Newly appointed Clerk-Treasurer Michelle Shramek (from left), retiring Clerk-Treasurer Emily Uhlenhake and new Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Marla McIntyre have been a great team, according to Uhlenhake. “I will miss working with these women,” she said (Gail Peckler-Dziki/The Report).

Her deputy will step into the role

By Gail Peckler-Dziki

For the past 16 years, when Paddock Lake residents came into the municipal office, they more than likely received service from with Emily Uhlenhake.

On Dec. 1, Uhlenhake will retire, leaving current deputy Clerk-Treasurer Michelle Shramek at the office helm.

Uhlenhake has been in public service for the past 24 years, first as the clerk for the Town of Brighton and then in the clerk’s office in Paddock Lake. She had a one-year hiatus in the private sector, before returning to municipal work.

“The most important municipal work for me were the elections,” Uhlenhake said in a recent interview.

“I know that some people decide not to vote – they think their vote doesn’t matter,” she continued. “But it does, especially in the local elections. Each vote really counts.”

“It’s important to hold fair and transparent elections and to be able to hold up your head and say, ‘There is no voter fraud here,’” Uhlenhake concluded.

After spending eight years as the Brighton clerk, Uhlenhake entered the private sector for one year. In 2202, she became the office assistant while Dorrie Raditz was still treasurer. After Raditz’s tenure ended in 2004, the board merged the clerk and treasurer into one position and made it appointed rather than elected. Uhlenhake then stepped into the new position.

Some of the biggest changes in the village that she has seen were the introduction of a computerized accounting system and the expansion of the west side water system.

“The computerized accounting system was a tremendous help,” she said.

When the village lost a former deputy clerk/treasurer who had done the majority of the accounting, Uhlenhake took that over.

“I enjoyed that much more than I thought I would,” she said.

Uhlenhake said she expects development will take off like wildfire, once the village receives approval for the west side water system and the water system expansion along Highway 50.

“I know having the water system move down Highway 50 is very important to the high school,” she said.

Central High School is currently using a well system.

One challenging aspect of working as clerk/treasurer is the once-a-year projects, such as the property tax collection and board of review.

Uhlenhake said she has 100 percent confidence that Shramek and new deputy Clerk-Treasurer Marla McIntyre will handle things well.

“Two years ago when I became ill,” she said, “they took care of everything. I realized that I wasn’t indispensible. None of us are.”

“I will greatly miss working with Michelle and Marla and our residents,” Uhlenhake said.

She has plans to stay involved during her retirement. “I am exploring volunteer opportunities,” she explained.

Some will be fun, like making historical costumes for Old World Wisconsin, and some will be service, like volunteering for the Shalom Center.

There will be more time for family, especially grandchildren and her mom.

“I plan to spend this Christmas with my mother in Florida,” Emily said. “She’s 94 and still in good health and I need to see her.”

“Since the office is usually very busy with taxes in December, I can’t remember the last time I had Christmas with her. That will change this year.”


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