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 …
Monday, June 4, 2012
Roughly 1,700 Oak Creek residents voted in the recall election before Tuesday, compared to less than 200 prior to the May 8 primary.
Almost 1,700 Oak Creek residents voted in the gubernatorial recall election before Tuesday, reflecting the surge in early and absentee voting seen across the state. That accounts for about 9 percent of all registered voters in the city. By comparison, less than 200 Oak Creek residents cast a ballot prior to the May 8 primary election. Statewide, more than 206,000 Wisconsin residents requested absentee ballots or voted early in the clerk’s office, according to the Government Accountability Board. About 68,000 people voted before the primary. In-person early voting ended at 5 p.m. Friday. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
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, March 28, 2012
Testing done in advance of the April 3 general election has discovered a flaw in the election ballots sent to Milwaukee County municipalities.
Add late delivery of ballots and ballot misprints as two more issues causing problems before the April 3 general election. Testing done in advance of the election discovered a flaw in the election ballots sent to all 19 municipalities in Milwaukee County, including Oak Creek. The ballots failed to work in the optical readers and, according to WISN-TV, nearly 450,000 printed ballots are flawed and need to be reprinted. Those ballots were already late. They were supposed to be delivered by March 12 in time for absentee voting, but they did not arrive for most municipalities until late last week, Acting Oak Creek City Clerk Christa Miller said. Following the advice of the Government Accountability Board, the Oak Creek clerk's office instead …
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 …
Monday, February 20, 2012
Residents will decide which candidates will advance to the April 3 general election.
Voters heading to the polls in Oak Creek Tuesday have multiple races to decide. The most high-profile race is for Oak Creek mayor. Mark Verhalen, Tom Michalski and Steve Scaffidi are vying to replace the late Mayor Dick Bolender. Go here to see all of our mayoral coverage, including a video of a recent candidate forum, and find out where the candidates stand on the issues. Residents will also vote in the city clerk's race, which features Catherine Roeske, Suzette Emmer and LeAnn Launstein. Here's a closer look at each candidate. Most of Oak Creek, with the exception of a portion on the north end of town, will vote for Milwaukee County supervisor. Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor, Oak Creek Alderman Ken Gehl and Hales Corners Village Trustee …
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-…
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Clerk's office says problems in Oak Creek appear to be straightened out.
The glitch that resulted in some Wisconsin voters listed as living in Africa caused its share of problems in Oak Creek. Some Oak Creek residents were inaccurately assigned to voting districts in nearby communities, such as Franklin and Muskego, and some as far away as the west coast of Africa, Acting City Clerk Christa Miller said. The problems happened after state lawmakers redrew legislative maps last summer, a process that happens every 10 years in conjunction with the U.S. census. But this year, legislators relied on census data that contained errors, resulting in thousands of voters listed in the wrong district, according to a Journal Sentinel report. Miller said she's confident the city's information is now accurate after going …