SOMERSET, Wis. — The results are in and a grassroots campaign ignited over an ordinance to restrict tubing in the Village of Somerset six months ago paid dividends Tuesday night.
When all the votes were counted in the Jan. 7 recall election and the Village Clerk’s office posted the results, all three incumbent trustees were ousted by landslide margins of more than 2 to 1.
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Brandon Koziol defeated incumbent Bartt Palmer 307-143; Chris Moreno defeated incumbent Kim Putz 307-149; and Julie Lange defeated incumbent James Chandler 318-139.
We Are Somerset / Somerset Strong organized around the idea of giving a voice back to the residents of the Village of Somerset in their own governance.
Advisory Board member Scott Gates created the group’s Facebook page (WeAreSomerset).
“What I tried to do with this is create a new town square. It’s a place where the community can get its voice back, to have its voice and to use that voice to take back control of the community so the village becomes responsive to the community’s wishes,” Gates said.
As their first goal, they set out to unseat half of the Village Board. Tuesday night saw that mission accomplished.
Julie Lange had this to say after her victory:
“Today, the Village of Somerset spoke loud and clear. We want to be included. We want to be heard. We want change.
This was a team effort and I’m truly thankful to our community who stood behind Brandon Koziol, Chris Moreno and I.
The Village of Somerset has moved in a positive direction. Onward and upward!
We Are Somerset is an incredible organization established to unify our voice.
I’m honored to represent this amazing community because we are strong, we are Somerset,” Lange said.
Time will tell if dissatisfaction can transition to policy as the new trustees take office.