Although still months away, the area’s spring elections may provide some changes for municipal and school boards.
While many local spring elections in recent years have only seen incumbents seeking re-election, a few new names will be on ballots this year. Additionally, the DeForest Village Board will lose a long-time trustee as Jeff Miller has filed his non-candidacy notice.
According to Miller, he’s been thinking about not running for a while now.
“For me, it’s time to step away and give others a chance,” Miller said.
Miller was first elected to the board in 2002 and served as village president from 2003 to 2011. In total, he’s been a trustee for 15 years, after taking off one term from 2011 to 2014.
Over the years, there have been many projects Miller is proud of, including the Yahara River trail system, which he described as “a huge asset to our community,” and the village’s ability to retain good staff. He also noted the DeForest-Windsor boundary agreement as one of the village’s major accomplishments during his tenure.
“That was a fight,” Miller said. “… I’m proud that we were able to negotiate.”
As for the future, Miller intends to continue serving on the DeForest Area School Board, which he said has been a fun endeavor for him as he’s learned about school operations. He hopes more residents will pursue participation on the village board.
“I’d love to see a bunch of people come out and try it,” Miller said. “Back in ‘02 I had no experience. I got involved and man, have I learned a ton in the 15 years I’ve served.”
There are three seats open on the DeForest board, two of which are presently held by Miller and Colleen Little, who is running again. The third seat was vacated by Chip Van Meter last fall.
As of Tuesday morning prior to DeForest Times-Tribune deadlines, Little, along with William Landgraf and Taysheedra Allen, filed the necessary paperwork to be listed on the April ballots.
Allen, founder of the Women’s Place and Resource Center in DeForest, ran for village board during the last election cycle, finishing with 876 votes. However, she lost to incumbents Abigail Lowery and Jason Kramar, along with newly-elected Trustee Jane Cahill Wolfgram.
In the village of Windsor, two incumbents will face off with a challenger. Trustees Don Madelung and Monica Smith will vie with Marty Palus to keep their present seats. Palus previously served on the DeForest Area School Board for 18 years according to DeForest Times-Tribune archives.
As for the DeForest Area School Board, Vice President Steve Tenpas, Ambassador Gail Lovick and Ambassador Linda Leonhart currently hold the three spots available in 2020. Tenpas and Lovick’s seats must be filled by Windsor residents, while Leonhart’s spot is for a town of Burke resident. By the Tuesday deadline, all three had filed to appear on ballots again.
In the town of Vienna, two board supervisors’ terms will expire this year. Gary Endres, supervisor 3, and Ron Rupp, supervisor 4, presently serve on the board in those seats. Both incumbents have filed to run again.
Individuals interested in running as write-in candidates must file a campaign registration statement (ETHCF-1) as soon as they decide to run for office (prior to collecting or spending money on a campaign) or, at the latest, by noon on the Friday before an election. Write-ins seeking a seat which has a registered candidate need to complete the form in order for votes for them to be counted. However, in the case of a vacant position for which no candidate is registered, any write-in names will be counted.
The 2020 spring elections will be held on April 7.
Editor’s Note: This article was published in print prior to the 5 p.m. deadline on Jan. 7 for candidacy paperwork, therefore some candidates may not have filed by press time. Any candidates who filed appropriate forms with clerks after the DeForest Times-Tribune print deadline will be added to this article online as soon as possible. All candidates who filed by the deadline will be included in future articles about the spring elections.