Do you think your county supervisor isn’t the person you thought they would be? Perhaps you disagree with his or her voting record. Or, maybe you’re just interested in local government and looking to make a difference.
Whatever reasons you might have for wanting to be on the Oneida County Board of Supervisors, now’s your chance to fulfill that desire: All 21 seats on the board are up for re-election next year.
Prospective candidates for the county board – and all local spring elections – can now begin to seek signatures.
Candidates must obtain at least 20 signatures from residents of their district, though Oneida County Clerk Mary Bartelt suggests snagging at least 30 signatures just to be safe.
Election papers and signature forms can be picked up at the Oneida County Clerk’s office on the first floor of the county courthouse in Rhinelander.
Some who are not on the county board have already picked up candidacy papers, according to the clerk’s office.
The term of office for county supervisors is two years; supervisors are paid per diems and reimbursed for mileage for attending meetings.
The bar to be eligible to run for a county supervisor seat is fairly low. A candidate must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a qualified elector. Convicted felons are barred from seeking office absent obtaining a pardon. And under state law, county employees and officers are not allowed on the ballot for county supervisor seats.
Completed candidacy papers, with signatures, must be filed with the county clerk no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.
At least four Oneida County supervisors have publicly disclosed that they will not seek re-election next year:
• Jerry Shidell, of Rhinelander, said in August that he would not return to the county board in the coming term.
• Gary Baier, who represents the town of Little Rice and parts of Nokomis, told colleagues earlier this month that he would not run again. Baier is planning to move out of Oneida County next year.
• Denny Thompson also said earlier this month he too would not run again. Thompson represents the town of Woodboro and parts of Cassian, Crescent and Lake Tomahawk.
• Romelle Vandervest, also of Rhinelander, has filed paperwork that she will not seek re-election, according to the clerk’s office.
Supervisors have until late December to notify the county clerk that they will not be seeking re-election in the spring.
Even though some supervisors are departing, serving on the county board can be a rewarding experience, officials said. David Hintz, who is the chairperson of the administration committee, said his favorite part about serving on the board is listening to people with different ideas and then “using those ideas to improve life in Oneida County.”
Hintz said the county could particularly benefit from supervisors interested in economic development, lake conservation, social and human services and enhancing technology.
“In my opinion we need people who are dedicated to improving the quality of life in the county,” he said.
Jonathan Anderson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org