Schoemann to run for county executive
By Lisa Curtis
WEST BEND — Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann on Tuesday became the first person to file papers for the newly-created position of county executive, in effect asking voters to elect him to a job he has held for six years.
The County Board voted last month to eliminate the administrator form of government and moved to an elected one. It was the second vote the County Board took on the matter — the first one failed in June.
Supporters backed the idea that an elected leader is accountable to the community and should be elected by those he or she serves. “A county executive serves as an important liaison between the county and other levels of government, including the state
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and federal governments, especially during times of budget cutbacks and increased unfunded mandates,” according to the resolution that was approved by the board.
Schoemann was hired as Washington County administrator in 2014. He was a sergeant in the Army National Guard from 2000 to 2006, when he was hired as city administrator in Princeton in Green Lake County.
A Hartford native, Schoemann moved back to Washington County in 2010, when he was hired as Richfield village administrator.
He also immersed himself in various community organizations, including serving as vice president of Peace Lutheran Church, a member and later president of the Hartford Union High School Board of Education, a member of the Washington County Economic Development Board and president of the United Way of Washington County.
County Clerk Ashley Reichert confirmed Tuesday that Schoemann has filed a campaign registration form and a declaration of candidacy. No one else had filed papers.
In a Facebook message to his friends last month, Schoemann said he is proud of the reforms and improvements he has brought to the county.
“We have lowered property taxes to the lowest rates since before World War I. We will propose a property tax levy in 2020 that is lower than it was in 2010. We have reduced the size of government in nearly every measurable way while enhancing our focus on community priorities,” he wrote. “From partnering with the city of West Bend on a city/county agreement which resolved a myriad of decades-old disputes to achieving the merger of the Public Health Department with our neighbors in Ozaukee County to enhancing local control through a variety of jurisdictional road transfers with local municipalities, our collaborative relationships have been a centerpiece of our taxpayer focused reforms.”
But he added that there is more to do, including finalizing the future of the Old Courthouse with the county’s partners at the Washington County Historical Society; implementing a compensation plan for employees without raising tax rates; and “continue to lead the crucial public policy discussion about the future of Samaritan Campus.”
Candidates interested in running for county executive can begin to circulate nomination papers Dec. 1.
Interested candidates will need to complete and file a Campaign Finance Registration Statement, a Declaration of Candidacy and Memorandum Regarding Felony Convictions and Nomination Paper for Nonpartisan Office. Forms are available at https://elections. wi.gov/candidates/ local/non-partisan.
The deadline for candidates to file nomination papers, declarations of candidacy and campaign registration statements for the 2020 presidential preference primary and spring election with the County Clerk is 5 p.m. on Jan. 7.
The county executive will serve a term of four years, taking office on the third Tuesday in April.