County boards seats to shuffle in redistricting

Daily News, The (West Bend, WI) - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Author: DAVE RANK Daily News Staff
    The reshaped Washington County Supervisor District 6, which takes effects with next month’s general election, does not have a county supervisor within its boundaries. But the district in the northwest corner of West Bend does feature a contest between an incumbent and a political newcomer. 

    Roger Kist, the current West Bend District 8 alderman, is seeking to double up on his part-time elected office duties by joining the County Board this spring. The county and city districts closely match each other. 

    Facing off against Kist is recently retired businessman Robert Milich. 

    All 30 county supervisor seats will be on the April 3 ballot. With incumbents leaving the board and following last year’s redistricting, six new county supervisors will be sworn in this coming spring from districts in Germantown, Hartford, West Bend, and towns of Jackson and Trenton. 

In three of those districts, including District 6, contested races will decide which new face will join the County Board. 

Redistricting left County Supervisor District 6 without a county supervisor already living within it. Kist and Milich plan to rectify that. 

“Having run a business for 35 years, working with budgets, contracts, insur- 

ance, employees and the environment I feel very qualified to represent District 6 constituents, said Milich, 64. He founded and ran Advanced Coatings Inc., a metal finishings production company in West Bend, which currently has 45 employees. 

    Kist, 75, has been an alderman since 2009. He retired as executive director of the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau that same year. Prior to that, he spent 36 years as parks manager for the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. 

    Since the county and city districts overlap, Kist said he is familiar with its constituents and can apply his city government experience and background with the county to “represent the people.” 

    Both candidates plan to keep a close eye on the county budget. 

    Funding the county’s current services, especially those areas that may require more “without increasing the cost to taxpayers” is the major issue Milich sees facing Washington County. Deciding “how to properly support these needs” will test the County Board, he said. 

    Kist has much the same in mind, he said: “Keeping Washington County on it’s excellent track and trying to keep the budget in place.” 

    He also wants “to make sure that the Washington County employees have the tools they need for their positions.” 

    Milich adds his voice to those who want to change when the County Board schedules its monthly meetings. “Currently our County Board meets at 9 a.m.,” Milich said. “County Board meetings must be changed to the evening so the working public can attend.” He said 75 percent of the counties have their boards meet in the evening. 

    He also like to add a public input item on every board agenda to allow constituents the ability to address the board directly. “The public needs to be heard,” Milich said. 

    If elected, Milich said, he plans to publish an annual newsletter distributed to District 6 residents. “This newsletter will educate my constituents on current county business, and upcoming challenges.” 

    Kist said he would bring leadership to the board as well as experience working for the people in the district and knowledge of both city and county governments. 

    Washington County Board supervisors are parttime employees and are paid $550 per month plus mileage and a per diem based on meetings attended. 

    The County Board chairman, chosen by the board following a spring election, is paid $38,820 annually for a 32-hour work week. 

    Also on the spring nonpartisan election ballot are the Presidential Preference Vote, and elections for Court of Appeals District II judge, Washington County Circuit Court Branch 4 judge, municipal offices and school district board m e m b e r s. Wa s h i n g t o n County Board supervisors are part-time employees and are paid $550 per month plus mileage and a per diem based on meetings attended. 

    The County Board chairman, chosen by the board following a spring election, is paid $38,820 annually for a 32-hour work week. 

    Also on the spring nonpartisan election ballot are the Presidential Preference Vote, and elections for Court of Appeals District II judge, Washington County Circuit Court Branch 4 judge, municipal offices and school district board members.


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