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July 22, 2019

6/20/2019 7:26:00 AM
Lake Tomahawk has a new treasurer

Brian Jopek
Lakeland Times Reporter

The process was a little out of the ordinary, but by the end of the June 12 meeting of the Lake Tomahawk Town Board of Supervisors, a new town treasurer was selected.

Mike Lynch, who has served as the town treasurer for at least a decade, resigned in April of this year, creating a vacancy.

In the meantime, he's agreed to stay on to help until his replacement was found and trained.

There were two applicants for the position - Deb Blaskan and Cecilia Bianga - present at last week's meeting.

After the town board reviewed copies of the candidates' resumes, supervisor Larry Hoffman made a motion to name Bianga as Lynch's replacement, however the motion didn't get a second.

Town chairman George DeMet, wondering about Lynch training his replacement, asked about an effective date.

"I could resign right now," Lynch said, a comment which drew laughter from the audience. "I think it should be effective immediately."

Supervisor Stephanie Sowatzka asked if DeMet had met with either candidate.

"Was there an interview?" she asked.

"Well, we have not conducted interviews," DeMet said. "If you suggest that we do that."

"I would," Sowatzka said.

The town board agreed to conduct the interviews on June 18, and DeMet planned to call a special meeting after the interviews to make the selection.

A few minutes later, Sowatzka informed DeMet she wouldn't be available for the interviews and vote after all.

"I'm sitting here realizing this," she said. "And I don't want to hold up the position any longer."

Town clerk Sharon Trimberger Lintereur said her "only concern" is the town has been running an ad for a treasurer replacement in The Lakeland Times for over a month.

"We were waiting for this board meeting ..." she began.

"To move forward," Sowatzka said.

"You know, Mike resigned in April," Lintereur said. "Do you see what I mean? Let's get off the pot, I guess, one way or the other."

DeMet asked if the town board wanted to revisit the matter.

"And start over again on the treasurer appointment?" he asked.

"Yes," Sowatzka said. "That would be good."

"OK," DeMet said. "We'll open it back up for discussion."

He then asked Blaskan and Bianga if they wanted to say anything.

Bianga went first. She and her family have been in Lake Tomahawk since 2006 and she tries to be active in the community, volunteering to help at snowshoe baseball games and community Christmas and Halloween parties, she said.

"I just wanted to come and introduce myself and come up with ideas," she said. "I'm about the community because, you know, they have helped me and my family out a lot."

Blaskan, currently the supervisor for the town's information booth, said she's lived in Lake Tomahawk since 1994, but has been coming up to the town since 1958.

"When my daughter was young, I ran the Halloween party and the Christmas party," she said, adding she's been working at the information booth three years and was made supervisor there two years ago.

Blaskan said when she was first approached by Lintereur and Lynch about trying for the treasurer position, she had reservations, thinking she wouldn't be good at the job.

"But I thought about it awhile and you know, I come from the health care field and I wasn't good when I started to go to school to become a nurse, either," she said. "And I wasn't good when I started at the information booth, either, but I learned both of those things and it's another thing in my lifelong learning so I do kind of look forward to the position."

DeMet asked Hoffman and Sowatzka if they had anything to add.

"I'm good," Hoffman said.

It was about then that former town chairman Rick Mazurczak could be heard whispering in the back of the room.

"That's not the way to do a job interview," he said to the person next to him.

Mazurczak's comment went unanswered.

Once again, Hoffman made a motion selecting Bianga as treasurer and this time, he got a second - from Sowatzka.

The vote was unanimous.

After the meeting, DeMet said Bianga's first regular town board meeting as treasurer will be in July.

Other matters

The town board also:

• Approved the appointments of Mazurczak and Christy Seidel to the town's park commission.

• Approved an ordinance for all-terrain vehicles and utility vehicles, which DeMet said won't go into effect until the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources finalizes its revised master plan for the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. That isn't expected until 2020, it was noted.

• Authorized bids to paint striping for the public parking lot downtown as well as for crosswalks and handicapped parking.

• Approved a bid from Pitlik and Wick of nearly $74,000 for work on a half mile of Sand Lake Road.

• Approved revisions to the job description for the town custodian. Changes to the job description are the elimination of mowing duties and removal of responsibility for renting the community center. DeMet said that's handled by the town clerk.

• Approved a refundable $50 deposit as a charge for a non-resident to use the community center for a memorial service. Before the change, the charge for a non-resident to use the building for a memorial service was $250.

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at

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