the leadership team of Four ThirTeen Youth Ministry and helping as an aide at Holy Trinity Religious Education, Good News for Children and Women of Grace Childcare. Her hobbies include reading, running, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Four basketball players from UWM at Washington County receive post-season awards | By Debbie Butschlick

Four basketball players from UWM at Washington County have earned post-season accolades from Wisconsin Collegiate Conference.

UWM at Washington County student athlete David Britton has been voted Conference Player of the Year. Britton is the perfect example of hard work paying off. Britton made 1st team All-Conference for the second year in a row.  He averaged 35 points per game, 11.5 rebounds per game, and 4.0 assists per game.  He was a scoring machine tallying over 30 points over 10 different games. Britton also scored over 40 points three times and had a season high 54 points against UWO at Fox Cities.  Britton shot over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc, and 85 percent from the free throw line.  Britton grew as a team leader this season.  His work ethic and maturity were constant for the team.

Madison Aubry blossomed as a player this year for the Wildcats women’s basketball team.  The starting point guard was voted 1st team All-Conference. Aubry lead the team to a final four appearance for only the second time in the last 20+ years.  Aubry lead the team in scoring during the second semester. She averaged 13.7 points per game and over 6 rebounds per game from the guard position.  She played her best game under the biggest lights and scored a season-high 20 points during the final four game.  Aubry was as fierce as she was talented.  Her competitiveness and drive to succeed was second to none.

Freshmen Seth Perez and Zach Smith were voted Honorable Mention to the All-Conference team. Perez was also voted to the All-Defensive Team and was runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year.  Perez was the second leading scorer for the Wildcats averaging 17.8 points per game.  As an undersized guard, he averaged over six rebounds per game and lead the team with 2.6 steals per game.  Smith averaged 16.3 points per game and was second on the team with 7.6 rebounds per game.  Smith had a season high 30 points in the Wildcats first game after Christmas break.  Both players were major contributors to the team’s success.  Combined with Britton’s scoring, the trio combined for over 80 percent of the team’s points per game.

Fatal accident in Germantown under investigation      By Germantown Police Department

On Friday, March 13, 2020 Germantown Communications received a 911 emergency call from a worker at International Concrete Products. The caller reported that a large concrete panel had fallen on a worker and that the worker was still trapped under the piece of concrete.

The Germantown Fire Department/Rescue and Germantown Police Department were dispatched. Upon the arrival of first responders, workers were moving the piece of concrete. Personnel from the Germantown Rescue Department determined the worker was deceased.

This matter is still under investigation and no further information will be released at this time.

Bond set at $500,000 for Town of Kewaskum woman facing possible homicide charge

A $500,000 cash bond has been set in Washington County Circuit Court for a 50-year-old Town of Kewaskum woman in connection with the death of a 43-year-old man this week at a home on County Highway H.

According to reports from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department the woman was arrested Monday, March 11 for the alleged homicide of her husband. The death reportedly occurred during a domestic dispute.

During the bail hearing Judge Todd Martens said “there was probable cause” that the woman did “commit a crime.”

In an effort for the state to finalize its charging decision the next hearing will be March 27 at 11:15 a.m. No charges were issued during the Friday, March 13 court appearance.

According to the Washington County Sheriff, deputies were called to the home on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at 9:20 a.m. after receiving a 911 call from the suspect.  The suspect was arrested at the scene without incident.  The deceased victim was located inside the home by the first responding officers. The preliminary investigation suggests he suffered a stab wound during the altercation.

The woman accused in the case is currently being held at the Washington County Jail.

The Sheriff said the incident is still under investigation as they await the results of the autopsy.

The sheriff’s office requested charges of 1st-degree intentional homicide. “Our office has been working closely with the Washington County District Attorney’s Office to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” said Sheriff Martin Schulteis.

The sheriff’s office would like to thank the Kewaskum Police and Fire Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office for the assistance in this investigation.

West Bend H.S. band trip to Italy canceled because of “international health concerns”

The West Bend School Board voted Monday, March 9 on a list of extended trips for students. This June, high school band students were prepping to go to Italy. According to board documents “a revised band trip that will occur in June of 2020.  This trip is rescheduled due to international health concerns.”

According to the World Health Organization the Italian government has issued a quarantine of northern Italy and it’s implementing a lockdown on tourism. The measures are tied to attempts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

It appears the board will vote Monday to approve a band trip this June to Hawaii.

Background:

Students in our High Schools have the opportunity to participate in a variety of experiences to extend and apply their learning which require travel outside the State of Wisconsin or even outside of the United States.  As in past years teachers and co-curricular coaches are seeking opportunities to take students to the following locations during the 2020-21 school year. The trips on this list are those that have yet to be approved by the school board.

High school administrators have met with the staff proposing the trips to verify information required and. Building and district administration have reviewed the details of the trip relative to the Board policies and Administrative Rule 352.1 and support the participation in these experiences.  It should be noted that 352.1 AR includes procedures to review the status of the trip at least 25 days prior to departure.

This request for approval also includes a revised band trip that will occur in June of 2020.  This trip is rescheduled due to international health concerns.

West Bend School Board to vote on updating science textbook

On Monday, March 9 the West Bend School Board will vote on updating science textbook.

There was a curriculum update, February 24, presented by Kevin Hyde, Laura Jackson, Robert Muelbauer, and Timothy Harder.

Members of the community were invited to give feedback and the topic generating the most comments involved the new science textbooks.

Instructor Muelbauer said several science teachers from the high school had gone on learning walks and there was a lot of discussion about Badger and Silverbrook.

“We were at Silverbook looking at the amplified curriculum and how they interacted with science and eventually we’ll get those kids through Badger and at the high school but currently we’re dealing with some textbooks that are 15, 18, and 20 years maybe since we’ve gotten a new one and in no way does it resemble the way they would interact with the primary resource at those grade levels,” said Muelbauer. “So, that’s part of the main driver of wow we need to really up our game here to meet the kids where they’re at and so we can build them from there.”

Laura Jackson said the board will be asked to purchase the textbooks on March 9.

“All of the major textbook companies will have a biology-specific textbook,” said Jackson. “There’s also a way to purchase unit by unit.”

“Our state standard testing for science has been very high,” said board  member Kurt Rebholz. “So obviously there’s been many right decisions along the lines for many years to select the right curriculum to prepare our students for their next level.”

There was community feedback from a handful of neighbors. “We tried to make it as convenient for parents as possible and nobody showed up but at night five community members were there,” said Jackson. “The comments related to the textbook are below.”

Jackson clarified the meeting times for the public to review the potential new Biology instructional resource: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 from 6:45 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. “There was a late night meeting by request,” said Jackson.

“The times selected were intended when parents were coming to pick up or drop off students so they could potentially stay a little longer and hopefully make that work for them,” said Jackson.

The textbook being reviewed was over 100 pages in length and there was supplementary resource also available for review which includes a student journal or a glossary of terms. “Generally we have a window of time so people can choose to spend as much time as they want. Some end up coming back.”

Jackson said several notifications went out about the book review time: “Student information system sends a biweekly newsletter to families; it goes to every family in the district unless a family has blocked it. That email total is in the thousands. It also went to school messenger through Badger families and high school families – freshman and sophomore. The number of student families receiving that would be in the thousands. A notification was also posted on the district Facebook page, so the general public would be notified.” Jackson did not know how many times that notification was posted.

Questioned about how encouraging it was to send out notification to thousands and have five people participate. “That turnout is pretty consistent,” said Jackson. ”

The board asked no questions about the specific community feedback.

A couple bullet points on topic:

– Jackson said the “public comments (above) will be shared with the teachers when they begin training.”

– Jackson addressed the parent concerns. “We have evidence our glaciers are melting or pieces are falling off and when you look historically we have had changes we refer to as ice ages and stuff like that over the history of the earth, where we have evidence of glaciers coming down. It is theory and it is presented as a theory,” said Jackson. “I’m going to have to look at the resource and look at the standards.”

– “If this resource purchase is approved then we will move forward with our training and we will look at if we’ll tweak any of our sections and provide specific evidence or are we going to handle it as is,” said Jackson.

– Jackson said instructors would be trained “partially in June and partially in August.”

– After the meeting Muelbauer said he didn’t have time for a couple questions because he was hungry.

-Board member Paul Fischer said he had not seen the textbook in question, however he was traveling out of state and would catch up on his return.

-Board member Chris Zywgart said he had not seen the textbook nor the parent comments.

-Emails were sent to the rest of the board and as of 10 p.m. Sunday there was no response.

-The board will vote Monday, March 9 on the textbooks. Jackson said the input review from the community was posted in the board members Board Docs information.

-The board votes to approve the text as the resource and the dollars,” said Jackson. “It’s not typical for the board to have physically reviewed all the textbooks. You call around and ask other districts and other school boards; do they actually sit down and review the textbooks. Only those who ask, that’s typical. They’re approving the resource and they’re trusting their admin to move forward with a resource that will meet the student need.”

Jackson also noted, the question below that was in student learning material has been addressed and removed.

“The Problem: Mr. and Mrs. Jones have been married eighty years. During this time, Mrs. Jones has had three children. Recently Mr. Jones found out that Mrs. Jones has been secretly dating another man, Mr. Smith, throughout their marriage. Mr. Jones now questions if he is truly the father of the three children. Using a blood sample from Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mr. Smith, and each of the three children, determine if any of the three children are Mr. Smith’s, and not Mr. Jones’.

Letter to the Editor | Oscar Estrada for District 7 alderman in West Bend | By Derek Brzeski

To whom it may concern,

I spent 26 years growing up in West Bend; Fair Park Elementary, Badger Middle School, and am a proud West Bend West Spartan – class of 2004. Through those years I had the pleasure of watching the city grow and flourish. I still remember when the highway exit for Paradise Drive was nothing but farm fields.  Years later, well into my professional career, I had the privilege of working with Oscar Estrada as part of Continuous Improvement team for a food manufacturing company. Oscar was not only the Director of my team spanning 7 plants, but also a coach and a mentor for me.

During that time, Oscar’s strengths and leadership skills were showcased. These strengths were grounded in leadership, problem solving, and people skills.

Oscar was able to lead teams from shop-floor employees to senior leadership, from small to large group sizes, and from many different cultural backgrounds. Leading these teams required identifying and utilizing each and everyone’s strengths as well as motivating the teams to work together to reach a common goal. To solve a problem and drive bottom line cost savings both creating stability and growth potential for a company.  Oscar had the innate ability to keep people motivated and build excitement and eagerness for change.  To build trust and relationships.

These skills are found in strong Six Sigma professionals, and are no doubt, accelerators in a strong representative for a collective group of people within the community. I have complete confidence Oscar will utilize all the above strengths and abilities to serve the city and municipality greatly. To deliver cost savings and lower taxes. To develop relationships, to seek improvements and change, and to keep people excited to call West Bend “home.”

Mr. Oscar Estrada will receive my vote for District 7 Alderman.

Derek Brzeski  West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Overview of Dist. 7 aldermanic candidate Oscar Estrada | By Keli Ismajlaj

I’ve known Oscar Estrada for approximately 27 years. We met in College in 1993 and became close friends soon thereafter.   Initially, what drew us together was our dedication to family, work and education. After college we’ve kept in touch and worked together at several companies. On company in particular was Federal Mogul lighting in Franklin Park. They were struggling and losing over $6 million yearly.  They hired Oscar to get them out of their financial predicament. Oscar is very good at looking at situations and figuring how to best make changes that increase profits.

For example reviewing and reducing the follow,

Over producing or spending, Excess inventory, Scrap Overtime in the labor force, and Expediting freight. He is very passionate and motivates people with his vision.  In order to address the above issues he had to change the way of thinking.

First, he spent time with all the managers and employees.  Explaining how the current way of business was not in the company’s best interest.  Then he creates teams to do special events.  Once the teams accomplished their goals they’d celebrate.  This had a positive effect in the company culture and made it easier for other projects.

Second, Oscar gathered all the vendors and informed them of his vision and how we were going to control purchasing and incoming inventory.

Third, had the vendors come to the plant and showed them our Kanban or Pull system for ordering. This had a positive effect with the vendors and with our plant. Doing all this within 2+ years the plant went from losing $6M+ to making $2M.

I can go on and on about all the things that Oscar has accomplished but, I just gave a small insight into his capabilities.

That being said, I believe Oscar would be a great asset to the community. Between being a devoted husband and father who supports his daughters in their education and sports.

Some key attributes I believe he has and are very important to run a community and city are:

Creating team concepts, he knocks down barriers between departments so everyone is working for the better good. Being a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma, has skill sets that most do not have.

Thinks outside the box.  Many people have limited skill sets.  Oscar has worked in many industries and has prevailed.  As mentioned before with improvements that have a major positive effect on the company’s bottom line and morale.

Finally, another example of his effect on people, to this day some of our key professors from college still call on him to socialize or make a class presentation.

I hope this letter gives you some insight into the man Oscar Estrada.

Sincerely,

Keli Ismajlaj

Chicago, Illinois

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Look WHOOOooooo is back!

For the third year in a row a Great Horned owl is nesting in what looks like an old vent in the side of a building in West Bend. The photo below was snapped this week by Greg Lofy from ASP Images.

Mary Holleback is one of the educators at Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg. “The owls have already had their eggs and they’ve already hatched,” said Holleback. “At this point they’re little fluff balls. Give it a week or two and you might see a few heads poking up in there.”

Holleback said the owls are done mating, they’ve laid their eggs and they’ve hatched and there’s a chance the owls have some soft down on them already.

The website asknature.org has a great article on the feathers of an owl and how it aids in reducing noise in flight to make the owl a silent predator.

This fringe breaks up the air further as it flows off the trailing edge, resulting in a large reduction in aerodynamic noise. Then, any remaining noise that would be detectable by the owl’s prey is absorbed by velvety down feathers on the owl’s wings and legs. These soft feathers absorb high frequency sounds that most prey, as well as humans, are sensitive to. All together, these feather features enable owls to remain undetected when they fly.

Temperatures this March 2020 have been rather mild, even though overnight temps have dropped below freezing. “This is the way it is every year with the owls trying to get a head start on the season,” said Holleback. “The Great Horns are the first ones to mate in Wisconsin and towards the end of the month the barred owls and screech owls will start nesting too. The Great Horns start early because it takes so long for their young to get mature enough to take off and get on their own before the end of summer. The owlets need to be self-sufficient before winter.”

While one owl has been spotted so far this season, Holleback said “usually the same adult pair come back to the same spot.”

“Say, last year they had a brood and if successful those young will fledge and they will disperse; they won’t go too far but the young don’t usually take the nest site from the adults,” said Holleback. “If the adults were not successful and the young died or froze to death then they usually look for another location. The whole name of the game is to reproduce and make more offspring for the next generation.”

Located below the nesting site is a rather graphic collection of last night’s dinner.  Owls will take in food and then yack up hair and bones and what not; a lot of that is in a small grassy area right under the nest. (you have been warned). If you happen by and don’t see the mother owl, take a look in the surrounding trees by the Milwaukee River. That’s good hunting area for them.

No. 5 Kwik Trip moving forward in West Bend

The West Bend Plan Commission, minus two members, at the Tuesday night meeting unanimously moved forward with Kwik Trip No. 5. The latest proposal is for a Kwik Trip to be built at 1613 and 1637 W. Washington Street at the former location of Fleet Farm.

A rendering of the design was submitted to Plan Commission and Kwik Trips Troy Mleziva walked us through what the layout will look like.

“The store will face north toward Washington Street and the fuel canopy will be closest to Washington Street. It’ll be built pretty much where the Fleet Farm building sat along with the old Tri Par,” he said.

“We’re taking a bunch of green space and adding it to the south of the property to create a buffer with the neighbors on Concord Lane.”

The space on the hill to the east of 18th Avenue will have some green space added and some will remain paved as there’s a possibility for more development, possibly a restaurant. “We don’t have anything determined yet, or the zoning but current zoning is commercial,” said Mleziva.

There will be shared-access driveways on 18th Avenue and three entrance/exit on W. Washington Street. If you drive past the location there is quite a drop off in elevation on the property. Mleziva said that is going to be changed. “The grade change between the old Fleet Farm base elevation and the new Kwik Trip is about four to five feet,” he said.

Only one neighbor, Lois Biron, spoke during the public hearing. Biron has lived on Concord Lane for 20 years. Concord abuts the western edge of the new Kwik Trip.

Biron was concerned with the development design that would remove a 50-foot tall line of Evergreen trees and how the new store would be about 60-feet off the property line.

She said another concern was there would now be ongoing traffic since the store would be open seven days a week and the reports to the Plan Commission showed a 75% increase in traffic to the area and even more if a restaurant will be built.

“Kwik Trip is a 24-7 operation and we’ll no longer have holidays with no noise or quiet at night and with added development there are added concerns,” said Biron. “From 15th Avenue and 18th Avenue there are other businesses coming in and our concern is this will be another Paradise Drive. This will directly impact the enjoyment we have along with the four other neighborhoods behind us.”

Biron was primarily concerned about the noise and how they would be able to hear things in the summer when their windows would be open. “We accept Kwik Trip,” said Biron. “But still have concerns about a number of things.”

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick expressed concern about the exterior speakers. Initially the plan said the speakers would be turned off from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Representatives from Kwik Trip quickly complied with his request that the speakers be turned off from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m.

Dolnick also put to rest rumors about how City government worked with regard to who could open a business and what the alternatives would be concerning the possible reuse of the old Fleet Farm building.

The timetable on development of Kwik Trip No. 5 has yet to be determined. Mleziva said the old Fleet still needs to be razed but the early thought is they’d like to have the store open “some time next year” in 2021.

Other details from the Kwik Trip:

– There will be 56 parking spaces and 6 handicap parking spots at the W. Washington Street location

– There is a car wash at the W. Washington Street location

– Construction will start this year, 2020, on the Kwik Trip No. 3 and No. 4 locations in West Bend. Mleziva said the two projects may be “staged at the same time” but he was not aware which will be started or completed first.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran wins Regional Final against Lake Country Lutheran   By Megan Himm

Twenty-four hours after playing USM, Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) took on the Lake Country Lutheran (LCL) Lightning for the regional finals of the Division 3 WIAA 2020 Boys Basketball Tournament. The Chargers were able to come out victorious with a final score, 74 – 67.

Both schools went into the game with equal records of 20–3. KML’s No. 2 seed allowed them to play No. 3 LCL at home. The stands were packed and additional bleachers were pulled out to accommodate the large crowd. The energy translated to the court and was felt by the players.

The game started slow with neither team scoring for the first two minutes. LCL was the first to score.

With three minutes left in the first half, the Chargers were able to tie the Lightning. By halftime, the Chargers were up 35 – 32.

Senior Cole Biesterfeld describes the comeback, “We were down by a lot right away, but we had the will to come back. At the end of the day, it comes down to working hard and that’s what we did. We’ve been playing together for a really long time and we know each other so it just kicked in. That chemistry created the comeback.”

Leading the Charges in scoring was Jacob Stoltz with 28 points. Austin Wagner followed with 17 and Austin Schaff finished with 16.

Looking ahead, Biesterfeld said, “We just won our second regional final. We can enjoy that today, but we have bigger plans. We have to look onto our next game and get ready for that.”

An upset resulted in No. 4 Brown Deer defeating No. 1 Dominican at home with a final, 103 – 102. The Chargers will play Brown Deer on March 12 at Brown Deer.

Public hearing regarding special assessment for neighbors on 18th Avenue in West Bend

It appeared almost all of the 70 homeowners and their spouses were in attendance at Monday night’s West Bend Common Council meeting as a public hearing was held on a special assessment for neighbors in the Westminster Place subdivision located in the area of Decorah Road and 18th Avenue. The special assessment is tied to road improvements on 18th Avenue between Decorah Road and Vogt Drive along with curb and gutter, street lights, sidewalk, etc. About 85 properties are included in the special assessment.

The group appeared in an organized effort to try and convince the council to back off on a special assessment that could tag properties an additional $1,757.14 to $5,449.47 to over $16,000. That last increase is for an address that houses a non-profit organization on 18th Avenue.

