Sister Bay Restarts Administrator Search

The Village of Sister Bay has not had an administrator since Zeke Jackson left the job at the end of 2017, but there’s hope of finding a good candidate in the coming weeks.

Plan Commission Chair Denise Bhirdo said the village will interview candidates the week of April 28. Janal Suppanz has filled the role of interim administrator, but Bhirdo said a lot of work has fallen on staff and committee members.

“Janal does a lot of it, but Dave Leinau and I have picked up a lot more than we would normally take on,” she said. “We’re struggling through, but we’re tired, too. It has become a huge addition to the job of president and Plan Commission chair.”

Bhirdo acknowledged that some smaller things have fallen through the cracks or onto committee agendas that might not have if a full-time administrator were in place.

Bhirdo said it has been a struggle to find the right candidate who “fits Sister Bay.”

“We did not want to hire somebody just to have a body,” she said. “As much as we have struggled, I’m hoping that’s been a good thing for us – waiting for the right person.”

Commission Approves Vintage Signs at On Deck

The Plan Commission signed off on Mitch Larson’s proposal to hang a vintage Orange Crush sign on the south-facing wall of On Deck Clothing Company.  

“We happen to own that sign,” said Larson, whose great-grandmother May Bunda owned the property a century ago. “It’s really cool for those of us old-timers who grew up in Sister Bay. We remember these old billboards and signs.”

The signs were approved under the village’s allowance for historic billboards as external wall decorations, but they do raise a question for the Plan Commission about which historic signs are OK.

For example, could Husby’s put up a vintage Budweiser sign, considering that the sign would advertise a product Husby’s currently sells?

“Probably because it is advertising what you’re selling, it would be a different thing,” Bhirdo said. “Because Mitch isn’t selling Orange Crush, it made it easier. But it raises a good question. The only reason this was allowed is under the historical signs. There’s a section that fits historical signs that doesn’t fit other criteria.”

Public Hearing Regarding Assembly Halls

Village President Dave Leinau asked the Plan Commission to consider changing its policy regarding assembly halls in the R3 residential zoning district.

Last year, the village amended its zoning to allow the Northern Haus wedding campus to build a wedding barn on Fieldcrest Road on the edge of a business district. Lienau said that village attorney Randy Nesbitt suggested the village remove that allowance now.

“It opens us to criticism because we should never have allowed this in the first place,” said Commissioner Don Howard.

The change would not affect the Northern Haus facility because it is now approved, under construction and booking weddings for 2020.

The village will host a public hearing on the proposed change in the coming weeks.

Dentist’s Office Will Expand

Sister Bay dentist Tim Tishler presented plans to build a 671-foot addition to his facilities on Highway 42 across from Lampert Lumber. Tishler said he plans to add a second dentist to the practice and needs a larger facility.