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Vilas County Board of Supervisor Denies Filling Board Vacancy

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In a surprise vote, the Vilas County board of supervisors denied 6-11 seating a person recommended by chairman Ron DeBruyne to fill a vacant board position.

DeBruyne recommended approval of Christopher Mayer of Lac du Flambeau to fill the position of District 10 left vacant with the resignation of Al Bauman, but was opposed by Supervisor Bob Hanson who claimed there were 42 Wisconsin Department of Revenue state tax warrants filed against Mayer.

DeBruyne indicated Mayer had served previously on the county board for 10 years and currently serves on the Lac du Flambeau town board. He said he received notice “two persons who were interested in the position and received e-mails by persons who expressed concerns” but would not name the person not chosen to be appointed.

An e-mail sent to all supervisors by Mel and Kay Hoff of Lac du Flambeau supported the second person who applied, which was Joseph Wildcat, Sr., to be appointed indicating he was “very receptive to listening to new ideas . . .and he could help the entire community.” The information from the Hoff’s claimed Mayer was also in arrears of paying property taxes.

Hanson indicated there were two addresses for Mayer, one on Highway 70 and another on a town road.

County clerk Dave Alleman indicated the county follows state statutes that “a person must reside in the district and be at least 18 years old and both applicants reside in the district,” again not revealing the name of the second person although all supervisors knew who it was via the information from the Hoff’s.

Hanson felt “we have no information (on the two) so why not give us both names before our meeting,” adding “we’re asked to approve this person (Mayer) today without information.”

County corporation counsel Jack Albert when asked, said “I will allow discussion for this person (Mayer) to serve on the county board” but not the other (Wildcat, J.) since his name was not mentioned out loud in the meeting. Hanson continued saying “by choosing him we’re ratifying his behavior (tax warrants) and we will have a mess.”

DeBruyne finally had enough telling Hanson to “please stop” so we can have a vote which defeated his recommendation 6-11.

Of the 17 board members present, those voting to deny the appointment were supervisors Willie Otterpohl, Mike Biszak, Mike MacKenzie, Bob Hanson, Walt Maciag, Marvin Anderson, Dan Swiecichowski, Mary Rasmussen, Art Kunde, Ron Kressin, and Pat Weber

Voting to support Mayer’s appointment were supervisors Ron DeBruyne, Charles Hayes, Jay Verhulst, Holly Tomlanovich, Carolyn Ritter, and Michael Cady.

After the meeting, several supervisors indicated this was the first time in their memory where a person recommended by the board chairman to fill a vacant supervisory position was denied. DeBruyne indicated he “has not yet decided how he will proceed” but will be working toward recommending an appointment for the April 20 county board meeting.

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