Brett Berquist kicked off the public hearing with a list of prior court cases, details of municipal code, and developers’ agreements.

Steve Ahles – 9,600 vehicles per day use 18th Ave. Subdivision is 70 homes. Deficiencies in the road. 18th Ave has had a rural cross section and the subdivision not the reason why it should be an urban road. Road is generally flat, if our subdivision were the reason for this or make sure we’re safe then why take until 2019 to open the road.  Few N & S arterial streets in WB. Next road is 2 mi to the east. Allows travel from Paradise Drive biz and serves as alternate to US 45. Would adding a bike lane to two blocks of road make it safer for bikers. How much do adjacent property owners benefit vs the traveling public. Please consider who really benefit from the reconstruction of 18th Avenue. Go back, sharpen your pencil and rework your numbers.

Brett Berquist – special benefits. Ignore those that support the people.

City engineer report shows direct benefits to subdivision.

No. 1 – curb and gutter result in improved roadway. The subdivision as some reverse frontage lots. New curb and gutter benefits the entity who pays for it. After road done the city became responsible for maintenance.

No. 2 – pedestrian and bicycle access. S. 18th Ave. is part of larger network of bike and walking trails.

No. 3 – wider road for improved vehicle capacity. When does increased number equal benefit to subdivision.  Basically road is no wider than it was – other than

No. 4 – improved emergency vehicle access

No. 5 – improved safety with street lighting. Only helps drivers and not property owners.

No 6 – benefits have to be articulated and detailed showing an uncommon advantage. Developer would waive future rights and there’s wording in developers agreement. Reconstruct 18th Avenue on “some future date.”

Clear on provisions in state statutes – the use of a special assessment to recoup costs. This would not pass legal scrutiny.

Comments – in 2017 as part of design process – the traffic forecast was 8300 cars in 2013. More vehicles from community use 18th Ave than residents of subdivision.

Arterial road – 18th Ave benefits general public – 2020 land use plan – any street must move people efficiently and safely and provide direct access to homes.

Heavy volumes of traffic can’t be in a subdivision.

A street with heavy traffic is not attractive for neighboring subdivisions.

Other cities have chosen special assessments – except on two blocks of Eighth Avenue.

Not a benefit to Westminster Place Subdivision.

Tim Riedl –It’s obvious any sort of road improvement helps the city overall. There are times in life when you have the right to do something or it’s the right thing to do. In this case this is clearly not the case. Please do the right thing when making a decision.

Harry Shaw –  Examine the issue of special assessment through a different lens. First word is integrity. Definition according to Webster – an unimpaired condition. Two examples – website gets hacked and impaired. It no longer has integrity. Military code broken it’s compromised. The issue at hand is the local contract. I feel integrity was compromised when Joseph G. Altschaefl – was part of the Plan Commission and then the agreement was passed along to future property owners. I firmly believe this was not an oversight.  No. 2 ethical – conforming to accepted standards of conduct. City has to file rules for state statutes of conduct. To not follow these would compromise the city’s responsibilities. I find it incomprehensible the city engineer is trying to pass off that the improvements are for our subdivision and not the city as a whole.

Bob Roecker – The city shall have the right to impose special assessments. It doesn’t say the city must.  We’re being assessed over $11,000; this increases speed and volume of traffic and we have to do snow removal. This benefits all of West Bend.  Why isn’t the cost distributed evenly among all taxpayers? Are all road improvements in the city of WB financed by special assessments? Then if not – why this one? This money doesn’t fall from the sky. This isn’t fair or ethical. I hope you will decide to levy this tax on all taxpayers evenly.

John Peterson – 18th and Schloemener – few years ago received notice that I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. I attended public hearings. I raised objections. Was told this would be for the greater good of the city. A hill was created in my yard and I lost five trees and now there’s 150 feet of sidewalk that I must shove. Lived on corner since 1989. I paid school taxes even though my family has gone to private schools since ????.  Why should I be charge for a street that I only use a couple times a week.  My assessment is $13,000.

Lay Rosenheimer – board of directors of Friends, Inc. In existence for 42 years and shelter is on S. 18th Avenue. Not in the subdivision but on 18th. This is a non-profit agency. Operate 20 bed shelter for people experience abuse and human trafficking. Provide 7,000 bed nights annually. Shelter and transitional living make up half of annual budget of $480,000.

As the rest of residents impacted – we have an assessment of just under $15,000 and that’s a crippling amount. We don’t receive county support anymore but do receive United Way funding. I’m asking this committee to reconsider charge to Friends, Inc. It’s the largest amount for all homeowners involved. We were cut out of county budget in 2017. These families experience trauma in their homes and if we were not here to provide this. Our budget is set on grants, donations. To relay the cost to our services – it could me a loss of 428 advocacy sessions. 441 education lessons. This loss would be felt throughout the county.

Lay’s words – I’ve been a city resident for 26 years and in the county for 60 years. We have problems in our community and we exist to help victims of the crimes. This is a substantial assessment and this is a nice road but it’s difficult. This agency relies on donations, grants and an assessment like this is damaging.

Louie Santini – this is an arterial roadway joining north and south West Bend to the west. The special benefits have been challenged. These benefit the general public. City six statements – curb and gutter on 18th Ave. Subdivision was already designed with water diversion easements. Helping other modes of transportation. This will benefit the city as a whole. Improved vehicle capacity with wider roads – will that rally benefit the subdivision? Improve emergency vehicle access – that’s not improved just if the road is new. Lights help road and not Westminster. City is asking developer that there’s a special benefit to Westminster. Without acknowledgement the project would have been denied. The road was widened on Eighth Avenue but no special assessment happened there.

No sunset provision in this developer’s agreement. Will this go on into perpetuity. Developers agreement says city MAY not SHALL issue a special assessment. We ask respectfully to vote no to resolution

Douglas Kieckhafer – lifelong 626 S. Eighth Avenue. I’ve traveled 18th many times. As I heard about this – when I drive through 18th from Decorah – every time I think how ridiculous this type of assessment would be. The people here that are affected have been well behaved. If I had been living in that area – or the non-profit I would be quite upset. My concern is this setting a precedent. Might you start doing this elsewhere. One important thing – 9,600 cars per day and something says the subdivision people in attendance are small. Other people are benefiting… as are the businesses on Paradise Drive. How ridiculous this assessment is. Who ever would go along with this should be ashamed of themselves.

Following about 45 minutes worth of comments the public hearing was closed.

The council then discussed the issue for about 15 minutes hashing over items like the developer’s agreement, state statute and escrow.

“This is a tough situation here and I feel sorry for all these residents because of one person, the developer,” said District 1 alderman John Butschlick. “If we relinquish and say we won’t hold them accountable then in the last minute the city has no rhyme or reason – would it be the property owner or city.”

The council eventually voted unanimously to table the issue until the next meeting. After the meeting neighbors from the subdivision gathered in the entrance to City Hall. They praised each other for maintaining a professional demeanor and for giving the council “something to think about.”

“The feeling I got was the council members received a lot of information tonight,” said Westminster subdivision spokesman Louie Santini. “I didn’t think they felt they could make a decision on the resolution based on what they heard tonight. I think they will do their own research as to what’s the right thing to do in this situation. We truly believe this is not a fair assessment to S. 18th Avenue residents and the Westminster subdivision.”

West Bend Mayor Candidate Forum

The two candidates running for Mayor of West Bend, Chris Jenkins and Rich Kasten, participated in a candidate forum at City Hall.

Chris Jenkins – Married with five children. Dist. 4 alderman in West Bend. On finance committee and long-range planning committee. Pres. of WB Early Risers Kiwanis. Village Adm for Elmwood Park. Lots of experience. Lead our city to next decade.

Rich Kasten – Married with three grown children. Homeowner for 22 years. Grad of MU and working now as IT manager. Serving Dist. 5 alderman. Chaired public works and finance committee. Former member of CFAC committee, crime prevention patrol and on committees at St. Frances Cabrini. Budget and strategic planning.

With low unemployment businesses struggle – how do you entice talent?

RK – Vision I have for WB is to get us out of this bedroom community. Have WB be known as a great, safe, place to live, dine, work and play. At that point we’ll have better individuals to get to workforce.

CJ – Public safety, strong infrastructure and quality of life. A strategic plan can spread out to larger values. We need to be open-minded and have broad array of housing.

If City received $1 million grant how would it be used and why?

CJ – Roads. We’ve increased funding towards roads. The plus is our overall debt has been lowered by $40 million

RK – Roads is No. 1 issue. Also want to be cognizant we’re not doing roads at the expense of quality of life.

If elected will you follow through on riverbank restoration?

RK – yes, absolutely. The corridor between downtown and MOWA we’re lucky to have it. We need to continue the momentum.

CJ – We’re only half-way complete. It’s a great example of public and private partnership.

Deteriorating roads is a hot topic – will you spend more money than previous administration?

CJ – Yes, with a caveat that we have a plan in place. The advisory referendum gave us mixed results. We’re looking at efficiency and we don’t want to hinder tax burden.

RK – We’re realizing results of decreasing our debt and we’re getting space to use for roads. Need to look at different strategies. Don’t want to spend wildly. Maybe do smaller sections of road.

What’s the last job you succeeded in and how does that fit the mayoral position?

RK – we delivered our latest project on time and under budget. I have that experience to drive toward success and stay on target. That’s part of being a good mayor.

CJ – being a village admin one of the things we developed was a new strategic plan. We brought a group together to look at values and that made decision making process easier. We can do this too at City level.

What 3 steps to put City on firmer financial footing?

CJ – Create a strategic plan, make sure our budgets align to goals, and follow through.

RK – Continue following policies we’ve put in place on borrowing and spending. We have key components set so our bond rating is as solid as possible. Challenge our department heads. There shouldn’t be any fear to try new things. Work with Dept. Heads to address zombie issues and a strategic plan will help.

How are we welcoming to new and diverse population?

RK – residents of WB are welcoming. If we can get the message out for people looking for diversity and flag organizations like Casa Guadalupe. Wants Chamber of Commerce to return to a welcome wagon for new homeowners.

CJ – be welcoming through community development. Housing needs and support nonprofits and community events.

What are we spending too much on as a City and not enough money on?

CJ – We’ve done a good job at holding city departments accountable. Spending more money on infrastructure and public safety. Police, fire and medical services

RK – what do we spend too much on – I don’t think we do that. We provide more than enough for police and fire. Not spending enough on roads. It comes down to how we can best spend those dollars.

One thing at City level to impact future of WB

RK – getting involvement of residents. We have committees and commissions with smart people who can help. Most committees are advisory but they can help mold the city.  Growing involvement of the city.

CJ – create a strategic plan. Why our previous mayor succeeded with the task force, the goals and conservative fiscal discipline. Which includes citizen involvement and predictable spending.

Define a successful term

CJ – making sure the issues we face on city council are less burdensome. Create a plan and setting objectives and carry out the plan.

RK – Did I earn the respect of residents, employees and the council. That would say a lot for the success of the term. Did we achieve the challenges with measurable results. We have greater involvement by residents and committee.

The West Bend Mayoral race will be on the April 7 ballot in the City of West Bend. Rich Kasten will be listed first followed by Chris Jenkins. Voters are asked to cast one vote in this non-partisan race.

In-person absentee voting begins in the City of West Bend on Monday, March 16 and runs through Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m.  Remember to bring identification to the polls.

Neighbors complain about amount of dog waste on Eisenbahn State Trail in West Bend

There has been a growing number of complaints in West Bend regarding the amount of dog waste on the Eisenbahn State Trail and the downtown Riverwalk.

Warm, sunny weather brought a lot of people out to the trail on Saturday including bikers, runners and neighbors walking their dogs.

Bill Casey has lived in the Barton area since 1961. “I’ve got Douggie and Nellie with me,” he said about the dogs on the leash.

“Most people probably pick it up …. but there are those few,” he said.

Casey has his plastic bags for dog waste stored with the dog leashes so he remembers to take them every time he goes out. “If they had more garbage cans it would be nice, but there is a receptacle by the Train Depot; it’s not difficult to carry and then throw it in the garbage,” he said.

Between Highway 33 and Barton on Saturday there was a purple plastic bag of dog waste sitting on a bench. Several other blue plastic bags of waste had been tossed into trees and brush on either side of the Eisenbahn Trail.

Kathy Cira of West Bend was walking Riley around noon on Saturday. “We are on this trail all the time,” she said. “We live right off of Creek Road and we walk through here.”

“I really don’t appreciate seeing the waste left behind. Most of the dog owners I know do pick up,” Cira said.

Without any prompting Cira reached inside her jacked pocket and pulled out a number of blue, plastic bags. “These are really accessible to buy and I use the garbage facilities by Cast Iron,” she said.

‘Questioned how some of the bags of excrement end up in the trees or bushes or just left along the trail, Cira had one word. “Lazy,” she said. “People don’t care. I’ve lived here 15 years and this is annoying to see. I always pick up after my dog.”

Cira indicated West Bend was “a dog orientated community.”

“I really think the few are ruining it for the many,” she said.

There was some suggestions on how to reduce the instances of people leaving dog waste on the trail, both relied on more police presence. “I guess the police have to be out here more and if they see them fine them,” said Cira. “Make sure consequences are enforced.”

Casey echoed that thought. “They should have a guy on a bike riding patrol and giving out $250 tickets,” he said.

It was April 15, 2019 when the West Bend Common Council passed an ordinance allowing dogs on the Riverwalk.  Upon passage the council was clear this would be a one-year trial.

West Bend alderman candidate forum for Dist. 3 and Dist. 7

A candidate forum was held recently at West Bend City Hall. Candidates included Brett Berquist and Mary Ann Rzeszutek vying for Dist. 3 alderman and Oscar Estrada and Justice Madl vying for Dist. 7 alderman in the April 7 Spring Election.

Opening statements

Dist. 3 – Brett Berquist – Went to UWWC, 25 years in Military with three deployments, retired WBPD. Public safety, growing community and responsible with tax dollars. Top issue is roads and attracting new business.

Dist 7 – Oscar Estrada – Dist 7 – lived here 11 years with two daughters. Eucharist minister and member of Knights of Columbus.

Dist. 7 – Justice Madl – Incumbent. Business owner in Barton. Increased pressure on police department and be careful to remain safe. Work with new mayor, focus on roads and  and make Barton safe and clean.

Dist. 3 – Mary Ann Rzeszutek – Recently moved from NY. WB is a beautiful place to live. I have no agenda and can look strategically at issues. Works part time at WB public library. Want to be active member of community. Experience with local government. Was in manufacturing with Kodak Co.

What qualities do you bring to council that would benefit district and community?

OE – 29 years of experience and working with customers. I would work united. Would spend more time listening. Improve and grow WB. Quality of products and people and drive cost out but doing right thing for people of WB.

JM – Direct line to how people in district feel about issues

MAR – I’m a good problem solver. Good at communicating. Broad background. Experience to spend money wisely. I would treat taxpayer money like I do my own.

BB – I like working as a team. I can see the big picture and help communicate. As a former police officer I can think on my feet. I’m just one person but I want to work for taxpayers.

If your campaign is successful how will it affect area business?

JM – HBBA has put on 10 local events. Installed bike racks. I’m already doing it.

MAR – I have experience in biz and residents of Dist. 3 are concerned about empty stores. Thriving business means thriving community.

BB – Positive impact. I shop local. Work as a team and I’m going to rely on others and learn about developers agreements and special assessments. Look out for what’s best for the community.

OE – My strength is working with businesses around the world. I know how to develop growth and bring people into the city of West Bend. I’d look at marketing and our great safety factor. Key is to develop trust and respect, understanding, sincere, and providing time to listen to taxpayers to help grow home.

What’s more important building more homes and commercial space or rehabbing, expanding existing storefronts?

MAR – Using the existing storefronts and space is important. Effectively fill empty stores.

BB – It’s a fine line. We don’t want to be stagnant. Don’t want to limit housing. Empty buildings – it would be great to encourage business growth and development. Biz are in biz of making money. Yes, City is involved but important to allow them freedom to want to come here. Teamwork is important to get to the point to benefit biz and community.

OE – WB is home. Attractive part is the local stores. At times other businesses are needed. There are opportunities for us to grow.

JM – There has to be a combination. Can’t always afford to tear something down and build new. Bermico building needs to come down.

City roads are hottest topic in community. Should city spend more to address problem?

BB – We’ve been trying to address it. Important to be part of the solution. Instead of tearing up roads how about just resurface and make a short-term fix. If a road needs to be replaced then it has to be considered.

OE – If we can do assessment by district and look at worst roads by volume of vehicle. Try something different – look at it from total cost of operating. Review bidding process and rate bidders. Look at all corners of WB to please everybody.

JM – City has PASER rating to rate the roads. We’ve improved debt situation. Roads are tough.

MAR – Spoke to city engineer. There is an evaluation process along with traffic count. City has prioritized roads and it’s a good plan to follow. City does a good job to fix roads when it coincides with sewer and water repair. Suggests taxpayers may be ready to spend more.

One thing to be done at government level to have biggest impact on West Bend?

OE – Public safety. Want to make sure people feel safe.

JM – Staff. Work with new marketing person.

MAR – Better communication.

BB – Teamwork. The important thing is the taxpayers. People want someone to listen to them.

How are you different than other candidates?

JM – I have an ability to connect with my constituents.

MAR – I’m learning about the city, have an open mind and clean slate.

BB – I have strong communication skills.

OE – I’m more like a coach and help to get the best out of people.

What challenges has no one started discussing yet?

MAR – Safety and make sure WBPD and WBFD are funded adequately

BB – Where do we want to go from here. What are our priorities

OE – Barton Park improvements

JM – Improve downtown Barton

What does a successful term in office look like to you?

BB – Work on issues and find important things to address and work towards a better community for all.

OE – Build trust with constituents, provide support with businesses and increase activities for all ages.

JM – I’ve been very successful the last two years. New banners, bike racks, Christmas decor….

MAR – Have a good relationship with residents.

Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

First anchor tenant commits to new Water Street Suites in Downtown West Bend By Deb Reinbold

American Commercial Real Estate, an American Companies affiliate, has signed a 10-year lease to Stifel, one of the nation’s leading full-service wealth management and investment banking firms, for occupancy in the new Water Street Suites.

The anchor tenant is the first to commit to the new space, planning to occupy 7,035 square feet of Class A office space within the 15,500-square-foot facility. Both of Stifel’s existing West Bend offices will be consolidated into this new location once construction is complete this fall.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working as the property manager for Stifel at their current location on 18th Avenue since 2009,” said Jo Sadownikow, Principal of American Commercial Real Estate.  “We explored many options and I’m pleased to be able to continue this relationship with them at Water Street Suites.”

“Downtown West Bend is a highly-desirable destination for new and expanding businesses,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “With the transformation of the Riverwalk, and this exciting site redevelopment, we are exploring all economic development opportunities that will support and enhance the community.”

American Construction Services began site construction in mid-February for the Water Street Suites and a 68-room Marriott TownePlace Hotel, located on an adjacent property. Construction began shortly after the February 7 sale of 3.3 acres from the City of West Bend, a portion of the site formerly home to Gehl Company’s manufacturing facility.

“We could not be happier to make our new home in this exciting development in the historic heart of our community,” said Matt Andrews, Senior Vice President of Investments for Stifel.  “We’re proud to be a part of downtown West Bend. Our new office will greatly benefit our eleven financial advisors as well as their clients.”

Established in 1890, Stifel serves clients from more than 400 offices across the nation and ranks as the nation’s seventh-largest full-service investment firm in terms of number of financial advisors. It is a leading provider of investment banking services to the middle market, a top-ten municipal bond underwriter, and home to one of the industry’s largest equity research franchises. Parent company Stifel Financial Corp. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SF” and has achieved twenty-four consecutive years of record net revenues.

For additional details about availability in the Water Street Suites, contact Jo Sadownikow at 414-303-1837 or Adam Williquette at 262-424-3217 of American Commercial Real Estate.

$20,000 in grant funding awarded by City of West Bend Tourism Commission | By Jessica Wildes

The City of West Bend Tourism Commission has awarded grants totaling $20,000 to support promotional efforts for local summer events held by area nonprofit organizations.

