Nancy Eggleston (D15) and Chris Randazzo (D14) are two of the new County Board Supervisors who were sworn in on April 16. (Metro Wire photo)

County Board takes oath, elects new leadership

Editor’s note: Committee appointments will be named at Tuesday’s Executive Operations Committee meeting.

By Brandi Makuski

The Portage Co. Board of Supervisors saw five new faces, one returning member, and a new body of leadership following a mass swearing-in on April 16.

County Clerk Maria Davis, who administered this week’s oath, said that a total of 18,325 ballots were cast by the county’s 43,511 registered voters across the 61 precincts on April 2.

Races in District 12, 16, and 19 went through a hand recount on April 12, based on requests from the unsuccessful candidates in each of those races. Though minor changes were found, the overall results remained the same. The final tallies are at the bottom of this story.

Following taking their respective oaths of office this week, Supervisors, who serve two-year terms, heard a summary of how municipal finance operates from Finance Director Jennifer Jossie. County Executive John Pavelski and Sheriff Mike Lukas provided details on the status of projects related to the Portage Co. Health Care Center and Jail.

Nominations were then sought for Board leadership positions. For County Board Chair, Suzanne Oehlke (D17) nominated Ray Reser (D25); Dave Ladick nominated Larry Raikowski (D18), who served as vice-chair for six years prior to the election; and Andrew Rockman (D9) nominated Vinnie Miresse (D1), though Miresee withdrew in support of Reser.

The private ballot vote resulted in a 13-12 result in favor of Reser.

For vice-chair, Raikowski was again nominated by Ladick, and Joan Honl (D8) nominated Miresse. The results of the final vote were again 13-11, in favor of Miresse. One ballot contained a write-in that was not disclosed.

For the position of second vice chair, medin nominated Suzanne Oehlke (D17), Stan Potocki (D11) nominated Jeanne Dodge (D21), Ladick nominated Julie Morrow (D5), although she withdrew in support of Dodge. Oehlke won over Dodge, 13-12.

The newcomers:
  • Janell Wehr bested incumbent Mark Hemmerich in District 3. Wehr is active as a BSA Scout Leader and has worked as outreach specialist/horticulture educator for Marathon and Wood counties through the UW-Extension since 2019.
  • In District 14, incumbent Pat Keller was outseated by Chris Randazzo. Randazzo owns Galaxy Comics, Games & More in Stevens Point. He previously spent five years covering local government for the Portage County Gazette.
  • In one of the biggest upsets of the April 2 election, longtime county rep Al Haga was ousted by Nancy Eggleston for District 15. Eggleston previously worked as an environmental health and communicable disease supervisor for Wood Co., is a past president of the Wisconsin Public Health Association, and was a member of the Northeast Wisconsin Incident Management team.
  • In District 19, Amberle Schwartz managed a slim win of seven votes over incumbent Scott Soik. She works as an environmental educator for Boston School Forest within the Stevens Point Area Public School District. She’s also been a team lead at Farmshed Growing Collective since 2018.
  • Newcomer James Yetter ran unopposed for the seat in District 20, covering the town of Pine Grove, Grant, and a portion of Almond, when incumbent Greg Hakala did not seek reelection.
  • Residents in District 25 will see the return of Ray Reser, who beat the campaign run by David Peterson. Reser previously held the D25 seat from 2020-22 and is the former director and curator of anthropology at the UWSP Museum of Natural History. He also does archaeological consulting.
The final results follow:
  • District 1

Stephen Klein: 153
Vincent Miresse (I): 444

  • District 2

Chris Doubek: 367

  • District 3

Mark Hemmerich (I): 117
Janell Wehr: 387

  • District 4

Keith Kedrowski: 168
David Medin (I): 406

  • District 5

Julie Morrow: 252

  • District 6

Timothy Johnson: 123
Shaun Przybylski (I): 380

  • District 7

Dave Ladick: 794

  • District 8

Johnnie Ciulla: 212
Joan Honl (I): 604

  • District 9

David Eiden: 177
Andrew Rockman (I): 389

  • District 10

Bob Gifford (I): 493
Mary Rosicky: 357

  • District 11

Stan Potocki: 679

  • District 12

Karin Sieg: 408
Michael Splinter (I): 421

  • District 13

Don Jankowski: 608

  • District 14

Pat Keller (I): 331
Chris Randazzo: 427

  • District 15

Nancy Eggleston: 425
Al Haga (I): 293

  • District 16

John Bertelson: 202
Steve Fritz (I): 206

  • District 17

Suzanne Oehlke (I): 441
Jackie Szehner: 341

  • District 18

Larry Raikowski: 613

  • District 19

Amberle Schwartz: 407
Scott Soik (I): 400

  • District 20

James Yetter: 428

  • District 21

Jeanne Dodge: 564

  • District 22

Matt Jacowski: 579

  • District 23

Barry Jacowski: 451

  • District 24

Steve Cieslewicz: 784

  • District 25

David Peterson (I): 485
Ray Reser: 525