The Town of Lodi clerk was let go from her position after a special meeting on Friday night.
April Goeske said she was blindsided by the announcement and was offered sparse details related to the decision.
“The main reason they gave was they have a vision for the town in the future, and I don’t fit that vision,” Goeske told the Lodi Enterprise.
While the announcement came as a shock, Goeske said she was aware of closed-session discussions related to her employment. But she assumed those discussions were in regards to details of her employment agreement and not about her employment status in general.
Goeske wasn’t allowed in the closed sessions, she said, and only learned of her dismissal when the board reconvened into open session Friday night. As recording clerk, Goeske said she struggled to maintain composure while marking down the board’s decision.
“I was trying to not totally lose my composure, although I wasn’t very good at it,” Goeske said.
But Goeske said her employment agreement expired in 2017. It wasn’t renewed at that point or anytime afterward. Goeske just continued working, she said, because employment agreements are not required for a town clerk’s position.
Then came Friday night’s decision.
“(The town board) made this motion not to renew the agreement and adjourned the meeting,” Goeske said. “Everybody left, so I’m talking to the town chairman (Brian Henry) … and I asked, ‘What exactly does this mean? … Am I still working without (an agreement)? I haven’t had one in two years.’”
Henry told Goeske that she wasn’t being fired, she said, but rather that her agreement wasn’t being renewed.
“So, in other words your terminating me?” Goeske said she asked Henry.
Henry did not return multiple calls for comment by press time.
In response to the development, Goeske said she’s considering hiring a lawyer, although that route may prove too expensive. She said some residents have urged her to crowdsource attorney fees online, while others expressed a desire to initiate a petition to unseat members of the town board.
“I’ve heard through Facebook … that there are a lot of extremely upset people in the town,” Goeske said. “I’ve heard rumors of a recall petition of the entire board … and a GoFundMe page to pay for a lawyer to fight this.”
Goeske said she’s also been in contract with Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to discuss unemployment options. She began working with the town in September of 2005 and spent several years as clerk in Dekkora prior to the town of Lodi.
“This has been 20 years of my life,” Goeske said of her clerical career. “…Have I ever made a mistake? Yes. Have I ever made a mistake that cost the town? No, not more than anybody else. What have I done so wrong? Why don’t I fit into the vision for the future?”
Goeske said she was assured that she would be compensated for unused vacation and sick leave.