Wegner new County Board chair

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff


NEW COUNTY BOARD CHAIR Thomas Wegner (right) takes the gavel from outgoing Chair Roger TeStroete at Tuesday’s board meeting where Wegner was elected to the post. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner NEW COUNTY BOARD CHAIR Thomas Wegner (right) takes the gavel from outgoing Chair Roger TeStroete at Tuesday’s board meeting where Wegner was elected to the post. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner SHEBOYGAN – For the first time in almost four decades, a city of Plymouth supervisor will be chair of the Sheboygan County Board of Supervisors.

District 17 Supervisor Thomas Wegner was elected the new County Board chair Tuesday as the board began its reorganization process for the coming two-year term.

Wegner moves up from vicechair, where he served two terms.

13th District Supervisor George Marthenze of the town of Herman was elected the new vice-chair.

“I’ll do my absolute best,” Wegner promised the board after taking over from Supervisor Roger TeStroete, who served two terms as chair.

The last supervisor from the city of Plymouth to chair the County Board was Stuart “Bud” Hand, who served from 1974 until his death from a heart attack in December, 1976.


THE NEW HEADS of the County Board, Chair Thomas Wegner (left) of Plymouth and Vice-Chair George Marthenze of the town of Herman presided over the close of Tuesday’s meeting after their election. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner THE NEW HEADS of the County Board, Chair Thomas Wegner (left) of Plymouth and Vice-Chair George Marthenze of the town of Herman presided over the close of Tuesday’s meeting after their election. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner Wegner, a retired educator, was first elected to the County Board in 2008. He served three terms on the Plymouth City Council, from 1988 to 1994.

Wegner was one of four supervisors named on the nominating ballot for chair by the board, getting 21 votes. When the others nominated – Jim Baumgart, Vernon Koch and Greg Weggeman – all declined their nominations, Wegner was elected unanimously.

Marthenze, treasurer for the town of Herman, was one of five supervisors nominated for vicechair. Weggeman and William Goehring declined nomination, then Marthenze got 13 votes on the first ballot to eight for Koch and four for Supervisor Brian Hoffmann to win.

Marthenze, in his initial words to the board, praised their choice of Wegner to head the board.

“You did an excellent job of selecting the very best person for the job,” Marthenze said of Wegner. “I’m very honored to be able to work with him.”

Supervisors also voted to fill the remaining three seats on the Executive Committee, which automatically includes the County Board chair and vice-chair.

It took just two ballots to fill the first open position with Supervisor Edward Procek and one ballot to pick Koch for the second one position.

Coming up with a fifth member for the board’s most powerful committee proved to be more of a challenge, however.

It took eight ballots for Goehring, a former County Board chair, to emerge victorious over Hoffmann, Charles Conrardy and Thomas Epping.

The Executive Committee will meet in the coming week to make appointments to the board’s other eight committees. That list will be presented to the board next Tuesday, when the committees will meet to elect officers and set meeting dates and times.

The adoption of the board rules for the coming term – the only other order of business on the board’s agenda and usually a mere formality – generated some controversy as well.

Supervisor Fay Uraynar objected to a sentence added under committee duties. The sentence directed supervisors with questions or requests for information from county departments “beyond that provided by the department” to make those requests through the appropriate liaison committee or the county administrator rather than directly to department heads or employees.

“I would consider this a limitation of our freedom of speech,” Uraynar stated.

“We should not and must not stop people from being able to ask major questions,” Baumgart added. “I don’t think we should stifle County Board members. We haven’t in the past and we shouldn’t in the future.”

“I don’t think this stifles anything,” Supervisor Mark Winkel responded. “It avoids the petulant, self-micro-management that sometimes occurs.”

“It just directs supervisors in the proper forum,” to pursue questions, added Epping.

Corporation Counsel Carl Buesing explained that the sentence simply affirms and clarifies what he termed, “the strong committee structure we have.”

Baumgart moved to delete the sentence from the proposed County Board rules of order.

His motion was defeated by a vote of 16-9, with Conrardy, Uraynar, Roger Otten, Baumgart, Jim Glavan, Fran Damp, Steven Bauer, Libby Ogea and Hoffmann voting for the deletion.

The rules were then adopted by a vote of 22-3, with Baumgart, Conrardy and Uraynar opposed.


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