Uraynar’s appointment good for board, women

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEWEST member of the Sheboygan County Board – Fay Uraynar of Sheboygan.

Uraynar’s appointment to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of former County Board chairman – and current city of Sheboygan mayor – Michael Vandersteen was confirmed by the County Board earlier this month.

Uraynar brings a solid background in business and accounting to her seat on the board, experience which will serve her well as the county continues to struggle with the conundrum of providing necessary services to its constituencies under budgetary and economic restraints.

She also brings something else that’s vital and important to the board – a woman’s perspective.

Uraynar becomes the fourth woman on the 25-member County Board, which represents a high-water mark for female membership on the board.

That’s moving in the right direction, but it still leaves a long way to go to reaching a necessary balance in county government.

It’s also part and parcel of what is a mixed bag as far as women in local government is concerned.

On the one hand, women have a strong presence in some local government bodies. The newly-seated Sheboygan Falls City Council, for instance, is fully one-half women, with three of the six aldermanic seats held by women.

In the county’s two largest cities, however, the picture is not as good. Only three of 16 council members in Sheboygan are women, while Plymouth has only one woman on its eightmember council.

The picture on village and town boards across the county is also mixed as well.

The Sheboygan Falls Town Board just seated its first woman member, the village of Waldo has a female village president, and two of the six members of the Elkhart Lake Village Board are women, to cite a few examples.

But on the other hand, too many village, town and school boards across the county continue to be a 21st Century version of the ‘Good Ol’ Boys’ Club,’ with no women represented.

It’s probably a combination of many factors that has resulted in this somewhat one-sided look to local government in Sheboygan County, but there are signs that things are changing for the better – although it’s probably too slow and long overdue.

Again, congratulations to Uraynar on her appointment to the County Board – and here’s hoping that there will be a long line of women following her who are willing to serve and will bring their viewpoints, experience and expertise to making and keeping Sheboygan County and all its communities a great place to live, work and play.

At issue:
Women in local government
Bottom line:
More needed

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