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Van Rossum appointed Suamico village president

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

SUAMICO – The village board decided Aug. 2 to appoint an acting village president (Sky Van Rossum) until a special election is held next April when voters will be able to select someone for a one-year term.

The position became vacant July 19 when Laura Nelson resigned with slightly more than half of her three-year term remaining.

Nelson, who was re-elected without opposition in April 2020, said she submitted her resignation because of “significant and time-consuming changes” in her position as an assistant district attorney in Shawano County, as well as the demands of her family.

Village Administrator Alex Kaker said the board had several options for filling the vacancy, which could be done by appointment with at least four comprising a majority of a seven-member board – six trustees and a president – affirming the person selected.

“I will tell you, just looking around the state, it is common for village boards to appoint somebody who’s currently on the village board to that village board president seat,” he said.

Kaker said the board could appoint a president for the remainder of the term, which expires in April 2023, or because the vacancy occurred before Dec. 1 and the term doesn’t expire next April, someone could be appointed until a special election is held next spring for a one-year term.

“The state statutes are pretty quiet in terms of how you would go about appointing somebody if that’s the route you choose to go,” he said.

Kaker said another option would be to leave the president’s position vacant until April 2023.

The board favored an appointment until next April when voters could select a village president.

After three trustees – Sky Van Rossum, Dan Roddan and Steve Andrews – announced they would be interested in being appointed president, the board agreed to cast paper ballots until one of the three received at least four votes, which took two rounds of voting with the ballots of the six trustees collected by Village Clerk Michelle Bartoletti.

In the first round, Bartoletti announced board members cast three votes for Van Rossum, with two for Roddan and one for Andrews.

In the second round of voting, Van Rossum received four votes to be appointed president.

“As president, you’re one vote, just like any other trustee, that’s the No. 1 thing,” Van Rossum said. “You fill an administrative role, and that means being available.”

As president, he said he will try to maintain an unbiased position on all issues and hear evidence as much as possible, as well as hear feedback from constituents and board members to make fiscally sound decisions and represent the views of as many citizens as possible.

Van Rossum’s term as trustee expires in April, and the board decided to leave the at-large seat vacant until it is up for a new three-year term next spring, when the board will be back to seven members.

Kaker said Van Rossum will take office as president at the Aug. 16 meeting.

He made an unsuccessful bid for village president in 2017 when Nelson was elected to a three-year term.

As president, Van Rossum will chair the village’s planning and zoning commission, which he has served on as a trustee.

Kaker said the appointment of another trustee to the commission will be on the board’s Aug. 16 agenda.

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