Having pondered the applicants who wanted to fill a vacant seat on the Gibraltar Town Board, the town has selected Karl Stubenvoll, a former town board member.
Stubenvoll was one of six people who applied for the seat vacated by Tim Luettgen, who resigned effective Sept. 30 because he’d be spending more time in Florida.
The supervisors and town clerk all get a vote when filling sudden vacancies on town boards, according to Wisconsin statute 17.25. The appointment was done by silent ballot Oct. 17 during a special meeting of the board.
“Karl received more than 50% of the vote, so he’s seated,” said Travis Thyssen, town administrator, upon tabulating the votes.
Stubenvoll, who lives in Fish Creek and is a 25-year town resident, currently serves as chair of the town’s Building Committee. He said during the town’s regular Oct. 5 meeting – where all six applicants introduced themselves to the board – that he was asked a number of years ago to serve as a town supervisor.
“I served for two full terms and lost the third one,” he said. “I still come to all the meetings I can. I really want to be involved with this town.”
Stubenvoll will begin serving Oct. 26 to fill out the remainder of Luettgen’s term, which expires in April 2023.
Stubenvoll will need to run for the seat in that election if he wishes to continue to serve, and if the other applicants are true to their words, it will be a contested race. The supervisors asked the applicants during the Oct. 5 meeting whether they would run if they weren’t selected for appointment, and all of them said they would either run or seriously consider running.
The other candidates were Tom Birmingham, Scott DeVillers, Kathy Diltz, Jack Moore and John Selenica.
“I really struggled with this,” said Supervisor Brian Merkel prior to the Oct. 17 vote. “There are a number of qualified candidates. Each one would bring something that would be beneficial.”
The town could have opted to keep the seat open until the April election, but Thyssen recommended the board appoint someone because a four-member board left the body vulnerable to tied votes, and, if two of them were gone at one time, canceled meetings.