Paris incumbents file challenge to recall petitions

The incumbent Paris Town Board members have filed formal challenges to the recall petitions filed last week. received notice of the challenges via an email from town Clerk Beverly McCumber, who said she received the challenges Friday. The email included a copy of each of the challenges from town Chairman Virgil Gentz and Supervisors Kenneth Monson and Ron Kammerzelt.

This could be just the beginning of some back and forth on the issue. State statutes say the recall petitioners can in turn file a rebuttal to the challenges within five days. If new matters are raised in the rebuttal, the challengers can address those again within two days in another written statement.

The challenge rebuttal process does not change the 31-day period in which the town clerk needs to decide whether the petitions are sufficient under state statutes to set a recall election.

All three challenges list the same reasons for the challenge: “… the recall petition filed against me is insufficient because the reason given for
this proposed recall was misrepresented by the circulators.” They then list the following:

1. There is no provision or requirement under state statute 60.10 to hold a town meeting for the purpose of giving the electors of a town the opportunity to vote on entering into a cooperative agreement with other local units of government.
2. That authority is specifically addressed and given to the elected members of the town board under Section 60.23 (1) – Miscellaneous Powers, Joint Participation.
3. Meetings and listening sessions over and above the public hearing, required by law, were held and attended by an overwhelming number of electorate of the town. Less than 1% of the town electors spoke against the Intergovernmental Agreement entered into with the Village of Somers at the public hearing before the vote was taken by the town board.
4. The best interests of the town of Paris as a whole were carefully considered and served with the action taken by the town board.”

Gentz’ challenge was notarized by Heather Kruk, while Monson’s and Kammerselt’s were notarized by McCumber.

The recall petitioners — Paul Terry, Bob Fliess and Joseph Kolnik — have said the recall is about a lack of transparency and accountability by Town Board members regarding the process that led to an intergovernmental agreement between Paris and Somers that would see some 2,500 acres of Paris land along I-94 transferred to Somers in exchange for a secure boundary for the town. Paris and Somers in the IGA agree to share revenue from development in the 2,500 acres. Paris also agrees to pay Somers $1.25 million and fund two revolving loan funds designed to help spur development.

Those in the transfer area object to being moved into Somers against their will and because they fear it will hurt their property value if by being in Somers, city of Kenosha water and sewer service is not available for development, as it would be if the property were annexed from Paris into Kenosha.

The agreement was approved by both the Somers and Paris boards in April, but litigation has halted its implementation. However, Somers has recently sent out a communication to the Paris residents in the transfer area — headlined “Welcome new Somers residents” — as if the agreement moved forward.

In response to the incumbents challenge to the recall petition, Kolnik said in a written statement:

On behalf of the petition campaign members and hundreds of residents who signed the petition to have their voice heard, we want to express our dismay at yet another attempt to ignore the voice of the majority of residents. It’s clear that the Paris Town Board have no interest in listening to the people they should be representing – and that they are having to resort ever more desperate measures as their agreement with Somers is put on life support.”



  1. Please says:

    There are three reasons given for the recall and all are related to the official responsibilities of the official for whom removal is sought:

    1) Failure to serve in the best interests of all Town of Paris residents.
    2) Signing the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with the Village of Somers against the direct instruction of many town residents.
    3) Not providing an opportunity for residents to vote on such matter before signing.

    The Statement of Reason for recall meets the requirement of state statutes.

    The challenge is without merit.

    Please confirm for yourself via Section 9.10(2)(b) of Wisconsin State Statutes:

    or call the GAB and ask them yourselves: (608) 261-2028

  2. Recall signatures from nearly every street in Paris says:

    Those 300 signatures came from nearly every street in the Town of Paris.

    To reflect the Recall as being dominated by those along the Interstate is doing a disservice to the majority of residents that have had enough. Though the reasons for signing varied, the sentiment was all the same – RECALL.

    And just as important, often the reason for not signing was knowing a board member (via church or otherwise). Many that wouldn’t sign promised to vote against the incumbents; they just didn’t want to be on record supporting the recall.

    I hope the incumbents will show some compassion and quit isolating themselves with heavy handed tactics and demeaning tones.

    I can forgive if only they would step back, think about how they’d feel if they had been treated similarly and most importantly, stop with the nonsense.

  3. Affected Paris resident says:

    So if my math is correct the total population of Paris is around 1473. 1 percent of that is 15. That is total population not electorates. I was at that meeting and I can guarantee you that more than 15 people spoke. That is why the meeting lasted over 3 hours. And the lies continue.

  4. Paris Resident says:

    All I can say is “Wow” It is so unbelievable that the three board members have stooped to this level. What are they so afraid of? Are they afraid that they will lose any recall election? If they were as confident as they come off, then, there would be no fear. By the way, considering who notarized those signatures – is that not a conflict of interest, especially in light of the fact that it is the Town Clerk that will decide whether the challenge petition is valid? Really? Just how arrogant are all four of them? Makes me question the town clerk now as well. I would only hope that if this recall is not “made valid”, that they all have someone run against them next April. This is exactly the “good ol’ boy” crap that everyone has been talking about. Is everyone in the Town Hall so intent on screwing the residents of this Town? Especially residents that have been here longer than any of them? Let the people be heard – what are you so afraid of? Have any of you ever lost at anything in your lives? Whoever “Please” is – very good comments. But, I’m guessing that the Town attorney will be sorting through all of this mess, and then, at a later date, the board can add another $100,000.00 to the legal fees. And, it’s not just the people along the interstate that signed those papers – it’s people from the WHOLE TOWN – hell – it’s some of your very neighbors! Does that not tell you guys something?


