September 13, 2109 – Newburg, WI – The Village of Newburg conducted a private swearing-in ceremony for Fire Chief Mark Chesak on Thursday. The public oath of office was cancelled after Chesak received some negative feedback.
On Friday the Village of Newburg posted some information concerning the oath of office on social media.
The Village regrets the public oath of office ceremony for Fire Chief Mark Chesak was cancelled on Thursday. The administering of the oath was carried out one hour earlier than planned at the request of Chief Chesak, due to a number of disparaging, hostile, or otherwise political verbal and written complaints received yesterday.
It would have been wholly appropriate for villagers to call on the Village Clerk to explain why the village was planning to administer an oath to the chief of an independent fire protection organization, but that generally did not happen. Instead, Chief Chesak and his family were accosted with accusations of impropriety or unethical behavior. It is appropriate for each American to question our governments and those in power, but that is with healthy skepticism and inquiry, not the poison of relentless vitriol.
The Village wants to set the record straight: The Fire Chief is required to take an oath of office for each municipality served or represented. This should have been done in the past and was not. The oath is simple, and asks the oath taker to publicly and for the record affirm his commitment to upholding the Constitution and other laws applicable to the office.
Some have asked, “Isn’t there a conflict of interest because the Fire Chief is married to the Village President?” Our response is “No. The Clerk provides oaths of office as required (and State Statute Chapter 19 is a good starting point as a reference for more information.)
Just as there would be no conflict if the Fire Chief came to the clerk to have a legal document notarized, there is no conflict in having an oath administered.
Some also asked, “Why is the Village giving the Fire Chief more power?” Our response is, “The Village has neither bestowed nor removed any powers to the Fire Chief. The action that took place yesterday was simply the government function of creating a formal legal record that the Fire Chief contracted to represent Newburg (and surrounding communities, for which a separate oath in those communities is required), has affirmed his commitment to the law.
If residents have any further concerns about this, they are encouraged to contact the Village Clerk.
620 W Main St. PO Box 50
Newburg, WI 53060-0050
Voice Number: (262) 675-2160
Fax Number: (262) 675-2287
Village Hall Hours:
Wednesday: By Appointment Only
Friday: By Appointment Only
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