LISBON — When attorney Tedia Gamino and her family moved to Lisbon from Wauwatosa two years ago this month, she fell in love with her neighborhood, home and the lush landscape of the area.
But she saw a bigger picture for Lisbon.
Gamino will be appointed as a supervisor on the Lisbon Town Board on Monday, Aug. 14, replacing former supervisor Ryan Lippert.
Lippert resigned from the board in the spring because of his move to the village of Hartland, meaning he no longer qualified as a town board member.
Ultimately, the board narrowed down the candidate pool for the position to two: Gamino and John Gscheidmeier, a Lisbon resident and former 20-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department. The board favored Gamino by a 4-1 vote.
Find full excerpts of the candidate interviews on the Tuesday, July 11, agenda minutes on the town's website.
A bigger picture for Lisbon
When Gamino, the 46-year-old mother of four, saw that the supervisor's position was open, she already had a sense of what she wanted to accomplish if she was appointed.
Her driving force in applying is to develop Lisbon.
"When I was reading a little about what it would take for the town of Lisbon to incorporate and to get a community center, that had me so excited; maybe this could fulfill what we really had been hoping to find here," Gamino said. "That's what I’m hoping to see come to fruition through this process."
Helping pave the path to incorporate the town is one of her priorities.
“We had noticed there really was no place our children could walk to, or places we could go to dinner together as a family in Lisbon," Gamino said. "The kids can’t walk to school together and get to know the neighbors that way, so I was so excited about the potential to incorporate Lisbon and what that could all mean.”
The Gamino family called east Wauwatosa their home for 17 years. During that time, development in Wauwatosa was rampant; a stark contrast to what she has so far seen in Lisbon.
"One of the things that was so hard about moving out here was that things are so spread out here that we kind of missed that close-knit community that we had grown accustomed to," Gamino said. "We were in Tosa when all of those awesome things happened there, like when they built the music pavilion and new things were happening in Hart Park and the splash pad was created for kids; things that really drew the community together there.”
Background in law
Gamino lived in Colorado for six years, earning her undergraduate degree and working before moving back to her hometown of Madison, where she obtained her graduate degree in law at the University of Wisconsin.
She became a public defender for three years in Waukesha County, then opened her first law office on the south side of Milwaukee.
"I missed Waukesha a lot and so we bought a property back here so I could be based from home as I was raising my kids," Gamino said. "Now our office itself is based back in Milwaukee because we needed more space. My focus of my practice for the past 15 years has been mental health and criminal defense.”
This is her first experience serving in government, but Town Chairman Joe Osterman said being a newcomer is a benefit for the board. Gamino can bring in a fresh perspective, Osterman said.
Gamino said her experience in law will be advantageous to the board, especially in discussing the potential of incorporation.
"I understand regulations and can see the long-term goals, and as a lawyer, I can look at how they are crafting the progression of the municipality, whether that be regulations or safety," Gamino said.
She created the operational structure of the law firm she manages, Milwaukee-based Gamino Law Offices LLC, that she thinks will help with prospective discussions on incorporating the town.
"With incorporation, you do have to make sure that all of that structure is in place and if there are any services or changes or contracts that we’re looking into, those are things I’ve had to do in my professional life," Gamino said.
Gamino said she has plenty to learn, but she's ready to take on the opportunity.
"I definitely have not done anything like this, or been involved in this side of government," Gamino said. "I don’t know a lot about the history of the town, but I am so excited about being part of the development here in Lisbon."