When the Vilas County board next meets in regular session on April 15, there’s a chance nearly half of it will be new faces.
Some it, of course, depends on how things go today.
As it is, a few board members opted not to run for re-election this spring, among them Chris Mayer, Leon Kukanich, Emil Bakka, Sig Hjemvick, Lorrin Johnson and Linda Thorpe.
Gary Peske, who had been a representative for St. Germain, resigned last year.
Kathleen Rushlow was eliminated from contention during a primary in February and Kim Simac and Christine Caz are vying for the District 21 seat.
Toward the end of the March 25 regular meeting of the Vilas County Board, Steve Favorite, another one of those choosing not to run again, took a few minutes to address the rest of the board in his final meeting as board chairman.
“It’s been a pleasure working with you,” he told the board.
Favorite then referenced the group photo taken of the commission that is updated regularly.
“That little picture they take every two years,” he said. “I think this is one I’m going to keep.”
Favorite thanked the board for electing him to the position of chairman for the past term. He had been first elected to the county board in 2006 and spent the majority of his time on the board as its chairman.
“Part of me believes in changeover and term limits,” he said. “I just figured eight years ... it was time for me. It might be different for someone else.”
He thanked everyone again and said everyone on the board had stepped up.
“You know, we had so much going on this past term ... it’s just been so busy around here,” Favorite said.
He cited what he called “a healthy board” providing “healthy, positive debate. We’re all part of that and I really appreciate working with all of you.”
Saying what he called “tough, unpopular decisions” that had to be made at times, Favorite said he believed a lot of the hard work was behind the board.
“I like to think so,” he said. “At least, that’s the way I feel. We’re going to come out of this recession and the county will be ... the county is what it is. It’s a destination in itself for its citizens. A healthy board hopefully will make healthy decisions in the future.”
Brian Jopek may be reached at email@example.com.