Clintonville’s year in review
By Bert Lehman
Even though city politics settled down a bit in 2015, a Chapter 17 Complaint against Mayor Judy Magee lingered over Clintonville for much of the year.
In addition, residents and visitors had to deal with part of Main Street being closed for almost five months for a reconstruction project.
On a positive note, sturgeon made a rare appearance in the city in April. Also, a Clintonville Middle School teacher was awarded one of 10 LifeChanger of the Year awards.
This is the first in a two-part review of the top stories for 2015.
Aldermen Mark Doornink, Phil Rath and Bill Zeinert file non-candidacy papers indicating that they won’t seek re-election in the April general election.
The lowest bid for the sewer and water reconstruction for the Main Street project scheduled for the summer came in $80,000 over the estimated cost.
The order for a new brush truck for the Clintonville Fire Department moved forward when the city council approved a bid from EJ Metals. The majority of the cost of the brush truck was paid by a federal grant.
The Clintonville School Board and teachers in the district spent almost an hour discussing the 2015-16 school calendar at a Jan. 12 school board meeting.
Residences and businesses near a construction site at Main Street and 12th Street needed to be evacuated on Thursday, Jan. 15 due to a ruptured natural gas line. The leak was eventually repaired. There were no injuries.
The future of the Clintonville Area Food Pantry was discussed at the Jan. 13 city council meeting. A plan was introduced to keep the food pantry at the Clintonville Recreation Center building, with improvements also being made to the building. No action of the plan was taken.
Then interim City Administrator Chuck Kell informed the city council that the Angelus Assisted Living facility had filed and was approved for tax exempt status. The change in status meant Angelus would no longer pay property taxes, which amounted to around $47,000 per year.
The city council disallowed the claim by former city attorney Tim Schmid.
The city council announced that it was pursuing options to meet the legal obligations of the Chapter 17 Complaint filed by Tricia Rose against Clintonville Mayor Judy Magee.
After originally approving putting a referendum on the April ballot regarding the city’s outdoor swimming pool, the city council failed to garner enough votes to approve the wording of the referendum question. This meant the April ballot would not include a referendum about the swimming pool.
The Clintonville School Board finally approved the 2015-16 school calendar at a Jan. 26 meeting.
The city council approved the Clintonville Library Board purchasing the property at 60 S. Clinton Ave. The property is adjacent to the current location of the library.
The Clintonville Tribune-Gazette reported that the city of Clintonville at paid Rose Publications $16,500, which amounted to the cost of repairing a common wall. The agreement was originally approved by the council in December, but no details were released. The Tribune-Gazette article was based on information obtained via an open records request.
The Clintonville Tribune Gazette reported the details about the Chapter 17 complaint against Magee after it obtained a copy of the complaint.
Schroeder Shell in the city of Clintonville was the victim of an armed robbery at 1:15 a.m. on Feb. 4. The case is still open.
Second grade students at Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School duct taped Principal Tami Bagstad to a school wall on Feb. 6. It was their reward for raising the most money in a penny war contest by the Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School PTO. A total of $1,587 was raised.
The city council approved a citizen fundraising drive to raise money to pay for flower baskets on Main Street. The fundraising drive was the idea of Sue Aschliman, owner of B&H Footwear.
The city council approved an investigation of Magee, as part of the Chapter 17 Complaint.
The city council officially authorized the search for a new city administrator.
Kell recommended to the city council a larger sewer facility project than what the city had originally approved.
Clintonville Area Foundation distributed $10,676 in grants to six charitable organizations serving people in the Clintonville area.
Members of the United Steel Workers Local 815 carried signs outside SeaGrave after work, disputing changes in their contract.
Former Tribune-Gazette owner Arleen Gleason passed away on March 5 at the age of 90. Gleason owned the Tribune-Gazette along with her husband, Walter, from 1951 through 1993.
Kell informed the city council that the city of Clintonville owed $1.1 million in unfunded pension liability. He told the council that the payments the city was making each year didn’t cover the interest the city was being charged.
The Tribune-Gazette reported that the city of Clintonville was informed about the Angelus sale two months prior to the sale.
It was announced by Alderwoman Lois Bressette at a council meeting that the information she received indicated that the total cost of the legal fees, investigation expenses and the resignation agreement with former city administrator Lisa Kotter totaled almost $110,000.
Wade Wudtke was sworn in on March 20 as a new patrol officer for the Clintonville Police Department.
The city council approved cutting $47,000 from the city’s budget. Cuts would come from each city department.
Former Clintonville boys’ basketball coach Carl Bruggink was among the state championship coaches honored at the 100th WIAA state tournament.
Justin Zoellick, a fifth grade teacher at Clintonville Middle School won a 2015 LifeChanger of the Year award. He was one of 10 chosen from 600 nominees.
The idea of a dog park being built in Clintonville was presented to the city council
The Clintonville Area Ambulance Service received a $2,500 donation from Waupaca County farmer Mary Behnke and America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.
Around 25 Clintonville High School students attended a school board meeting in an effort to save a teacher’s job. The students spoke in support of teacher Mark Sparks who they said was being forced to resign. The board did accept Sparks’ resignation.
Lois Bressette was re-elected to the city council in District 4. Julie Stumbris defeated Robert Gay in District 1. Steve Kettenhoven defeated incumbent Amy Steenbock in District 3. Brad Rokus defeated Maggie Hintz-Polzin in District 5. Darrell Teall was elected to the council as a write-in candidate in District 2.
The Clintonville Fire Department took delivery of its newest fire truck.
Sturgeon made a rare appearance in the Pigeon River by the dam in Clintonville.
A majority of the city council did not approve a proposed dog park in Clintonville, sending the issue back to the Park & Recreation Committee.
Bressette is elected Clintonville City Council president.
The property that has housed the Honey Creek Gallery for the past 30 years was donated by Ann Fuge to the Clintonville Historical Society.
At a school board meeting, several citizens question the school board and administration about how they handled the resignation of teacher Mark Sparks.
After making threatening comments in the presence of a parishioner at Christus Lutheran Church on May 10, a 27-year-old Clintonville man was taken into custody a few hours later. The church was on lockdown while authorities searched for the man.
Paul Halverson, Katie Ripley, Kean Kasper, Steve Hanson, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams and UW Band director Michael Lekrone were honored at the 23rd annual Dog Jirschele Memorial Sports Award Banquet.
The Pigeon Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District took delivery of a new weed cutter.
At a school board meeting, Tom O’Toole, Clintonville School District superintendent, responded to recent criticism students and citizens expressed against the district.
Clintonville’s Allison Johnson set a meet record in the girls’ 800 meter run at the 35th annual Seymour Thunder Track Invitational.
The United States Department of Defense awarded FWD Seagrave a $12 million contract to build 92 Crash Fire Rescue vehicles over four years for the United States Marine Corps.
The Clintonville Public School District announced the recipient of the Alumnus Honoris award to Jerald Schoenike, Ph.D.
The Main Street reconstruction project began on June 1 when detour improvements began.
Jarren Vanman was named valedictorian and Chrissy Betz was named salutatorian of Clintonville High School Class of 2015.
City of Clintonville is approved for a $2.4 million grant from the federal government for its wastewater treatment plant.
Clintonville’s Allison Johnson repeated as state champion in the girls’ Division 2 800-meter run at the WIAA State Track & Field meet in La Crosse.
Main Street was closed on June 15 for the start of the reconstruction project.
For the second time in two months fundraising for a proposed dog park in Clintonville was defeated by one vote.
The city of Clintonville issued a raze order for a multi-tenant building on 11th Street.