Quorum concerns raised at Randall Town Board meeting

Quorum concerns raised by coming work obligations for some board members and the continuing absence of another were briefly discussed by the Randall Town Board Thursday night.

Supervisor Randy Kaskin said he was warning the board that he and Supervisor Mike Halvorson, both Kenosha County public works employees, will be on mandatory overtime as of December. That means that in the case of a weather emergency — like a snow storm — on the night of a board meeting they would be absent if called in to work.

After arriving about 10 minutes late in the midst of the discussion, Chairman Bob Stoll said work demands may increasingly mean he might be late or miss a meeting entirely.

Another factor in fielding a quorum is that Supervisor Rose Nolan has missed the last seven regular and special meetings of the Town Board.

Stoll said he has not heard recently why Nolan is still unable to attend meetings.

Nolan’s absence also was criticized from the audience.

“She’s getting a paycheck every two weeks, and she’s not sitting at the table,” said Gerry VanderZee, a resident and chairperson of the town Park Board.

Town Clerk Phyllis Kaskin said a letter was received at Town Hall today from Nolan asking that Supervisor Bob Gehring be able to pick-up her correspondence and check.

Gehring said he would not be taking up that errand.

Stoll pointed out that Nolan’s continued absence and the possibility of Halvorson, Kaskin or himself being absent meant a quorum could be in jeopardy in the future.

“We’ve been close to not having a quorum,” said Stoll. “Now the way it is and Mike and Randy get called out … town business just can’t take place.”

Stoll again repeated that there appears to be no provision in state law to compel Nolan’s attendance or replace her on the board either temporarily or on a permanent basis.

“We just have to ride it out” Stoll said.




  1. Valentine says:

    Ah, a lesson for Village of Bristol to heed – A board of 7 is better than a board of 5.

    Not being available – if for sickness or if for primary work requirements – is of the same importance.

    If any of one the board is not able to come, they are not able to come. Period.
    The reasons are of no import and the reasons are of equal rationale.

    If the board is of the mind that Nolan is in the wrong, then so too would any board member be in the wrong if they did not attend a meeting due to work, due to a family party, due to interviewing colleges or attending parent teacher meetings or attending a club meeting or simply wanting to remain at home to watch football.

    If I recall correctly, 2 Paddock Lake trustees did not attend the meeting where their board voted on the Budget. And Town of Salem had a Supervisor miss 90 days with nary a detailed reason or update for the duration. Town of Somers is missing their chairman of late – not even in the town – but yet, in all these instances, business continues.

    There are alternatives.
    Schedule the meeting as best as possible. Do your quorum checks, and establish a new meeting date to ‘continue’ the meeting to another time/date. Establish the procedural guidelines you will follow. To be safe, re-publish the agenda for that new date/time. Change the meeting date and time. (The ‘bad weather’ rationale is questionable. If the weather is THAT bad, then perhaps any of the other board members would be unable to attend, working or not and the meeting should be postponed (ie: ‘adjourned to another date’ ) by the chairman sans quorum.)

    Adopt an ordinance that speaker phone is a viable means of ‘attending’.

    This quorum issue is not new. The correction for it comes with each election. If people arent representing you (reasons aside), then dont vote for them – the action the audience members can take if they choose. Other board members are elected by the electors and have no say about the offical.

    Neither is a quorum, or the lack of one, new in the business of politics. People should realize that non-attendance at meetings is quite often because the offical doesnt want to vote, wants to stall or delay (that meeting or successive meetings), wants just to aggravate testy situations or to just cause havoc. Of course, there could be valid reasons.

    Also, people should realize that just attending and voting does not mean that an official is doing their job. An elected official sitting at a meeting could well be unprepared and just warming a seat. I am certain this is not a new concept.

    Another alternative to prevent (or reduce) these quorum issues is to have bigger boards. By having a bigger board, the chances of a few curtailing a meeting is less feasible. For example, there would have to be an outright walkout for this to happen with the COUNTY BOARD and the knowledge that one or two not being present will not stop a vote can well force the offical to attend AND VOTE.

    A side benefit of a larger board is that elected officials can actually speak to another board member and learn and share information with another. Dont confuse this with a walking quorum where many conversations to obtain a commitment of a vote is the topic. Merely speaking with another to learn (great for new officials by the way) is not a walking quorum, until one of the two shares or garners commitment from a 3rd or 4th party member…. Having a bigger board makes a walking quorum more difficult.

    Can you image a 3 person board which some towns in the state have? Salem had a 3 person board at one time – back when $23 million dollar sewer systems were the primary agenda item…..


  2. Ken Mangold says:

    With all due respect Valentine, you are way off base here. Nolan struck a child with her car and left her at the scene to fend for herself. Since then she has failed to show up for any meeting! This has been going on for months, she has not even bothered to contact the town chair or clerk to notify them of her absenses. The real question here is why she is shirking her duties as an elected official? When our senators went south the press was up in arms, but now Nolan is doing the same thing and not a word is said? She has been seen in the grocery store, out at restaurants, and working in her yard but she can’t fulfill her obligation as a town supervisor? Nolan should either perform the job she was elected to do, and is still being paid to do, or resign immediatley.

  3. Jeff S says:

    Now I know why Randall gets lousy snowplowing.

  4. Valentine says:

    What she is doing – or not, is up to the voters to accept – or not.

    There is absolutely nothing in the statutes that prevents her (or yourself) from winning an election, and for whatever reasons, to then not attend the meetings, take citizen calls, attend but abstain on votes, attend but be unprepared, the very moment after taking the oath.

    All the rest of your commentary is your emotional opinion, wishes, desires or preferences. A Wisc town official – Supervisors and Chairmen – could be in Australia and still be an elected official in Wisconsin, Randall included.

    There are two things that can change this. Elections. Death.

    You could make an effort to UN-elect her (or any others) but please be sure to register as a campaign authority with the GAB either as a candidate or a political group.

    Ken, if you have information that the Sheriff should know about, perhaps you should relate that to him, it’s the Sheriff’s actions and report on this that counts regardless of how many times you or others repeat and re-repeat your hearsay views on the event.

    Yes, with all due respect, Ken.

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