Grant awards include:

  • $12,500 for the Museum of Wisconsin Art to support Art & Chalk Fest 2020 held on July 25-26. This is the fourth year of the event which welcomed more than 20,000 visitors the past two consecutive years. MOWA anticipates more than 20,000 visitors and over 200 overnight leisure visitors.
  • $3,750 for Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties to support GERMANfest 2020 on August 27-30. This is the 35th year of the event and fifth year run by Habitat for Humanity. It is estimated this multi-day event will welcome 10,000 attendees.
  • $3,750 for The Hometown Foundation Inc. to support Homegrown Music Festival on July 10-12. This expanding event started in 2015 and anticipates 3,000 attendees.

Six nonprofit organizations submitted applications for consideration. A total of $53,000 was requested of the available $20,000. Funds requested are designed to promote tourism and provide economic impact on the City of West Bend from May 1-September 30, 2020.  The primary purpose for using these funds is to generate overnight stays at West Bend hotels.

Marketing directed outside of the West Bend/Washington County area is given priority. The three entities awarded best demonstrated the highest likeliness of attracting overnight visitors and bringing attendees from outside of the local community to West Bend. The Tourism Commission met on the evening of Tuesday, March 3 to review each application and award available funding.

“The Tourism Commission is responsible for distributing the hotel room tax that’s generated throughout the year,” said Commissioner Jay Shambeau.  “This is the highest number of grant applications received as well as the most funds requested to date. As this grant program gets more competitive, we’re seeing the quality of marketing plans and promotional efforts become more sophisticated and impactful.”

In addition to the spring/summer promotion grant, the Tourism Commission offers the Fall/Winter Tourism Promotion Grant totaling up to $20,000. Funds may be requested to promote tourism and economic impact for events held between October 1, 2020-March 31, 2021. The application deadline is Friday, May 15, 2020 at noon.

West Bend Plan Commission approves development of Taco Bell on W. Washington Street

The West Bend Plan Commission has approved development of a new Taco Bell at 2356 W. Washington Street. That property is currently home to Matrix Title..

The current building will be razed and a new 1,763-square-foot restaurant will be constructed. The new restaurant will feature a drive thru, concrete patio with decorative fence and tables, more than 20 parking spots.

According to records at City Hall the property used to be owned by Bridgeman Foods. The building permit dates to November 20, 1985.  The building sold in 1992 for $315,000 to St. Francis Bank. In 1997 the bank sold for $390,000. At one point PNC Bank was located at that site. In June 2014, John Rehman from Matrix Title Co. purchased the former PNC Bank building, 2356 West Washington Street.

Word that a second Taco Bell was opening in West Bend has been met with some speculation by neighbors in the community, since the fast food outlet currently located on S. Main has locked its doors during the noon hour and operated solely through the drive thru. Management has said it’s because of a staffing shortage. Construction on the second restaurant is expected to get underway this year. So far no permit has been pulled to demolish the Matrix Title building.

Letter to the Editor | Questions about curriculum transparency in West Bend School District | By Jody Geenen

Yet another transparency issue with the West Bend School District!  As the only new candidate running for School Board, I am frustrated with the district’s deceit in pretending to seek public input regarding new curriculum.

For example, the district sent a memo to certain parents/guardians and taxpayers (not me) inviting them to review the new 9th grade biology curriculum.

A friend received the email and was frustrated with the inconvenient times offered ~ 6:45 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.- 4 p.m., when most parents are traveling to work or working. There were no evening or weekend sessions.

I emailed the Curriculum and Instruction Department to request an evening viewing. While they were willing to hold a private viewing, they refused to open it up to the public except to let me invite guests. So I brought four.

Laura Jackson presented the curriculum and was aware the public was not invited to the evening session. Yet, she praised herself at the February 24 School Board Meeting for inviting public  input. She said she offered convenient times to parents who were dropping students off at school or picking them up and that there was an evening session.

Really? There were zero (0) people, other than a teacher, who attended the two early sessions, and the five of us who attended the evening session from which she provided our written feedback to the board. Were inconvenient viewing sessions offered because there was something to hide from the public?

Were they just pretending to be accommodating to avoid any negative reaction to the curriculum? If you’re tired of the lack of transparency and you believe children’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, then vote for Jody Geenen on or before April 7 for West Bend School Board.    Jody Geenen  West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Curriculum questions in West Bend School District | By Jean Bury Weymier

Dear Editor, I am writing to share my personal experience with the West Bend School District putting out a new book and curriculum for 9th grade Biology. First, there was an open viewing of the book and curriculum to anyone who pays taxes but the only means of notification to the public was an email to limited audience. I was told that this was open to the public but later found out that whoever was in charge of putting out the invitation refused to let people know there was an evening viewing. What are they trying to hide?

Second, the book filled with non-science and pseudo-science topics such as climate change, population control and evolution.  Instead of teaching the Science of Biology it is a total indoctrination of agenda-driven propaganda. I do not want my taxes paying for this type of brain-washing. This situation reminds me of the way the West Bend Community Hospital relocation to where it is now was accomplished.

Then, only after the outcry by many people from this community did an open and faux meeting occur. The move proponents pretended to care what we thought, only to do what they wanted in the end anyway. We need change in our school district so kids learn what they should and not a political agenda.  If you want change in our district vote for Jody Geenen for the West Bend School Board on April 7.     Jean Bury Weymier   West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Letter of recommendation for Oscar Estrada as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend | By Jeffrey P. Cartwright

It is my pleasure to recommend Oscar Estrada to you as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend.  He has worked for me directly in two separate roles at different companies where we turned around struggling businesses to profitability within a relatively short time.  Oscar is a dedicated leader who routinely worked long hours in a whatever-effort-is-required mode.

Additionally, he has a strong sense of team and motivates individuals to rally together for the greater good of the enterprise.   The difficult things we accomplished were based on a strong foundation of treating each and every individual with respect and dignity.  Oscar has the ability to positively interact and engage with all levels of the organization from the Chief Executive Officer to the factory line worker.  He consistently demonstrated the ability to teach, train, and develop those around him.

Beyond the tactical attributes described above, Oscar has a strong sense of strategic vision and is able to keep the long term in mind while executing the shorter-term objectives.

Following, the direct roles above, I have hired Oscar to assist me in a number of consulting engagements where we have been able to positively impact the results of the client organization in a matter of a few days.

I highly recommend Oscar as a servant leader, as well as, an individual contributor.

Best regards,  Jeffrey P. Cartwright

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher. The http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com reserves the right to edit or omit copy, in accordance with newspaper policies.

Deadly Tornado Outbreak in Tennessee

Devastating 

(CNN)Tennessee is under a state of emergency after the deadliest tornado day in seven years.

Putnam County officials went door to door Tuesday searching 150 standing structures. They planned to continue through the night into Wednesday morning, aiming to find people in the subdivisions hardest hit by the severe weather and at least one tornado.
Before dawn on Tuesday, 24 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed in the Tennessee storms. Officials in Putnam County, which suffered 18 storm-related deaths, have said they are working to locate 38 people who are unaccounted for.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Property sale complete for new TIF District 14 in West Bend

The property sale of 28.57 acres east of S River Road (Hwy G) and north of Highway NN is complete. According to records at West Bend City Hall the sale from John Renner to the City of West Bend was finalized February 7, 2020.

The parcel sold for $20,927 per acre which equals a total sale of $597,900. The transfer fee was $1,793.70. That property is connected to the new TIF District 14 which will a business/industrial park and be home to the new development of Milwaukee Tool.

Interfaith Caregivers thankful for $82,500 grant from Senior Corps

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is singing the praises of its volunteers and giving “thanks” to Senior Corps for an $82,500 grant it just received.

“This is exciting news for our organization and the community,” said Interfaith Executive Director Janean Brudvig.

The mission at Interfaith is to connect senior citizens with caring volunteers in Washington County.

“The grant will further allow us to recruit and engage our volunteers who provide rides to medical appointments and the grocery store,” said Interfaith Communications Director Clare Robbe. “Our volunteers also visit and bond with lonely and isolated seniors and the grant will help engage volunteers with elder-abuse prevention.”

“The grant will allow us to impact needs of senior citizens in our community and thanks to all the volunteers; we couldn’t do this without you,” said Brudvig.

Interfaith Caregivers provided over 14,000 rides to senior citizens who need transportation to critical services including the doctor, appointments,

“Our services provide a family feel,” said Robbe. “Our clients can rely on our volunteers and they like that volunteers sit with them and wait at their appointments so they don’t feel alone.”

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: Senior Corps RSVP volunteers will provide transportation for home bound seniors and veterans to preventive/medical appointments and other services that allow them to live independently; be trained in Elder Abuse Prevention in order to identify and mitigate elder abuse of financial fraud, abuse and/or neglect; provide education on Elder Abuse prevention to at-risk seniors and their caregivers and provide outreach and education within the community; operate a durable medical equipment loan and resource referral program. ($82,500 grant; 185 Senior Corps members)

Giving time to Interfaith Caregivers is a rewarding experience. Whether it’s getting a group together to clean up an elderly neighbor’s yard or simply folding a fresh load of laundry, your time makes a real difference! In the end, don’t be surprised if you forget who’s helping who.

If you want to check out come and hear more about Interfaith Caregivers, join us Friday, March 6 at 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for Percolate, a chance for coffee, bakery and conversation, is held at the Interfaith office in West Bend, 2374A W Washington Street.  Come join us!

Kewaskum Police officers receive Life Saving Award     By Kewaskum Police Department

Kewaskum School Resource Officer Kevin Kohn and Officer Luke Wilhelm have each been issued a Life Saving Award from Kewaskum Chief of Police Thomas Bishop for their actions February 13, 2020.

On that date, both officers responded to a medical call for a male subject who possibly overdosed. Upon arrival, officers began life saving measures as the subject was unconscious and turning blue. NARCAN was administered to the subject and, after a short time, the subject regained consciousness. He was then transported via Kewaskum Rescue to Froedtert West Bend Hospital.

The 17-year-old male has been charged with Possession of Narcotic Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The Kewaskum Police Department is trained in the use of Narcan in an effort to combat overdose deaths associated with opiate use and addiction. The quick actions of these officer’s directly resulted in saving this young man’s life, while placing themselves in a potentially dangerous situation — these efforts deserve recognition.

“On behalf of the Kewaskum Police Department and citizens of the Village of Kewaskum, I am proud to issue this award to Officer Kevin Kohn and Officer Luke Wilhelm for their outstanding performance on February 13, 2020,” said Kewaskum Police Chief Tom Bishop.

Holy Angels Students of the Month for January 2020 | By Anne Weise

Holy Angels School in West Bend is recognizing three students for the month of January 2020 including Michael Held, Lyra Keegan and Brady Barnes. 6th Grade:  Michael Held is an all-American kid.  He is a good student, with nice study skills. He is a friendly, positive, happy person who enjoys participating in a variety of activities and is a natural leader. He likes pizza and baseball. In fact, he plays many sports including basketball and football. When he isn’t shooting layups, Mikey is probably playing video games or hanging around with his family and friends.  At school, he helps out by serving at Mass and is also on the Forensics team.

7th Grade:  Lyra Keegan – is a very detail-oriented student. She pays close attention in class and will always ask questions about any piece of the concept she doesn’t feel comfortable about. She is not satisfied with doing less than a stellar job.  In addition to being strong academically, she is very artistic. Lyra participates in Forensics and helps out at school as a patrol and as a server for Mass.  Outside of school, she enjoys biking and swimming. Lyra is particularly passionate about running cross country.

8th Grade:  Brady Barnes is a quiet, funny, kind eighth grader. When he isn’t walking around on crutches, Brady participates in basketball and plays golf. He has impressed his teachers with his academic focus this year. He has improved his study skills and shown a willingness to ask for help when necessary. Brady serves at Mass and is part of the 8th grade Bells Choir.  When he isn’t hanging out with his family and friends, he enjoys playing Fortnite.

West Bend School District discusses November referendum

As the West Bend School District is in the midst of searching for a new superintendent it is also moving forward with discussion on a November 2020 referendum proposal. Some of the items reviewed at the Monday, Feb. 24 meeting.

The timetable included administration working with consultants and stakeholders from January through May, May through late July there would be mailings and school community groups soliciting feedback, interpreting feedback, confirm and finalize projects and cost and establish full scope. By Monday, August 3, 2020 the board would need to approve a resolution for referendum which would be on the November 3, 2020 ballot.

The early though was an elementary school in Jackson with a size between 550/600.

The existing referendum and debt listed at $33,245,000 through 2027-28. There is a board workshop slated for March 16 with a final boar resolution deadline of Aug. 24. In April 2019 a proposed $47 million referendum with a $74 million total failed in the West Bend School District.

In October 2019 the West Bend School District Private Task Force unveiled a solution to the West Bend School District’s facility needs. The Task Force, which was an independent body, reported it could address the issues, including funding and declining enrollment, without raising property taxes.

Board President Joel Ongert questioned the Task Force’s findings and invited them back to explain.

West Bend School Superintendent position posted

The job opening for a superintendent in the West Bend School District has been posted. This follows an announcement Superintendent Don Kirkegaard is returning to South Dakota to take a job in his previous school district.

The timeline for receiving applications is 11:30 a.m. on March 12, 2020. A new superintendent is expected to be announced by April 27, 2020 with a start date of July 1, 2020.  The posting by the consulting firm in Omaha, NE initially posted the opening February 13, 2020.

The West Bend School District will now have had five superintendents over the last four years. Kirkegaard was hired after former Superintendent Erik Olson submitted his resignation December 14, 2017. Olsen was hired June 2016. The School Board approved a two-year contract with Olson at a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years. The payout to Olson was about $300,000.

Prior to Olson, Ted Neitzke served as superintendent from 2011 – June 2016 when he resigned and Laura Jackson served as interim superintendent after Olson left and prior to Kirkegaard.

Slinger High School student recognized for logo design for Washington County Drug Treatment Court

Washington County Judge Todd Martens praised Slinger High School student Morgan Rogacki during a meeting this week of the Slinger School Board.

Rogacki was the winner of a contest to design a logo for Washington County’s new Drug Treatment Court. She was presented with a plaque and recognized for her art work, which was selected from over 30 submitted logos from five high schools across Washington County.

According to Judge Martens, “The goal of Drug Treatment Court is to help persons with substance abuse problems get sober, stay sober and rebuild their lives.  Congratulations to Morgan and thanks to her for submitting a design which we felt best embodied the mission and spirit of Drug Treatment Court.  The logo will be used in Court program documents, Court letterhead, and certificates given to Court participants. We appreciate all the hard work put in by students to design Drug Treatment Court logos.  The designs were all excellent, and we thank you!”

Simon Weinandt of West Bend receives Eagle Scout pin

Simon Weinandt received his Eagle Scout pin during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Scouts BSA Troop 762. The celebration was in the old gym at St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception in Barton. Following the posting of the colors and an invocation by Rev. Andrew Infanger, Weinandt, 18, was praised for his leadership, love of the outdoors, and his dedication to scouts.

Weinandt was featured in an article in November 2019 when there was a special blessing for his Eagle Scout project. He built 14 Stations of the Cross in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

The 14 Stations feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment. “The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used.”

A scout since he was 6 years old, Weinandt sports a tan sash crowded with 48 merit badges. “Wilderness survival is probably the one I’m most proud of,” he said. “I got that in my first year in scouts and it was one I really wanted because you have to build your own shelter in the woods and start fires.”

Chess and music making are two other merit badges that rank high on his list of accomplishments. Earning the highest rank of Eagle Scout was also one of his goals. “There’s a saying that only two-percent of people make it to Eagle Scout,” Weinandt said. “But I had a standard that was set by my dad, brother Spencer, uncle and cousin; they all achieved it and I wanted to too.

During the Eagle Scout ceremony Weinandt’s parents participated in swapping out his red neckerchief for a royal blue neckerchief with red and white trim.

Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier, a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.

GUEST EDITORIAL | Why is it difficult to find volunteer firefighters            By Ron Naab

The issue of finding people to fill the boots of a firefighter or EMT is challenging. It is a societal issue. We are now in the mindset of what others can do for us and not what we can do for others. I have had conversations with younger generation.  Following is a post in response to the Slinger Fire Department asking for help over the weekend to dig you fire hydrants, when I suggest to an individual to join a fire department; “no thanks, time is all I have in this life and I don’t give that away for free.”  How do we change that mind set?

How did we create a generation that is not willing to sacrifice their time, their skills, or their talents to help others?  I had a mentor tell me once, “Your kids are what you make them.  The apples don’t fall far from the tree.”

I have read many times that our Wisconsin fire service is made up of approximately 78% volunteers.  These individuals that are willing to leave a kid’s birthday party, get up at 3 a.m. for a fire call that could last until 8 a.m. and still go to work, are willing to give 2 to 3 nights a month to be trained and hone their skills or are willing to spend hours to design and purchase and verify construction of a new piece of apparatus or building.

WHY!! Because of pride, pride in their membership to an elite group of individuals that all love helping others.

Pride in that they have successfully completed 100+ classroom hours to become a Firefighter 1 or 180 hours to become an EMT.  Plus, to become a IV Tech is another 100 hours. They have pride in the fact you were able to help someone at a very terrifying or tragic time in their lives so they can “see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

After the educational requirements and training we still ask our members to give up hours to help raise money to buy equipment.  How many other government or quasi-government entities must do fund raisers to purchase their trucks, or their equipment?

We expect our firefighters to enter building made of lightweight construction filled with furniture made of petroleum-based products, that burn hotter and faster.

Firefighters pride in their department maybe because of the equipment or the building they have for a fire station that was purchased with fund raising dollars and taxpayers supported dollars.

Former Chief Chuck Himsel of Mount Horeb Fire-Rescue stated once to his fire district board, “We have 50 people respond to any type of call at any time of day, on any given day of the year for NO money.  All we as a department and as a community have to offer is pride.  Pride in who we are, what we do and what we have.  So, if the members want a bell on a fire truck or an area to have an antique apparatus on display, this is nominal to the dollars we would have to pay them for each call.

We as fire departments and as communities need to look at ways of attracting younger generation members of our community so they will get involved.  Our department, Allenton, has had an Explorers Club, their other departments that have similar program where 8th graders through seniors can be a part of the fire department to be part of training and do support duties at an emergency scene. These programs have been very successful, it takes a group of adult fire-rescue members to be willing to support this group.

Another factor that makes operating and funding a department in today’s world is the cost of equipping a firefighter with a helmet, with a hood, firefighting and rescue gloves, turnout coat and pants, boots along with a pager to alert them.  Total cost is approximately $2,500 plus.  This does not include Self Contained Breathing Apparatus [air packs] we are at $6,500+ and the cost go on.  A single-axle truck to haul water is in the range of $275,000.  In 1973 you could do this vehicle for less than $13,000.

Our community governments and businesses need to be supportive of our volunteer and paid-on-call emergency services. There was a time that employers would allow their employees to respond to calls with NO dock in pay.  NOW we have a difficult time getting these entities to allow them to respond.  One reason is the owners are not residents of the community.  There was a time that local municipalities allowed fire departments to have a few extra things so as to pay wages.  I understand tight budgets, we need to be creative to get businesses to support our volunteers.  We need to work with state legislators and those representing us in Washington, D.C.  I believe that valid avenue to help get people involved and to support our volunteer fire-rescue squads is having a tax credit for employers based on allowing employees to go on calls.  We need to get tax credits for firefighters and emergency medical responders for time being served, training and responding.

This year alone there are probably 15 bills that would have supported our firefighters.  Some of these bills introduced were to give tax credits to volunteers, with more years of service the greater the credit.  The Length of Service Award changed to Service Award Program which was funded by local governments and the state was changed to allow younger, less time served firefighters and EMTs to cash out.  The payout was raised but the funds were not set aside this some that retired this year are still waiting for funds.  There was a bill to increase the penalties for those that caused bodily harm or death and accident scene.  There was a bill to help get timely reimbursement to those departments that are involved in Wisconsin’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.   WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE BILLS?  They died at a committee chairman’s desk or at the legislator in-charge of the assembly or senate.

