State orders Paris to hold recall election for Town Board

The Wisconsin Elections Commission found Friday that the Paris town clerk’s finding of insufficiency for recall petitions of the Town Board members was in error and ordered that the town move ahead with a recall election to be held in late November.

A staff recommendation, which the commission accepted, stated in part:

The conclusion of Commission staff is that Clerk McCumber improperly issued a Certificate of Insufficiency for the recall petitions filed against all three of the Town of Paris officials. The Commission staff determined that the Statement of Reason for Recall was present on all pages of the petition and that the reason was related to the town official’s responsibilities as a town official.”

Joseph Kolnik, one of the organizers of the recall and who is expected to run against Chairman Virgil Gentz, said in an email statement:

Our community’s access to democracy has successfully been defended. The hundreds of people who signed the recall petition will not be silenced by the current Paris Board. Now Paris residents can elect a new Town Board that values low taxes and transparency.”

As of 7:10 p.m., McCumber had not replied to an email request for a statement. Gentz and Supervisors Ron Kammerzelt and Ken Monson also have not returned calls yet.

The recall organizers were mobilized by the board’s handling and approval of an intergovernmental agreement with Somers, which included the immediate mass transfer of 2,500 acres from Paris to Somers.  They objected to what they saw as a forced relocation that will diminish the value of their property and which was handled without public participation, such as discussion at open meetings.

Earlier this week, the Paris Town Board along with Somers, Kenosha and Kenosha County officials announced that those municipalities have agreed to a new concept for an intergovernmental agreement and boundary agreement. That concept designates areas of Paris to be annexed to Somers and Kenosha and for Kenosha to supply water and sewer service, opening the door for development of land along the I-94 corridor. Property owners in the Kenosha and Somers growth areas would have 50 years to be annexed.

Related posts

Paris Town Board recall petitions submitted

Paris recall organizers, one board member share views on recall

Paris incumbents file challenge to recall petitions

Paris supervisor proposes debate with recall candidates

Paris Town Board recall organizers to appeal decision rejecting recall election

Status of Paris recall election still undecided



  1. Paris Pundit says:

    @Truckerwife: To compare the school referendum which affected EVERYONE in the district, to the original IGA between Paris and Somers, which only DIRECTLY affected those living in the “Twilight Zone” is a bit of a stretch!!! Were you going to have your home and property “ousted” from Paris to Somers? Only a “select few”(250+residents)were going to be newly ordained Somers residents, through no volition of their own. Northwestern Mike was FULLY ON BOARD with this original proposal…go back and read ALL of his posts. And he did it with his patented condescending superior attitude. READ HIS POSTS. If you think his comment regarding the 3 candidates pushing for the recall “one of them is a truck driver” is a COMPLIMENT……….ask “most of the truck drivers you know” how they feel about that! Ask them how tough passing the CDL licensing requirement is, learning how to drive a semi professionally, all of the requirements they have to follow doing a demanding job…the inference was CLEAR…one of the candidates is “just a truck driver”….hence how could he possibly be qualified to run for the town board? NW Mike ran a “one man agenda” against the Paris grade school, then QUIT. While I agree he does try and keep the citizens informed, it’s always with HIS spin attached, not an objective one. See you at the polls.

  2. The Bear and the Maiden Fair says:

    Why is an investigation going to happen? I get the impression that Ron Kammerzelts and the Paris Board are acting like the elites of Paris. You have to be in their gang or you are plebs. Northwestern Mike and his attitude towards working people like truckers is a textbook example.

  3. Eye On The Money says:

    When did the town board recognize the mistake they made? When they were forced to. The injunction by the town’s electorate was the only thing that stopped the horrific IGA. Now enough of the electorate, having seen what a disastrous deal the current board agreed to, want to vote on who should represent Paris as soon as possible. The original IGA is not dead, it will be renegotiated.

    Oh… NW Mike, you are not the only Masters Degree in Paris, you are just the only one who thinks their Degree makes your opinion more valid.

