Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 16:21
Electors at annual meeting decide newly elected officer will serve only one term before position is dropped
Darryl Habeck was sworn in as the Town of Saukville’s new constable just before Tuesday’s annual meeting.
Thirty minutes later, he learned that his position would be eliminated after his initial two-year term expires in 2015.
The motion to drop the constable position was made by Supr. Curt Rutkowski, who prefaced his comments by assuring Habeck it was nothing personal.
During the annual meeting, motions can be made from the floor without being posted on a printed agenda.
“This is not meant as a reflection on past or current officeholders, but we are one of only two townships in the county that still has a constable,” Rutkowski said.
He questioned the value of the position, and spoke with considerable insight. Rutkowski served as constable before being elected to the Town Board.
After saying he intended to introduce a motion to eliminate the office, Rutkowski added, “and I think we will be kind of late in doing it … other municipalities eliminated the constable position years ago.”
Town Chairman Barb Jobs supported the proposal, saying the constable “is largely a PR position.”
The constable draws an annual salary of $1,500.
Habeck argued against the motion, saying his recent election showed town residents still care about having a local law enforcement officer.
“I plan to make myself visible at Town Hall, and I feel people may come to me with issues they wouldn’t feel comfortable raising at a public meeting,” he said.
Supr. Kate Smallish said the constable’s duty is to take directions from the Town Board on enforcement issues, not to serve as an ombudsman for the town.
Electors attending the annual meeting supported Rutkowski’s motion by a vote 18-1. Habeck cast the lone vote against the measure.
His term will expire in April of 2015.