In my opinion, our state and our federal government need to get involved!  We need to have representatives that will follow through and not make promises and not to follow through to get the legislation completed.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Walden – A Supper Club has sold

There will be new life for Walden – A Supper Club as the restaurant on Wallace Lake is under contract for purchase.

Kevin and Amy Zimmer gathered with staff at the restaurant Friday afternoon and introduced themselves as the new owners.

“We are very excited to preserve an iconic property,” said Kevin Zimmer.  “We were most attracted to the dedicated staff as well as the faithful clientele that we saw every time we came out for dinner. Waldens has been our go-to restaurant for many years. We are committed to keeping the restaurant open while making improvements yet preserving the Wisconsin supper-club feel.”

The supper club is located on the shores of Wallace Lake; it started as a summer home in the 1940s.

The future of the popular restaurant had been in question after the former owner, Bob Walden, died October 4, 2019.

Walden moved to West Bend in 1974 where he was a principal at Jackson and Green Tree Elementary.

In 1989 Bob owned and operated Walden – A Supper Club.  In his younger years, he was a member of the Musical Masquers theater group in West Bend. Bob liked solving crossword puzzles, driving cool cars, and being a restaurant owner. He enjoyed vacations in the Eagle River and St. Germain areas, fly fishing, and watching the Packers.

The supper club on the lake has quite a bit of history. “Bob purchased the restaurant in 1989,” said Karen Walden, Bob’s wife. “It used to be Benike’s before we got it. George and Carol Benike purchased the club from Dot who ran it as Dot’s Club.”

Dot and her husband Nick added the cocktail lounge in 1974.

David and Nancy Slinde lived down the block from the supper club. “Bob has been a great neighbor on Wallace Lake,” said David.  “He had an understanding of his customers by offering a familiar setting and great food.  His restaurant is a historic place in the Barton community.  While many said he should do this with the building or that with the building, he stayed firm in offering the community a historic supper club pure and simple and rich in memories.”

Neighbors across Washington County are familiar with the supper club that sits on the south shore of Wallace Lake.

According to supper-club website,

Walden presents a Northwoods ambiance of knotty pine and lake shore, a relaxed fine dining experience. Excellent service and delicious entrees accompanied by mouth-watering salads, breads, potatoes, and desserts.

Prime Rib, the house specialty for over 50 years, is served every night. A dry aged center-cut tenderloin steak is also very popular. Walden also features Bavarian Pretzel Chicken, Frog Legs, Lobster Tails, Shrimp, Salmon, a most delicious Shaum Torte. Several other exciting entrees are served including Fish Frys on Fridays, nightly specials and sandwiches.

Walden is available for larger group luncheons and for banquets depending on availability. Several weddings followed by wedding banquets have been held along the shores of the lake.

The dining room seats up to one hundred guests. the cocktail lounge, overlooking the lake seats 52 people at the bar and side bars.

A bit more history on the supper club is below.

Walden-A Supper club began life as a summer home for Lucy and her family from the Milwaukee area in the early 1940’s. Emil Kufahl and his family operated the White Oaks Resort using the current dining area as a bar and four cabins once located along the western boundary of the property.

Kufahl’s were convinced by several Friday customers that they should start offering a Friday Fish Fry. In addition to adding a small kitchen, Kufahls added a bait shop lake side. Rental cabins, boat rental, fish bait sales, bar business and Friday Night Fish Fries kept the White Oaks Resort quite busy.

Several owners succeeded Kufahls each bringing a uniqueness in talent, interest and personality, blending to give Walden a character all its own.

Karl and Mush Hansen greatly expanded the dinner menu beyond the Friday Fish Fry. At this time, the bar was located across the fireplace wall. The Hansens sold the supper club to Nick and Dorothy Jonas who named the restaurant Dot’s Club.

Over a 22-year period, Dot’s Club became an even more inviting place to enjoy the food, the company, the lake and turtle soup. Nick and Dot added the Cocktail Lounge in 1974. The knotty pine was added to the dining room along with the beautiful field stone fireplace.

The Waldens made significant changes in the kitchen, enabling them to expand the menu. Windows were added to the dining room for the view and expanse. Booths were added in the area which had been a front porch for Lucy. Banquets were added to the Cocktail Lounge. And a beautiful patio has been added outdoors, lakeside, next to a waterfall garden.

The property was last assessed at $496,800. Fair market value is listed at $533,100.

WWII veteran Joe Demler who survived Nazi prison camp has died

World War II Army veteran Joe Demler of Port Washington has died. Demler was 94 years old. Demler was recognized around the world after a photo of him was published in Life Magazine. Demler was 19 years old and lying in a bunk while in a Nazi prison camp, Stalag 12-A in Limburg, Germany. He was a mere 70 pounds.

Demler was featured in the 2012 documentary film “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.”

A note from the Honor Flight reads:

Joe told us that he learned while he was a prisoner of war that “every day is a bonus,” which has become the motto of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. He has spent countless hours over the years helping to raise funds so his fellow veterans could take an honor flight.

Funeral services for Joe Demler are pending. Details will be posted when information becomes available.

West Bend School Superintendent contacted Meade School District in South Dakota on January 13, 2020

Just a day after WashingtonCountyInsider.com broke the story about West Bend School Superintendent Don Kirkegaard looking to return to his former school district and expressing interest in the interim superintendent position in the Meade School District the story got picked up by Rapid City Journal in South Dakota.

Reporter Jim Holland writes:

STURGIS | Former Meade 46-1 superintendent of schools Don Kirkegaard has offered his services as an interim superintendent of the district, following the release of current superintendent Jeff Simmons in January.

Kirkegaard also confirmed he had contacted the Meade 46-1 Board of Education about the superintendent’s opening, but only in an interim capacity. “If you decide you’re going to do an interim (superintendent). I would be interested in being considered,” Kirkegaard said.

“If you’re going to do a full-fledged search, I will do everything I can to help you get the right candidate, but I’m not going to re-apply for the position,” he said.

Dennis Chowen, president of the Meade 46-1 Board of Education, confirmed Tuesday that Kirkegaard had contacted the board the day after a Jan. 13 meeting in which the board and Simmons announced a mutual agreement of his release from the remainder of his three-year contract.

“He (Kirkegaard) has certainly expressed interest, but the board, at this time, hasn’t officially made any statement one way or the other whether he’s going to be offered…

Kirkegaard started in West Bend in July 2018 after a search firm, McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, was hired by the school board to find quality candidates. The district also held stakeholder meetings.

Kirkegaard came from South Dakota. He said he and his wife Lois are returning to the home they built in the Black Hills. “We did not sell our house in the Black Hills,” said Kirkegaard. “We kept it with the idea that we knew that’s where we would retire.”

Kirkegaard is 62 years old and spent 60 years in South Dakota.

Kirkegaard’s last day in West Bend School District will be June 30, 2020.

The West Bend School District will now have five superintendents over the last four years. Kirkegaard was hired after former Superintendent Erik Olson submitted his resignation December 14, 2017. Olsen was hired June 2016. The School Board approved a two-year contract with Olson at a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years. The payout to Olson was about $300,000.

Prior to Olson, Ted Neitzke served as superintendent from 2011 – June 2016 when he resigned and Laura Jackson served as interim superintendent after Olson left and prior to Kirkegaard.

American Construction Services is part of $132 million redevelopment in West Allis

West-Bend based American Construction Services Inc. is one of the contractors in a $132 million redevelopment underway in West Allis.

ACS is working with an Iowa-based firm to develop a 1128-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel. The project is part of the Allis Yards redevelopment on 70th Street.

According to an article by reporter Sean Ryan in the Milwaukee Business Journal,

Crews are clearing the southern parts of that office building first to open land for the new Hilton, according to an emailed statement by Scott Yauck, president and CEO of Cobalt, Milwaukee. Yauck’s development group last week sold 2 acres at South 70th and West Madison streets for $1.83 million to the hotel’s developers, according to state records.

Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Cos. is co-developer and operator of the Home2 Suites. It is working with West Bend general contractor American Construction Services Inc., led by Kraig Sadownikow. Yauck said the same team previously teamed up on a Home2 Suites in Menomonee Falls at White Stone Station, another Cobalt-led project.

Cobalt Partners is the lead developer.

American Construction Services was started by Kons Sadownikow in 1980. The company, founded as West Bend/American Building Systems, later became American Companies. In 1997 Kons hired his son Kraig who is now President of American Companies.

“I’m proud of the pace we’ve been able to grow the company that my father started 39 years ago,” said Kraig Sadownikow.  “We believe in investing in our people and we work hard as a team to provide exceptional service to our clients.  Construction projects are significant investments for a company and I’d personally like to thank each one we’ve worked with; we don’t take your business for granted.”

Germantown man killed in motorcycle accident in Colorado

A Germantown family is mourning the loss of their son after he was involved in a motorcycle accident January 31 in Thornton, Colorado. According to police Patrick Olson, 29, was killed after crashing into an SUV that turned in front of him.

Olson was a graduate of Germantown High School. Family and friends are rallying to help support the family.

Below is a note from Patrick’s mother Mary Kay.

“I was overwhelmed with the love and support for my son Patrick Olson. After going through Patrick’s paperwork in Colorado and coming across a paycheck stub, we found he donated $50 per paycheck to a children’s toy foundation and was paid twice a month. It brought tears to eyes; I never knew. Patrick loved Christmas and wanted to make sure every child had a Merry Christmas. All donations received will go towards keeping his memory alive and will be donated half to Colorado and half to Wisconsin Salvation Army. Patrick helped shop for toys this past Christmas, he was a big kid.”

Mary Kay Olson said she is working on funeral details. She said the service will be held with Rev. Mike Petrie at St. Boniface Church in Germantown, hopefully February 22 at 1 p.m. with a reception to follow. More information will be posted when details become available.

Washington County Sheriff investigating Thursday crash on Hwy 60 off ramp

The Jackson Police Chief said the 22-year-old West Bend man who crashed his vehicle at Highway 45 and the Highway 60 off ramp on Thursday afternoon is listed in critical condition at a Milwaukee hospital.

Chief Ryan Vossekuil said charges against Adrian Jollie are still pending. Police said the vehicle Jollie was driving exited onto the off-ramp for State Highway 60 at a high rate of speed and crashed into a guardrail on the off-ramp.

The driver suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash. He was transported by the Jackson Fire Department to Froedert West Bend, and subsequently flown by Flight for Life to Froedert Milwaukee.

There had been a warrant out for Jollie’s arrest. The crash remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

Don Pridemore announces candidacy for 13th State Senate District

Former State Assembly Rep. Don Pridemore is announcing his candidacy for the 13th State Senate District. Pridemore issued the statement at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, February 7.

“Today I am announcing my candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacated elected office of the 13th State Senate District. I am very confident the current occupant of that seat, Senator Scott Fitzgerald, will win the right to represent Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District, replacing Congressman James Sensenbrenner; I am making this announcement early. The election of Donald J. Trump has given me new hope that reforming government is a high priority of the electorate.

What is causing today’s youth to look favorably at socialism is what is happening in our classrooms. What is being taught in history and social studies classes makes no mention of American exceptionalism and too often takes the tone of blame America first.

I currently serve on the Hartford Joint 1 School Board and have seen how local control can make a difference in the lives of children. If elected I will lead Wisconsin out of the education swamp and address the problems our cities like Milwaukee have and address the problems which have made them unique and underserved.

Pridemore was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2004.  In April 2014, Pridemore stepped away from his seat in the Assembly.

Spaulding Clinical names new CEO

Spaulding Clinical has names Cassandra Erato as chief executive officer. Erato has been with Spaulding since its inception in 2007. “We are very excited about her taking the helm and leading us into the future,” said Spaulding Clinical spokesman.

Randy Spaulding will still be an integral part of the team, assuming the role of founder, chairman, and chief visionary officer. “Our vision is to continue to deliver new technologies that enable our customers to make decisions faster and bring new, life-enhancing drugs to market faster than before”

“I am honored to assume leadership of Spaulding Clinical. Mr. Spaulding built our Phase 1 site based on the vision of building the first fully paperless Phase 1 CRO and a world-class cardiac safety testing site,” said Erato. “He was clearly 10 years ahead of his time, as we’ve seen other Phase 1 units start to adopt eSource solutions in the past year. He has introduced many new functionalities and integrations; recently, he introduced a new functionality that allows us to deliver flash results faster than anyone in the industry. I am committed to continuing to grow Spaulding Clinical and build upon the excellent foundation that has been laid.”

Randy Spaulding will continue an active role as managing member and will focus on the next innovations of the company.

“Our vision is to continue to deliver new technologies that enable our customers to make decisions faster and bring new, life-enhancing drugs to market faster than before,” said Spaulding. “Mrs. Erato is the best person to execute on this vision and help us achieve our next phase of growth. This enables me to focus even more time on developing new technologies for the pharmaceutical development industry.”

Erato is currently the COO of Spaulding Clinical and has held the position since 2015. She has been with Spaulding Clinical since its inception in 2007 and has played a key role in developing the operational procedures and systems in place today.

Erato will be attending SCOPE 2020 in Orlando, Florida, the week of February 17 and is available for interviews.

New seating being installed at Historic West Bend Theatre | By Kine Torinus

The Historic West Bend Theatre, 215 N. Main Street, is starting to take shape.  Theatre seats were installed today and it looks like Kevin and Amy Zimmer stopped in to give them a test run.

The renovation of the “The Bend,” its new brand name, is nearing completion. The old seats were beyond saving, so the HWBT board decided to buy new seats from Irwin Seating Co., a Michigan company that specializes in theatre seating.

Former Gehl site sold for Marriott hotel development in West Bend | By Jessica Wildes

The sale of 3.3 acres in Downtown West Bend has been sold from the City of West Bend to construct and manage a new 68-room Marriott TownePlace extended stay hotel and 16,000-square-foot multi-tenant commercial office building in the heart of downtown.

Paul Stangl of RafRad LLC led the purchase on behalf of the Downtown West Bend Hotel Associates (DWBHA).

DWBHA has partnered on the development with Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies and American Companies. A portion of the site is formerly home to Gehl Company’s manufacturing facility.

DWBHA has partnered on the development with Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies and American Companies to construct and manage a new 68-room Marriott TownePlace extended stay hotel and 16,000-square-foot multi-tenant commercial office building.

The same group was also part of the development team for the Hampton Inn and Suites on 18th Avenue in West Bend, managed by Kinseth since opening in 2008.  Construction on the buildings will start this spring.

The City of West Bend acquired the property from Gehl Company (now Manitou Americas) in 2008 when it relocated itsheadquarters to a larger site two blocks east. Recognizing the potential for the site located in the heart of downtown West Bend, the City took on the responsibility of the remediation and demolition of the multiple buildings that were obsolete for future manufacturing.

“This is an extraordinary location for a hotel,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “Visitors will have the unique opportunity to explore and enjoy downtown West Bend. They can frequent our thriving restaurants and shops, the Riverwalk, Eisenbahn State Trail, farmer’s market, Museum of Wisconsin Art, and newly–renovated Historic West Bend Theatre, all within walking distance.”

West Bend is a founding member of the Washington County Site Redevelopment Program (SRP). The SRP was awarded two U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield grants and contributed $18,000 for a Hotel Market Demand Study by Patek Hospitality Consultants, Inc. which determined current and future demand for hotel accommodations in the market area.  The study proved the viability for the hotel and was instrumental in securing the interest of Marriott and the development team.

The site was considered by other developers in the past, primarily for apartment buildings and commercial office space.“We knew this site had high potential for redevelopment and are pleased to present the first hotel located in downtown West Bend,” stated Kraig Sadownikow, President of American Construction Services and American Architectural Group. “This is the type of project that will enhance the community and attract new visitors and businesses.”

Approximately 7,000-square-feet of Class A office space is available for lease within the new office building.  For details, please contact Adam Williquette of American Commercial Real Estate at (262) 424-3217.

Mike Jentsch approved as new Park, Rec and Forestry Director for City of West Bend

The West Bend Common Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mike Jentsch as the new Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of West Bend.

The Parks and Recreation Commission also recommended the appointment on Thursday, January 30, 2020. An employee of the City of West Bend since 1999, Jentsch will transition from his current role as Parks and Forestry Superintendent.

“Mike has been a standout employee with the City of West Bend for 21 years. It is with great excitement to welcome him to our department head team,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “Mike’s knowledge of our community and his ability to complete projects made this promotion an easy decision for the Parks and Rec Commission and Common Council. Congratulations, Mike.”

Jentsch, 50, said there are a couple projects he’s eager to tackle including the update on Carl Kuss Field and the remodel of the west side of the downtown River Walk.

“If we were to pencil something on the calendar, we’re targeting utility work this year,” he said. “It means we’ll tear out the west side of the River Walk and We Energies, Charter and AT&T and all the utilities will be upgraded. In 2021 we’d upgrade from the north pedestrian bridge to Veterans Avenue and then the next year target north of the bridge to Highway 33.”

Jentsch expects that work to begin around June 2020.

The Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry is responsible for implementing acquisition and development plans for new and existing park facilities, and for ensuring the provision of park and recreational programs and facilities for the public.

As department head, Jentsch will administer the operational budget, policies, plans and projects, and the Parks and Recreational Facility Developmental Program. He will engage in community and media relations, and coordinate cooperative activities with other city, county, state, and private organizations.

“I look forward to working with the Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, service clubs, and local businesses to keep moving West Bend forward,” said Jentsch. “Team Green is a group of highly dedicated professionals who enjoy serving the community. Our staff goes above and beyond to make West Bend a place we can all take great pride in.”

The position of Park, Recreation and Forestry director opened in mid-July 2019 after Craig Hoeppner resigned to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

Property home to Le’s Bridal in Downtown West Bend sold | By Adam Williquette

The building home to Le’s Bridal, Darling Diva Boutique, and Exhale Salon in downtown West Bend has been sold.

AH 262 N. Main, LLC has sold the building at 262-4 N. Main Street to Elmazi Real Estate, LLC for $400,000. Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction. The property is made up of multiple units. It was last assessed by the City of West Bend in 2018 at $338,500.

Other spaces available downtown through ACRE include the first floor of the Alexssa building at 301 N. Main Street. Alexxsa purchased the former Chase Bank branch at 801 W. Washington Street in January 2020. There is also 3,000 square feet available at the 801 W. Washington building, as Alexssa will only be occupying the first floor.

New to the market is also the former RiverShores Chiropractic space at 705 Village Green Way. Located in the same building as Tochi Ramen, Café Floriana, and Children’s Hospital, the space will be available in June of this year when they move to their new building at 235 N. 18th Avenue.

Questions about commercial real estate? Contact Adam at 262-424-3217 or adam@americancre.net.

West Bend business owner creates frozen luminaries for Feb. 8 hike at Pike Lake State Park

A local business owner has become inspired by the beauty of the annual Luminary Walk at Pike Lake State Park. The event is Saturday, February 8 starting at 6 p.m.

Jim Sprouse from Property Loss Management in West Bend has been working with a couple staffers on making Glowing Ice Luminaries.

“We use a five-gallon plastic bucket and we’ve lined the bucket with some weeds from Pike Lake State Park as decorations,” he said.

The water freezes from the sides down and the secret to creating a clear hurricane lantern is well water. “If we used City water from the tap because it’s cloudy,” said Sprouse. “We go down to the neighbor’s farm and we use his well water; that’s not chlorinated and it’s super clear.”

“I was so moved by this project and we called the Ranger Station for some help and then started making some on our own,” he said.

There are four miles of trail at Pike Lake State Park and two miles are lit with luminaries.

31st Annual Pike Lake Candlelight Ski and Hike Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Activities: Astronomy, Candlelight events, Cross country ski, Hike, Night event, Outdoor activity, Snowshoeing  Location: Kettle Moraine SF – Pike Lake Unit

This whimsical event is one the whole family is sure to enjoy. Bring the skis or hiking boots to enjoy the park from a whole new perspective. There will be a total of 2 miles illuminated by candlelight, so you are welcome to be out for however long you’d like. Afterwards, meet at the North Shelter for a bonfire, complimentary treats, guest presentation on WI mammals, and of course hot chocolate! Please help us reduce our waste by bringing along your own mug or thermos. Meet at the Beach.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran’s Jacob Stoltz hits career 1,000 points | By Megan Himm

With a three-point shot Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School senior Jacob Stoltz was able to secure the 1,000th point of his high school career. Going into the game, Stoltz only needed to score five points. After the shot, the achievement was announced to the crowd, who erupted with cheers as the team congratulated Stoltz. The Chargers would go onto win the game against Winneconne, 93 – 57.