  4. Less Affected Resident says:

    I went to a meeting early on (right after the original IGA was passed) with the new Kenosha mayor when the current Board was saying Kenosha wouldn’t cooperate. And he offered pretty much exactly what the new boundary agreement is proposing. I don’t think the current Board did much negotiating as NW Mike is acting like they did.

  5. Question says:

    So how are Paris students doing now that NW Mike pushed to fill every classroom seat?

  6. Eye On The Money says:

    NW Mike… How do you know what the PR firm was hired to do, and how much they charge? It was not mentioned at the public hearing. Sounds like some residents are treated differently then the farmers and truck drivers in town. It’s not what you know but who you know right NW Mike? Who do you know?

  7. Northwestern Mike says:

    Less Affected Resident,

    How is stating ones’ profession insulting? I don’t get it.

    I have often introduced my friends to other friends by stating their relationship to me. This friend is NAME1 and he is my old boss. This is my friend NAME2 and he is my farmer’s son. This is my friend NAME3. He delivered all the stones for my driveway (He is a truck driver).

    I introduce my brothers as this is NAME6 he is the doctor or he is the accountant or he is the architect, etc.

    How is this insulting or demeaning? I find it descriptive.

    I have the greatest farmer in the world. How is that insulting?

  8. Northwestern Mike says:

    I have a couple of friends who are truck drivers and farmers. They are the most thoughtful and considerate people in the world. I would be thankful if they ran for elected office, but they choose not to. I respect what they do.

    I have talked to Joe Kolnik. He is not like my friends.

    If people take offense it is not intended.

  9. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing new in Paris,


    Remember the school had lots to cut, Post Employment Benefits, Health Plans, Salary Schedule, Pension co-pay. Shall I continue?

    The administrator makes recommendations and the board makes the decision.

    The board DID NOT CONVINCE the teachers to vote themselves out of the union. They did that on their own.

    Your supporting arguments are wrong therefore your conclusion is wrong.

  10. Northwestern Mike says:

    Paris Pundit,
    Are you threatened by educated people? What you take for arrogance is reasoning and knowledge.

  11. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing new in Paris,
    The referendum did not save anyone a lot of money, Open Enrollment did.

  12. Northwestern Mike says:

    Paris Pundit,

    Did you get the Paris school flyer which contained the school budget in the mail?
    Is that a benefit to the community?

    How about no longer paying Post Employment Benefits to the teachers? Is that a benefit? How about eliminating the Salary Schedule?

    I quit with 4 months left on my term with nothing left to accomplish.

    You said “just a truck driver” not me. See comment above.

  13. Northwestern Mike says:

    The Bear and the Maiden Fair,

    Is that name on your birth certificate? Just wondering.

    The board members are acting like board members not like an elite.

    If you are looking for an example of an elite look at Hilary Clinton.

  14. Northwestern Mike says:

    Eye on the money,

    Why don’t you ask someone on the town board when they began negotiations with Kenosha. I bet it was when the new mayor took charge.

    Many of my friends in town have a Master’s Degree. My opinion is not more valid, but maybe more reasoned.

  15. Northwestern Mike says:

    Paris Pundit,

    “@Northwestern Mike: Given your vast collegiate experience(that you frequently remind us less edumacated folks of)”

    “You routinely tout your formal education and self proclaimed expertise on all town matters.”

    Actually YOU keep bringing it up NOT ME.

    I do like pointing out when you are wrong. 🙂

  16. Paris Pundit says:

    The “shell game” that our current board played with our taxpayer money in the name of “protecting our borders”(at all costs!) was finally exposed. Prior to the injunction halting the IGA, Somers was standing with their hands out like kids in a candy store, waiting for the “mountain of cash” Paris was going to gleefully deliver to them! Somers village president recommended a 50% pay raise for himself….Christmas was going to come early for him this year. 250 + Paris residents were now going to be “adopted” into Somers, most of them AGAINST their will! Anybody figure out that our borders to the south, west, and north are NOT “protected” from annexation? Guess the IGA didn’t need to worry about the other 3 borders of Paris, just keeping big bad Kenosha out of our town. And if paying a “ransom” to Somers was part of the deal… be it. A LOT of folks in Paris thought this IGA was poorly designed, but nobody wanted to listen to them.
    NW Mike repeatedly suggests the “law did not require public input”. It did not. However, the “law of common sense” did, and the public will now have their input via the RECALL process, to the delight of many, the chagrin of a few.

