Three county seats contested
Six candidates are running for three seats on the Waupaca County Board.
All three contested seats are on the county’s east side.
Twenty-seven districts are represented on the county board. Incumbents are running unopposed in 21 districts, while three incumbents are stepping down.
Not seeking re-election are James Flink in District 5, Paul Hagen in District 12 and Duane Brown in District 25.
Running unopposed are Lee Much, of Marion, in District 5; Mary Kay Poehlman, of Waupaca, in District 12; and David Neumann, of New London, in District 25.
In District 21, which has been vacant since John Trambauer died in November 2011, Patrick Shaw is running against Carl Kietzman.
Kietzman previously served on the Waupaca County Board from 1985 to 2003. He was also the town clerk of Caledonia from 1983 to 1993.
A 1954 graduate of Hortonville High School, Kietzman served two years in the U.S. Army before operating his own milk hauling business for 20 years. He also worked for more than 23 years as a sales representative for Land O’ Lakes Dairy and drove a truck for Gannett. He is now retired.
“I did clerk work when I was in the service,” Kietzman said when asked why he became involved in local government. “When the former town clerk of Caledonia retired, they asked me to run for the position, so I did. As the clerk, I basically ran the books for the town. It’s nice to know where all our money is going.”
If elected, Kietzman said he hopes to bring his many years of experience to the board. He noted that he had served on a wide range of county committees, including Finance, Park and Rec, Ag and Extension.
Shaw is a 1966 graduate of Washington High School in New London. He notes that his class was the last to graduate from the old high school.
After a year in technical school, Shaw began working as a machine operator at Curwood in New London, where he spent 43 years. He is now retired.
“This is my first time running for public office,” Shaw said. “My wife was the town clerk of Caledonia and that got me interested in government.”
Shaw said he frequently attends town board meetings and the committee meetings for long-range planning.
“I’d be representing two towns, Caledonia and Fremont, and I would like to get the lines of communication open a little bit more between the county and the township,” Shaw said.
Frederick Zaug is challenging incumbent Donn Allen in District 24, which includes part of the city of New London and part of the town of Mukwa.
Allen graduated from Washington High School in New London in 1951, then served in the U.S. Navy for four years.
I signed up in Clintonville to be in the National Guard when I was 16,” Allen said. “I wasn’t supposed to be there, but I turned 17 in May so I started while I was a senior in high school.”
After serving in the Navy, Allen returned to the New London area and began working at the Simmons plant. He later worked 10 years at the Neenah Foundry, then at the Kindt Building Center in Greenville and finally at Churny Cheese, first in Weyauwega, then in Waupaca.
Allen first ran for the Waupaca County Board after retiring from the work force in 2000.
“I have also served 24 years, on and off, as an alderman in New London, representing the 4th District,” Allen said. “When I first decided to run, I thought if I get in, I’ll do the job and if I don’t get in, I won’t worry about it.”
Allen said he has seen many changes in New London since he first became involved in local government. He noted that since 1968, when he first ran for city council, New London built a new city hall, a new police station and the plaza.
A 1967 graduate of New London High School, Zaug earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration in 1971 from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He also worked as a congressional intern in the summer of 1970.
Zaug is also running for alderman in New London and he is active in the Waupaca County Republican Party.
Zaug worked in the insurance industry from 1971 to 1993 in the Milwaukee area. He continued working in insurance after he moved back to the New London area in 1994, then worked as a finance manager for a Fox Valley auto dealer from 1997 until he retired in 2011.
“All my life, I’ve been a student of government,” Zaug said. “Now, that I’m retired, I finally have the time to do something about it and run for public office.”
Zaug said the key issue for him was to ensure good relations between the city of New London and the county and “to make sure tax dollars are spent wisely and as needed.”
Frank Klegin is challenging James Loughrin to represent parts of Lebanon and Mukwa near New London.
Loughrin was first appointed to the Waupaca County Board in 1990. He has since been re-elected and served 22 years. Loughrin became vice-chairman of the county board in 2004.
Loughrin chairs several county committees, including Finance and Personnel, the Board of Adjustment and Land Information/GIS. He is also on the Executive Committee, Emergency Management and Ag and Extension.
A 1947 graduate of Manawa High School, Loughrin worked as a farmer until 1985. He became an insurance agent in 1977 and retired in 2002. He is currently on the board of directors for Ellington Mutual Insurance in Hortonville.
Prior to joining the county board, Loughrin served on the Maple Hill School Board for six years, then served on the Manawa School Board for 18 years.
“I like to give back to the community because my community has given so much to me,” Loughrin said.
He said the county board’s biggest challenge involves fiscal issues.
“It’s tough to try to improve the roads and provide the services that everybody wants while balancing a tight budget,” Loughrin said.
Klegin is a 1962 graduate of Bear Creek High School. He has worked at Nicolet Paper in DePere, Curwood in New London and Miller Electric Mfg. Co. in Appleton. During the course of his 34 years in the work force, Klegin moved into middle management and that experience plays a role in his desire to encourage education for others who go into manufacturing.
“A lot of the people we get in manufacturing, we have to send to tech school before they are ready to work,” Klegin said. “I’d like to see more focus on preparing people for the work force.”
Klegin said he believes he can bring a new perspective to the county board.
“I felt that the person on the board has been running unopposed for a long time and that fresh ideas and a new face is something we need,” Klegin said.