Stoltz started playing basketball when he was just a toddler. He remembers playing at the YMCA, “It really was my dad just putting a basketball in my hands and going through stuff with me at a really young age.” Stoltz would continue improving his skills while playing on his grade school team at St. Lucas, for the KML Junior Chargers, and Kewaskum Youth Basketball.

Cole Biesterfeld, a senior, has played with Stoltz since fifth grade, “One thing that has always remained the same throughout those years has been his love of the game. He is one of the smartest basketball players I have met and has an abundant amount of knowledge and passion for the game. He will do everything in his power to help benefit the team and help us will our way to victory no matter what it takes.”

Once in high school, Stoltz landed a spot on the JV team as a freshman. The next year, he was on varsity. It was that first year on varsity when KML had its state-run. Describing the experience, Stoltz said, “Being new to the team it was right away a hard adjustment to go to the varsity level and play with a bunch of new guys. About halfway through the season, I finally got good with the guys, and then we put on a nice run where we all gelled together and we were able to make it to state.”

This year, Stoltz has been a true leader both as a teammate and as a scorer. Austin Wagner, a sophomore on the team, describes Stoltz as “a great leader and someone that the whole team can count on. The energy he brings every game is huge for us; it pushes the whole team to bring energy. He wants to win and he pushes the rest of the team to be as successful as we can be.”

With a scoring average of 23, he has led the team in scoring for most games. Earlier this year, during a game against Sheboygan Falls, Stoltz tied the school record, scoring 35 points. “Being able to lead more than scoring is big for me. Being able to be a leader, being able to pass, and helping my teammates get better is just as big as me scoring. I try to motivate my teammates to keep scoring. I wouldn’t score as much as I do without them. They set screens for me, they drive and pass to me and let me shoot. They are right with me through it all, so definitely give credit to them.”

Looking ahead, Stoltz said we can’t get complacent. “We have to keep working hard, we have to keep getting better. At practices we need to work harder and get better each game. Once we do have some hard games, we need to be ready to attack them and play our best.”

While basketball may be his passion, it’s not the only sport he has played at KML. Stoltz ran cross country his freshman and sophomore year and played football his junior and senior year. A broken arm halted his junior year, but he was still able to have a successful senior season. In the spring, Stoltz is a member of KML’s baseball team. Freshman year he was able to earn a spot on the JV team. His sophomore year on JV was cut short when he tore a ligament in his knee, but he was able to come back his junior year on varsity. Stoltz is planning to play baseball again this spring.

Stoltz is the embodiment of a student-athlete. Not only does he excel on the court, but he also does well in the classroom. As a member of the National Honor Society, he has demonstrated scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Stoltz is also an honor roll student, maintaining a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Second quarter he achieved high honor roll with a GPA of 3.6 or higher. Some of the classes he’s taking this year include World Literature, Transition to College Math, Lifetime Sports, Computer Application, Word of God, and United States Government.

Stoltz uses his leadership skills outside of sports as a member of Cross Trainers. As such, he is paired with a freshman and serves as a mentor to that freshman.

2020 winners from Kiwanis Early Risers Chili and Soup Cook off

The annual Kiwanis Early Risers Chili & Soup Cook off was a huge success. Twenty-six teams were won over the record crowd on Saturday, February 1. There were so many people additional seating had to be created and many of the vendors started running out of chili around noon. The event lasted until 2 p.m. Winners are listed below.

People’s Choice Chili: 1st West Bend Firefighters, 2nd Olde Cedar Inn, 3rd Badger Transmissions

People’s Choice Soup: 1st Brazen Head Pub, 2nd Riverside Brewery and Restaurant, 3rd Sandy’s Barton Café

Judge’s Choice Business Chili: 1st Badger Transmission, 2nd Don Patnode Agency, 3rd Minuteman Press

Community Service Chili: 1st Interfaith Caregivers, 2nd West Bend Firefighters, 3rd West Bend Noon Kiwanis

Restaurant Chili: 1st Olde Cedar Inn, 2nd El Pig’s Butt Bar-B-Que, 3rd Billy Sims Barbeque

Restaurant Soup: 1st M&JS Moonlighting, 2nd Brazen Head Pub, 3rd Riverside Brewery and Restaurant

Thanks to everyone who participated and a special shout out to Property Loss Management for its donation of water.

HIV Vaccine Trial Fails

That’s a shame.

Hopes have been dashed an experimental vaccine could protect people against HIV, the virus that causes Aids.

The National Institutes of Health has stopped its HVTN 702 trial, of more than 5,000 people in South Africa, as it found the jab did not prevent HIV.

Experts expressed “deep disappointment” but added the search for a preventive HIV vaccine must continue.

Such vaccines do not contain HIV and therefore do not pose any danger of giving HIV to an individual.

Super Bowl Prediction

Anyone care to make a prediction?

Here’s a little Boots & Sabers history for you… back when Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction during halftime of the Super Bowl, I blogged about it. The incoming traffic crashed the blog for almost a week.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

City of West Bend selects new Park, Rec and Forestry Director

The City of West Bend has selected a new Director of Park, Recreation and Forestry and they didn’t have to go far from home.

According to the upcoming Jan. 30 Park & Rec Commission agenda, Mike Jentsch will take over the position. Jentsch had been filling the post in the interim along with City Administrator Jay Shambeau.

“We evaluated the structure within the department and had a conversation about joint ventures and decided against that,” said Shambeau. “I initially spoke with Mike and as more time passed his interest peaked.

“Mike’s excited for the position and he’s got some good ideas and I think it’s a great fit.”

Jentsch has a unique employment history; he started with the City of West Bend as a summer worker when he was a teenager.

“Mike has been with the City for 21 years,” said Shambeau. “After college he was in the Marines and most recently, he was Parks Superintendent.”

Shambeau said although Jentsch is advancing internally, his old position won’t be posted but it will be filled by two current employees who will share responsibilities. “The Superintendent roll will be retitled to Parks Supervisor and that post will be filled by our lead arborist Dan Farvour and Kevin Lisko.

The language on the Jentsch appointment is below. It still needs to be approved by the Parks Commission and then it will be voted on by the Common Council at its February 3 meeting.

City Administrator, Jay Shambeau and Human Resources Director, Michelle Hoey ask for your assistance in approving the recommended appointment of Mike Jentsch to position of Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. Mike brings over 20 years of experience in the field of Parks and Forestry as well as over 15 years in management.

The position of Park, Recreation and Forestry director opened in mid-July 2019 after Craig Hoeppner resigned to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

Could West Bend taxpayers be faced with a referendum for two new elementary schools

The West Bend School District Committee of the Whole reviewed several discussion items during its Monday night meeting with board members agreeing the Village of Jackson needed a new elementary school and possibly two new elementary schools were needed in the district.

In April 2019 voters in the West Bend School District turned down a proposed $47 million referendum, which would have totaled $74 million with interest.

In June 2019 a Private Task Force approached the district with a plan to use private funds to study an alternative way to assess existing conditions in the district and bring the expertise of how modern educational facilities should be designed.

Findings were presented by the Private Task Force in October 2019. A long-term sustainable approach was rolled out which included new facilities and a way to fund the project without increasing taxes. “Money is the solution to the problem – more money may not be,” said Task Force leader Kraig Sadownikow.

Fast forward to Monday night’s 2-and-a-half-hour meeting where the Committee of the Whole began with growth projections for the West Bend School District.

Village of Jackson President Mike Schwab and Village Administrator John Walther talked about development of single family and multifamily homes and they anticipated possible commercial development after the new municipal complex was completed.

Board member Paul Fischer asked for a breakdown of new housing starts over the last five years.

Schwab and Walther believed a school in Jackson was important to its identity as a Village. “It’s important for the future and the kids,” said Schwab. “Yes, we believe an elementary school is vital.”

Schwab also indicated the parcel the district purchased for $750,000 at W204 N16722 and W204 N16690 Jackson Drive was a better location for a new school than the current site.  “It’s close to the community center, the new site is safer and it eliminates kids crossing Highway 60 to get to the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.

Questioned about the marketability of the current Jackson Elementary School, Schwab indicated it would “take careful planning.” He believed it could be an attractive site if it was “repurposed in a quick fashion.”

Economic development manager Adam Gitter then presented an overview of growth and development in the City of West Bend. “Residential growth has been slow,” said Gitter.

The City, according to Gitter, has seen an increase in development of housing for senior citizens and the former Barton School is “workforce housing.”

The City is expanding into a new 216-acre industrial park on River Road and Highway NN. There was also a review given of newer business growth with additional Kwik Trips, Morrie’s Honda and the new Fleet Farm.

Questioned several times on where residential growth is most likely to occur, Gitter said it would be “pushing toward the east side of Highway 33.”

Christian G. Tscheschlok, executive director of Economic Development Washington County, presented an in-depth look at business growth and trends nationwide and then he brought the vision closer to West Bend.

He mentioned how “businesses need to sell products outside of Washington County” in order to succeed.

“Economic development is measured in jobs and new investment,” he said.  “Over the last 10 years the trend is suggesting each project had job creation but that trend has declined because it’s hard to find employees.”

One of the key trends, said Tscheschlok, is the speed with which a business can develop. “Decisions are made in less than 90 days and the trend is end users don’t want to own properties but lease properties,” he said. “Project needs location, workforce and to be competitively priced.”

Questioned whether West Bend is prime for development Tscheschlok said the key factor was “availability of land.”

Enrollment question

The district has been discussing future enrollment trends ever since October 2019 when administration indicated “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

What are wishes of the board?

Following the presentation of data, board members weighed in on the future of Jackson Elementary. In October one of the findings of the Task Force had been to close Jackson and build a new school to the north by about a mile to serve students in both West Bend and Jackson.

“Perhaps a school in Jackson is no longer justified,” said Randy Stark from the Task Force.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of WB.

Paul Fischer – I can’t personally see a community of 7,000 not having its own elementary school. It’s pretty obvious there’ s more growth happening in Jackson than in WB. It warrants having a K4 facility.

Erin Dove – I live in Jackson and my three kids went to Jackson Elementary. It was walk able for us and it feels like community. I can’t imagine leaving a community with 7,000 people and it’s hard to stomach.

Chris Zwygart –  It would be ill-advised not to have a school there (in Jackson). We need to be a good partner.

Kurt Rebholz– We can’t afford to turn our back on Jackson and a whole student and parent population. Being bold do we put a K-6 school there. Getting into how do we fund it. I said before – getting out of the taxpayer base and being responsible for facilities the trend is for public sector communities to rent or lease space.

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard – We have ability to lease buildings too. Because we’re a low spending district all that will come out of Fund 10. The way you would pay for that is take it out of Fund 10 and that’s already strapped and where do we get the money to pay for the lease.

There was some discussion about closing an elementary school in West Bend; possibly closing Fair Park or Decorah Elementary and then building another elementary school. The board acknowledged a declining enrollment and debated the best scenario.

Finally, Superintendent Kirkegaard laid out three options. 1) new elementary in Jackson 2) what would cost be to renovate or add on to one of two elementary facilities 3) what would be cost to replace Fair Park and Decorah Elementary and build a school to the east.

There was also a proposal to move the Rolfs Education Center and relocate the Head Start program to Silverbrook while also moving the district office, possibly to Badger School. Kirkegaard said he is also exploring working with Moraine Park Technical college on a joint program to enhance building trades rather than remodeling the area at the high school.

The board did not address funding for the new school proposals other than referendum.  Maintenance projects such as locker rooms at the high school were suggested could be paid for by fundraising and/or a private partnership with area businesses.

The Task Force indicated funding in lieu of a referendum could be generated through consolidation of the campus, selling property, and outsourcing jobs.

Communities in Washington Co. receive over $8 million in General Transportation Aids

Neighbors in Washington County may want to buckle in for this next story. It looks like cities, towns, and villages across Washington County are set to receive over $8 million in local road funding.

The true total for Washington County for transportation-related projects for 2019-2020 is $8,236,273.

The money is coming from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. It falls under the category General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids and Expressway Policing Aids.

Below is a tidbit from the General Transportation Aids website:

Program overview: The General Transportation Aids (GTA) program enables local governments to receive state aid payments to offset the cost of county and municipal road construction, maintenance, and traffic operations. The funding sources of these aid payments are the fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees collected by the state. GTA is WisDOT’s second largest program.

Distribution of GTA funds is based on a six-year costs average or a statutorily set rate-per-mile. Transportation-related expenditures and revenues incurred by local governments are necessary factors in the calculation process. This financial information is taken directly from the Municipal Financial Report Form that each local government files annually with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The Cost Reporting Manual provides guidance in identifying the eligible expenditures and deductible revenues that are applicable to GTA.

Below is a list of how communities across Washington County will be impacted. According to Tim Olusegun with GTA the first quarterly installment was already received this month by local governments. The amount received is 10 percent more than what the state budgeted in 2019.

According to Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert, the funding will help offset the increase the City has already seen in the price of road salt.

Community                        MILES JURISDICTION STATE AIDS MAINTAINED

WASHINGTON COUNTY $2,414,744       N/A

CITY OF HARTFORD $603,098      71.13 mi.

CITY OF WEST BEND $1,327,163     134.43 mi.

VILLAGE GERMANTOWN $1,077,507    130.70 mi.

VILLAGE JACKSON $340,857       27.00 mi.

VILLAGE KEWASKUM $204,788     18.24 mi.

VILLAGE NEWBURG $55,900      5.57 mi.

VILLAGE RICHFIELD $386,500     147.07 mi.

VILLAGE SLINGER $231,635        29.41

TOWN OF ADDISON $169,637     64.55

TOWN OF BARTON $121,598      46.27

TOWN OF ERIN $149,008       56.70

TOWN OF FARMINGTON $171,135   65.12

TOWN OF GERMANTOWN $11,721   4.46

TOWN OF HARTFORD $127,379      48.47

TOWN OF JACKSON $155,893      59.32

TOWN OF KEWASKUM $99,995  38.05

TOWN OF POLK $152,871           58.17

TOWN OF TRENTON $174,525   66.41

TOWN OF WAYNE $142,611       58.55

TOWN OF WEST BEND $117,708 44.79

TOTAL $8,236,273

Two people apply for open seat as District 8 alderman in West Bend

As of Thursday afternoon, two people had expressed interest in the opening for District 8 alderman in West Bend.

City Clerk Stephanie Justmann said Meghann Kennedy has turned in paperwork for the position along with Aaron Zingsheim.

Kennedy is currently on the West Bend Park and Rec Commission. She is fulfilling the term of Jennifer Koehn, which expires in 2021. Kennedy works at Kohls Corporate in Menomonee Falls and is a digital business category analyst.

Zingsheim is a fifth-grade teacher at Silverbrook School in West Bend. He lived in Milwaukee nine years and then moved to West Bend in 2014.

The seat in Dist. 8 opened when Roger Kist submitted a letter of resignation on January 10, 2020.

The City posted the position and are now seeking interested individuals who reside in District 8 to fill the vacancy.

The Council will review required materials and interview candidates at the Common Council meeting on February 17, 2020. The successful appointee will represent District 8 for the remainder of the term, expiring in April 2021.

To be eligible to serve, an individual at the time of the appointment must be:

A citizen of the United Sates and the state of Wisconsin; An elector of the city of West Bend; and A resident of District 8. Official maps of the districts are available at the City of West Bend Clerk’s Office.

Those interested in being considered for the District 8 aldermanic appointment are required to submit the following materials: Letter of interest with brief summary of what they feel they bring to the position. Resume or statement of qualifications

Required materials are due to the City Clerk by February 10, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. delivered, mailed, or emailed to: City of West Bend Attn: City Clerk Stephanie Justmann

Candidates will be reviewed at the Common Council meeting on February 17, 2020.

Kewaskum resident receives Froedtert WB Hospital Sunflower Award       By Tim Olsen

Sara Groeschel, critical care technician on the Modified Care Unit and Kewaskum resident, has been recognized with Froedtert West Bend Hospital’s semi-annual Sunflower Award for the dignity and respect she provided a patient.

“Sara was kind and compassionate while tending to mom’s cares,” said one of her nominators. “Sara gave her dignity and respect as she deserves. Sara always went above and beyond, asking if anything was needed. God bless you.”

The Sunflower Award honors extraordinary nursing support staff who demonstrate devotion, strength and compassion to ensure the well-being of patients, family and staff.

Froedtert West Bend Hospital recognizes two nursing support staff member each year. Each Sunflower honoree is recognized at a public ceremony in his/her unit with a certificate, a Sunflower Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture titled “Supporting Heart.” The sunflower was chosen as the award theme because the sun symbolizes warmth and strength, and the flower represents devotion, compassion and enthusiasm.

Patients, visitors, nurses, physicians and staff may nominate a support staff member by filling out the form available in the hospital lobbies and nursing stations and following the instructions or through Excellence in Action.

Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street in West Bend goes out to bid

The demolition of the old Mobil station on E. Washington Street happened in late December 2019 and this week bids went out for the new Kwik Trip on East Washington.

According to plans the incoming Kwik Trip No. 4, 1610 E. Washington Street, would include 10 pump/dispenser islands with a total of 20 fueling spaces. The diesel canopy will accommodate 2 fueling positions.  It appears construction will get underway in spring, after the frost is out of the ground.

Then trusses will arrive in early August and framing will begin around August 10. The gas canopy will be installed August 17 and signage and graphics should be in place by October.

It looks like Kwik Trip is aiming for an early November, maybe between Nov. 2 – 6, opening.

Bids are due to the Construction Manager (Thrive Construction) on January 31. West Bend has two Kwik Trips currently in operation; one is on Silverbook Drive just north of Paradise Drive and the second is on Main Street and Decorah Road. There is another site set for development of a Kwik Trip on E. Paradise Drive and River Road and then the No. 4 Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street and Schnoenhaar Drive.

A fifth Kwik Trip has been proposed for the former Fleet Farm site on W. Washington Street and 18th Avenue. That public hearing regarding a No. 5 Kwik Trip has yet to be rescheduled.

Rep. Gundrum presents Hometown Hero Award to Pete Rettler                  By Jason Knack

Rep. Rick Gundrum (R – Slinger) kicked off Wednesday, Jan. 22 on the Assembly Floor Session with recognition of special guest, West Bend constituent and philanthropist Pete Rettler, who was joined by his son, Max Rettler.

Pete Rettler was nominated by Rep. Gundrum to be a recipient of the Hometown Hero Award. This award is reserved for individuals who have gone the extra mile to benefit his or her community and improve the lives of its residents. For 26 years, Pete Rettler has dedicated himself to causes and programs that fit this exact description.

To date, Pete has logged over 23,700 miles since 1994, not missing a single day of running over the 26-year span. He has used this remarkable track record to raise money, recruit volunteers and sponsors, and highlight the work of non-profits in Washington County.

Just over a year ago, Pete Rettler coordinated the largest donation to the United Way of Washington County and largest overall percentage increase in fundraising history through his “25 Runs of Gratitude.”

“It is my sincere honor to have nominated Pete Rettler to be a recipient of this year’s Hometown Hero Award. Pete has been a pillar of the community for many years, and his contributions to numerous non-profits, charities, and projects in Washington County are worth this recognition,” said Rep. Gundrum. “Over the past 26 years, Pete has been an outstanding example of what it means to give back to the community by donating his time and resources to improve the lives of residents in the 58th Assembly District.”

Pete served for four years as the director of Mental Health Clinic Lutheran Social Services, has served for 13 years as the Dean at the Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend Campus, and is a past President of the United Way of Washington County.

His past, present, and future efforts are a testament to the impact one individual in a community can make.

Eulogy for Margaret “Peggy” Ziegler                                                  By Nicholas Novaczyk

A beautiful tribute Thursday afternoon at the Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend as friends, family and neighbors paid their respects to the family of Bernie and Margaret Ziegler.

