Union Clerk Steps Down after 20 Years

Beth Hanson and Jenny Jandrin want the clerk’s position that’s opening with Rena LaLuzerne’s retirement

Union Town Clerk Rena LaLuzerne has spent the past 20 years attending to town business, whether that’s been administering elections, training poll workers, registering voters, filing financial reports or keeping tabs on and records for just about everything required for town operations and governance.

“I think it’s time to retire,” she said. “I really do.”

LaLuzerne called it a learn-as-you-go type of position, and a part-time one, though the hours soar around elections. For all she does, the town pays the position $10,000 a year. 

“At one time, I tracked my hours to see how much time I put in, but it was hard,” she said. “Most of us work out of our homes.”

A few years ago, Union bought an old blue church for new town offices, but LaLuzerne said she never used it until last year.

“When COVID came about and we had early voting, I decided I didn’t want all those people in my home, so I moved my office to town hall, and I don’t mind it,” she said. 

Not being tied to elections will give her more freedom to travel to Kentucky, where she has grandchildren. But she also said she’ll miss the work and the people.

“I know I will,” she said.

LaLuzerne said she believed either one of the two candidates running for her position would do a good job.

“I’m just glad voters have a choice,” she said.

The two candidates running for LaLuzerne’s seat are introduced below.

Beth Hanson, 57, is an administrative assistant for the County of Door in the Soil & Water Conservation Department (SWCD), where she’s been employed for 33 years. She’s lived in Union for more than 50 years. Hanson ran for the Union town clerk position in both 2017 and 2019. She and her husband, Phil, purchased the family farm from her mother, Elaine (Lloyd) Guilette. They have three adult daughters, one son-in-law and two granddaughters. 

Peninsula Pulse (PP): What is your primary motivation for running for office?

Beth Hanson (BH): My primary motivation is to continue to give back to the community I am a part of by serving the people as town clerk.

PP: What qualifies you to handle the town clerk’s responsibilities, such as elections?

BH: As administrative assistant with the Door County SWCD, I currently complete many of the duties of a town clerk. My responsibilities include clerk of County Land Conservation Committee meetings, including preparation of agenda packets and recording of minutes and assisting in administering the SWCD department budget.

Although I have not had personal experience running an election, I am an avid voter, as it is my civic duty, and I know the importance of casting a ballot. I know and understand that there is a lot to running an election to make sure it is done and run fairly. If elected, I will take the required core training for elections and plan to seek out further training opportunities to improve my transition into the position and hope to help enhance the image of town government.

PP: What are your strengths, and how will those benefit the town?

BH: Of the various organizations I have volunteered for, I typically held the role of secretary. I believe my current employment, raising a family and performing volunteer activities have elevated my attention to detail, time-management skills, communications skills and organization skills, which will help the Town of Union move toward the future. I would like to bring fresh ideas to the community utilizing technology that would be beneficial, such as digitizing more town records to improve community access by having them available on the town’s website.

Jenny Jandrin, 44, is a loan operations specialist for the Bank of Luxemburg. She ran for the Union town clerk position in 2001. She and her husband, Mark, have four children. 

Peninsula Pulse (PP): What is your primary motivation for running for office? 

Jenny Jandrin (JJ): I feel it is important to be involved and serve the community in which you live. With the retirement of our current clerk, it’s an ideal opportunity to share my abilities and time. About 16 years ago, I served as the town’s first zoning administrator. I enjoyed helping our residents and look forward to serving them again.

PP: What qualifies you to handle the town clerk’s responsibilities, such as elections?

JJ: In addition to banking, I have 20 years of human resources experience. Formally, I have a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a certificate in process improvement. 

Regardless of career field, my key responsibilities have been data entry, account balancing and document prep and collection to ensure files are audit ready. I have experience in problem solving, report writing and customer service, all while maintaining high levels of confidentiality, and in administering department policies and protocols. I’ve job-trained new co-workers, coordinated department volunteer staff and led team meetings. 

In a volunteer setting, I currently serve as the treasurer for the Southern Door Athletic Booster Club and have coordinated fundraising events and scheduled staff to help work shifts on the day of the event. Reviewing the above skills, I believe the town will be well served with me as their clerk.

PP: What are your strengths, and how will those benefit the town? 

JJ: My top strengths are responsibility and integrity, in addition to being analytical, a learner, a relator and detail-oriented. As an elected official, the town’s residents would be placing trust in me to maintain accurate records, follow state statutes and keep the town’s best interests in mind.

Naturally, my responsibility, integrity and learner strengths will take those expectations seriously. I will be dedicated to learning the processes, making sure reports and postings are timely, accounts are accurate, statutes are followed and most efficient processes are in place.

As questions arise, my analytical strength will have me researching and relating my findings to past knowledge and experiences to provide consistent and fact-supported answers. I know my strengths will benefit our town.