Nine run for Oak Creek posts


— Mike Kein has no hidden agenda.

He just wants a little competition.

The Oak Creek trustee did not plan to run for reelection in the town's municipal election.

He changed his mind when he heard only five people had filed petitions to run for five open seats on the Oak Creek Town Board.

"I wanted to make it six," Kein said.

The sixth trustee seat cannot be contested until the next municipal election in two years.

Three other people followed his lead in time to run for the same office.

Nine candidates for the Town Board will appear on the ballot April 2.

That marks one of the largest fields the town of Oak Creek has seen in some time, Kein said.

Municipal elections in smaller communities traditionally do not elicit many voters or candidates.

Kein said he is encouraged by the candidate response to the April election.

"There might have been a little more awareness this year," he added.

Several of the current trustees were appointed to the Board when previous elections did not draw enough candidates to fill the positions or board members resigned.

Trustee Bill Paxton, who was appointed to the Board two years ago, said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

"It's nice to see enough people going out for this election," he said.

Paxton said he wanted to return for another term to finish what he started with the Board.

Trustee Sonja Norris agreed that consistency was important.

The town was beginning to show some positive changes, she said, and she hoped to stay on the Board to continue moving forward with those changes.

Trustee Charles Beven is the fourth candidate seeking reelection.

J. Elliot, Bob Dresden, David Stordal, John Crawford and Robert Hageman round out the ballot.

Stordal moved to Oak Creek from Denver a year ago.

A seat on the Town Board would give him the best opportunity to get involved in Oak Creek, he said.

Unlike the trustees who serve four-year terms, the mayor of Oak Creek serves two-year terms.

Oak Creek Mayor Deb VanGundy, who faced no opposition two years ago, will appear on the mayoral ballot with Cargo Rodeman.

VanGundy said the large field of candidates this April should keep the election interesting.

Nancy Crawford, who works at Oak Creek Town Hall, said the large number of people running for a handful of trustee positions is unusual.

The town may sponsor a forum to allow the candidates to air their views and introduce themselves to the public, Crawford added.

Voters can cast their ballot at Oak Creek Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 2.


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