New Oak Creek Town Board member ready to learn |

New Oak Creek Town Board member ready to learn

Wesley Woodford has a background in public works

Nicole Inglis

Wesley Woodford, pictured here at a pocket part in Sierra View in Oak Creek, was appointed to the Oak Creek Town Board on Thursday to fill the position vacated by Lawrence Jaconetta. He is retired from a career in construction, design and public works.

— It all fell into place for Oak Creek resident Wesley Woodford, who had been considering serving on the Oak Creek Town Board for much of his four-year residency in the town. Around the same time Woodford took his house off the market this spring to remain in town, Trustee Lawrence Jaconetta resigned.

"I had been thinking about it for a long time," he said in a Friday interview. "And I saw an opportunity."

He was appointed to the board in a 3-1 vote during Thursday's meeting.

Woodford, 71, is retired from a career in construction, design engineering and public works. It could be a good fit for the Town Board seat, which happened to come with a spot on the Public Works Commission.

"I believe with his background he'll be a real asset," Trustee Chuck Wisecup said.

Other board members also tossed around the word "asset" when speaking of Woodford's appointment.

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"I'm very satisfied," said Bernie Gagne, the other Public Works commissioner. "He'll bring a great deal of knowledge."

The seat will expire in April, when Woodford can choose to run for the seat in the town's municipal election.

During Woodford's brief interview before the board Thursday night, Mayor Nikki Knoebel questioned him about his previous work with the town on public works projects.

Woodford had worked as the resident project representative for the wastewater treatment plant for about six months, until he resigned from that job about a year ago. He also had hoped to work on the water storage tank project but ended up finding a replacement instead.

"I've got a lot of concerns with that," Knoebel said during the meeting.

Woodford responded that a health issue had given him trouble during that period and forced him to resign.

Knoebel said after the meeting that Woodford's background will be a resource for the board as it deals with town infrastructure expansion.

On Friday, Woodford said he's looking forward to getting involved with those projects.

"The areas in the town that I'm interested is the public works area — water and sewer — that's what really motivated me to get involved," he said.

Woodford has a history of civic involvement. In Summit County, where he lived for almost 40 years, he was a founding member of the Summit County Rescue Group, the local search and rescue team, and served on the library board.

He and his wife, Vanessa, raised their two sons in Summit County and now have four grandchildren. The couple are avid hikers and river rafters who have canoed and explored rivers all over the country.

Woodford said he enjoys Oak Creek's small-town atmosphere and the convenience of local outdoor recreation.

"I think anybody who lives in a community and takes from a community ought to give something back," he said.

Still, Oak Creek Town Board meetings are a little different than the sanitation board in Breckenridge. He's expecting a bit of a learning curve for the local politics.

"I'm still getting used to how it works in a small town," he said.

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