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Voters deliver interesting results in Wascott, Oliver, Lakeside

With better-than-average turnout, voters throughout Douglas County delivered some interesting results at the ballot box. In most cases incumbents -- whether they faced opposition or not -- are heading back to their posts. However, in the town of ...

With better-than-average turnout, voters throughout Douglas County delivered some interesting results at the ballot box.

In most cases incumbents -- whether they faced opposition or not -- are heading back to their posts.

However, in the town of Wascott on the southernmost end of the county, has an entirely new board after Tuesday's election, just a little more than a month after replacing its clerk/treasurer by appointment.

Nearly 72 percent of the towns registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.

Val Bremanis, the former clerk/treasurer, resigned her post in mid-February, days before the primary. Bremanis didn't explain the reason for her resignation, but did state in a letter to the board: "I am so sorry for what I did and especially that I hurt those who believed and trusted me. All I can say is that I had a very bad lapse in judgment."

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The letter doesn't explain what she did, however, an agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice's criminal investigation division did address community members at a town board meeting at the request of Bernie Bergman, the town's former board chairman.

"I was called in to look at some things here," said Jim Ohm, during the March 10 Wascott town board meeting. "As a result of that preliminary investigation, it was decided that we would open a case."

Ohm declined to give details of the ongoing criminal investigation, but said things discovered were not just a minor error.

Bergman, who was assisting the state in its investigation according to Ohm, lost his seat Tuesday night to Janice Newsome.

Newsome, a native of Wascott who returned to the area after retirement, started asking questions about the town's finances.

Wednesday, Newsome was busy creating a list of things that would need to get done to start moving the town forward again.

Newsome said she plans to meet with her fellow board members to begin setting priorities to get the community back on track.

In addition to Bergman's defeat, board members Chuck McCann and Steve Balcsik lost their bids for re-election to challengers Bob Beglinger and Douglas Bush.

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Newsome, Beglinger and Bush will be sworn into office Tuesday.

Clerk/treasurer Jeanette Atkinson, who was appointed to the post following February's primary and Bremanis' resignation, garnered about four-votes-to-one over a write-in challenger. Matt Ahlberg, defeated in the primary, earned the town's 70 write in votes in the race.

In another write-in victory, a village president was defeated Tuesday. Gary Abraham launched the write-in challenge against Oliver board president Jerry Ruzic and defeated the previously unchallenged incumbent.

In Lakeside, where only one candidate was vying for one of two vacant seats on the board, Paul Colby garnered 84 of the 108 write-in votes cast for the second seat.

Countywide, 80 school board, town, village and city officials resumed their duties following Tuesday night's election. Eleven incumbents were defeated and 15 public officials decided not to run for office again. About 30 percent of voters cast ballots, better than the 18 percent turnout reported statewide by the Associated Press today.

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