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Fried loses Minocqua Town Board seat

April 17, 2020 by Brian Jopek

When the Minocqua and Arbor Vitae town boards convene at their first meetings in May, there will be a different face or two for each governing body. 

There were three candidates for two seats on the Minocqua town board. 

Town supervisor Billy Fried lost his latest re-election bid in the spring election as Brian Fricke, a member of the town’s plan commission, and incumbent Bill Stengl were the top vote getters at 859 votes and 801 votes respectively. 

In Arbor Vitae, where there were four candidates for two seats on that five member town board, former town treasurer Barb Freudigmann garnered the most votes with 482. In second place was one of two incumbents running for re-election, Brian Nerdahl, with 454 votes. 

Lawrence Haling came in third place with 395 votes and the other incumbent, Ryan Johnson, had 313 votes. 

Town clerk Mary Reuland said Tuesday the town board’s second meeting in May will be Freudigmann’s first as a town supervisor. 

LUHS and MHLT boards

There were two seats on the Lakeland Union High School Board of Education up for election this spring, one of the at large seats featuring four candidates and the other, a seat representing the Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk School District with two candidates. 

As they did in the February primary, incumbent Shari Nimsgern and Heidi Fink were the top two vote getters, at 3,562 and 2,329.

In third place was Mark Pertile with 1,934 votes and Brian Jackson with 1,161.

For the open MHLT seat on the LUHS school board, it was Shawn Umland defeating Dr. James Wescott, 2,549 votes to 2,042 votes. 

There was no change on the five member board of education of the MHLT school district as incumbents Mary Whitman, Joan Christgau and challenger Will Tippett vied for two seats. 

Whitman and Christgau were re-elected with 1,380 votes and 1,134 votes, respectively. 

Tippett took third place with 686 votes. 

In Mercer, where there were five candidates for three seats on the school board, Sue Loth and Jeff Nehring, appointed to the board last year, were elected to three year terms while Hank Joustra was elected to a one year term. 

Vilas County board

The 21-member Vilas County board of supervisors only had a single  contested race in 2020, which featured Mary Rasmussen of Conover against incumbent Steve Doyen of Phelps for the county board’s district 15 seat. 

Rasmussen defeated Doyen, 198 votes to 154. 

Other new faces on the Vilas County board when it reorganizes will include Mike Biszak, Greg Robotti and Pat Weber, who all filed for election but were unopposed, and Mike Cady, who filed as a write-in candidate. 

He will take over the seat formerly held by Erv Teichmiller of Arbor Vitae, who, along with Charles Rayala, Jr., Kim Simac and Todd Achterberg, did not run for re-election.

Vilas County clerk Dave Alleman said the county board will meet Tuesday, April 21 for, essentially, its reorganization. 

It will also be the first meeting as supervisors for Rasmussen, Biszak, Cady, Robotti and Weber.

“All they’re going to be doing is the statutory requirement of voting for officers,” he said. “They’ll approve the minutes for last month’s meeting. We’ve moved all the other items to the May 26 meeting with the hope that the ‘Safer at Home’ order (due to COVID-19) is over and that the board can come together and meet.”

Alleman said he thinks a number of county supervisors will be attending Tuesday’s meeting virtually. 

“I still expect half the board or more will show up for the meeting,” he said, adding the meeting room in the Vilas County courthouse will be set up according to social distancing guidelines as it was for the county board’s March 24 meeting. 

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected]

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