Two seek Baraboo city council seat

March 30, 2019

There will be only one competitive city race on Tuesday’s ballot in Baraboo.

South-side residents will decide whether incumbent council member Michael Plautz or his challenger, retired city streets boss Bob Koss, will represent District 3.

Incumbents John Ellington and Dennis Thurow are running unopposed in districts 6 and 9, respectively. J. Merle Alt will run unopposed for re-election to the Police and Fire Commission.

The Common Council’s newest member, Heather Kierzek, won’t have to run for re-election until April 2020. She was appointed last month to the seat vacated by Michael Zolper, who moved out of the district.

Council terms last three years. Plautz was first elected in 2010 and said earlier this year he enjoys the work. “I want to help serve people,” he said. “It’s working with people and helping them.”

Plautz couldn’t be reached this week because he’s out of the country. Koss couldn’t be reached Friday.

Koss served as streets superintendent from 1999-2016. In January, he said his knowledge of the city’s inner workings puts him in a good position to propose potential reforms. But he declined to divulge what those might be.

“I just see some things that need to be changed,” Koss said. “I never like to show my cards.”

Barring 11th-hour write-in campaigns, Ellington and Thurow will remain on the council. Ellington has served since 2013, and previously sat on the council from 1982-86. Thurow has served since 2010, after a previous stint on the council from 1974-77 and a term as mayor from 1988-92.

Meanwhile, Alt appears poised to extend his long career in public service on the Police and Fire Commission. The retired Sauk County Sheriff’s Office detective and court bailiff won a five-year term in 2014 after defeating longtime Baraboo ambulance volunteer and CPR instructor Beverly Federman in a battle of write-ins. Alt succeeded Mary Deppe, who retired from the panel.