Chairman John Marek outlines issues for Waukesha Town Board to solve

Published on: 4/7/2014

Leading up to the two Town of Waukesha supervisor elections, then-supervisor Joe Banske called it a "watershed election."

Former Town of Waukesha Chairman Angie E. Van Scyoc, who sought a seat on the board as a supervisor, said the winners would change the landscape of the town for years to come.

So with Jim Radke and Michael Doerr victorious over Banske and Van Scyoc, respectively, in the Supervisor 1 and Supervisor 3 seats, how does this alter the Town Board?

"I think with the addition of Mr. Doerr and Mr. Radke, the personality conflicts of the past are going to be a distant memory," Chairman John Marek said. "And I look forward to working with Mr. (Larry) Wolf to move forward on issues."

Marek, who is entering his second year as chairman, was more than pleased with the outcomes of the election.

Getting down to business

"I'm thrilled," Marek said of Radke and Doerr joining him, Wolf and Brian Fischer on the five-person board. "We have two board members that have the best interest of the town in mind, and I'm glad we're going to get down to the business of the town and solve the problems that we have in the town."

Problems, he said, include protecting town land and its resources, fixing the town hall septic system, making snow and ice control more efficient and cost-effective, seeking new office staff, and revising some of its outdated ordinances.

"It's not what I want to happen, but these are things that need to be addressed by the board — things that we need to move forward on and problems that need to be solved and taken care of," Marek said.

Along the route

Where the town's salt supply is located is also a top priority for the board in the near future, he said. The town currently houses its salt in Dousman, but Marek has said he wants the town's supply located where the county stores its salt.

"We certainly need to have the salt supply the town owns some place closer to the Town of Waukesha," Marek said. "It's a goal to have us take more control of it."

Marek also said he wants the town's own staff to do more plowing. That might include adding staff and obtaining additional vehicles for its Public Works Department.

"It's more cost effective and we can get better service," said Marek, noting the town in the future could subcontract a plowing company and use more town staff. He added: "Ultimately, it's very advantageous for the town to rely on our own resources."

Water and septic issues

One of the top issues Marek said is getting the Town Hall's on-site septic system fixed because "we've been wasting money on it for a year-and-a-half" as well as reviewing the town's audit the last two years.

He added helping the City of Waukesha obtain Lake Michigan water will also be a focus for the Town Board so the city's Plan B, which includes using wells on town property, doesn't happen.

"A lot of things need to be done and there's a lot of fences that need to be mended," Marek said. "We're going to do that, and I'm very confident we will."

Other tasks

He also said finding a new clerk-treasurer to replace Kathy Nickolaus (who is filling the position until May 1) and a new deputy clerk-treasurer (with it being vacated after Molly Roamer resigned at the end of February) will be a main priority.

Marek said updating the town's ordinances is needed because some don't currently mirror the state statutes.

"A lot of them have been ignored and that has presented a conflict," Marek said.

When asked if removing the practice of supervisors using videoconferencing methods to attend meetings when they can't be physically present at Town Hall, Marek said "I suppose we'll be addressing that, but it's not our top issue."

New supervisors Radke and Doerr are against the practice, as are Marek and Fischer.

New relationships

The election results marked an end to the rocky relationship between Banske and Marek. Asked why it never worked between the two, Marek didn't want to look back.

"From my perspective it doesn't matter," he said. "It's history and we're ready to move forward and work with everyone on the board for the best interest of the town and solve the issues we have."

With the addition of Radke and Doerr, the town board has now welcomed four new board members over the last 12 months.

Van Scyoc and Supervisor Everett German were voted out last year in favor of Marek and Wolf, respectively. The Supervisor 3 seat was open this year, with Mike Laska deciding not to seek re-election.

"I think the message from the folks in the Town of Waukesha has been received loud and clear," Marek said over the last year. "They want us to work together and solve problems and end the bickering. So that's where we're at today."