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City of West Bend to appoint new head clerk on Monday, December 4, 2023

November 29, 2023 – West Bend, WI – With two days to go before candidates can start circulating nomination papers on December 1, 2023, the City of West Bend is preparing to appoint its next clerk. The action item is listed on the Monday, December 4, common council agenda.

West Bend has been without a head clerk since October 25, 2023, when Lizbet Santana stepped out for personal reasons. It has now come to light through a criminal complaint that she faces felony child abuse charges that were filed following an alleged incident October 23, 2023.

District 2 alderman Mark Allen sits on the committee to search for a new clerk. He said he could not release how many people applied for the position or how many people interviewed for the position.

West Bend Common Council President John Butschlick noted there was some urgency to filling the city clerk’s position.
“We’re definitely going to need some assistance and some help with the elections coming up in 2024. Hopefully we’ll be able to find someone with experience,” he said.

The Wisconsin Election Commission has already posted its 2023 – 2024 election calendar.

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Candidates will start circulating nomination papers December 1, 2023, as the Spring Primary is February 20, 2024, and the Presidential Preference Primary and Spring Election is April 2, 2024. August 13, 2024, is the Partisan Primary and November 5, 2024, is the General Election which includes the Presidential Election.

Wisconsin Elections Commission 2024 Calendar of Election Events (Rvsd Oct6.2023)_0
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The job for a full-time city clerk was posted with a starting salary listed at $85,030.40 – $91,405.”

Santana previously started the clerk’s position at an annual salary of $83,366.40 with benefits.

Click HERE to read about the previous longevity of clerks in the past

On a history note: This will be the eighth new clerk in a span of about one year in Washington County, WI. 

– In Germantown, Erin Hirn served as interim clerk after head clerk Deanna Braunschweig left Germantown in March 2023 to take a job as clerk/treasured in the Village of Chenequa in neighboring Waukesha County. Hirn was head of Human Resources in the Village of Germantown but stepped in June 2023.  Clerk Casey Miller, who left City of West Bend, was deputy clerk in Germantown. She started in July 2023. The position of head clerk was eventually filled in Germantown, September 6, 2023, by Donna Cox, previously from the Village of Richfield.

-The Village of Jackson got a new clerk in August 2023, Anastasia Gonstead, who replaced Jilline Dobratz. According to Village administrator Jen Keller, Dobratz “voluntarily resigned June 1, 2023.”

– In City of Hartford, Wi – Shanna Kreilkamp of Rubicon was hired February 28, 2023, to replace Lori Hetzel as she retired after 45 years on the job.

– In City of West Bend, Wi – Lizbet Santana was hired June 2022 after spending six months at the Wisconsin Election Commission. West Bend had been without a head clerk for seven months following the departure of Stephanie Justman in November 2021. Within the past month both deputy clerks stepped down from West Bend city clerk’s office and a hiring process was underway for one deputy clerk and one office person. Santana left October 25, 2023 for “personal reasons.”

– In Campbellsport, WI – Angel Rettler took over as head clerk in June 2023. Rettler had been deputy clerk/treasurer in Germantown, WI.

-The town of Polk, WI – Alison Pecha is the clerk in the Town of Polk. Pecha was formerly the clerk in the Town of Herman in neighboring Dodge County. Pecha started in October 2021 after clerk Sandy Rotar died unexpectedly August 30, 2021 at the age of 50.

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