  17. Paris Pundit says:

    @Northwestern Mike: Nice try. Read your post again..”one is a truck driver”. Clearly that did not qualify him to run for the town board. Sugar-coat it all you want. Kind of entertaining to watch you “flip flop” on both your comments and the issues. You were PRO IGA from the get go……you must think some of us dummies are not smart enough to go back and read your previous posts. Kind of sounds like you’ve adopted the Donald Trump approach “I did not say that”. Yeah Donald, ya did!
    Read ’em and weep folks!

  18. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Twist how you like. But you are basically wrong on most of what you just said about the school.
    The referendum DID save money because without it the school would have closed before open enrollment could save it!!!! If the school closed taxes would have gone sky high to pay Brighton and Bristol for education.
    Open enrollment was the way for the future, yes.
    As far as the cuts you talk about, they were only for the present and future teachers! Retired teachers Post Employment Benefits, Health Plans, and Pension Co-Pay could not be touched.
    As far as the teachers getting out of the union, the board recommended that after the union came in asking for the usual pay increase after they were already informed the school was on the brink of closing its doors.

  19. Northwestern Mike says:


    The Paris School Annual meeting is next Monday October 24th 7pm. Go ask.

    The meeting date, time, and school budget was sent to all school district

    I did not push to fill every classroom seat but I understand financially why it is done.

  20. Northwestern Mike says:

    Eye on the money,

    If you have a question for the town board call them up and ask them. That is what I do. Just because you won’t aquaint yourself with the board does not mean I have a privileged status.

    This is the last statement I will make on truck drivers and farmers.

    I know several truck drivers and farmers in town who are my friends.

    One truck driver who is also a farmer helped remove a tree that had fallen on my house after a microbust came thru and knocked done several oaks in my yard. He is fantastic young man.

    Another fantastic young man has a full time job in addition to driving a truck and farming. He always makes sure I have a skiing path after they plows the fields.

    Their dad and I have dinner several times a year typically at spring planting and at harvest time. He also drives a truck and farms and has a full time job.
    A good friend and he gives great mechanical advice.

    Another friend travels the country driving a truck. He is a truck driver.
    Whenever he is in town I join him and his wife and friends for dinner. He is great fun and a great guy. He has more common sense than I will ever have.

    I know another truck driver who retired recently. He was a dairy farmer before he took up being a truck driver. He teaches me stuff about finances.

    I also know a retired attorney who became a farmer. He is getting old now but he was a mentor to me when I was on the school board. He and his wife are great company.

    I have truck drivers and farmers as friends. I have a lot of respect for them.
    Any derogatory thoughts or implications are not coming from me.

    End of topic for me.

  21. Nunya Bidness says:

    There’s been some creative rewriting of history on this thread regarding the school referendum. The referendum was merely a stay of execution. What saved our school was Act 10. The teachers voted themselves out of the union because the union could no longer rent seek for them. I was a bit disappointed when Mike quit his position, but I am grateful for the fact that he was behind the elimination of PEB’s. The health insurance extensions and stipends the board handed out like candy were destroying the district financially. Act 10 made it possible for Mike to execute his plan.

  22. Nunya Bidness says:

    As for Mike’s inartful comment about qualifications of truck drivers, I do understand his point. What qualifies you to run this town? I have not seen much in your flyers beyond ‘we were born here.’ What relevant experience do you bring to the table? Why should I trust you to manage our stash? Where were you when the school was dragging us toward financial ruin?

