Drastic Turnover in Langlade County Board of Supervisors Membership
BY VERN CAHAK
When the Langlade County Board of Supervisors holds it reorganizational session on April 19, nine of its current members will be missing from the 21-member panel.
It has been 40 years since there will be such a drastic turnover in county board membership. In 1982 the combination of reapportionment of county supervisory districts and incumbents leaving their positions resulted in the largest change in county history. In that year, 10 new supervisors were seated.
Of the nine supervisors who have filed declarations of non-candidacy for the April 5 election, three have a combined 49 years of service. Arlene Bonacci heads the list with 18 years, followed by Ron Nye with 16 years and Vern Cahak with 15. Mrs. Bonacci represents District 10, towns of Antigo, Ward 2 and Rolling Ward 1; Nye District 11, Town of Rolling, Ward 2; and Cahak, District 7, City of Antigo, Seventh Ward.
Others who are not seeking re-election are Sandy Fischer, District 2, Second Ward; Thomas Bauknecht, District 4, Fourth Ward; Pete Pennington, District 13 Towns of Antigo, Ward 1 and Polar, Ward 2; Dave Krochalk, District 18, Towns of Evergreen and Wolf River, Ward 1 and Village of White Lake; Don Scupien, District 14, Towns of Ackley, Parrish, Summit, Peck and Vilas; and Carol Gottard-Feller, District 5, Fifth Ward, Antigo.
Incumbents bidding for another term include Bob Benishek, who has an unprecedented membership longevity of 56 years. First elected in 1966, Benishek is running in his 28th consecutive two year term.
Back on April 5, 1966 Benishek was elected to the county board for the first time. That year the city of Antigo and Langlade County were reapportioned into districts. The number of supervisors on the county board was reduced from 24 to 21. Benishek currently serves as supervisor for District 1, First Ward.
Other incumbents seeking re-election include board chairman Ben Pierce, District 17, towns of Langlade, Ward 1 and Wolf River, Ward 2; first vice chairman John Medo, District 19, town of Polar, Ward 1; second vice chairman Richard Wiegert, District 21, Towns of Peck, Ward 1 and Upham, Ward 1; Ron Zalewski, District 3, Third Ward; Joel Wagner, District 6, Sixth Ward; Reinhardt Balcerzak, District 8, Eighth Ward; George Shinners, District 9, Ninth Ward; Joseph Novak III, District 12, Town of Norwood; Warren Wagner, District 15, Towns of Elcho. Ward 1 and Upham, Ward 2; Roger Buck, District 16, Towns of Ainsworth, Elcho, Ward 2, Langlade, Ward 2 and Price Ward 2; and Douglas Curler, District 20, Towns of Neva and Price, Ward 1. All are unopposed except Curler, who is being challenged by Donald Schroeder.
In District 2, Penelope Hurlbert has withdrawn as a candidate, leaving Ronald E. Krueger running unopposed, while in District 18 Sally Mulhollon and Walter Zibell are opposing candidates.
Unopposed candidates who have filed papers to fill vacancies include Todd Mayr in District 4, Daniel Persen in District 7, Bruce McDougal in District 13 and Rick Binna in District 14.