LISBON — The last time Lisbon had to appoint a member to serve on its board was when Town Chairman Joe Osterman was selected nearly a decade ago, but the time is here once again.
Ryan Lippert resigned earlier this spring because of his move to the village of Hartland, meaning he no longer qualified as a town board member.
Lippert’s move, and in effect, resignation came as no surprise to the board, according to Town Administrator Matt Janecke.
To fill his seat, the town is seeking qualified candidates to serve until the seat term is up in April. Those interested should email the town, firstname.lastname@example.org, and a questionnaire will be sent.
Osterman said he is looking for several qualities in board candidates, but it’s very important for the chosen candidate to be invested in the town.
“We always joke it’s only two meetings a month; it’s obviously more than that,” Osterman said. “Being driven and invested in the town are the big things, and wanting to do what’s right.”
On a personal note, Osterman said he’s looking for someone who wants to move Lisbon down the path of incorporation.
“I am looking to progress Lisbon to the point where we want to incorporate,” Osterman said. “We each get a vote on this obviously, but for me, I would be looking for someone where that is important to them. Being responsible with tax dollars is also obviously huge.”
Lisbon has a fairly new town board with the recent resignations of Lippert and supervisor Hannah Heinritz, according to Osterman, but he sees this as an opportunity for fresh perspectives and new ideas.
“Obviously, we’re going to miss Ryan and Hannah; they both contributed very well, but it’s always good to get a new perspective,” Osterman said. “You can’t do business as usual all the time; you have to get new perspectives from people. Change is not bad.”
The resignation of Lippert means there are four board votes, instead of five; split votes mean a given item would be defeated.
“We’ve only been missing Ryan for a short time and there hasn’t been anything controversial, so there’s nothing where you’re getting a 2-2 vote split, but if that does come around, obviously that could be an issue. As of right now, it’s been working fine.”
Whether the board fills the seat timely is something Osterman is not sure of, but hopeful about.
“The honest answer is, I have absolutely no idea if this position will be filled timely,” Osterman said. “There’s always the fear that everyone is political-ed out right now with everything that happened in last year’s (presidential) election, but I’m hoping that’s not the case.”
It is unlikely the board will not find a qualified candidate, Osterman said, but in the event that happens, the open seat will be placed on next election’s ballot.
There is not an established deadline to select a candidate, but Osterman said he hopes the position can be filled by the board of review meeting on June 13.
“It would be nice to have someone before that, but I don’t see that as viable since we haven’t had to do this in so long; we’re just going to see what candidates come in and go from there,” Osterman said.