Three Village Board seats up for grabs

Two incumbents among five challengers squaring off in bid for two-year terms as Fredonia trustees

Fredonia Village Board candidates (top row, from left) Jill Bertram, Rudy McCormick, (bottom) Richard Abegglen and Joshua Haas. Not pictured Daniel Paulaus.
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

Five candidates are running for three trustee seats in the Fredonia Village Board election Tuesday, April 3.

Incumbents Jill Bertram and Rudy McCormick have been joined in the field by challengers Richard Abegglen, Joshua Haas and Daniel Paulus.

Trustee Kris Roden is not seeking re-election.

McCormick was appointed to the board last December after former Trustee Lisa Dohrwardt resigned.

McCormick said he has always been interested in giving back to the community and serving on the Village Board fulfills that commitment and then some.

Bertram, who has been a village trustee since 2008, said serving on the board has been a rewarding experience and she would like to continue the work she has done through the Parks and Recreation and Finance committees. 

Haas moved to the village last year and applied for the vacated seat in December. He said he’s been going door-to-door speaking with residents and believes he can bring new ideas to the board.

Abegglen has experience in business management and would like to see the village grow economically.

Paulus did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

All candidates said they would like to see more businesses open in the village, which would increase its tax base.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the country,” Abegglen said. “I would like to see additional restaurants and boutique shops come here to draw additional revenue and tourists.”

Haas said Highway 57 is an asset to the community and should help draw more businesses into the village through the corridor, noting more manufacturing jobs can bring in more residents.

McCormick said the village recently joined the Ozaukee Economic Development Council, which he said would help with the village’s exposure in the county. He wants to develop a marketing plan for the village, beginning with brochures and digital media to articulate the vision of the village.

Bertram said she would also like to see a grocery store in the village, mentioning the closest one is about eight miles away. 

Bertram also said she is fiscally conservative from being a small business owner and wants to keep track of what the village’s money is being used for.

“People don’t always know where their tax dollars are going,” she said. “For me, checks and balances are really important when managing a local government.”

As chairman of the Parks and Rec Committee, Bertram is planning to create a new park with a playground next to the post office, which she said will become a focal point for community events.

McCormick is also a member on the Parks and Recreation Committee and said the village needs the new park because the community doesn’t have a place for family events. 

Abegglen wants the village to offer more family-friendly activities and said he would work with Northern Ozaukee School District to create more after school programs for youngsters.

Haas said the community is at risk of losing students to other school districts, and supports the school district’s $14.95 million referendum that will be decided by voters on April 3. 

If elected, Haas said he will work with the schools to find more opportunities for students.

Haas also said he would like to use social media like Facebook to keep residents informed.

Village trustees serve two-year terms.

 

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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