Peg Ziegler died January 15, 2020.

The funeral parlor was packed with old friends including Ken and Marge Miller, Allan Kieckhaefer, Gloria Dawn Strickland, Nancy and Vern Van Vooren …. to name a few. There were flowers and flags of Peg’s favorite sports teams including the Brewers, Badgers and Packers.

Rick Gilbertson, accompanied by piano and violin, sang a couple of hymns including “I come to the garden alone” and “In the Garden.”

Nicholas Novaczyk presented a touching eulogy that defined Peg Ziegler as a champion blessed with a gift of compassion and an opinion.

The Matriarch

Good afternoon. For those who don’t know me, I’m Brooke’s husband, and by marriage, a grateful and proud grandson to Gum Gum. Bernie, Jane, and JJ asked if I could say a few words on behalf of the family today, to mark the incredible life of their Mother.

Which gladly I will, but first let’s start with some housekeeping, please take out your phones and delete every email forward that you have ever gotten from Peg, she was prolific, and it should save you about 5 gigabits in space….

February 22, 1925 a day that set-in motion the 94 years that will define an impactful life. The reaches of which are hard to assess, But I sense we all have a collective idea of how vast and deep Pegs influence on our lives are marked. The space and time that is filled between that day and January 15, 2020 is a legacy that I think we all can look to as a standard, as a goal, and as an achievement.

We all have our own stories of Peg, each of whom has shared and individuals memories that help us define what she meant to us, the subtle memories of a mother, the connect gift of a sister, The comfort of a grandmother, and the laughter and trouble making of a friend, but to define Margret Ziegler we may need a little more runway. Our world in which God has placed us is less today because of our loss.

*West Bend and Washington County have lost their champion, Wisconsin has lost a favorite daughter, and our Country has lost the strength and grace of a depression and war-era Matriarch.

So much can be learned from the examples that Peg set. Her gifts were many, and even more remarkable was her willingness to share them. Some might argue that her greatest gift was that of having an opinion, which in turn gave her the moniker of the “The General” This stern and rigid reputation was widely known and depending upon who you were, either blessing or a curse.

I would argue that her greatest gift was that of compassion, that gift, so often hides behind the above-described. Peg was straightforward and direct, but was also loving and kind, and connected these traits as well as anyone I have ever met. The world has changed so much of the last 94 years, throughout her life, as we all do, she felt loss and uncertainty, suffered tragedies and pain, but each time, she made a choice to not let those events and circumstances define who she was. She became better because of them.

I would suggest that she used those times as fuel to shine and be a light. Her leadership as head of her family, her leadership as a community member, and her devoted moral compass are many small examples of her storied life. The success she enjoyed in life was earned through her determination and resolve.

Her marriage to Bernie is a great American love story. Blessed are those who were able to witness that story unfold over the decades, I can only imagine what those early years together were like, as they planned and worked to create such legacy that will leave us so much better off because of them. I had the privilege many years ago to talk about Bernie and his life. I recall finding the words to describe him, as the Caddies and the Kings, after talking to one of his golf caddies in Arizona.

This was a man that could inspire the least of us and greatest of us without a changing tone. What I didn’t know then, and I certainly know now, is that this very well may be the case of the Women that made the man. Through letters and stories, and simple pictures or memories, she was to Bernie as she was to all of us.

*She made us better people, stronger people, Better Fathers, Better Mothers, better stewards of all the blessings that God has given us. This was not a request, she demanded we be better. I’m glad she did, and I’m hopeful that she will continue to demand us to be better as we move on from this day without her.

There is no doubt that Peg in the later stages of her life was truly blessed. Her strength carried her to 94 years old, her health stayed steady for most of those years, and her children surrounded her in the last hours. The void she leaves is vast, as often is the case with Matriarchs, there is no replacement, there is only the chance that we lead our lives with purpose, and with respect paid to what Peg wanted for all of us. Happiness, success, health, and the chance to make the world around us a better place.

A complete life is a rare site, but on occasion the example is so clear and bright, it is worth for us to stop and recognize that our Friend and Mother, had the good luck, the good fortune, the good looks, and the good lord beside her to make each of her 94 years on earth count in spectacular fashion.

*I can see the dusty roads of the 20’s and 30’ when she grew up in an American that was just becoming, I can imagine the pause when she watch our country head to a War that would define her generation,  The created memories she made raising a family in the great decades of the 50’s and 60’s. While I have no confirmed reports that she attended Woodstock in 1969, the next 30 years were spent building and shaping her family and her state, Peg turned the century as a strong and beautiful example of what the freedoms of America can produce. As her husband’s legacy does, Gum Gum belongs to the ages now. We all are eternally grateful for her and what she meant to all of us.

As her book is ending, those of us left to live our lives will watch the sun rise in morning. We get to decide on our actions and our choices we make each day on how to live, I think Peg left us with many indelible guiding moments for us to learn from. In honor and memory of this Ziegler’s life, I am going to ask you all to think about completing a task.

*It can be as small or as large as you can creatively organize. I’m going to ask that at some point in your life in years to come, you make a meaningful difference in the lives, communities, and country that you are a part of. The kind of difference that Peg so often made. The kind of impact that changes lives and makes it a little easier for others to achieve what maybe they couldn’t without a nudge or a little support.

****But here is the catch, after you do, and after the rewards are felt and seen, you can’t tell anybody it was you. You can silently say a prayer and remember that Peg wanted all of us to be better, and that is enough I am certain, for anybody in all walks of life to aspire too.

Warning: Falling Iguanas

Duly noted.

The concern for people in South Florida is that these iguanas often sleep in trees, so when their bodies go dormant, they appear to fall from the sky onto streets, cars, pools, or even people walking around. And since iguanas are large — adult males can reach 5 feet in length, and weigh up to 20 pounds — this can be dangerous if one lands on top of you.
The invasive species can’t handle cold temperatures very well because they are cold-blooded. In general, iguanas begin to get sluggish or lethargic once the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit the iguanas go into a dormant or cold-stunned state. They appear to be dead, but they are not. They remain breathing with critical body functions still operating.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Paying tribute to Margaret “Peg” Ziegler

Neighbors in West Bend are paying tribute to Peg Ziegler as a “matriarch of the Ziegler family,” someone who was direct and leaving a legacy in the community.

Ziegler died at her home on Wednesday, January 15, 2020; she was 94.

Washington County Circuit Judge Andrew Gonring was taken aback when informed of the news. “Peg did so much for the community; both she and Bernie,” said Gonring. “All you have to do is take a look at the Kettle Moraine YMCA and see many improvements she funded, all in the name of kids and all in the name of making that facility available to members of this community in a way it wasn’t before.

“She was a tremendous matriarch of the Ziegler family. West Benders will be eternally grateful for what she’s done,” he said.

Questioned how he would identify Peg Ziegler, Gonring said “she was about as West Bend as they come.”

“She had down-home roots; she never put on airs or pretended to be someone she wasn’t. She truly was a great West Bender in all aspects,” he said.

Margaret “Peg” Ziegler, nee Gumm, attended West Bend High School. She graduated 1943 and her name is listed first as one of the editors of the high school yearbook.

“Peg was a sharp and classy lady that I had the utmost respect for,” said former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow. “On several occasions I would get a call or email from her letting me know, very directly, her opinion. Usually she was in Arizona and still paying close attention to her home. She had a deep love for West Bend and its people.”

During her senior year in high school Margaret Gumm was involved in everything from band to choir, Latin Club, variety show, Christmas Play, Clipper Staff and Bend Editor and she was even elected Prom Queen.

“She was always a good friend,” said Gunter Woog. “We went at it tooth and nail but we were good friends.”

Woog said “she was always there when we needed her.”

He praised Ziegler for her donations to the community including Enchantment in the Park.

“If we needed a donation to Jam for Kids or anything the Zieglers always helped out,” he said.

Woog laughed at some memories of his friend Peg, saying a good word to describe her was “cantankerous.”

“One time she told me to move back to Germany if I didn’t like it,” Woog said. “She held her ground but had a big heart. Even when we were fighting, we really liked each other. It’s the kind of relationship people don’t have today.”

Betty Nelson, another legacy of West Bend, was good friends with Peg Ziegler. “Bernie and Peg introduced Cliff and me,” she said about her future husband. “We went to the auto races at State Fair Park. That was back in 1948 and we were married in ’49.”

Nelson, 96, described Peg and Bernie as “close friends for years.”

“She was such a generous woman. She was interested in West Bend; everything about West Bend or everything that pertained to West Bend and she was very active in raising money for the Y and all manner of things,” said Nelson.  “We were fast friends because the Ziegler’s were a lot of fun. Peggy had a good sense of humor and I think that took her through a lot of tough times.”

Barb Justman, owner of BJ and Company, spent time with Ziegler weekly; visiting her home every Thursday to “do her hair.”

“She was spirited,” said Justman. “When I’d be there, she would talk about things like the art museum and the trees or bushes planted by the museum. Someone would have taken her for a ride and she just always wanted to know what was going on in West Bend,” said Justman. “The museum and the historic theatre were always hot topics of conversation for her. She really wanted to be kept up on local news.”

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller said he had the pleasure of working with Peg on several occasions. “She always knew what she wanted but could compromise if necessary. She was feisty but kind. I admired her for just being “her”. She was unselfish and always willing to “pitch “in. She is one of the great philanthropists that makes Washington County a great place. Her “mark” is all over the area not just Washington County and West Bend. She will be missed. What a great Lady.”

Ric Leitheiser of West Bend said Peg Ziegler made a significant impact in the community. “Peg carried on the Ziegler legacy and made her own in more ways than I’m sure people realize. What I remember most is her interest in kids. She always had a soft spot for kids and children will benefit from her generosity for generations. She will be missed,” said Leitheiser.

Nancy and Jerry Mehring were good friends of Peg Ziegler. Jerry Mehring would drive her to medical appointments. “She asked for Jerry specifically as a driver with Interfaith,” said Nancy. “She was a proud lady and I felt bad because was such a wonderful person.”

Mehring remembered working for Peg’s husband Bernie years ago at the West Bend Company. “Bernie and Allan Kieckhafer and Harry Haugen were all in wholesale and premium. Peg was always so kind and sweet and it’s no wonder Bernie could do as much as he did because they worked together as such a good team,” said Nancy Mehring.

One-year Bernie Ziegler gave Nancy Mehring a pale green cashmere sweater for Christmas. “It was so special and it was a gift and I treasured that so much and I always told Peggy how much that meant.  West Bend is missing a great lady; West Bend was lucky to have the Zieglers and their generosity.”

Peggy is survived by 3 children:  Bernard Ziegler, Jayne (Jim) Wayne and J.J. (Annette) Ziegler; 10 grandchildren:  Brooke (Nicholas) Novaczyk, Sara (Joe) Humann, Laura (Grant) Sommer, Jim (Aurelia) Wayne, Nick (Priscilla) Wayne, Carri Wayne, Lucy Wayne, Keller Ziegler, Charlie Ziegler and Drew Ziegler; 13 great-grandchildren; 1 sister Dorothy Barnes; other relatives and friends.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by 1 daughter Marna Ziegler, 1 daughter-in-law Liz Ziegler and 1 brother Robert Gumm.

Visitation will be on Thursday, January 23 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. at the Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend.  Funeral services will follow at 1:30 p.m. with private interment.

Skinny Vic’s location in West Bend revealed

The location for the new Skinny Vic’s Diner & Coffee Stop is being revealed.

“It looks like everyone nailed it,” said owner Vicki Lehnerz.

The initial story about the new restaurant was posted as a tease on Saturday morning. Folks in the community offered an array of guesses.

Lehnerz said her new eatery is going into the former Golf Etc. storefront, 804 W. Paradise Drive; in between Petco and Anytime Fitness in the strip-mall location by Home Depot.

“This is the place to be,” she said.

It was two years ago, June 2018, when Lehnerz closed her diner in Slinger.  She gravitated to West Bend, looking for a larger space.

“I’ll have 1,300 more square feet in this location and my Coffee Stop, with the grab-and-go items, will be larger,” she said. “I’ll be selling my bread, soups, salads; it’ll be like a Starbucks or Panera counter inside the restaurant.”

Lehnerz plans to be open for breakfast and lunch and then dinner on Friday night.

The build out for the new Diner & Coffee Stop is underway. Lehnerz is expecting a soft open with special invites around April and then officially launching by May.

“I have an incredible passion for what I do and my food is amazing and people want me back and that’s what keeps me going,” she said.

Sharpshooters prepping to trim the deer population at two parks in West Bend

 Sharpshooters will be conducting a managed hunt in the coming weeks at Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park in West Bend in an effort to better manage the growing population of deer in the City.

This is the third such hunt since a Deer Management Committee was formed in 2017.

The City of West Bend allowed a managed hunt for two years. The first effort in 2018 was coordinated in house and included three bow hunters who had to pass a marksmanship test to qualify to take part.  Hunters spent five days in the park and shot a total of three deer.

The Deer Management group and West Bend Common Council followed up with a more aggressive plan in 2019 and hired sharpshooters in an effort to trim the herd by 60 at Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy.

Sharpshooters totaled 56 deer in 2019 and are looking to trim the herd by an equal amount or better this year.

District 1 alderman John Butschlick is part of the Deer Management Committee.

“The sharpshooters will conduct the managed hunt in January and February,” he said.

Some neighbors have already voiced their concern saying they felt the number of deer in the City has dramatically declined. Butschlick said that’s not the information they’ve received.

“They did a drone search of the parks and I was shocked at the number of deer they found at Lac Lawrann,” he said.  “Three or four weeks ago hunters spotted 150 deer.”

This past year Bicentennial Park and its deer population was also discussed.   Butschlick said the deer are extremely heavy on 18th Avenue especially near Miller Street and Hilltop Drive. “The deer trails in that area are just like runways,” he said.

The City applied for a $5,000 Urban Wildlife Damage Abatement and Control grant to help offset the expense which totaled a little more than $9,000.

Butschlick said the paperwork has already been filed and with advisement from the DNR he hopes to secure the grant to cover the cost of the 2020 managed hunt.

The city is targeting a reduction in deer numbers to reduce deer damage to habitat, property and car/deer collisions.

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow praises new S&P long-term bond rating for City of West Bend

Former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said the news release from the City of West Bend, today January 13, 2020, is great news for the community.

Sadownikow said the effort took a lot of hard work and commitment.

The City of West Bend announced Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings has assigned its ‘AA’ long-term rating to the City of West Bend series 2020A taxable general obligation (GO) community development bonds.

The AA rating declares the City to be “at a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments due to its leadership, organizational policies, and financial stability. It will position the City to receive the best possible interest rates on future borrowings.”

“The City of West Bend has made a tremendous commitment to its short- and long-term financial wellness,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “This improved rating reflects the hard work and dedication of City Council members, the Finance Department staff, and our department head team.”

Sadownikow said the bond rating issue goes back to 2011 when he was elected and met with a Washington County Supervisor.

“That supervisor said the city is on a collision course with a financial tsunami,” said Sadownikow. “It took about a year and a half to figure out what he was talking about …. but he was exactly right.”

Sadownikow praised the West Bend Common Council for it’s aggressiveness and dedication to “reduce debt and increase reserves.”

“Moody’s was the City’s bonding agency for more than 20 years and during our annual conference calls their reps would lay out what the City had to do to increase its bond rating,” he said. “We did that but I didn’t feel the City was getting the respect it deserved.”

In 2019, Sadownikow threw out the challenge for the City to change rating agencies and that’s where S&P comes in.

“S&P looked at the information and said you guys are a lot stronger than Moody’s was giving you credit for and that’s where we are today,” he said.

Details in the latest S&P report upgraded the City’s bond rating, last conducted by Moody in 2019, from Aa3 to AA. In summary, the rating reflects S&P’s assessment of the City’s:

Strong economy with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The city has a projected per capita effective buying income of 98.3% of the national level and per capita market value of $93,945. Overall, the city’s market value grew by 6.9% over the past year to $3.0 billion in 2020. The county unemployment rate was 2.5% in 2018.

Strong management with good financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology. West Bend conducts line-by-line budgeting, relying on historical information to determine trends.

Very strong budgetary flexibility with an available undesignated fund balance in fiscal 2018 of 28.3% of operating expenditures.

Very strong liquidity with total government available cash at 78.8% of total governmental fund expenditures and 3.3x governmental debt service, and access to external liquidity we consider strong.

Adequate debt and contingent liability profile, with debt service carrying charges at 23.9% of expenditures and net direct debt that is 128.7% of total governmental fund revenue, as well as low overall net debt at less than 3% of market value and rapid amortization, with 89.3% of debt scheduled to be retired in 10 years.

Strong institutional framework score.

“What this does is put the City in a position where raising taxes at random and increasing debt at random puts the City right back where it was,” he said. “What it takes is some time, energy, and question asking to understand what made us strong, because we know what made us weak.”

Questioned whether the AA rating is now good enough so all the roads can be fixed in West Bend, Sadownikow said…

“Can we finally fix the roads? If that means someone’s going to say let’s borrow $20 million, I would say no,” he said. “The amount of money the City is putting into roads is potentially over the next three years higher than it’s ever been. It allows the City to invest more into roads but it has to be done in an intelligent manner or we end up right back where we were.

“The report recognizes the reduction in debt; that debt is more manageable and more sustainable than it was in the past.  It also recognizes that the City’s reserves are at a really comfortable level and that’s what gives bonding agencies comfort is knowing a community is financially strong,” said Sadownikow.

“If taking on a bunch of debt willy nilly and to raise taxes by taking on a bunch of willy-nilly debt, I would say that’s not a good solution and it would put the City right back onto a path of a financial tsunami. I’m super proud the common council took a position seven years ago to put some mechanisms in place to put the City in the position it’s at right now.”

“The Finance Department is very pleased with the upgraded bond rating,” said Finance Administrator Carrie Winklbauer. “The City of West Bend is continuing to move in a positive financial direction.”

WBHS club teams complain about budget cuts but they really overspent allotted amount

During the Jan. 6, 2020 meeting of the West Bend School Board, students packed the board room.  High school students and parents spoke about funds being cut for clubs like forensics and debate and the school music program was even mentioned.

When students in attendance were asked where the information about funding cuts came from, none could answer.

At the meeting students and parents spoke about the “importance of band, the cost of transportation to events and registration not being covered.”

“I don’t know why the arts don’t get funded like sports teams do. We have football fields, a brand-new tennis court that got resurfaced… The kids in the arts… are a team as well. They are a club as well. They need to be recognized. They need to be funded.”

“I want to know how the budget is put together and how can that budget be changed in the middle of the school year.”

Emily Colton – “I’m here to address the recent defunding of the East forensics program… Who can reverse this decision.”

After the public speaking portion of the meeting Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said, “I don’t believe the board and or the district cut any funding for co-curricular programs.”

Following the meeting Kirkegaard asked for a hold on any story until he could look into it further.

Superintendent Kirkegaard spoke this week about what they found.

Kirkegaard – “There were no cuts at all to any of the forensics or music budget. There was no cut at all to the budget but last year between East and West they overspent by about $5,000 between the two. The cut was actually based on not actually having the ability to spend as much this year as they did last year and that had nothing to do with the approved budget.”

Kirkegaard – “I just visited with both principals and we are going to suggest or tell the advisers that we’re going to spend up to where we were last year and then this spring when we look at those funds we’ll then make the decision whether we will live within the budget or amend the budget to better reflect the expenses we have.”

Kirkegaard – “If they had overspent in the past and told they couldn’t overspend in the future then I can see where supervisors would think they don’t have as much to spend this year as they did last year but we truly have adjusted it making sure we’re not going to hold them specifically to that amount but we’re going to try to live within what we spent last year which was a little bit over what was budgeted for last year and now we need to make sure we budget appropriately or spend in accordance with the budget.”

District Finance Director Andy Sarnow- “Debate is a combined team but there’s a forensics team for West Bend East and another for West. I’ve only heard about discussion with regard to forensics. I’ve heard of no further discussions for band; I don’t know where that came from. There have been discussions with the forensics coach. I’ll have to get back to you on the budget numbers. We are coming up with a document to share with the board.”

