With appointment of supervisor, flurry of vacancies have been filled
It was months in the making, but by the time Tuesday’s Saukville Town Board meeting came to a conclusion there were finally no vacant board positions.
One of the first items on the board’s agenda was the selection of a supervisor to complete the unexpired term of Kate Smallish, who resigned last month.
The vacancy drew four applicants, with three attending the meeting to offer short summaries of their backgrounds and explaining why they are interested in the board position.
Mike Denzien was appointed to the board position. He has served on the town’s Plan Commission for two years.
The appointment runs through April, when the term expires.
Other applicants were Marvin Hoffmann, a lifelong resident of the town who served on the Town Board for 20 years; Chris Ford, a retired Milwaukee County prosecutor and newly appointed town election inspector; and Sean Schenk, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander.
Schenk did not attend the board meeting, but his lengthy military resume was read aloud by Town Chairman Don Hamm.
After questions were fielded, Denzien won the appointment by a 2-1 secret balloting.
Two of those votes were cast by relatively new faces at Town Hall — Interim Clerk Bill Cording, who was appointed to the position last month following the resignation of Susan Churchill, and Hamm, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Barb Jobs in June.
Denzien has lived in the town for four years, but said he gained significant insights into local government while living in Mount Pleasant.
He and his wife led a grassroots fight against plans to build a $30 million municipal building in the Racine County community, a battle which resulted in the unseating of a majority of Village Board members.
“My job is a software developer so I am a little bit of a techie, but I also became a hobbyist in local government,” Denzien said.
“The whole experience was like a lifetime in local government. I spent a lot of time reading state statutes and interpreting what they were intended to do. I have been on the outside, but serving on the Town Board is my chance to work on the inside.”
Denzien said he wanted to get his “feet wet” on the job before committing to running for a full term as a town supervisor next spring.
As a member of the Plan Commission, he said, he has come to appreciate the attention spent on zoning regulations and budgeting in the town.
“I think the board has done a good job of holding the line on spending,” Denzien said.
“I also think the zoning code protects the town’s interests as much as possible, although it seems the county has kind of horned in at times.”
On the question of running for a full term in April, Hoffmann said he was ready to commit to being a candidate if appointed.
Ford, however, said he was interested in meeting the town’s immediate need to fill a supervisor position and was not thinking beyond next spring.