Both candidates seek top Wheatland leadership post
By Jason Arndt
The Town of Wheatland, unlike recent years, has a contested race in the April 6 Spring Election with newcomer Diane Grenus challenging incumbent William M. Glembocki for the chairperson post.
While voters will decide whether to retain Glembocki, or cast ballots for Grenus, the rest of the election slate in the Town of Wheatland does not have any opposition.
Running unopposed include incumbent supervisors Andrew J. Lois Jr., Kelly Wilson; Town Clerk Sheila M. Siegler; Town Treasurer Deborah K. Vos and Constable Robert A. Santelli Jr.
Terry M. Simmons, also running unopposed, will likely replace retiring Municipal Judge Fred Hewitt and take the bench.
Polls at the Wheatland Town Hall, 34315 Geneva Road, Burlington, are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on April 6.
Residents must show an acceptable photo ID to vote or to cast an in-person absentee ballot.
The two candidates seeking the chairperson post, meanwhile, were sent the same questions related to why they are seeking election and plans for the Town of Wheatland.
Here are their responses with candidates listed in alphabetical order:
WILLIAM M. GLEMBOCKI
Education: Salem (Westosha) Central High School; Gateway Technical College, EMT Certification, Various Fire and Rescue Courses.
Occupation: Retired from Chrysler; Self-Employed at Glembocki Concrete.
Family: Married with four adult children, eight grandchildren.
Previous political experience: Wheatland Town Chairman, 12 years.
Organizations: Wisconsin Towns Association, Town of Wheatland Fire Department, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Moose Lodge Member – Lodge 286 in Kenosha, Vice President of Kenosha County Tavern League, Sergeant at Arms of the Kenosha County Tavern League.
Reason for seeking position:
Glembocki, who has lived in Wheatland for 33 years, initially began his political career with an unsuccessful run for Town Chairman 14 years ago.
In 2009, against the same opponent, Glembocki secured election and ran unopposed the next five terms.
Glembocki looks to continue serving the Town of Wheatland because of his passion for its residents and community.
“I love my town and the people who live here!” he said. “I want to continue working towards the betterment of our town and its citizens, but do not want to push government on them.”
Glembocki, meanwhile, said resident feedback also encouraged him to seek another term.
“Many citizens have asked me to continue the job and I am honored to serve the people of Wheatland.”
Glembocki said he plans to focus on maintaining the town’s budget and working with the fire department to meet its needs.
“I want to make sure we get the most out of our budget to benefit the most people. Unfortunately, it is impossible to make all people happy all the time,” he said.
As for the fire department, which has sought a new fire station, Glembocki wants the town to work towards a solution.
“Although the voters of Wheatland voted against a new building for the fire department, I want to continue working with the fire department for their future needs,” he said. “I feel we can come up with a plan that will work, and I want to be a part of it. I also want to insure we maintain a good working relationship with our rescue service, Twin Lakes Rescue Squad.”
Glembocki believes continuity is critical to helping the town move forward.
“I have formed important relationships with state and local officials throughout my 12 years of chairmanship and feel it is important to continue to build upon them, especially during these crazy times,” he said.
Education: Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Business and Communication.
Occupation: Retired from Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
Family: Married with three adult children and five grandchildren.
Previous political experience: First time running for office.
Organizations: Served term as vice president and then president of local chapter, AMRA, International, a records information management organization while employed at Baxter Healthcare Corporation and awarded Chapter Member of the Year as well as Chapter Leader of the Year. Served on the Music Booster Club, PTA and Leadership Team at Wheatland Grade School.
Reason for seeking position:
Grenus, a Wheatland resident of 33 years in June, believes change is needed on the Wheatland Town Board and decided to seek the leadership post.
“The current board has run unopposed for several terms and the current chairman for five terms,” she said. “It is time for new people, fresh ideas (and) time to move Wheatland forward.”
Grenus, if elected, has many objectives as the potential new town chairperson.
Objectives include allowing more opportunities for residents who have concerns to voice their comments.
“Based on multiple requests from people attending meetings, we need to allow additional comment time, where appropriate, aside from the public comments at the top of the meeting and I completely agree,” she said. “The elected officials are voted by the people and as such, the people should be allowed to voice whenever possible.”
Grenus, meanwhile, looks to streamline board discussions through a Committee of the Whole meeting format.
A Committee of the Whole meeting, unlike a Town Board meeting, is primarily for discussion purposes only before final action is eventually taken.
“Because it is so important to hear from the community, I would use Committee of the Whole meetings whenever agenda items need further discussions,” she said. “This type of meeting is being used routinely at other town’s or city’s meetings and needs to be a resource for Wheatland as well.”
Additionally, during discussions, she wants to include microphones to ensure clarity for residents in attendance.
“The addition of microphones for the Town meetings can be clearly heard is a necessity, not a nice to have,” she said.
Grenus also looks to enhance transparency through implementation of live-streamed meetings for residents unable to attend.
“People attending meetings have asked for the meetings to be live streamed, recorded and archived for viewing at a more convenient time. Archived meetings have the potential to reach all of the community thus giving power to voice opinions,” Grenus said.
Other objectives include adding more business information and resources on the town’s revamped website.
“The town website is being revamped right now, but I would like to see it capture information that reflects what is happening in and around our community; local government plus county governmental links; local business information; it should be a repository of ‘go to’ information for our community,” she said.
“It is important to support local businesses, farmers in the area and our volunteer fire department.”
Grenus, meanwhile, looks to bring in more experts during discussions such as the opioid crisis in the Wheatland community.
“We had one presentation by an expert in his field regarding the opioid crisis in our community,” she said. “I would look for additional experts to present at the town meeting because it is the perfect forum for occasional such presentations for information that concerns our community or surrounding areas.”
Along with these objectives, Grenus plans on creating sub-committees to aide decision-making, therefore, reducing the number of times a meeting is tabled.
Grenus, meanwhile, also wants to ensure Wheatland has a sound emergency management plan for response and recovery that supports the plan that Kenosha County has in place.