A rural Somerset man was appointed to a St. Croix County Board post that was vacated after its former occupant became a judge.
On a split vote Tuesday, Feb. 5, County Board members chose Jim Endle to be the next supervisor for District 2. The seat was vacated last month by Scott Nordstrand after he was appointed by former Gov. Scott Walker to serve out the remainder of former St. Croix County Circut Court Judge Eric Lundell's term.
Endle will complete the remainder of Nordstrand's two-year term, which began in 2018.
He was one of three applicants for the appointment. Richard Caruso and Angela Olson also vied for the post.
"I want to serve my neighbors," Endle told County Board members during a brief speech before the vote.
Endle's appointment was the latest development on the board - but only for a matter of minutes. The meeting concluded with Supervisor Shaela Leibfried announcing she is resigning her District 18 seat.
Leibfried said Tuesday's meeting would be her last; her family is moving to Tennessee, she said.
"It has been an honor and a privilege," she told fellow board members.
Leibfried's seat includes the village of Baldwin and the town of Baldwin. St. Croix County Board Administrator Pat Thompson said the appointment process will begin anew for the District 18 seat.
Prior to Nordstrand's and Leibried's departures, St. Croix County Board saw turnover at its District 6 seat when Bob Long moved out of the district. Clarence "Buck" Malick was appointed in January to fill his term.
Endle is a 3M chemical engineer who has lived in the New Richmond area with his wife since 2006. In his letter to the board, he described how his job involves understanding budgets and working with available resources. Endle told the board he also volunteers with Food Harvest of the St. Croix Valley volunteer and through his church.
Voting lasted two rounds, with Olson gathering seven votes in the first round and Endle collecting six. Procedure called for Caruso, who gained two votes in the first round, to be dropped from the second round of voting.
Endle prevailed over Olson in the second round, winning the appointment on an 8-7 vote.
Board members who voted for Endle were Roger Larson, Ed Schachtner, Dan Fosterling, Tom Coulter, Jim Feidler, Andy Brinkman, David Peterson and William Peavey. Those voting in favor of Olson were Roy Sjoberg, Buck Malick, Tammy Moothedan, Dave Ostness, Paulette Anderson, Judy Achterhof and Leibfried.
Olson, a town of Somerset resident, runs her own law firm. In her letter to the board, Olson stressed the need to attract and retain young families in St. Croix County. Olson's civic involvement includes serving on the New Richmond Area Community Foundation, the New Richmond Youth Hockey Association and the New Richmond Family Safety Night Committee.
"St. Croix County residents who are the current and future community leaders, such as myself, need to feel that St. Croix County will maintain the welcoming character we came here for, continue the security which keeps us here, but also have the vision for what we need tomorrow," she wrote to the board.
Caruso, a town of St. Joseph resident, described himself as a person who sought to contribute through public service. That began by becoming a state-certified waterworks operator and continued in Osceola, where he learned various skills - from utilities to budgeting to street maintenance. He went on to become Osceola's public utilities coordinator, which involves managing utility assets and drinking water.
Remaining unsettled is County Board's District 13 seat, which is under appeal after a recount dispute from the 2018 spring election that saw an exact tie between incumbent Scottie Ard and challenger Ryan Sherley. That case is pending before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.