Jens was a true public servant in the best sense

PERHAPS THERE MIGHT BE less political divisiveness in this country if there were more public servants who truly served the public.

Maybe it would take more than that, but it certainly would make things a bit more civil and productive if that were the case.

Here in Sheboygan County, we lost a fine example of someone who exemplified a public servant who truly put that as his first and foremost duty with the death earlier this month of former County Board Chairman William “Bill” Jens.

Jens served more than two decades on the County Board, including four years as chairman, during a period of turmoil of change when the county dealt with exploding expenses and rapid tax increases along with profound changes in county services and how they – and county government itself – were managed.

During those turbulent times, Jens served as a voice of compromise, consensus and service, reaching out to each and every one of his colleagues on the board to find answers and solutions all while continuing to serve his constituents and their needs.

In addition to his time on the County Board, Jens served more than 30 years on the Lima Town Board, most of that time as chairman.

Town government is government at its most local, personal level and service there truly requires a commitment to the public, as one’s constituents there are for the most part neighbors, family and friends – people one sees regularly at church, the store, school or even walking down the street.

To serve successfully at that level for that long a period takes a truly committed individual.

For Bill Jens, though, that was just an extension of his personality, his life and his beliefs.

It was fitting that his obituary began by saying that “William T. ‘Bill’ Jens’ … completed his life of service.” His truly was a life of service and it was reflected in all he did and all he accomplished.

Further on in the obituary, it says that, “Bill believed that the most important things in life are serving God, family and the community and his daily life was a reflection of that belief.”

That sums Jens up perfectly.

His service to his neighbors went beyond his decades of service in their government at the town and county level.

It was simply another manifestation of his deep faith and his commitment to making it a living faith.

It’s an example of faith, commitment and service that we can only wish others would follow.

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