Sarnow – “In 2018-2019 and East and West forensics is separate and each has a budget of $6,700. The total for forensics is $13,400. Last year they overspent by about $4,950 within forensics. So just under $5,000. That was both teams together. Total they spent that year $18,500 and overspent just under $5,000.”

Sarnow – “Going over budget by 25% – 30% is significant. We don’t want to make a big deal about it because they do some wonderful stuff. Don Kirkegaard did reference they did spend $9,500 last year for transportation and that was a little more than previous years. We put a lot of things together and put it into one line item in our chart of accounts and I can’t say that account went over budget but they spent a little bit more so that was another couple thousand dollars that was more than anticipated.”

Sarnow – “The prior year they were within about $1,500; not a big concern but it does go back to the original message Mr. Graff shared is ‘boy, we just have to do a little bit better job living within our budget.’ There were no budgets that were abused, nothing like that it was just more of an effort to be proactive because we have a defined revenue limit. We can’t just ask taxpayers for more money and get it we’re just trying to be a little more sensitive to that.”

Sarnow – “By site the principals oversee their school allocations. My department, I work with them as well to take a look at things and are monitoring that regularly.”

WCI questioned if now the spending is being monitored or was it before?

Sarnow – “We have been, but in going back they had more activities that had been anticipated. They went a lot longer than I believe; they had activities from the end of September 2018 to the end of May 2019. So, I think there were more activities; I don’t know if there were more students participating but I do know they went to more events.”

WCI – Is it busing only or hotel stays or admission costs?

Sarnow – “It’s busing but travel; events further away where students are spending the night. Hotels, meals, and students are also contributing. Above the district allocation each school is also fundraising approximately $10,000 a year and spending about that so that’s additional money that’s spent on travel and coaches and going to these events.”

WCI – parents and students did speak for over 45 minutes at the board meeting about spending being cut.

Sarnow – “That’s not accurate.”

WCI – How did that get out there?

Sarnow – “I don’t know. There were discussions that dated to August but you should call WB East principal John Graf. (Calls have been placed to Graff with no response.)

WCI – The board then asked for more money to cover expenses. Where is that money coming from?

Sarnow – “Again, there were no budget reductions. We’re trying to get them to live within their budget. If we do need to get them a little additional money that’s equal to what they spent last year there is a little discretionary money the principals have and they could shift around and cover any overages. And that’s exactly what happened last year. At year end they had a little money left over so they were able to absorb the deficit within their budget.”

WCI – Should someone else get involved in overseeing how the money is spent so students don’t get rattled like this again?

Sarnow – “Myself, I don’t see any concerns or have any issues with the way we’ve been monitoring it. Are we going to pay a bit more closer attention, sure. But I don’t have any concerns from a financial perspective.”

WCI – How is the money being spent.

Sarnow – “I believe, based on coding and how we describe the expenditures we incur, it may indeed have included the one combined East and West debate team but primarily speaking this is mostly forensics.”

Sarnow did not know how or why band funding was brought into the discussion.

Calls have been placed to school board members for their response.

Hope Demler promoted to Deputy Sheriff Lt. for Washington Co. Sheriff Martin Schulteis

A nice tribute to Hope Demler as she was promoted to Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Demler has been with the Sheriff’s Department for nearly 19 years. She started in February 2001 and was promoted to detective in April 2006.

During a Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday morning, January 15, Sheriff Martin Schulteis recognized Demler for her service as a Patrol Deputy, DARE Instructor, Detective, Dive Team Member, CVSA Operator and Evidence Custodian.

“During that time, she received multiple acknowledgements, commendations and letters from private citizens and fellow professionals regarding her outstanding performance serving the citizens of Washington County.”

Demler was also recognized for her service as a U.S. Navy veteran and for her “honor, integrity and respect.” Sheriff Schulteis then promoted Demler to Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant effective January 16, 2020.

Slinger/Hartford snowboard team brings home the hardware   By Delaney Braun

The Slinger Snowboard team had two fantastic races over the weekend at Alpine Valley Ski Resort.

A notable highlight featured Slinger girls’ varsity earning the top three spots on the podium. Gold went to the SHS junior Marisa Reyes, silver to Kallie Weyer a freshman, and bronze was awarded to freshman Ava Stortz.

Slinger is also proud of Pun Worakulpisut, a foreign exchange student from Thailand. He raced for his first time ever. Great work Pun.

All of the Slinger medalists included (back row) Jack Bullis, Luke Schmitt, Ethan Smith, Brady Jackson, Marisa Reyes, (middle row) Kallie Weyer, Ava Stortz, Emma Smith, McKinley DeLong, (front row) Kennedy Weidmeyer, and Jax Weidmeyer.

Front row – Kennedy Wiedmeyer Jax Wiedmeyer. Second row – Kallie Weyer, Ava Stortz, Emma Smith, McKinley DeLong. Third row- Luke Schmitt, Ethan Smith, Brady Jackson, Marisa Reyes. Back row – Jack Bullis. Medalists not pictured Joe Hefter and Henry Wolf.

The course was extremely slick and rutted, which made it even more difficult for racers. The conditions were questionable going into the weekend but ended up with no severe storm.

Falls were commonplace by many racers on other teams, but with looking at the results the 2020 Slinger Snowboard Race Team had some of the strongest and most talented snowboarders in the Midwest.

West Bend Philanthropist to be named Assembly ‘Hometown Hero’ | By Rep. Jim Steineke

The Wisconsin State Assembly will recognize Pete Rettler of West Bend as a “Hometown Hero” at the upcoming Assembly session on January 21.

Rettler, who was nominated by his State Representative, Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger), has been devoutly involved in the United Way Washington County, raising funds for projects and initiatives throughout the community.

In 2019, Rettler coordinated the largest dollar amount and overall percentage increase in Washington County United Way fundraising history.

“Pete has exemplified what it means to give back to one’s community through his work with the Washington County United Way,” said Assembly Majority Leader Steineke (R-Kaukauna), who selected Rettler for the award. “We’re honored to recognize his giving spirit and dedication to Washington County.”

Rettler’s impressive fundraising for the area has not gone unnoticed by others in the community. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce’s Betty Pearson Community Leadership Award.

The Wisconsin State Assembly sees giving back to the community as one of the most valuable characteristics one can have.

The Assembly Hometown Heroes program seeks to identify and recognize individuals from around the state who give of themselves to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of those around them.

Hometown Hero Award winners are invited and introduced as a special guest at an Assembly floor session and given the opportunity to speak.

Hartford Union HS’s Mary Scherr named Gymnastics Coach of the Year

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is proud to announce Mary Scherr, Varsity Girls Gymnastics Team Head Coach, named 2018-2019 Central Section Girls Gymnastics Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

In September of 2019, Mary Scherr was named Gymnastics Coach of the Year for Wisconsin by the NFHS.

“I was very surprised and feel honored to be receiving this award. I want to thank my daughter Bobbi and son Michael for all the time and effort they put into coaching with me. I would not be receiving this award without their help,” said Mary Scherr.

Mary was specifically nominated by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association as the most deserving recipient for this honor among coaches of the sport in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Honorees were selected based upon their performance in the 2018-2019 school year, lifetime community involvement, school involvement, and philosophy of coaching.

“We’re excited for Mary to be recognized at the National level.  Our student-athletes are lucky to be working with such a high-caliber coach,” said Scott Helms, HUHS Athletics & Activities Director.

18th annual Hunt for a Cure for MS is February 1  

Join the Bell family at the 18th annual Hunt for a Cure for MS at Circle B in Cedarburg is Saturday, February 1.

On a history note: The hunt started in a garage in Saukville and to date it has become one of the most popular fundraisers for multiple sclerosis in Wisconsin. The humble family of Don, 88, and Eileen Bell, 87, are the force behind the effort.

The Bell Family Rabbit Hunt began in 2002.

“It started because of our two children that left this earth early,” said Don. “Marge and Rich were both devastated by multiple sclerosis and at that time there were no drugs for it. Now at least there is stuff that can control it and slow it and people are at least a little more comfortable rather than being so debilitated and bedridden.”

The Bell family includes seven children: Margie, Janet, Richard, Gordon, twins Ann and Alan and Brian.

“Margie was our oldest and she came down with MS first when she was a student at UW-Oshkosh,” said Eileen. “Her first symptoms were when she was 20 years old.”

Marge left college, married her boyfriend and after she had her first son, she developed more symptoms. In 1979 she was diagnosed with MS, a disease of the central nervous system.

“The body starts to attack itself and the nerves to the muscles start to sort of short circuit,” said Eileen. Doctors told the Bell family the disease was not hereditary.

Rich, the third oldest son, started developing symptoms when he was 27 years old. “Rich was very athletic and he would fall and he blamed it on the concrete sidewalk and it was really toe drop,” said Don. “He went to Madison for an MRI and they found lesions around the brain.”

The Bell children had MS at the same time. Rich returned home in 1991 and died in 1999. Margie passed away in 2003.

Don said the idea of holding a fundraiser was hatched following a rabbit hunt in Saukville.

“My nephew called and told me to come to Saukville and go rabbit hunting,” said Don. “My brother Jerry went along and we were sitting in the garage drinking beer and talking smart and the word fundraiser came up. I suggested we do it for MS and boom it got started.”

The first family hunt was a neighborhood thing. “We were in a garage for two years and we made $10,000 in one year,” said Don. “I’m not kidding you; they auctioned off empty paper boxes to meet the goal. They knew they were empty but they bid on them and we raised money for MS.”

After outgrowing the garage and shed the Bell family moved the event to the Railroad Station in Saukville. For 15 years the fundraiser was held there until it moved again in 2018 to Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg.

“We had 300 initially turn out and now we’re up to 500,” said Don Bell. “It’s almost $400,000 that we made for the Wisconsin Chapter of the MS Society.”

Families and friends from Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire make up a majority of those in attendance along with people who have experienced MS.

Proceeds from the Rabbit Hunt Fundraiser are divided between research ($50,000 annually), helping people with mobility issues and student scholarships. “If families affected by MS can’t afford education for their children, we help provide scholarships for them,” said Eileen.

“This year we’re putting $3,000 into one scholarship,” said Don.

The day of the hunt

The day begins with three-person teams hunting anywhere in southeastern Wisconsin where hunting is permitted before arriving Circle B Recreation from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Fifty teams took part in the 2015 event, which raised $50,000 that was donated to MS. The funds came from the $225 team registration fees for the hunt and from general donations, although a large percentage was donated by proceeds from auction items and sales of raffle tickets.

Team names are part of the fun including: Briar Patch Bandits, The Haasenpfeffers (with the Haas family) and Hare Today Stew Tomorrow.

“In 2018 we had 235 rabbits,” said Don. “Nothing goes to waste and everyone gets a prize because we have so many prizes donated.”

Don brings out several 5×7 photos which show hundreds of rabbits strung on a line.

Most teams take their rabbits with them and those that are left are processed free of charge by a man in Grafton who cleans them and sponsors a meal for hunter education classes. “He also makes sausage and that goes to the Lasata Nursing Home in Ozaukee County,” Don said.

Hunters, along with family and friends, then spend the afternoon enjoying food, beverages, games, music, raffles and auctions. “People donate items and the gun raffle is really big,” said Don.

“Our granddaughters put on bunny ears and they walk around the room selling raffle tickets,” said Eileen.

One year Don won a boat cover, which was a little ironic since he owns Cedar Lake Sales and Service in West Bend.

“This little boy and his dad came by me and said, ‘That cover would fit our boat and how much do you want for it?’” said Don. “I gave that to him along with an anchor. It just made his day.”

The Bell family believes it is making an impact on research and so does the MS Society. “We just received a plaque for the biggest and most unique fundraiser in the state,” said Eileen. “We are leaving a legacy and we have the deepest appreciation for the volunteers and the generosity and support to make an impact on the lives of many individuals affected by MS.”

 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to cognitive challenges, blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide, including more than 11,000 children, women and men in Wisconsin – believed to be one of the higher prevalence rates in the nation.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Neighbors in Town of Hartford disappointed in County Board annexation vote

Neighbors in the Town of Hartford left the Washington County Courthouse upset and frustrated following a 15-8 vote authorizing a petition for annexation of the Washington County Golf Course and Family Park to the City of Hartford.

Those voting in favor of the annexation included supervisors: Mike Bassill, Chris Bosert, Russell Brandt, James Burg, Kris Deisss, Brian Gallitz, Chris Jenkins, Denis Kelling, Don Kriefall, Mark McCune, Carroll Merry, Tim Michalak, Jeffrey Schleif, Keith Stephen, and William Symicek.

Supervisors voting against the annexation include Richard Bertram, Marcella Bishop, Rock Brandner, Joe Gonnering, Robert Hartwig, Brian Krebs, Marilyn Merten, and Peter Sorce.

Supervisors John Bulawa and Roger Kist were not in attendance.

County Administrator Joshua Schoemann began the meeting saying, “what the county board is deciding today is not if the annexation of the Golf Course is going to happen but when the annexation of the Golf Course will happen.”

Schoemann said because “this was a business meeting” the public would not be allowed to speak.

Two people from Gehring View Farms, 4630 Highway 83, Christine and Derik Gehring sat in the front row holding photos of their family farm. Derik is a seventh-generation farmer.

The county indicated the sale of the property meant future development and revenue for the county.  Schoemann said he visited neighbors to the County Golf Course on Monday, January 6 and “none of those folks have any interest in annexation and several of them said to me one day they knew this would happen.”

Neighbors in the Town of Hartford said they feared two things with the annexation including higher taxes in the City of Hartford and losing their view with subdivisions in their backyard.

Laurel Jaeke from the Town of Hartford said the bottom line was money. “The supervisors even said it in their discussion that it was for money,” she said. “This is going to hurt farmers because the annexation of the golf course will open the gateway to continued development and …. with the continued march up and outside of the city into agricultural lands prevents farmers from growing crops they need to support their cows. This is a sad day for the Town of Hartford.”

Supervisor Marcella Bishop – “I feel very strongly this County Board is jumping the gun on this local municipality. We should let the local municipalities take care of their own business.”

Supervisor Richard Bertram – “I was told we should look at parks as quality of life. Where can people take their kids. All of a sudden now this particular parcel here doesn’t seem like that’s a good quality of life. Now we want to change this. As far as us selling parks was not to make a ton of money but I can honestly tell you….  if I gave property to the county, I’d be one ticked off person that the county is trying to make money on what I gave them to have a park.”

Supervisor Kris Deiss – “Everything that has been done is just the way government functions and I understand that for people who aren’t a county board supervisor or involved in government it’s always so hard to understand what the heck we’re doing. But we’re trying the best we can.”

Supervisor Chris Bossert tried to compare the situation to eating a large pizza and then his girlfriend also eating a large pizza. “This is not a money grab,” he said. “I saw a comment on Facebook that this proposal if the annexation goes through the people in the Town of Hartford would see their taxes double.” County administrator said “no, this will have nothing to do with that.”

Supervisor Mark McCune – “It does come down to money. One of my favorite hobbies; I like money. This helps our county to have more money.”

Supervisor Brian Krebs – “Before we go through the process of annexing this piece of property, I think it’s better if the county goes through and actually takes the time to acknowledge what the future of the golf course will be. I think we should take an honest look at what do we want with the golf course.”

Supervisor Joseph Gonnering referenced the Washington County 4-H students who were honored at the start of the meeting. “Where would they be today if we didn’t have Fair Park? There was a time when it was being looked at to get rid of Fair Park. But where would these kids be today without our parks system as a whole and people who live in this county and outside of the county use the parks whether they’re mowed or not. We threw a lot of money into Family Park to start with and it’s a shame we’re not keeping it up, but to get rid of it is not a good thing to do.”

Supervisor Robert Hartwig – “My wife said to me now that you’re retired, we should take the grand kids to all the parks. That’s my question for people who go to Family Park. How many people from the subdivision attend this park? That’s one of my big reasons… why would we want to get rid of this. The golf course is paid for. We should hang onto it and not annex at this time. Plus, I see a gentleman in the audience with a picture of his farm. I can see his concern, if the golf course gets annexed down the road there will be subdivisions moving out and the next thing you know they’ll be after his farm as well. This kid caught my eye and it helped make my mind up to vote no.” With the approval of the annexation the county will now submit a letter to the Department of Administration and then a letter will also be written to the City of Hartford. The process should take about two months before it gets to the City of Hartford.

After the meeting some of the Town of Hartford people in the gallery talked about how the project was rushed through. One person talking in the hallway outside the county board chambers indicated the upcoming April 7, 2020 election may have played a part in the timing of the annexation.

An icon in Hartford will retire Friday, January 10 from McDonald’s on Highway 60

That lady at the McDonald’s drive thru in Hartford. The one who has been there the past 26 years. The one who knows you by the sound of your voice or your specific order. You may want to take a moment Friday, January 10 to stop and visit and say “thanks” because tomorrow Sandy Thiele is retiring.

She’s been called an “icon” in Hartford. Folks around town know her. She’s the lady in the drive thru; the one that calls everybody ‘Hunny.’

“It’s time,” said Thiele. “I’ve been here at this McDonald’s since I was 40.”

Hired by her manager Jon Schmidt, Thiele still has the spunk, common sense and customer service that’s made her a recognizable face in the community.

Thiele, 66, recollects about the changes she’s seen in her two decades plus. “We didn’t have all these coffee specialty drinks,” she said.

“We always had the hamburger and cheeseburger… but they were cheaper back then. Do you remember the brats? And the McRib… those were fun,” she said.

Thiele said the “customers are the best people in the world.”

“One lady gets a large coffee, two cream, shot of caramel, and one egg biscuit and all she does is pull up and says my name and I put her order in,” said Thiele.

Customers recognize her voice too…. or her signature Green Bay Packer hat or the familiar face in the first drive-thru window at McDonald’s. Thiele’s there at work, Monday through Friday at 6 a.m.

Thiele’s view outside her window has changed over the last 26 years. “Walgreens wasn’t there,” she said. “The dry cleaners was there; and then they moved that. Kwik Trip wasn’t there. Culvers was a Hardees and that wasn’t Piggly Wiggly it was County Market and we had a Blockbuster back there.”

On Friday there will be a ‘thank you’ celebration at McDonald’s in Hartford. Feel free to stop in and wish Sandy well.

Accolades pour in as WB alderman and WC supervisor Roger Kist resigns from office

Accolades are flooding in following word West Bend Dist. 8 alderman and Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor Roger Kist has submitted a letter of resignation.

According to West Bend Clerk Stephanie Justmann the letter was presented Friday, January 10 just after noon.

Dated January 10, 2020 the letter says: “After careful consideration and conversations with family, I am tending my resignation as City of West Bend Alderman for District 8 effective immediately, pursuant to Section 17.01, Wis. Stats., due to my current health issues. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of the City of West Bend, Wisconsin in this position since April 2009.”

There are few communities as lucky as Washington County to have a plethora of people dedicated to helping make it a better place. One of the notable community leaders is Roger Kist. Officials from Washington County, the City of West Bend and local non-profits offered a comment when they heard the news with many of the notes focusing on the same theme of “dedication and community service.”

Washington County Supervisor and former Washington County Clerk Marilyn Merten – Way before Roger was on county board, I worked with him on Land Use and Parks. He got things done around the courthouse, so it looked appropriate. Roger was always someone who was willing to help keep the county in good operation. He was a very dedicated individual who wanted to do service to the public. His idea on the county board was service. When he was Ranger Roger he was always dedicated to the parks and he did whatever he could to see the parks were taken care of. I remember Roger would stop into the clerk’s office to see everything was kosher. Roger had a very old-school type of dedication.

Former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow – It is not too often someone truly dedicates a lifetime to public service. Roger is one of rare individuals who has. My most sincere Thank You and utmost gratitude go out to both Roger and his family for their dedication to West Bend and Washington County.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller – Roger was in parks for a long time and managed all the parks in the county. I didn’t always agree with Roger’s vote as a representative with the county, but he sure did manage the parks well and he kept them top notch. As chairman of the Republican Party he did a good job letting everybody know what was going on.

