Royalton to elect new town chairman
All town board seats contested
By Angie Landsverk
The town of Royalton will have a new chairman after the April 4 election.
The ballot will see Perry Patri facing Gerald Roen for the seat.
One of them will replace John Jaeckle, the current chairman.
Elected to the position in 2015, Jaeckle did not receive enough votes in Royalton’s caucus to be on the ballot this spring.
For Patri, this is the second time he is a candidate for Royalton’s town chairman position.
A number of years ago, he ran against former chairman Duane Bork and lost by six votes.
“Some other members of the community talked me into it,” Patri said of his decision to run again.
Born and raised in Royalton, Patri is a graduate of Little Wolf High School.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelor of business administration degree in economics.
For 30-plus years, Patri has worked in insurance.
In 2004, he opened his agency, Patri Insurance Agency. It is located at 238 S. Bridge St,, in Manawa.
Patri is a member of the Manawa Area Chamber of Commerce.
He said people know he is fairly conservative.
“I’m pretty level headed. I’ll listen to both sides,” Patri said. “I’m conservative on money issues. I’m not one of these tax and spend guys.”
As an economics major at UW-Eau Claire, he took classes in finance, marketing and urban development.
“I like the town the way it is,” he said. “The big deal (for the town) is plowing the snow in the winter time, so people can get to work.”
Patri said he is good at watching over tax dollars.
“I’d like to probably see if the Manawa Rural Fire Department can lower its rate protection class,” he said, as it determines the rate for home insurance.
The lower that number is, the better, he said.
The fire department’s response time, the number of units it has and its equipment are among the things that impact that number, Patri noted.
He and his wife, Geneva, have been married for 34 years.
Roen and his wife, Patrica, live on the south side of Bear Lake.
He is the father of six stepchildren, many grandchildren and some great-grandchildren.
Roen grew up in central Fond du Lac County and attended Rosendale High School.
At age 18, he began driving a milk truck and did so for 13 years.
After Roen bought his own semi tractor, he operated it for 30-plus years.
Retired since 1998, he continues to drive semi locally.
Roen bought property in Royalton in 1967 and moved to the town permanently about 14 years ago.
He is a member of the Bear Lake Preservation Association and served on its board in the past.
“I’m very conscious of the money we spend,” Roen said in regard to currently being on the town board. “I think there’s ways we can save money on things we’re doing now – things that can be corrected. I’m interested in seeing that happen.”
His goals for Royalton include returning to the systematic approach of road maintenance the previous town board had and then sticking with it.
Roen enjoys attending meetings of the fire departments and ambulance providers and then passing on that information to others.
“We have to maintain good relationships with them,” he said. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of people.”
The town’s Supervisor 1 and Supervisor 2 seats are also contested in the April 4 election.
In addition to running for town chairman, Roen is also running for the Supervisor 1 seat he currently holds.
He will complete his first term as a supervisor this spring.
The incumbent is running against Steve Trindal.
If Roen wins both the chairman seat and the Supervisor 1 position, he will choose which one he wants.
Trindal was unavailable for comment.
In the town’s Supervisor 2 race, incumbent Richard Togstad will face Sheri Wieters.
Togstad is completing his first term on the board.
He has always lived in the Weyauwega area – initially south of Weyauwega and then on Paap Road for the past 37 years.
A graduate of Weyauwega-Fremont High School, Togstad worked at several area businesses following his graduation.
He was a dairy farmer from 1985 until 1999, which was the year he started his business, Togstad Construction.
Togstad and his wife, Deanne, have five children and two grandsons.
For years, he has been involved with the Wolf River Rangers Snowmobile Club.
“I’m all about a positive change,” Togstad said. “Anything I can do to promote or help our township, I will do it.”
He believes the town’s current chairman is doing a good job.
Togstad wants to see change for the betterment of Royalton and said the town has done a good job of plowing its roads, cutting the brush back from them and repairing the roads in need of it.
He is proud of the work the town had done on its roads.
“I ran two years ago,” he said, “because they never plowed the snow.”
If re-elected this April, Togstad said he would want to make sure roads scheduled for repair are completed and to continue seeing that brush is cut from the side of town roads.
The overall safety of the public and moving the town into the 21st century are Togstad’s main goals for Royalton.
A website, accounting software and town expenditures on an Excel spreadsheet are what he envisions for the town.
Togstad said when someone brings a concern or idea to his attention, he will take it to the town board.
That is what he did after town residents asked to have all-terrain vehicles be able to go on back roads.
The town board approved it last fall, Togstad said, with donations for town residents covering all the costs related to the necessary signage.
“Ninety percent of the signs are up,” he said.
Royalton also helped purchase two new firetrucks: one for Manawa and the other for Weyauwega, he said.
Both fire departments serve the town.
“If people don’t like what I’m doing and stand for, they always can vote for the other person,” Togstad said. “Make sure you vote. Otherwise, there’s no reason to grumble.”
Wieters is seeking her first term on the town board.
She has always lived in Waupaca County and in Royalton for about 13 years.
Wieters attended Little Wolf High School and graduated from Fox Valley Technical College with a degree in accounting.
She is a graduate of Leadership Waupaca County and has worked for Waupaca County a total of 21 years. She has been the county’s assistant finance director for eight years.
Wieters and her husband, Michael, have three children and two grandchildren.
She explained why she decided to seek a seat on the town board.
“It all kind of started a year ago when I was campaigning for (county) treasurer,” Wieters said. “I went to all 34 municipalities (in the county) and attended one of their meetings.”
When she attended the Royalton Town Board meeting, Wieters said she noticed a lot of animosity and thought it was unproductive.
She told her husband she would run for a position in Royalton if something did not change.
Wieters and her husband have continued to regularly attend the meetings.
She said people will not always agree with each other and will have different opinions but need to respect each other.
Wieters believes she has a lot of governmental experience, as she has worked for the county 21 years.
“I live on a budget,” she said, “and I believe I have knowledge of budgets and how they work.”
She is also the treasurer for Game Changers Ministries, in Wittenberg.
Wieters believes she has a lot to offer.
“I would be there to represent my neighbors. I have no personal agenda,” she said. “I am even-tempered.”
If elected, one of her goals would be to have the board meetings run more smoothly.
Wieters said Royalton has always had a tight budget, and she would like to see that continue, while making sure the town provides services that are required and needed.
When she and her husband decided to build a house, they knew they wanted to remain in the W-F School District.
They chose Royalton after she researched the mill rates of the towns in the school district.
Wieters wants to see town residents become more involved.
“I would really like to see people from Royalton attend the meetings. They’re the second Thursday of the month,” she said. “I’d like to see more community involvement.”