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Race set for first-ever county board recall

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Oct. 5, 2007, 12:42 p.m.)

There's never been a recall election for Walworth County supervisor, so it's unclear what kind of turnout to expect on Oct. 16 when District 2 incumbent Joyce Ketchpaw faces a challenge from Jim Stemper.

Walworth County Clerk Kim Bushey said she is unsure what to expect.

Village of East Troy Adminstrator/Clerk/Treasurer Judy Weter said she ordered about 700 ballots for the approximately 2,300 registered voters in the village.

The district covers most of the village and about 30 households in the town of East Troy.

Town Clerk/Treasurer Kim Buchanan said she'd be lucky to see 10 people turn up at the polls. Her three election workers might be twiddling their thumbs for the 13 hours the polls are open, from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

"It's going to be a long day," she said.

Stemper forced the recall by gathering nearly 500 signatures this summer. He said Ketchpaw needed to be more responsible to her constituents and their desires.

Ketchpaw stood by her record as a three-term supervisor and said it is a waste of money to hold a special election less than two months before candidates can declare to run for the regular election in April.

The election will cost the village between $2,000 and $3,000, Weter said. The town will spend about $1,000, Buchanan said.

Joyce Ketchpaw

Age: 70

Address: 3057 South St., East Troy

Community service: coordinator, Walworth County Fair Organ Donation booth; Wisconsin Donor Network volunteer, East Troy Chamber of Commerce; East Troy Lake Association president; Walworth County Aurora Patient Safety Council member; East Troy's Family and Community Resource Center (retired member); scholarship committee chair, administrative council member and lay speaker for St. James United Methodist Church.

Elected posts: Walworth County supervisor, 2002-present; village of East Troy municipal judge, 1996-2000.

Why should someone vote for you as District 2 supervisor?

"Based upon my record and contributions to the county board since voters elected me in 2002, I believe I am in the best position to have a positive impact on the 2006-08 board as it concludes its work."

Ketchpaw wants to see a smooth transition from 25 to 11 supervisors and continue working on a responsible budget for 2008. 

What personal qualities do you have that makes you the ideal candidate?

"I understand the process involved in county government-how the work gets done.  I understand the big picture-how the county administers mandated state and federal programs.  I am fully aware of the issues coming before the committees and board and I explore all sides of the issue."

Ketchpaw says she attends meetings outside her assigned committees to gain input when exploring policies and programs.

"I try to approach all issues rationally and intelligently."

Jim Stemper

Age: 39

Address: 1931 Fremont St., East Troy

Community service: Parish council president and religious education teacher for St. Peter's the Apostle Catholic Church. Inactive member of East Troy Lions Club. Member of the Navy League.

Elected posts: none.

Why should someone vote for you as District 2 supervisor?

"I don't have any special interest. I want to bring back real representation as far as getting out on the streets and meeting people and putting a face on county government. I'll express constituents' wishes at the county level without any strings attached."

Stemper also said he is fiscally conservative and would like to make sure all non-mandated spending is being spent on programs and services that are worthwhile to the taxpayers. Having not been on the board, he feels he will not be influenced by longstanding supervisors and their voting tendencies.

What personal qualities do you have that makes you the ideal candidate?

"I'm raising a young family in a growing part of the state. I help run a third-generation family-run business. I'm a fighter. I don't bow down to anybody. I'm too in love with the democratic process. The will of the people has been lost and I'd like to bring it back."



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