Election brings change to Marshfield Common Council and school board
By Adam Hocking
Reinart adds a new face to the council, Feddick retains her seat
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Common Council will add a new member to the mix as District 6 council incumbent Char Smith lost her bid for re-election to challenger Rich Reinart. In District 2, the only other contested council race, incumbent Alanna Feddick narrowly defeated Josh Witt. Incumbents Gordy Earll (District 4), Rebecca Spiros (8), and Peter Hendler (10) all ran unopposed and all won re-election.
Reinart beat Smith by a tally of 174 votes to 79 and said that he was eager to get started as a member of the council.
“I’m super excited. I’ve got a lot to learn,” Reinart said. “It’s (the campaign) been a great experience, and I’m looking forward to getting on there and learning.”
Reinart said he made a concerted effort to meet as many people as he could in his district.
“I really took it serious. I wanted to try to meet as many of the people in our district as I could, and I literally knocked on every registered voter’s house in our district,” Reinart said. “I put in a lot of time, and I had fun doing it.”
Feddick defeated Witt by a slim margin, 122-111, and she said that she values the chance that being a council member affords her to get to know the people of her district.
“What you have to do is meet your neighbors and know your neighbors, and that’s the cool part about running for alderperson,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to continuing the city’s strategic planning process and further developing a vision and policies for future of the city.
When reached for comment, Witt congratulated Feddick and said he enjoyed the process of running for a common council seat.
“The campaign process was awesome. You know, you get to meet a lot of great people,” Witt said. He added that moving forward he hopes to serve on a city committee or board.
Smith was not available for comment before print deadline of this issue.
Twenty-five percent of registered Marshfield voters turned out to the polls, which City Clerk Deb Hall said was very good for an April election. Common council members serve two-year terms.
Stueland the only incumbent re-elected to school board
Current Marshfield School Board President Marlene Stueland and former Marshfield School Board member Frances Bohon were by far the top vote recipients on Tuesday, earning two of the three open spots on the board. Joining Stueland and Bohon and claiming the final available spot on the Marshfield School Board was Mary Carney.
Bohon received 2,419 votes, Stueland had 2,326 votes, and Carney garnered 1,577 votes. Tom Buttke, who is a current member of the Marshfield Common Council, finished closely behind Carney in the race for the final school board spot with 1,543 votes. Current school board clerk Mark Critelli received 1,479 votes, and school board candidate Steven Okonek was also eliminated on Tuesday after receiving 1,400 votes. Current Board Vice President Randell Kruger was eliminated from the ballot in the February primary.
Bohon said she was grateful for the opportunity to once again serve on the school board.
“I am thankful for the trust the voters have placed in me and excited to get back to work on the school board. My children and grandchildren are a blessing, and I consider it a privilege to do my best for the children of our communities,” she said.
Stueland said she was happy to have the opportunity to once again serve on the school board and to continue working with Marshfield School District Superintendent Dee Wells.
“I’m thrilled. I am absolutely thrilled and excited at the same time,” Stueland said. “I’m excited that I can continue to be on the board to work with our new superintendent. She is just superb.”
Stueland added that she was also eager to continue working on the board’s employee relations committee.
Carney said that she was nervous on election night as the results trickled in.
“It was pretty tense … watching the results come in,” She said.
“I’m very thrilled to have been elected. I’m very humbled and appreciative of all the support I’ve been given,” Carney added. She said that she is eager to work with the other school board members and wants to be “a voice for parents, teachers, and the taxpayers on the school board.”
When reached for comment about the election results and his time on the school board, Critelli said, “It has been my privilege to serve on the school board over the last six years. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I did have.” He also expressed his congratulations to Bohon, Stueland, and Carney.
School board members serve three-year terms. Board of Education secretary Jenni Heeg said that officer positions—such as board president, vice president, and clerk—are re-elected each year, and that process will take place in May. Those appointments will be made by the members of the board.
Common council members will take their oath of office on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, and school board members will be sworn in, in May. Election results will not be official until the board of canvassers for the common council and school board races convene on April 13 and 14, respectively.