Wagner Has Two New
Write In CandidatesIssue Date: March 15, 2019
At the regular monthly meeting of Wagner Town Board on Tuesday, March 12, Steve Renikow announced to the crowd of approximately 40 town residents that he is running as a write-in candidate against current Town Chair Lynn Hickey in the elections on Tuesday, April 2. At the end of the meeting recently appointed Town Clerk Cassie Brown announced that she will be a write-in candidate for the clerk's position.
Ballot candidates for Wagner town offices on April 2 will be Hickey; appointed treasurer Treasurer Linda F. LaRochelle; Trustees Mollie Arthur and Ed Delfosse and challengers Toni Goldschmidt and Bruce Meyhoff, and appointed Clerk Linda Wilke, who resigned the post on Feb. 14 but apparently will remain on the ballot.
The past year has been one of almost constant turnover for officials in the Town of Wagner. Hickey had resigned as town chair in April of 2018 and was reappointed by vote of Arthur and Delfosse at a special meeting on Feb. 25 of this year. Kurt Konell had been appointed to replace Hickey, and the position had been vacant since he resigned in October. Delfosse was appointed as supervisor to replace Supervisor Allen Sievert, who resigned when Hickey did in April of 2018. Elected Treasurer Bruce Meyhoff also had resigned in April of 2018.
"I don't think a person who was elected to office and then quit should be elected with one vote," Renikow declared when announcing his decision to become a write-in candidate. He said he is honest, sincere and not a bully, and declared the turnover in town officials does not indicate the current chair works well with others
He also raised the Cottage Lane issue, which had been barricaded for nearly two years after then-town officials declared it unsafe to use and too costly to repair. After one of the Cottage Lane residents threatened a lawsuit, and after Hickey resigned, the new board took another look at repairing the bridge and found that it could be done for less than $5,000 - far less than the the $400,000 to $500,000 that had been guesstimated by the previous town officials.
"Cottage Lane is now open and it never had to be closed," Renikow declared. He said the town would not have needed to spend the money it did for barricades.
He also was critical that the town had spent about $1,500 to have property taxes collected by the Marinette County Treasurer while Town Treasurer Bruce Meyerhof was getting full pay while spending a month in Florida. In the course of that tax collection there was an $8,900 accounting error which the town had to repay.
"I'd like to thank Steve for stepping up and being a candidate," Hickey said when he was done speaking. She said Meyerhof had not been paid while he was in Florida. She said the tax $8,900 error was a transposition error that happened in the County office and was not an error by anyone in the town.
As to Cottage Lane, Hickey said county people had told them to close it, and predicted it will need to be closed again future. She said it is too narrow, needs guard rails, and is not built in the location that the town owns, so if it is replaced it will need to be moved.
The $36,505 loan for purchase of the new Fire Truck was finalized on March 2. It is for 36 months at 3.9 percent interest, with payments of $1,076.16 to start on April 10. Tom Arthur pointed out that the fire department is making the loan payments, not the town.
Hickey offered "a shout out of thanks" to the fire department for cooperating by attending a special meeting on the morning of Saturday, March 2 and accepting raises that fit in with the town budget. The wages will come up at the annual meeting. Her remarks drew loud applause from the crowd.
Hickey said she is still waiting for numbers from a few people before the town audit can be completed.
Moving on, LaRochelle read the treasurer's report showing the town had a total of $372,445 in its accounts on Feb. 28.
Hickey noted that transfers between accounts will be added to agendas for future meetings so the minutes will track when, where and why money was moved in the budget.
Tom Arthur reported the Wagner Fire Department had 66 man hours in the past month and a week ago had responded to a MABAS request in the Town of Porterfield.
He said they have seen an increase in the department's electric bill since the town truck was plugged in there and the budget may need adjusting. There are leaks in the roof of the fire station. Hickey recommended a person he could talk to about having the roof patched if their feeling was not that they need a new one.
Transfer of $17,622.123 in Fire Department carry-over money was brought up for consideration by Hickey, but she was informed the board had approved that transfer in January. Hickey said that will be done, and noted that is why they are putting the line item transfers officially back onto meeting agendas and minutes.
On behalf of the Fire Department, Mike Caylor reminded everyone that the snow will soon be gone and they will again need burning permits. "Please get your permits now," he urged. he said they an be obtained from one of the three local fire wardens or easier still, the permit can be put on your smart phone by going to dnr.wi.gov. He laughed that this is so easy he could do it, and said then it is always available when needed. When wanting to burn, people need to check in with the DNR site after 11 a.m. to find burning rules for the day. Fire prevention handouts were available at the meeting.
The town calendar was changed to schedule the Annual Meeting for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 with the board's regular monthly meeting to follow. The previous date had been Wednesday, April 17.
Hickey was asked to explain the difference between the annual meeting and the special meeting, and said the annual meeting is for electors and handles things like wages and budgets, and then the town board meets to take action. The new terms for town officers begin at that time.
Linda Caylor invited everyone to attend the fund raising card parties to be held at the Town Hall on Saturday March 16, 23 and 30. A variety of card games will be played. The $3 admission includes lunch, and there will be door prizes. To a question from Hickey, Caylor said they are still taking donations for prizes and prospective donors can contact Ann Biernasz or Amber Rickaby. Proceeds go to support the fire department.
Patty Michaels announced that future board meeting agendas and minutes will be posted by Clerk Brown on the "Next Door" web site. She said the site is for Wagner residents only, and is a means for neighbors to communicate with each other.
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