Wheatland to give appointed clerk, treasurer referendum another try

The Wheatland Town Board approved putting on the Nov. 8 ballot as a referendum the question of whether to change the town clerk and treasurer posts to appointed rather than elected.

The Town Board held a similar referendum in April, with the questions failing by about 60 to 40 percent.

After that, board members discussed the need to better educate the public about the issue if another referendum were to be held. Since then, the issue has been on every Town Board agenda so people can ask questions and discussion could take place.

The vote Monday for approving the referendum resolution was unanimous with all board members present.

“It gives us until the November vote to educate people,” town Chairman William Glembocki said.

Town Clerk Sheila Siegler has been in her position since 1977, successfully earning re-election since then. Town officials have indicated she would like to step down from the position, perhaps as early as next year.

Town Treasurer Deborah Vos has been in her post for 25 years and has said she might be interested in a few more terms.

The key point, officials say, is that both Siegler and Vos perform many more duties than what state statutes call for from an elected clerk or treasurer.

Glembocki said his concern is that someone could win election that is not interested in doing anything beyond the statutory requirements and may not even be qualified to do that.

By contrast, if the jobs becomes appointed, the Town Board can write all of Siegler’s and Vos’ current duties into the job descriptions of the appointed postions, which would be employees of the town. That would assure accountability of anyone in that job to be able to do the work, or be fired.

Siegler said closer to the election the town will distribute educational material illustrating the difference between what the state requires of a clerk and treasurer and what she and Vos actually do.

Of the eight Western Kenosha County municipalities, only Wheatland and Brighton currently have elected clerks and treasurers (both roles are combined in one person in Brighton).


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