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Baldwin woman appointed to St. Croix County Board

Baldwin resident Nancy Hable was appointed April 2 to St. Croix County Board's District 18 seat. Image courtesy of St. Croix County

St. Croix County Board is not yet whole, but it got one step closer this week.

The board on Tuesday, April 2, appointed Baldwin resident Nancy Hable to succeed Shaela Leibfried, who resigned the District 18 seat after announcing she was moving out of the district.

In her speech to the board, Hable said the vacancy spurred friends and family to suggest she apply. She said she would bring a teamwork mindset to the board.

"To be a successful board of any kind of organization, you have to have communication and teamwork," Hable said. "And I'm all for doing both."

District 18 includes the village of Baldwin's Ward 2 and the town of Baldwin.

Two others applied for the seat, though that number was reduced to one during the meeting.

Candidate Shelly Tomtschik, a public defense attorney and Baldwin resident, made her case to be appointed before announcing she would withdraw her application and endorse Hable.

That left Baldwin resident Lance Van Damme as the only other candidate. Van Damme, a 1996 Baldwin-Woodville High School graduate who serves as a Baldwin Village Board member and a United Fire Department firefighter, wrote to the board that his experience makes him "a good fit."

County Board members elected Hable 10-7 on the first ballot.

Hable worked for the postal service from 1980-2004 and owned and operated a Chippewa County tavern from 1968-1986, according to a resume she submitted to the board. The resume also lists Hable's current volunteer experience in the Baldwin-Woodville School District and as a grief support volunteer through Adoray.

The seat will be up for election in 2020.

Tuesday's appointment fills 17 of the board's 18 seats. District 13 remains an open seat while its outcome is being sorted out in the courts.

The ongoing nature of the case prompted County Board Supervisor Judy Achterhof to seek updates from staff during Tuesday's meeting.

"A monthly update would be beneficial," she said in a request to staff.

A 2018 election for the New Richmond-based seat between incumbent Scottie Ard and challenger Ryan Sherley resulted in an exact tie that generated a recount before the matter was challenged in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

Judge Edward Vlack in September 2018 ordered the St. Croix County Board of Canvassers to conduct another recount. Sherley appealed the ruling, a move that sent the case to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Briefs from both sides have been submitted. A decision has not yet been announced by the appeals court.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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