Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Citing security concerns, the city may pull polling places out of Deerfield Elementary and East and West middle schools.
The city of Oak Creek is considering moving polling places out of schools in light of security concerns. Three out of the six Oak Creek voting sites are in schools—Deerfield Elementary, East Middle School and West Middle School. Residents also cast ballots at the school administration building. When voter turnout is high, like during gubernatorial and presidential elections, more than 3,000 voters pass through those buildings. In a post-Sandy Hook world, schools might not be the best place for such a large number of people to stream in and out, City Clerk Catherine Roeske said. "The number is alarming when considering the possibilities of potential issues," Roeske said. But any final decisions about whether and where polling places would …
Thursday, November 29, 2012
LaVerne Gutknecht, who died last week at the age of 86, was instrumental in fighting off Milwaukee's annexation attempt and incorporating Oak Creek as a city.
You can't talk about how Oak Creek was born without talking about LaVerne Gutknecht. It was Gutknecht and six others who were at the center of a now-legendary story of Oak Creek's founding: they went into hiding to stave off Milwaukee's annexation attempt and allow Town of Oak Creek residents to vote on incorporating. Because of their efforts, Oak Creek officially became a city in 1955. Gutknecht, 86, died Nov. 23. A visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Heritage Funeral Homes, 9200 S. 27th St. Gutknecht was the last surviving member of the group that went on "vacation," as a newspaper story put it, and the story deserves a re-telling here. The kerfuffle started when Wisconsin Electric decided to build a new power plant in Oak …
Thursday, November 1, 2012
The city clerk's office expects about 25 percent of registered voters to have cast their ballots before Election Day.
Nearly a quarter of registered voters in Oak Creek may have already cast their ballot by the time polls open Tuesday, Nov. 6. Almost 2,800 voted at Oak Creek City Hall through the end of the day Tuesday, City Clerk Catherine Roeske said. Meanwhile, the city mailed out 1,100 absentee ballots, and about 80 percent of those have been returned. That means more than 20 percent of registered voters had voted as of Tuesday, Roeske said. "I anticipate the last three days added in will push the city to 25%," Roeske said in an e-mail. Early voting continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at city hall, 8640 S. Howell Ave. See this previous Patch story for more on early voting, and check out Oak Creek Patch's Election Guide for a rundown of…
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
More than 300 people cast a ballot in Oak Creek on Monday, the first day of early voting in Wisconsin.
Though Election Day is still two weeks away, voting officially got under way Monday in Wisconsin with the start of early voting. In Oak Creek, 315 residents cast a ballot Monday, City Clerk Catherine Roeske said. It wasn't quite as many as anticipated, but turnout was steady throughout the day, she said. Early voting at city hall, 8640 S. Howell Ave., continues through Friday, Nov. 2 during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). An increasing number of people have taken advantage of early voting over the last several elections. Roeske said she expects upwards of 20 percent of Oak Creek registered voters to cast a ballot prior to Nov. 6. For more information on voting in Oak Creek and a rundown of what's on the …
Monday, July 23, 2012
Mark Verhalen filed a claim for $1,160 for damage to his property after a grass fire started during the Fourth of July fireworks.
The insurance company that covered Oak Creek's July 4 fireworks is expected to approve a claim for damage caused by a grass fire that broke out shortly after the fireworks started. City Clerk Catherine Roeske said the city contracted with Spielbauer Fireworks Company for the Fourth of July display and took out a joint insurance policy that had Spielbauer listed first. She said the policy covers the damages and the property owner, Mark Verhalen, should receive a "positive response" in the next day or two. Verhalen filed a claim with the city for $1,160 in damages caused by the July 4 fire. The city denied the claim last week, saying it should be filed with Spielbauer instead. Verhalen said he is hoping for a quick resolution and not a drawn…
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Nearly 1,000 Oak Creek residents took advantage of absentee balloting in the first three days. Residents can vote in person at city hall through June 1.
The gubernatorial recall election isn't for another 12 days, but many people are getting a jump-start on voting. Absentee voting, which began Monday, has been high in Oak Creek and throughout the state. City Clerk Catherine Roeske said roughly 970 Oak Creek residents were either issued absentee ballots or voted in person at City Hall through the first three days of absentee voting. About 200 people voted at city hall on Monday through Wednesday -- already double the number of early voters in the May 8 primary, Roeske said. Absentee ballot requests are also way up. There were 65 temporary absentee ballot requests for the primary, compared to 428 so far for the general election. "Temporary" requests are for people wanting a one-time absentee…
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Catherine Roeske officially took office Tuesday.
When Catherine Roeske and her family moved to Oak Creek in 2003, she never expected to work as an elected official. Starting Tuesday, she is doing just that. Roeske, who will serve a three-year term, was elected city clerk after beating out LeAnn Launstein in April with 58 percent of the vote. She replaces Pam Bauer, who retired in October. In her 18 years at American Express, Roeske served in many roles, working in people and project management, technical documentation and business analysis. One of her proudest accomplishments was assisting in a $3 million savings for the company, she said. Roeske also served eight years as an election official in Illinois. She said helping the democratic process along is a great privilege and she is …
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
New mayor, city clerk and three aldermen took oath of office Tuesday night.
New Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi, City Clerk Catherine Roeske and Aldermen Dan Bukiewicz, Michael Toman and Tom Michalski were sworn into office at the start of Tuesday night's Oak Creek Common Council meeting. The five won in the April 3 election. Scaffidi and Roeske were elected to open seats while the three aldermen won re-election. Also winning re-election was Treasurer Barb Guckenberger, who was not at the meeting. The clerk and mayor are elected to three-year terms while aldermen serve two-year terms.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Chris Guzikowski takes home 55 percent of the vote in bid to unseat Michalski.
In his first run for public office, Chris Guzikowski pulled in 55 percent of the vote against incumbent 6th District Alderman Tom Michalski. The race was one of four others - besides that for mayor - that Oak Creek residents voted on Tuesday. Guzikowski will face Michalski, who had 38 percent of the vote in the aldermanic race, again in the April 3 general election. A third candidate, Ed Reader, finished with 7 percent of the vote. Guzikowski said he had a good feeling going into Tuesday and was "extremely satisfied" with the results. "There's a statement here, I think, that was made by the constituents that they feel the same way I'm feeling," he said. "There's a lot of work to be done. This has definitely been a grassroots campaign and …
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Three residents are running for open clerk position.
The race for Oak Creek city clerk comes with a lot of questions. Like, what does the clerk do? The office is mostly out of sight for residents, but it plays an important behind-the-scenes role in keeping the wheels of Oak Creek government going round. Administering elections is arguably the most important and most visible task of the clerk. But liquor licensing, city government meetings, workers compensation and insurance claims, record keeping and filing of contracts all fall under the clerk's umbrella, as well. The next Oak Creek city clerk will be LeAnn Launstein, Suzette Emmer or Catherine Roeske. The three are vying to replace Pam Bauer, who retired in October. The race will be on the primary election ballot Feb. 21. The top two vote-…