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Hammond Trustee Mack Kamm resigns; Board can't agree on appointment

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news New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond News
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New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

Hammond Village Trustee Mack Kamm resigned from the board via email on April 15 with no warning, according to Hammond village clerk/administrator Sandi Hazer.

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Hazer said Kamm resigned because family commitments didn’t allow him to devote the time needed to being a trustee.

“There is no scandal,” Hazer said. “He just couldn’t devote the time.”

Village president Tony Bibeau said he was surprised, especially since Kamm said nothing at the April 14 board meeting. Kamm’s seat must be appointed because his term wasn’t up until next April. Trustees Mark Benton and Lynn Pabst were re-elected April 1, while Wally Graf was victorious over incumbent Mary Rivard.

Three Hammond residents stepped forward asking to be appointed to fill Kamm’s vacated seat at Monday night’s Hammond Village Board meeting.

Ron Kappers, who was defeated in the April 1 election with a total of 79 votes, Del Werner and Rob Ward all asked to be appointed -- and all three were denied when motions died on the table.

Before the board entertained motions for appointment, former village president Vince Trudell and former trustee Erin McComb spoke on Kappers’ behalf.

“Even if you six (board members) voted for someone else, 79 people voted for Ron Kappers,” Trudell said. “Ron has run a couple of times. He’s shown some interest.”

Bibeau read an email aloud from an anonymous resident who accused Kappers of “carrying on” about the wrongs of the current board while campaigning before the April 1 election door-to-door, called him insulting and unprofessional and said he cussed in front of children.

Trustee Laurie Gruber said she knows the people who wrote the email because they live in her subdivision and that they’re credible.

“If they can’t come and say it to the board, it’s hearsay as far as I’m concerned,” Trustee Sandy Brecht said.

Kappers denied the accusations, saying he never swears and was never asked to leave anyone’s property, as the email claims.

“One email from one person, but we had 79 people who voted for him,” Pabst said.

Brecht made a motion to appoint Kappers, with Pabst seconding the motion. The motion was defeated  2-4.

Newly elected Trustee Wally Graf made a motion to appoint Del Werner, saying Werner attends most meetings, is up to date on village affairs and is concerned about Hammond’s welfare. That motion was also defeated  2-4.

Trudell abruptly left the meeting, saying “this is a crock.” He later returned and apologized, saying his emotions got the best of him.

When a motion to appoint Rob Ward also failed 4-2, Brecht and Pabst became upset.

“I am really disappointed in this process we’re going through,” Pabst said angrily. “I am this close to resigning myself. I just think this whole thing is awful, just awful.”

Brecht echoed that sentiment. Benton called the voting “embarrassing.”

The board finally agreed to table the appointment until the next meeting instead of putting the three candidates through another “humiliating vote” after the idea of holding a special election fell flat. A special election would cost the taxpayers more money. No trustees wanted to go that route.

Any village residents willing to serve as a trustee are invited to make their requests for appointment.

“It will give us all time to think about it, I hope,” Pabst said.

Committee and board appointments

The following board members and citizens were appointed to these committees:

  •  Library Board member -- Mark Benton
  •  Board of Appeals -- Benton, Lynn Pabst, Tony Bibeau, Jamie Bulwerk and Jan Hinchman
  •  Planning Commission -- Sandy Brecht (three year term), Bibeau (one year), Mark Iverson (three years), Steve Peterson (two years), Jamie Bulwerk (one year), Pabst (one year) and Stan Kolakowski (two years)
  •  Police Review Board -- Erin McComb (two years), Tom Kinney (one year), Scott Rock (three years), Del Werner (four years) and Rob Ward (five years)
  •  Facade Committee -- Pabst, Terry McCracken, Del Werner, Wally Graf
  •  Local Economic Development Committee -- looking for interested residents
  •  EDC Village representative -- Steve Peterson (one year)
  •  Clerk/administrator -- Sandi Hazer (one year)
  •  Treasurer/deputy clerk -- Angie Blodgett (one year)
  •  Weed Commissioner -- Rich Cronk (one year)
  •  United Fire & Rescue village representative -- Bibeau (one year)
  •  Official Newspaper -- Central St. Croix News

In other business

  •  The board approved requiring a certificate of liability insurance for events open to the public that are held on public property. An ordinance supporting the policy will be added.
  •  The board approved the fourth annual Yellowstone Trail Race for June 28. The course begins at the Hammond Hotel and goes to Roberts.
  •  Bibeau reported Baldwin Telecom will install new cable along Davis Street to the St. Croix County Highway Department and the bus garage beginning mid-May with cleanup scheduled to be completed by June 30.
  •  A worker’s compensation insurance audit gave a $5,032 credit to the village.

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Sarah Young
Sarah Young was appointed the editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, where she covered community events, spot news and education in Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. She lives in Prescott with her 2-year-old daughter Carolina.  
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