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Genoa board attracts candidate

by Christy Chalmers

Two months of advertising and extended deadlines finally produced an applicant for one of Genoa’s vacant town board seats, but Douglas County leaders have decided they want official direction from the town board before they act.

As a result, Bill Donohoe’s application will be filed until the town board submits an official request to either keep the membership at five or cut back to three.

The county commission, which makes appointments for empty town board seats between elections, had been seeking replacements for Kara Hayes and Lou Schaffer, who resigned in July.

The commissioners could have appointed Donohoe, who submitted his application a day before Thursday’s commission meeting. Rather than create a four-person board, and with it the possibility of a lot of tie votes, the commissioners decided to ask the three remaining town board members for their opinions.

“If you appoint this individual, you’re going to have a four-man board, and that doesn’t serve anybody any benefit,” said Commissioner Steve Weissinger.

The county commission granted a request in 1998 to expand the town board from three to five members. The commissioners recalled several residents lobbying for the increase, but none were present Thursday.

Instead, Town Board Member Michael Miluck, who has served on both the three-person and five-person boards, urged a return to the smaller panel.

“You have a constant period of one person resigning after another, and now all we have is members resigning from the board,” said Miluck. “We don’t need five people on the board. It’s hard enough to get things done with three members.”

A week earlier, the other town board members appeared divided on the idea. Bernie Carter said he favors a five-member board, while Dennis White, who was appointed after an earlier resignation, said he hadn’t had time to decide because he was busy working on the Candy Dance, the town’s major fund-raiser.