Pictured above: Mayville Mayor Rob Boelk (left) and candidate David Koch (right)
(Mayville) The two candidates in Mayville’s mayoral race appeared on WBEV’s Community Comment last week and we discussed with both the tumultuous events surrounding the city’s police department. The issues stem from an alteration of documents by former Chief Chris MacNeill in 2011 to help the family member of a former Mayville officer get into the army. The city offered a contract in August to then Acting-Chief Ryan Vossekuil to head the department permanently. Vossekuil rejected the offer citing that its terms were unfair. After a public petition was presented to the common council requesting a new contract for the 15-year veteran of the department, Vossekuil accepted a new offer from the city in October.
A month later, city officials were made aware of a claim for compensation by former Mayville police officer Mark Forster who claims Vossekuil broke a confidentiality/non-defamation agreement contained in his 2016 resignation. The common council voted down Forster’s claim seeking $750-thousand dollars. The city’s insurance lawyer has advised the council that the potential lawsuit has merit.
The common council also rejected a claim by Chief Vossekuil seeking $50-thousand dollars and a retraction from Mayor Rob Boelk for comments he made in September in regard to the MacNeill investigation. Boelk reportedly said Vossekuil was aware that a crime had been committed, failed to report the crime, and failed to take action.
Boelk told us on WBEV’s Community Comment that he did not create these issues but as the person in charge, he must deal with them. While Forster has not yet brought a lawsuit against the city, Boelk says if the city is unable to successfully litigate the grievance it could end up costing tax payer’s 23-to-24-percent more in taxes. Boelk says that the city’s attorney reviewed his comments made against Vossekuil and they were deemed truthful and fact-based. He added that the timing of Vossekuil’s lawsuit just happens to coincide with the election season.
David Koch, who is running against Boelk, calls the whole situation unusual. Koch says if he is elected mayor he would work hard to minimize the risk of litigation against the city of Mayville. He says it is important for those in leadership positions to be careful with what they say.