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Sauk County Board votes against holding election to replace board chairman
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Sauk County Board votes against holding election to replace board chairman

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After disagreement about how to handle the potential election of a new county board chairman, the Sauk County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday at its regular meeting against holding such an election.

The election made it onto the meeting agenda following the Jan. 28 special board meeting where the board voted to place Corporation Counsel Daniel Olson on leave. Board Chairman Peter Vedro attempted to reinstate Olson the next day.

Following Vedro’s attempt, Supervisor Craig Braunchsweig in an email to the entire board asked that an election for a new board chairman take place at the next regular meeting.

The item appeared on the agenda, but there was disagreement over board rules and Roberts Rules of Order on how to handle the agenda item and the election.

Vedro stated that after consultation on the matter with the outside counsel the board hired at a Feb. 7 special meeting that the board needed to have a motion and a vote to bring to the floor a discussion of whether they wished to hold an election. Vedro said he also consulted with an attorney from the board’s insurance provider.

Outside counsel was hired to consult on matters concerning on-going investigations within the county.

“I have discussed that with counsel, both from our insurance company and Mr. Kalney (James Kalney of the Milwaukee law firm Davis & Kulthau), as well as having reached out to other corporation counsels in Wisconsin,” said Vedro. “There is agreement that that is the appropriate process. I just want everyone to be clear, that is the process we will follow.”

Supervisor Wally Czuprynko disagreed, stating that since the agenda item was properly noticed and was approved when the board adopted the agenda at the beginning of the meeting, the board should be able to have the election without a motion or vote to bring it to the floor.

“It’s on the agenda. If we do venture into a discussion, it’s going to turn into a debate about whether the current chair should remain or not,” said Czuprynko. “That’s not the issue before us. It’s agendized to have a vote. Let the votes speak for themselves.”

Administrative Coordinator Alene Klezcek Bolin also stated that the item is adopted when the the board adopts the agenda at the start of the meetings, and the process that Vedro suggested is not how the county has handled elections in the past.

Supervisor Tim McCumber made a motion to overrule Vedro’s process of voting to hold an election before holding an actual election. The motion failed with 14 in favor of overruling Vedro and 16 opposed.

“My intent in doing this was to just move us on to the election,” said McCumber. “If there is no desire to remove the chair, then there is nothing to fear and you’ll still be sitting at the front of the room.”

The board then voted on a motion made by Supervisor Carl Gruber on whether to hold an election for a new board chairman. The motion to hold an election failed with 11 in favor and 20 opposed.

While the board did not hold an election at Wednesday’s meeting, there will be an election of a county board chairman at the board’s regular April meeting following the April 7 election.

Follow Nicole on Twitter @Nicole_Aimone

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