Former Washington County Fair Park Executive Director Sandy Lang – We always knew him as Ranger Roger from the parks system. I’ve known Roger and Denise more so as friends from their community service and church. He’s an all-around great guy. Roger always took on a lot; when he said he was going to do something he did it to completion.

Assembly Rep. Rick Gundrum – I enjoyed serving with Roger on the Washington County Board. He was a very dedicated public servant who took his role as County Supervisor seriously. Roger made it a priority to attend all committee meetings so when it was time to vote he’d be well informed on the issues. Whether he agreed with you or not on an issue Roger was always respectful of your views and opinions.

Janean Brudvig, Executive Director of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County – Roger has been a wonderfully dedicated friend of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County. We got to know Roger better several years ago when he was looking for help with his brother. As he learned about our organization and how we help the elderly in our community – Roger did what Roger does so very well – he became an advocate of our mission, helping folks age independently, and he became involved!! Since then, Roger has served an active role, supporting and attending many of our events and activities. Roger was also a member of our newly formed Senior Corps Advisory Board, helping to get it off the ground.

Kist announced in November 2019 he would not be running for reelection to the County Board in April 2020. He served as a supervisor since winning election in April 2016. Kist turned in his non-candidacy papers early. Joseph R. Vespalec has already turned in signatures to run for the seat in April 2020.

Kist is still a sitting alderman in West Bend District 8.  His current term on the council was scheduled to end in 2021.  Kist was elected District 8 alderman in 2009. He beat incumbent Neal Narveson; Kist has won reelection to the two-year term ever since. In April 2014, Kist took out papers to run for mayor of West Bend. He challenged incumbent Kraig Sadownikow and lost, however he retained his aldermanic seat in Dist. 8.

The West Bend Common Council will meet to determine how to fill the seat in Dist. 8. According to the City Clerk the open seat will not be added to the April 7, 2020 ballot. In the past the city has accepted applications and following a review the council has appointed a replacement.

Kist retired as manager of Washington County Parks in September 2003; he held that position for 35 years.

Kist joined the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in September 2003.

Kist was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.

“When I was on the council, I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down, he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”

Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again, we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”

Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from those he’s met along the way who talk about the impact he’s made in this county.

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.

Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”

Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park. “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county. Great job Roger.”

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”

Dist. 4 alderman Chris Jenkins -“I am shocked to see Roger, who is such a pillar in our community, step away from serving, but considering the amount of time and dedication he’s put into our community over many of our lifetimes – this is a well-deserved rest. I will remember Roger as the guy who would pull me aside and give me his straight-forward unabashed opinion no matter what. He spoke up during meetings whenever he felt compelled, he attended every event and meeting he could, and his lifetime of service is one to be admired. I thank him for the opportunity to serve alongside him on the West Bend Common Council and Washington County Board and wish him and his wife nothing but the best as he enjoys retirement!”

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community. “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”

Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”

Thank you, Roger Kist, for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.

Property 111 – 117 N. Main Street in downtown West Bend has sold

The property in downtown West Bend that’s home to R. W. Baird & Company, 111 – 117 N. Main Street, has been sold.  Ascendant Holdings has sold the building to TRS105, LLC for $650,000.

TRS105, LLC also owns the building to the south at 105-107 N. Main Street. Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction for Ascendant.

This leaves Ascendant Holding with one property in downtown West Bend located at 262 N. Main Street which is also still available for sale through American.

Also, this week, an American Commercial Real Estate sign for lease was put up on the former Gehl site. This location will be home to a 68-room TownPlace Suites and 15,000 square foot office building that will break ground in spring.  There is still approximately 8,000 square feet available for lease with occupancy of both properties targeted for fall 2020.

Ballot order for local races on April 7, 2020 Spring Election

The deadline to turn in candidacy papers for the April 7, 2020 Spring Election was Tuesday, January 7 and now the next task is to determine how the names are listed on the ballot.

In West Bend city clerk Stephanie Justmann oversaw the process on Wednesday afternoon at City Hall.

For the West Bend mayor’s race Rich Kasten will be listed first followed by Chris Jenkins.

District 3 alderperson will have Mary Ann Rzeszutek listed first and Brett Berquist second.

District 7 alderman will have incumbent Justice Madl first and Oscar Estrada second.

There is also an election in Dist. 1 and Dist. 5 however those seats are uncontested. Incumbent John Butschlick is running again in Dist. 1 and Jed Dolnick is running for alderman in Dist. 5.

The mayor’s seat carries a 3-year term in office and aldermen are elected to 2-year terms.

In the Village of Kewaskum there are four people running for three seats on the Village Board. They are all elected at-large on a non-partisan ballot to two-year terms.

Sarah Severance (I), Richard Knoebel (I), Richard Laubach (I), Rob Klein

In Washington County there are 26 seats on the County Board up for election and in five of those districts there are contested races.

In the Germantown School District, there are two seats open; No. 3 and No. 5. For seat No. 3, Lester Spies is the incumbent and running against Amanda Reinemann. For seat No. 5, incumbent Bob Soderberg is running against Tracy Pawlak.

Fire sprinklers activated following smoke at The Pavilion at Glacier Valley in Slinger

There was a bit of smoke and at The Pavilion at Glacier Valley, 1900 American Eagle Drive, on Monday afternoon, January 6. Slinger Police Captain Joshua Gullickson said the initial call came in at 4:20 p.m.

The call was for a sprinkler system activation. “When officers arrived, smoke was visible but no flames,” said Gullickson. “Slinger Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and the cause of the sprinkler activation was an overheat malfunction of a heating unit in one wing of the facility.”

Gullickson said residents were moved to a different part of the building. No injuries were reported to residents, staff or emergency responders. The Pavilion is described as “short-term rehabilitation, respite and long-term care.”

January 7 West Bend Plan Commission public hearing for No. 5 Kwik Trip postponed

Just received word the agenda for the Tuesday, January 7 West Bend Plan Commission has changed. The 6:01 p.m. public hearing for a request for a conditional use permit to allow a gas station use at 1613 and 1637 W. Washington Street, by Leah Berlin Kwik Trip Inc. has been rescheduled and it will be held at the February Plan Commission meeting instead.

City officials said the public hearing was postponed because there were a number of items Kwik Trip still needed to address and it would be easier to reschedule the meeting so all items could be discussed.

Kwik Trip will also be organizing a neighborhood meeting soon to answer questions from the community. Stay tuned. The public meeting is held in the council chambers and at City Hall.

Brett Berquist files to run in Dist. 3 for West Bend Common Council

The deadline is Tuesday, January 7, 2020, for all candidates to file paperwork and signatures if they plan on participating in the April 7, 2020 Spring Election. According to the Wisconsin Election Commission Washington County Circuit Court Judge Branch 2 Justice James K. Muehlbauer has filed the appropriate number of signatures to run again.

In West Bend another candidate filed papers to run for common council. Brett Berquist will be running for District 3 alderman. Berquist, 59, is a former West Bend Police Officer. A life-long resident of West Bend and Washington County.

“I worked as a prison guard, at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and I was at Moraine Park and then I was sworn into the West Bend Police Department in 1994 and worked 20 years for the city and retired in 2014,” he said.

Berquist also went overseas as a member of National Guard. “I went to Iraq in 2003 -2004,” he said. “I was there for 14 months total.”

After retirement Berquist said he was looking for something to do and wanted to get back to serving the community. “I’ve always been about service,” he said. “My career was part of it and the military; when I got out of police work, I found a new connection with my faith and it’s good timing to give back.”

Berquist said he spent seven hours recently collecting signatures. “I managed to get two blocks in my district,” he said. Some of the hot topics were roads and the special assessment for neighbors following construction on 18th Avenue.

“As far as roads are concerned if we want to have good stuff, we have to pay for it,” he said. “Bottom line is we would like to be fiscally conservative and keep taxes low but there are also requirements.”

Berquist said this is his first time running for a political position.

He called his former co-worker, interim mayor Steve Hoogester, for advice. “This isn’t about me or an ego it’s about doing the right thing,” he said.

Incumbent Dist. 3 alderman Andrew Chevalier turned in his non-candidacy papers on Dec. 11, 2019. Chevalier followed in his father’s footsteps and was elected to the council in April 2018.

There will be a race for the seat in Dist. 3 as Mary Ann Rzeszutek filed a declaration of candidacy in December.

New restaurant in Germantown makes list of Top New Restaurants in 2019

Congrats to Chef Jodi Kanzenbach of Germantown as her restaurant, Precinct Tap & Table, has made the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel list of the Top New Restaurants in 2019.

Reporter Carol Deptolla writes: Much of the menu is shareable plates that change with the seasons or when the chef wants to try something new — things like ginger chicken in crisp tempura with mango sticky rice, or shrimp with rice cakes browned in miso and butter, curry pickles on the side.  It’s good to see a chef bring the sort of plates to a suburban restaurant that neighbors would have had to drive downtown for before.

It was May 2019 when Kanzenbach announced on WashingtonCountyInsider.com that she was closing Cafe Seourette in downtown West Bend and investing in a new location in Germantown, W161N11629 Church Street.

April 2020 contest for District 3 on Hartford Common Council

There will be a race for alderman in Hartford in spring. Three of the aldermanic seats are up for election. Dennis Hegy, alderperson in District 2 is running again as is Jeff Turchi in District 1.  Both will be unopposed.

In District 3, Hartford City Council President Barry Wintringer filed non-candidacy. He has been in office nine years.

As of the 5 p.m. deadline tonight there were two people who filed papers for that district including Kyle Sikora and Kathy Isleb. Some may recognize Isleb’s name; she used to be an alderperson several years back. Ironically Isleb was the incumbent in District 3 when she lost to challenger Barry Wintringer in 2011. The race in District 3 in Hartford will be on the April 7, 2020 ballot.

Updates & Tidbits

-Two Catholic schools in West Bend are inviting the community to come visit and learn about the great educational opportunity available. St. Frances Cabrini School, 529 Hawthorn Drive, is hosting a pancake breakfast and open house on Sunday, January 26 from 8:30 a.m. – noon. Holy Angels School, 230 N. Eighth Avenue, is holding an open house and kindergarten roundup from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 26.

-On Wednesday evening, January 8, the Hartford Police and Fire Commission unanimously approved the appointment of Scott MacFarlan as the eighth Police Chief in Hartford history. MacFarlan is currently the Administrative Lieutenant at the HPD. He has held this position for the past 13 years. MacFarlan has been with the HPD a total of 24 years. He will replace Chief David Groves who will retire February 10, 2020. Groves served as Chief of Police since July 27, 2006.

– Auto Safety Center and Interfaith Caregivers teamed up this past holiday to collect food for the Full Shelf Food Pantry in West Bend. On Friday, January 3 the locally owned Auto Safety Center and the non-profit pooled their donations and turned them over to the Full Shelf Food Pantry. Many thanks to everyone who participated.

– Beginning January 1, 2020, Tony Burgard assumed the position of Fire Chief for the Richfield Volunteer Fire Company after being elected in December 2019. Chief Burgard takes over for Chief John Schmitz, who retired at the end of 2019.

– Learn why excellent Christian schooling is the No. 1 choice for families today. Take a tour during the January 21 Open House at Ozaukee Christian School, 1214 Highway 33, West Bend.

Small, safe classes, develop resilient Christ-followers, teachers go the extra mile for you and your child, need-based financial aid available (up to $100,000) Open House is TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, at 6:30 p.m.

– The Hartford Rotary Club and Hartford Union High School are pleased to announce that Abigail Holappa, Katie Pulvermacher and Bryce Zimdars were honored recently as Rotary Students of the Month.

– Cedar Community annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is January 25. Enjoy chicken quesadillas, our famous chili with all the fixings (corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and onions), fruit, cookie, coffee, lemonade, or hot apple cider–all for only $8.50. Quarts of chili to go for $8. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grand Hall – Cedar Community, Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Is Washington County Board proposed development putting local farming at risk | By Elaine Gehring 

I am writing to express serious concern about the agenda item on Wednesday’s County Board Meeting agenda regarding the issue of seeking annexation of the golf course property by the City of Hartford.  I believe that the decision made on this issue reaches much farther than the golf course property itself.

The golf course property is the gateway that opens the way for further long-range development into valuable existing farmland north of the City of Hartford. I believe the county supervisors need to carefully consider this annexation issue and the delicate balance between city development and the agricultural economy of Washington County.

I understand that change is inevitable and agree with Supervisor McCune when he stated at a recent Executive Committee Meeting that “we could be looking at something completely different 20 years from now with the game of golf.”  Supervisor McCune also stressed the need for flexibility in the use of this golf course property; however, please consider how this whole issue has developed.

Earlier this year, the Town of Hartford Zoning Board refused to rezone a three-acre parcel just west of the Family Park so that several lots could be developed and sold.    When that Board declined to approve the rezoning, the response by Supervisor McCune was to bring forth to the Executive Committee the discussion on seeking annexation for all of the county-owned land at that location, including the golf course.  For many of us taxpayers looking on, this has rapidly grown from a small issue into an enormous question with significant long-lasting impacts.

These impacts could endanger the future of rural agriculture in the immediate area for years to come – long past the 20 years referred to by Supervisor McCune.  It is no secret many farmers in our area and all around Wisconsin are struggling; part of that struggle involves the farmers’ ability to rent or secure enough acreage to maintain their dairy herds.  For dairy farmers, their milk checks are their primary income – if they can’t grow and provide enough feed for their herds, they are out of business.

So how does this relate to the annexation of the County’s golf course by  the City of Hartford?   Annexation by the City of Hartford isn’t just about flexibility or the capability to hook up utilities.

As I mentioned earlier, the golf course property serves as the gateway for further annexation by the City of Hartford and further residential development into valuable existing farmland – farmland that currently enables local farmers to feed their herds and stay in business.  Currently the surrounding farmland is protected from development because the golf course property is within the Town of Hartford, so adjoining land cannot be annexed; the proposed annexation would change that.

Perhaps that development will come in the future and may even be necessary – but today’s not that day…

This issue will be discussed at the County Board meeting this Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Administrative Building on Hwy 33 – please consider attending the meeting or contacting County Board Supervisors to ask them to vote no to this resolution or at least to table the resolution to provide opportunity and time for further consideration and for a public meeting and taxpayer input.

Please help us protect the delicate balance that exists in Washington County between city development and the valuable agricultural economy.

Elaine Gehring    Hartford

Letter to the Editor | County Board proposed annexation in Town of Hartford could challenge future of farming | By Derik Gehring

I am a seventh-generation dairy farmer in the Town of Hartford. I hope you can take a minute to read this.

I don’t know the full story or background on this issue, but I just learned about this new challenge to the future of farming and agriculture in our area, as well as the country lifestyle the residents of rural areas enjoy, and I thought you’d want to be aware of it.

The County Board is moving toward asking Hartford to annex the golf course and will be discussing it at the County Board Meeting this Wednesday.

The golf course is currently within the Town of Hartford. Recently the Town’s zoning board refused to rezone the Family Park and some land on Clover Road to residential as the County wanted to sell lots there. The follow-up is that the Executive Committee is now pushing to have the City annex the whole golf course and take it out of the control of the Town of Hartford completely.

As Hartford Mayor Michalak makes clear in a West Bend Times Press article, this will clear the way for annexation and further development of land beyond the golf course. The issue I see with developing land leads to further loss of valuable land for agriculture and the country lifestyle for the rest of the Town residents. It appears that the value/needs of rural and agricultural interests in our county are taking a backseat to city development. Annexation by the City of Hartford of the golf course opens the door to such development.

This issue appears to be on a fast track with the issue going to the County Board on Wednesday. At the very least, it seems this should be put on hold to provide opportunity for taxpayer input and public meetings, etc. As concerned citizens have asked county supervisors in the past, about other issues, what’s the rush?!

***As a concerned citizen of the Town of Hartford, please consider contacting county supervisors and ask them to vote No on the annexation of land to the City of Hartford.

I will be sharing the contact info of the supervisors in the comments, but here is a link to the contact information of the county supervisors: www.co.washington.wi.us/departments.iml…

Open the “Supervisors” tab and “more” opens their email address you can click and send your comments to. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO VOICE YOUR OPINION TO THEM! They need to be asked to vote No on the annexation of the golf course to the City of Hartford.

The county board meeting takes place THIS WEDNESDAY January 8, 2020 at 6p.m. at the Washington County Courthouse in West Bend, WI. The public is welcome and may or may not get a chance to speak, but presence will show how important this issue is to us. If you would like to attend, you may.

Feel free to share the information to others. Thank you and have a great day!

Derik Gehring     Town of Hartford

Letter to the Editor | Town of Hartford residents push back on development proposal by County Board | By Karen and Greg Romagna

This is in response to the Washington County Board wanting to have the City of Hartford annex the Washington County Golf Course and the Family Park.

Contrary to what Mr. Michalak says, we in the Town of Hartford around the golf course are not interested in having further development around the golf course and do not wish to be part of the City of Hartford now or in the future.

We are rural and agriculture land. As Mr. Michalak makes clear annexing will clear the way for there to be further development of land beyond the golf course than the Town of Hartford rules allow, meaning loss of valuable rural and agricultural land in order that the City of Hartford can expand.

We are in the subdivision east of the golf course in the Town of Hartford and wish to remain rural and do not want to have subdivisions going up around us with barely half-acre lots and tons of houses and more loss of farming land.

This issue appears to be on the fast track with it going to the County Board on Wednesday, January 8 at 6 p.m.

What is the hurry on it, why were meetings canceled, and where is the opportunity for taxpayer and residents of the area input and public meetings, etc?

We are asking the County Board to hold off on passing the resolution until there is further discussion with all parties involved.

Thank you,  Karen and Greg Romagna      Ernst Dr., Town of Hartford

Letter to the Editor | Annexation followed by proposed reduction in size of Washington County Board | By Diane Pedersen

Recently I read two Letters to the Editor regarding annexing the Washington County Golf Course from the Town of Hartford into the City of Hartford.

While that may not seem like a big issue to some it means the golf property would be subject to the zoning rules of City of Hartford. That might just be the tip of the iceberg as adjoining properties could then be annexed into the City based on WI State Statutes for new development reducing the size of towns.

In addition to the golf course issue it is important to know your Washington County Board of Supervisors has discussed reduction of the number of districts, reducing the number of Supervisors. How does that affect you?

Currently there are 26 Supervisor Districts and district borders are determined by calculating each district with a similar population number. Currently nine (9) district Supervisors represent towns. The remaining 17 Supervisors represent cities and villages.

The current Washington County population is approximately 135,000 resulting in approximately 5,200 residents per district. If the districts are reduced to 21 the result is approximately 6,450 residents per district. Where will the approximately 1, 250 residents come from to determine the new districts? It could be worse if the number of districts is less than 21.

One possible plan could be to expand all the districts within current cities and villages. If that is the ultimate outcome all the Washington County Board of Supervisors would come from cities and villages. Residents who live in towns would not have a county representative who thinks and supports town and agricultural culture.

If the idea of NO representation for residents living in towns bothers you, call ALL 26 Washington County Supervisors and let them know your concerns.

Just 26 phone calls to let your voice be heard. Phone numbers can be found by clicking HERE.

Diane Pedersen  Richfield

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher. The http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com reserves the right to edit or omit copy, in accordance with newspaper policies. Letters to the Editor must be attributed with a name, address and contact phone number – names and town of origin will be printed, or may be withheld at the Editor’s discretion. During the course of any election campaign, letters to the editor dealing with election issues or similar material must contain the author’s name and street address (not PO Box) for publication.

Womanizing Tortoise Saves Species

Good for you, dude.

(CNN)A womanizing tortoise whose rampant sex life may have single-handedly saved his entire species from extinction has retired from his playboy lifestyle, returning to the wild with his mission accomplished.

Diego’s unstoppable libido was credited as a major reason for the survival of his fellow giant tortoises on Espanola, part of the Galapagos Islands, after being shipped over from San Diego zoo as part of a breeding program.
When he started his campaign of promiscuity, there were just two males and 12 females of his species alive on the island.
But the desirable shell-dweller had so much sex he helped boost the population to over 2,000. The Galapagos National Parks service believe the 100-year-old tortoise is the patriarch of around 40% of that population.