News 4/2/2010

Mayville Candidates Split On PD Cuts

Mayoral Candidates Bob Smith and Jerry Moede

4/2/10 – The candidates for mayor in the city of Mayville have different opinions about the elimination of two positions in the police department. Both Jerry Moede and Bob Smith are alderman who voted in favor of the personnel cuts. Smith says the Police Department eats up 40% of the total city budget – more than any other department – and the cuts were needed to bring the budget under control. If elected mayor, Smith says the staffing levels could be maintained with an efficient use of available manpower. He says Mayville could get by with an eight-member police force, with two administrators. Smith says if and when current Police Chief Bill Linzenmeyer retires, the new chief should have more responsibilities in handling a patrol shift. Moede says he supported the personnel cuts because it was the recommendation of the police chief and the mayor. However, he says he is willing to reopen the issue if he is elected mayor. Both Moede and Smith are good friends and both say the citizens of Mayville will benefit no matter who claims the mayor’s seat. They say the police staffing issue is the only matter they disagree on.

Aldermanic Candidates Bill Linzenmeyer and Bob Redeker

4/2/10 – There are two challengers for the aldermanic seat currently held by mayoral candidate Jerry Moede, who – unlike mayoral candidate Bob Smith — is not seeking to retain his seat on the council. While the council has not yet formally accepted his retirement, current Police Chief Bill Linzenmeyer is running for Moede’s aldermanic seat in Wards Four and Seven. He tells us that he is running because he is unhappy with the elimination of two full-time police officers. Linzenmeyer says he was asked by the council to provide a minimum staffing report and as an administrator that is his responsibility. He says it was his impression that they would lay-off a couple people for a little while until they made up the shortfall but he says talk of a shortfall was inaccurate anyway because there was no shortfall. Linzenmeyer says he asked the council to keep the officers on the payroll until the end of the year but the council refused. He says the council, and more specifically Bob Smith, have been out to get the police department for two years. Bob Redeker is challenging Linzenmeyer for Moede’s council seat. Redeker says if he were on the council he would have supported the personnel cuts in the police department. He says the city is in a very difficult financial position and cuts need to be made. Redeker says he supports the plan to save $365,000 every year for nine year and fundamental changes need to be made.

Aldermanic Candidate Kathleen Sertich

4/2/10 – Mayoral candidate Bob Smith is also running to retain his Ward Two aldermanic seat. His challenger in that race is Kathleen Sertich, who says personnel cuts are one of those hard decisions that need to be made by elected officials. Sertich says personnel cuts are up to the department heads to determine and to justify the manpower in their departments. There are three contested aldermanic races in Mayville. In Ward One, Scott Mastalish and J. Trevor Jones are also competing, for the seat vacated early by Dottie Hoy.

New Names On Fall River Ballot

4/2/10 – The Village of Fall River’s April ballot will have three new names and races for Village Trustee and School Board positions. One change in the five candidates elected to run at the January Caucus is that long time Village Trustee Ron Abegglen did NOT submit candidacy papers. That leaves two newcomers – Mandy MacFarlane and John Ninmann – running against incumbents Judy Robbins and Jeff Slotten for three open seats.

The School Board race will be for two open positions. What’s interesting in this race is that the top vote getter in the February primary, Diane Weiner, has stated that she is “not actively seeking”

the spot on the school board. That leaves former Board President David Brozek, incumbent Leroy Dieckhoff and newcomer Steve Bader vying for the two open spots.

Veteran Supervisor John Tramburg of Fall River will run unopposed for his Columbia County Board position.

Firefighters Battle Twin Blazes

4/2/10 – Firefighters from several communities had their hands full Thursday afternoon fighting two fires in northern Jefferson County. The Ixonia Fire Department responded to a 60-acre marsh fire around 12:15pm between County P and Highway 16. Assistant Fire Chief Josh Nettescheim says they were on the scene for over three hours and received mutual assistance from nine fire departments, including Watertown, Lebannon, Ashippun, Clyman and Johnson Creek. The cause of the fire has not been determined. At 12:35pm, a barn fire was reported in Lake Mills at N6878 Manske Road. Assistant Fire Chief Mark Yandre says when crews arrived the barn was fully engulfed. He says the fire started as a controlled burn that was called in by the property owner. The barn, which had been out of use since it was struck by lightning last year, was a total loss. Lake Mills received mutual assistance from Johnson Creek, Waterloo and Marshall. There were no injuries reported in either incident.

Oconomowoc Home Destroyed By Fire

4/2/10 – A four bedroom home in the Town of Oconomowoc was destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon. The home on North Woodlake Circle is owned by Linda Horwath, who says the family dog began barking and when she went to investigate she discovered that the garage was fully engulfed in smoke. Horwath and her son were able to get to safety and there were no injuries. Officials say wind gusts of up to 35mph helped fueled the flames. There were no fire hydrants in the area so fire crews had to haul in water. Neighboring homes were threatened but firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control before the fire spread. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Columbus Details New TIF

4/2/10 – The Columbus Council got their first look at plans for a proposed TIF District # 4 this week. Economic Development Director Steve Sobiek said concept plans for improvements in the industrial corridor on the City’s northwestern edge have been in development for eight months. Sobiek told the council the industrial area between James Street and the railroad tracks could be improved to attract additional tenants and give current industries easier access to highways 16 and 60. The proposed TIF area is already home for many firms. Approval of the TIF 4 proposal will mean one more addition to the Columbus Council’s already busy 2010 “to do” list.

March Traffic Fatalities Down

4/2/10 – It’s been 73 years since Wisconsin saw such a low number of fatalities from traffic accidents. In March, 21 people died in Wisconsin according to preliminary statistics from the state Department of Transportation. Previously, the safest March in state history recorded 28 fatalities. The deadliest March for Wisconsin drivers was in 1970 when 99 died. Dennis Hughes is chief of safety programs for the Department of Transportation Safety. He says we made it through the winter with the lowest number of traffic deaths in decades. He says better weather and clearer roads will mean drivers will go faster — and that will mean more deaths.