AP NEWS

Lake Mills races heat up in late March

March 19, 2019

LAKE MILLS -- Two candidates are vying for the position of town clerk for the town of Lake Mills in the April 2 general election.

Former clerk Robin Untz is facing newcomer Andrea McHenry for the seat.

Voters also will cast ballots on positions held by incumbent Chairwoma Hope Oostdik, supervisors David Schroeder and Treasurer Sharon Guenterberg. All are running unopposed for re-election.

There were no candidates that filed to fill the supervisor II seat on the board.

Each position is for a two-year term.

The candidates in the contested races were asked to provide information on their background, experiences and top issues of concern related to being in public office. The following are their responses, in alphabetical order with incumbents listed first.

McHenry is vying for the position of town of Lake Mills clerk.

A newcomer to public service, McHenry touts her own 15 years of administrative experience working for a university and most recently as a realtor.

“I am familiar with working toward deadlines, handling urgent issues as they arise and communicating effectively to get the job done,” she said. “As town clerk, my responsibilities are focused around administration and support of our local government.”

McHenry said her main priority as being a team player would be communicating clearly with the voters throughout the year and coordinating poll workers during the election season.

With nearly 15 years experience as a municipal clerk, former town of Lake Mills clerk Robin Untz is seeking to return to the position she once held from April 2001 to May 2013.

She is currently the appointed deputy clerk in the town of Koshkonong and interim clerk in the town of Deerfield in Dane County.

“I am highly experienced in all areas of the position,” Untz said. “I am able to multitask and am highly organized which is needed as a town clerk, especially during elections where not only is there an election period occurring, there are the other processes of the town that need attention. I have a genuine desire to serve the community that I call home.”

Outside of her time as a municipal clerk, Untz is the volunteer/president/curator at the Lake Mills Aztalan Historical Society. She established the new Lake Mills Preservation Guild, acted as the liaison with the State Historical Society for the three newly established historical districts in Lake Mills and in the past was an active volunteer with the Lake Mills Arts Festival as the artist coordinator. Untz also has served as a parent volunteer at her children’s schools and contributes to various small fundraising projects including the Clara Hein Scholarship Fund.

“I have nearly 15 years serving as a town clerk or equivalent, in particular my 12 years’ serving as clerk for the town of Lake Mills,” Untz said. “I am highly skilled in the election processes including being trained and currently certified as a clerk for WisVote, the statewide election management and voter registration system.”

She noted that leading into a presidential election this experience will be very important to run an election that is transparent, clean and orderly while providing the electors the services they need.

“I have the skills and full understanding of additional tasks and processes required of the clerk, including but not limited to municipal finances, budgeting, record keeping, open meeting laws and policies and including ordinance development, regulations and enforcement,” Untz said. “I am highly committed to working with other agencies including the state, county, and neighboring municipalities to complete required administrative processes for grants, reports, shared services and much more required for the town’s day to day functions.”

Also, she pointed out that she is dedicated to prioritizing communication with electors and property owners of the town, supporting the town board in their tasks to make decisions on behalf of the electors and takes pride in serving her home community.

Having been a clerk in multiple communities, Untz suggested that it is clear the top issues facing municipalities is how to provide services on a limited budget.

She suggested that one way the town could keep property taxes in check is to re-focus their attention on the basic services the town is required to provide per state statute.

“As clerk it would be my task to assist the town board in exploring and supporting new ways to keep property taxes in check while encouraging the board to always keep their focus on the what the town’s role is in providing services to the electors and property owners,” the former clerk said.

“A clerk is not a voting member of the board however the position is essential in the decision making processes,” she said. “Distributing information to the town board members and the electors, completing the tasks to hold the meetings at which these decisions are made, posting notices, being the hub of timely communication are some of the tasks the clerk assists in dealing with the issues the town faces.”

Based on her past experience, Untz guaranteed that the tasks would be handled with professionalism and priority in order to best serve the board and electors.