  23. Just Some Thoughts says:

    NW Mike,

    How is it that everyone is wrong and your argument is right? How was the IGA not a bad deal?? If it was so great, then why is the city in on it in this NEW agreement? Wasn’t it your bud Ron that stated he would protect Paris boundaries at all costs from the city of Kenosha?? Then why is it Ron supposedly negotiated with them. They were the “wolves” as some had commented.

    As far as those asking for qualifications for the 3 people running for the recall, what previous POLITICAL experience do the 3 in charge now have?? Before they took office did they have any? Do we really want career politicians running our small town? Everyday average people just aren’t good enough or what?

    Oh and Mike, educated or uneducated, your “reasoning and knowledge” line, it’s getting a little old. Just hang in there little buddy we get it, your educated, but those of us that have grown up in the county, we smell what this board is shoveling, and most of us think it’s time for change.

  24. Northwestern Mike says:

    From Kenosha News:

    “Following Wednesday night’s vote, Kammerzelt said that, in light of the recall election, he welcomed a debate of from challengers. He asked that a debate be scheduled sometime before the recall election “for any of the nominees.” “

    Will the nominees debate the incumbents and if so when?

  25. Eye On The Money says:

    NW Mike wrote “Your supporting arguments are wrong, therefore your conclusion is wrong.” This statement is actually unsound logic and reasoning. It’s called “argument from fallacy.” You see NW Mike supporting arguments could be false but the conclusion actually true. Here is an example. The God Apollo pulls the sun across the sky everyday behind his chariot, therefore the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west. You see that while it is not fact Apollo has anything to do with the sun, it is fact that the sun does indeed always rise in the east and sets in the west. So to this I would add, I do not mistake arrogance for logic and reasoning. I know logic when I see it, I know reasoning when I see, and I know arrogance when I see it.

    One sound piece of reasoning on NW Mikes behalf: Hillary is an elite… An elite world class political figure, the most qualified candidate in a generation, and the future President of the United States.

  26. A Public Relations Firm says:

    The Paris Town Board (with nearly 35 years experience) has to hire a Public Relations firms to take on a few farmers trying to win a recall election.

    If the Paris Town Board had any sincerity, they would have asked the electors what they thought before signing the agreement. Hiring a public relations firm after the fact won’t change my view of those facts.

    Contract with Christine Schultz, d/b/a CPS, Inc., for communications services

    Good luck Christine, the Paris Town Board will make you earn our money (they’ll keep you busy while burning our tax dollars).

  27. Northwestern Mike says:

    A Public Relations Firm,

    Certain residents complain about this board not listening to them even though the board members were present all day during the election on April 5 and a listening session was held April 9 at the county building.

    I talked to board members and John Hollaway for two hours on Election Day. All my questions were answered.

    So as board members, not as candidates, they hire a PR firm to make sure they address residents’ concerns about the new Paris-Somers-Kenosha MOU.

    Now there are complaints about hiring a PR firm.

    There is no satisfying some residents. They complain just to complain.

  28. Northwestern Mike says:

    This Town Board has total autonomy to spend money as they see fit to market this agreement to residents.

    Until voted out, deal with it.

  29. Paris Pundit says:

    @Northwestern Mike: “the Town Board has total autonomy to spend money as they see fit to market this agreement to residents”. I think “total audacity” would be a more appropriate description. “Until voted out, deal with it”. Um, Mike, we ARE. I so do love “correcting you”. See you at the debate. Or not.

  30. NW Mike, there isn’t very long until that day comes…

  31. Eye On The Money says:

    We don’t need a PR firm paid out of our money to explain anything. We can read! More money wasted.

  32. Northwestern Mike says:

    Those commenting here are not the ones the PR was hired for.

  33. Paris Pundit says:

    @Eye On the Money: I concur….we don’t need our tax money to pay for a “consultant” to explain things to us. We have Northwestern Mike for that, for FREE!
    Maybe we can get a refund?

  34. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Or maybe the guys who stopped the disaster of an IGA from secretly happening should get a refund. Since this new agreement is “so much better” than the first garbage they tried to sneak through, I think paying the legal fees that actually helped EVERYONE is a fair use of town money!

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