JUNEAU — Political newcomer Dan Siegmann handily defeated incumbent Dodge County Supervisor Thomas Schaefer in a special recall election Tuesday in District No. 10.
Siegmann, 62, of the Town of Rubicon received 538 votes or 77.2% of the total votes cast compared to Schaefer, 75, of the Village of Neosho, who received 159 votes or 23% of the total 697 votes cast.
The recall election occurred in District No. 10, which includes the Town of Rubicon, Village of Neosho and Wards 18 and 19 in the City of Hartford.
“It wasn’t just me who won,” Siegmann said Wednesday. “Everyone did a lot of work helping me to get elected. We now have a voice on the county board. That’s very encouraging.”
Siegmann said he viewed the election as a “game changer” now offering him the opportunity to engage the other supervisors and to discuss the issues before them.
“We need to act on fact and not emotion,” he said. “I just want to get to work. I would hope this (recall) sends a message to the board that they need to get out and talk with the people they represent because they’re not happy with what is going on with county government. There is a frustration of the way things are going out in the community.”
Siegmann said the county board has become more responsive to its department heads than the people who elected them.
“That has to change,” Siegmann said, “but we need to work together for the entire county.”
Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson said the election results are unofficial until the county canvasses the election.
She said the canvass meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday. Gibson said then there is a three business day waiting period for Schaefer to request a recount.
“I have talked to Mr. Siegmann and he is scheduled to come to the county (administration building) on July 26 for the oath of office and orientation,” Gibson said. “He will be on the board after he takes the oath.”
Gibson said Siegmann will be on Dodge County’s Land Resources and Parks Committee.
Calls made to Schaefer’s residence were not returned Wednesday.
Schaefer served on the board since 2004.
Siegmann filed the recall petition to oust Schaefer, who supported a draft of an ordinance in June 2020 that would have provided distinct procedures and parameters should a localized health order be needed during the pandemic.
The purpose of the draft was to describe the duties and authorities of the local health officer, prevent communicable diseases and their spread, prevent public health nuisances and human health hazards, prevent food and waterborne illnesses and infections and their spread, and also provide for the administration and enforcement for any violations that may occur.
The draft provoked a community backlash over concerns of constitutional overreach. Nearly 300 demonstrators — including Siegmann — showed up outside the Dodge County Administration Building before a county board meeting in June 2020 protesting the draft ordinance.
Siegmann, who runs the “FREE in Dodge” Facebook page, tracks issues on the town and county levels of government to ensure they are constitutionally sound and fiscally responsible.
Schaefer said if Siegmann was dissatisfied with his performance he could’ve run in April 2020 or April 2022 when his term was up.
“At that time, all 33 supervisors’ terms will expire in 2022,” Schaefer said in an earlier interview with the Daily Times. “I have and always will represent the district and not one individual or group.”
Schaefer is currently seated on the Dodge County Land Resources and Parks Committee and serves on the county board’s executive committee.
The last successful recall was in 2003 against Dodge County Supervisor Betty Balian of the Town of Lebanon.