Ron De Bruyne, a 20 year veteran of the Vilas County Board of Supervisors, was elected Tuesday morning to lead the board as chair for the next 12 months. Mark Rogacki was elected first vice chair.
De Bruyne takes over the top position on the board at an unprecedented time in its history. The majority of the supervisors taking the oath of office have never served on the county board before. The lone exception being Steve Doyen of Phelps, who was returned to office upon the retirement of Sig Hjemvick. The new board did not waste any time making its voice heard. Carolyn Ritter quickly moved to postpone action on the Standing Rules until September. Vilas County corporation counsel Martha Milanowski explained why the board had to adopt the rules:
"....should we postpone this document, the standing rules until September, we will have no rules and that would be pretty interesting here in Vilas county having no rules governing the board. I'm not sure that would be adviseable as your legal counsel. We do need standing rules and we do need to adopt something today...."
The board initially ignored Milanowski’s warning and passed the motion to delay passage of the rules. Opposition to the rules centered around the county’s decision last year to reduce the number of committees from 21 down to 9.
The board ended up accepting the November, 2013 standing rules after making seven amendments.
There already is a vacancy on the Vilas County board of supervisors. Walter Wagner, who was elected in district 18, notified clerk Dave Alleman that he was not going to serve the term.