    Even if you could stop the recall effort with a technicality, should you?
    *Should you dismiss nearly 300 signatures?
    *Should you continue to spend town resources to see your agenda prevail?
    *Will winning at all costs be your legacy?

    Let’s assume 120 signatures came from those residents along the Interstate (per IGA with Somers, that would be 100% of residents living in that area), that means recall petition also includes 175 residents from outside Interstate corridor.
    *You should no longer dismiss the recall as solely land owners along the Interstate. While convenient to label, you know that’s not accurate.

    I’m hopeful the breadth of the electorate willing to sign a recall petition gives you some pause.

    Even if you could, should you?

  6. Northwestern Mike says:

    Dear Please,

    This board is saying they acted in the best interest of residents not just those along the interstate. I think they did.

    The board acts independent of direct instructions of town residents. You have your say at the polls otherwise they act for you.

    The board does not have to provide an opportunity for a direct vote on a decision they can make. That is what elections are for.

    I believe in the last election all three board members ran unopposed.

    Paris resident,

    Do you know what a notary is?

    It is witness to someone’s signature. There is no approval or disapproval of what is being witnessed by the notary. They take on oath, witness, and stamp. Please do not assume a conspiracy where there is none.

    Do you really believe the town board is trying to screw everyone in town? Are they also trying to screw themselves?

    Please think before you vent.

    Even if you could, should you

    Yes. That is what elections are for.

    Mr Kolnik,

    The majority of the residents did NOT sign your petition.

  7. Paris Pundit says:

    Well folks…the Good ‘Ol Boys Club has spoken. Perhaps a better acronym would be
    “Arrogance At Large”. A sad day in the annals of Paris politics.

  8. Paris Resident says:

    NW Mike: You are correct – the people will have their say at the polls – but, will they at a recall election? Why is the present board afraid of that recall?

    Yes, I think they are trying to screw the people of the Town.

    Oh – I do think before I vent. Wasn’t it you who complained about the school board; then, ran for a position on the school board and won. However, when you didn’t get your way at the budget hearing, you quit attending meetings, and then, resigned. So, I don’t really think that you should be giving out advice on how things go with an elected position. You were an elected person and quit.

    Again – your response to “Even if you could, should you” is correct – “Yes, that is what elections are for.” Well….. if that is so, then why is the current board trying to stifle this recall election? Let the recall election take place, and then, let the chips fall where they may. And Mike – if you don’t like the new people, maybe you can run for town board in April.

  9. Just Some Thoughts says:

    NW Mike,

    Do you think before you write comments? You believe that the board made the right decision in this agreement. Now put yourself in the shoes of the residents that are in the affected area. Would you want to pay higher taxes? You stated on previous articles on WestoftheI that you wouldn’t want to. So how can you say that you believe the board made the right decision? You can’t without contradicting yourself.

    If the majority of people didn’t sign the recall petition, why oppose it then? What is the current board afraid of? They think what they did was right so take a chance. This is a Democracy not a Dictatorship. Let people vote and see what happens. What else is going on behind them closed door meetings if they are afraid of a simple recall???

  10. Recall Support Group says:

    If anyone is interested in following the recall efforts online, please follow this link:

    At least until this issue is resolved, we’ll be providing updates on the Facebook page.

  11. Northwestern Mike says:

    Paris Resident,
    Oh my, I am outed. Now I am the only one not hiding behind an alias.

  12. Another Paris Resident says:

    Paris residents I would encourage you to read the “Challenges” and responses between the incumbents and challengers. The incumbents speak from rules and laws while the challengers speak from emotions and feelings. Again I will ask – what qualifications do the challengers have to run a township government? I support the current board. I fear what will happen if the challengers get into office because I don’t believe they are capable.

  13. Switzerland says:

    I don’t have a horse in this race but I have one comment. Please educate yourself on what a noterize means before attacking a village clerk of conspiracy. Village clerks are under paid professionals that are typically caught in the middle of politics that they have very little if any influence over. This village clerk was doing her job as a public notery. If anybody ever needs a document noterize door any reason you can take your document to her no matter what it says and she can noterize it for you making your signature official. It does not mean the notery agrees or disagrees with what the document says.

  14. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Except if you are asking for something and you live in the give away zone, she will tell you she is too busy. So just go elsewhere if you need that service. Been there, done that.

  15. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing new in Paris
    An unknown person accusing a known person. I do not believe you.

  16. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Well Mike, It doesn’t matter if you believe me. If you had been going to the town meetings regularly, you would know what I am talking about.
    On a separate note. How would you feel if you lived in the Somers gift zone? Would you still have your exact same opinions? I’m very curious for an honest answer.

  17. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Mike, If you had been attending the town meetings regularly I think you would have a better understanding.
    Also, would you have your same opinions if you lived in the proposed Somers gift zone?

  18. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Mike, It’s simple. If you live about 1/3 mile East of where you do, would you feel the same way????????

  19. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing new in Paris,

    As you point out I live right down the street from the “twilight zone.”

    Should I put up a sign saying I support the Paris-Somers IGA?

  20. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Answer the question Mike.

  21. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing new in Paris,

    Yes. I care about Paris. If I was in the I-94 Development Zone I might not like it, but I would also realize the IGA is what is best for the entire Town of Paris.

    Now answer my question.

    What are the qualifications of the three gentlemen trying to replace the town board? Lifelong resident is irrelevant.

  22. Nothing new in Paris says:

    No Mike. This IGA is not good for the entire town of Paris. It misses the mark in so many ways. It’s a horrible plan executed poorly. And be honest, you would be livid if you were being sold out.

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