Board fills top positions

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

SHEBOYGAN – The leadership of the Sheboygan County Board of Supervisors will remain largely unchanged for the next two years.

The new board, holding their first meeting Tuesday, re-elected Roger TeStroete of Oostburg chairman and Tom Wegner of Plymouth vicechairman.

Supervisors also filled out the Executive Committee, the board’s top committee, with only change.

Supervisor Peggy Feider, who had been a member of the Executive Committee, lost her bid for re-election earlier this month to Steve Bauer. Supervisor Edward Procek of Sheboygan was elected by the board to her spot on the committee.

The committee’s other two members – Bill Goehring of Random Lake and George Marthenze of Howards Grove – were re-elected by the supervisors.

The Executive Committee selects the members of the board’s eight other committees.

Three new supervisors were among the 25 board members sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting by Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge L. Edward Stengel.

Along with Bauer from the 18th District, they were 19th District Supervisor Libby Ogea and 12th District Supervisor Robert Ziegelbauer.

Both are second generation supervisors, with Ogea succeeding her father, Michael, representing the city of Sheboygan Falls.

Ziegelbauer’s mother, Connie, was a long-time supervisor from the city of Sheboygan.

During the adoption of meeting rules for the coming two-year session, the board turned back an attempt by Supervisor Pat Uraynar to allow supervisors to address the board during meetings on subjects not on the agenda.

“This would allow County Board supervisors the same privileges an ordinary citizen has,” Uraynar explained, pointing to the portion of every County Board agenda set aside for public addresses to the board.

That drew a response from Marthenze, who termed it, “just a bad idea.

“When we walk in this room, we’re the government, not the public. That podium is reserved for the people who want to address their government,” Marthenze said. “Our job is not to come here and talk to each other, our job is to debate legislative matters.”

He recalled that supervisors had been allowed the privilege of addressing the board, but said that it had been abused, leading to the adoption of the rule restricting that right.

In particular, he cited former Supervisor Eugene “Pat” Weeden. He said Weeden was a good supervisor, but was overly protective of the county’s health care facilities, to the point of giving long and frequent speeches on the board floor concerning the health care facilities even they were not on the board agenda.

“We put the ‘Pat Weeden rule’ in so supervisors don’t get to stand at that podium and spew,” Marthenze said. He went to question whether Uraynar’s proposal might violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the state’s open meeting law.

“What we’re saying here is that there’s a time and a place for everything and plenty of other areas are available to every County Board supervisor,” Supervisor Mark Winkel added.

Uraynar said that supervisors could be limited in the length of their talk, just as members of the public have a time limit on their addresses to the board.

Her amendment was defeated by a vote of 22-3, with supervisors Bauer and Jim Baumgart joining her in voting yes.

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