(Beaver Dam) A couple new faces and changes in leadership marked last (Tuesday) night’s inaugural meeting of the Beaver Dam Common Council. There was a contest for common council president after former head councilmen Robert Ballweg fell short in the general election. Alderman Chris Olson was elected by his peers to the leadership post over Alderwoman Mary Morgan, 8-to-5. With his election as council president, Olson leaves behind his role as chair of the city’s Operations Committee. Alderwoman Therese Henriksen is filling the vacant chairperson’s seat on Operations, which is tasked primarily with public works matters. Kara Nelson was named the chair of the city’s Administrative Committee, which is tasked largely with finance and personnel matters. Two new alderpersons were among the seven sworn-in last night: Jack Yuds and Jaci (Jackie) Shelton.
(Beaver Dam) A scathing rebuke last (Tuesday) night by Alderman Ken Anderson over committee assignments is signaling a sharp divide on the newly-seated Beaver Dam Common Council. Anderson chastised Mayor Becky Glewen for her selection of chairpersons for the city’s two most powerful committee’s – Administration and Operations – as well as his colleagues’ selection of council president. Anderson criticized the new committee chairs lack of experience in city government and said the new council president too often shows up to meetings at the last second. The mayor tried to respond but Anderson interrupted and talked over her until he was told by the city attorney – for a second time – to stop talking. The committees were approved with four dissenting votes.
(Horicon) Horicon will need to search for a new fire chief. Jim Bandsma had served in the position for the last sixteen years but will now sit on the city’s common council after receiving the most write-in votes during the spring election. Bandsma says he will stay with the fire department as assistant chief until a new chief is selected. There is no current timeline set for when the fire chief position will be filled. In addition to his aldermanic duties, Bandsma was assigned to the Public Safety Committee as well as the Public Works and Development Committee.
(Juneau) Potential challenges with the Sheriff’s Drug Task Force came to light during a discussion on personal matters during yesterday’s Dodge County Board Meeting. Findings from a preliminary assessment report by an outside auditing firm show that the county’s multi-jurisdictional drug task force is understaffed and, as it currently exists, is (quote) “unsafe and is against best practices to conduct drug investigations.” The report was discussed as part of a request by Sheriff Dale Schmidt to convert a detective’s position on the task force to a sergeant’s position. Schmidt says the intent would be to create a supervisory role to better operate the unit. He says the drug task force is equipped to handle drug investigations but he must pull resources from elsewhere so the unit can adequately do its job. The county board voted to postpone any position changes on the drug task force until the assessment of the sheriff’s office is completed in August.
(Green Lake County) Green Lake County Sheriff’s officials are looking for tips on persons and a vehicle involved in shooting vandalism to a trailer and other property on South Gate Road in the town of Manchester last weekend. Several dozen rounds of .22 caliber ammunition were shot into the trailer and items adjacent to the property. A neighbor saw a white vehicle parked on the road in front of the trailer at sunset last Saturday, before hearing gunshots. Anyone with information is asked to call Green Lake County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-438-8436.
(Fond du Lac) If he lives up to terms of a deferred prosecution agreement a former Fond du Lac Police officer will not be found guilty of charges stemming from an incident in which he shot himself. Fifty-two-year-old Dennis Sabel (SAH-bell) recently pleaded no contest to operating a firearm while intoxicated and disorderly conduct charges, but those charges will be dismissed if he lives up to conditions of the agreement over the next year. He shot himself in the torso following an argument with his wife last September at their home in North Fond du Lac.
(Green Bay) President Donald Trump will be making a stop in Green Bay at the end of the month. The rally will be held at the Resch Center on April 27, the same day as the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.