Monona voters overwhelmingly chose Mary O’Connor as the city’s next mayor in the April 4 election.
Unofficial vote totals show 1,987 votes for O’Connor and 338 for Phil DeVillers.
“I’d like to thank the people of Monona for their incredible support, not only in the election but during the campaign,” she said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the work the council has done the past five years. Mayor Bob Miller is leaving the city in really good shape.”
Among her initial goals will be to lead the council in the process to find her replacement. She still has one year remaining on her City Council seat. That process could be finalized at Monday’s council meeting.
O’Connor also hopes to complete the developer’s agreement with Galway Companies for the development of the area bordered by West Broadway, Bridge Road and the Yahara River.
She will officially be sworn in Tuesday, and she said she won’t be making the traditional committee appointments of the aldermen until after her successor is chosen. New committee assignments generally go into effect May 1. O’Connor hopes to have a new council member appointed in May, so committee appointments can be made and go into effect June 1.
Elected to the City Council were incumbents Doug Wood with 1,587 votes and Chad Speight with 1,512, and newcomer Nancy Moore with 1,494. There were no other candidates.
Voters also supported the referendum urging the overturn of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that labeled campaign contributions by corporations and other organizations as free speech. Residents voted 2,183-206 in support of the referendum.
Monona residents were among those in eight communities in Wisconsin who voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only human beings should have inalienable human rights and money is not the same thing as free speech.
On Wednesday, state Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, and state Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, will introduce resolutions that would create a statewide Citizens United advisory referendum asking voters if they support allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.
The non-binding referendum would give voters the opportunity to advise their legislators of their position of allowing corporations, unions and other artificial entities to spend money to influence the outcomes of elections.
“When our Founding Fathers envisioned the right to free speech, I certainly don’t think they were envisioning major corporations spending millions of dollars to influence elections,” Subeck said. “Corporations should be using their profits to put America back to work, not to buy our public elections.”
The amendment would clarify that the rights protected in the Constitution are those of individual human beings only, and the spending of money is not speech, and political spending can be limited to allow all Americans to participate in the democratic process.
Voter turnout in Monona was 38.7 percent.
In Cottage Grove, incumbent Jack Henrich narrowly defeated John Williams for village president.
Henrich, the incumbent, received 456 votes, compared to 438 for Williams, a Village Board trustee. Henrich was elected last year to fill the remainder of the term of the late Pat Mackesey.
For the three vacant trustee positions, Larry Schoenemann had 590 votes, Forrest John Crawford received 502, and registered write-in candidate Jim Elmore received 42 votes.
Heidi Murphy, a second registered write-in candidate, received 11 votes. Schoenemann, Crawford and Elmore will each serve a two-year term.
“I’m really pleased,” Schoenemann said. “Part of the reason (I received the most votes) is that I was on the board in the past, and I think a lot of people remembered me from that, and just my many years in the village.”
Schoenemann is looking forward to his first meeting Monday night.
“I’m anxious to meet the new board members and hear about the goals our president has for the village,” he said.
Monona Grove School Board
In the Monona Grove School District, both incumbents were re-elected.
Susan Fox received 2,688 votes, and Dean Bowles received 1,782 votes. Challengers Jon Russell picked up 997 votes, and David Peterson had 974.
“Overall, I’m obviously pleased with the outcome,” Fox said. “I think it’s a vote of confidence in what we’re doing as a board.”
Fox has been active in several roles during her tenure on the board.
“I think there are some advantages to having different people serve on different committees; members get to learn all aspects of the district,” she said. “But, familiarity makes sense, too.”
Fox said facility and building needs will continue to be a major issue for the board to tackle in the next few years.
Vote totals do not include the Town of Sun Prairie, but in previous years, those totals range from 0-3 votes.
Dwight Johnson ran unopposed for town chairman and received 185 votes.
For the Town Board, Kathleen Linzmeier received 146 votes, and David Young picked up 136 votes. Each will serve a two-year term.
Running unopposed for re-election were Kris Hampton for town chairman (417 votes), and Mike Fonger (394 votes) and Steve Anders (385 votes) for town supervisors.