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Residents Vote For a New Direction on Their Village Board

Both Jeremy Walz and Bonnie Lemmer defeated long-time Menomonee Falls trustees Michael McDonald and Jeff Steliga in Tuesday's election.

Menomonee Falls voters have made their collective voice heard, and they wanted to see change on their Village Board.

Both Bonnie Lemmer and Jeremy Walz defeated incumbents Michael McDonald and Jeff Steliga Tuesday. The sweep of incumbents may have had a lot to do with voter backlash from the ongoing issues tied to the village's rough road traveled with the Radisson Hotel

Walz is a 35-year-old local machine shop employee who served in the Army and has lived in Falls for more than two decades. He graduated with honors from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a focus on secondary education, history and political science. Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association endorsed his bid for Village Board.

"I’d like to say thanks to the voters who supported me, my family, and the Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association for their endorsement. Now that it’s over, we should also give thanks to Mr. McDonald for his long service to the community, and hopefully he’ll stay involved. I'm Ready to get work," Walz said. “The whole board made a mistake with the hotel, and there are repercussions.”

Lemmer, 69, is a Shorewest real estate agent with a degree in communication. She ran to take a more immediate role in shaping the future of the village. She has 25 years of experience in management, contract negotiations, budget development, and productivity management working for small and Fortune 500 companies. 

"It was a long hard month. People are just not happy with what’s going on in the Falls and I think we can change things around," Lemmer said. "I’m hoping to uncover what’s going on with that Radisson now that I’m on the inside. I’m so excited to help out the village.

"I am going to get to the bottom of. You have to pay those contractors, I’ve seen too many contractors stiffed in the business that I’m in.”

Steliga served for 19 years on the Village Board, and was already collecting campaign signs Tuesday when he spoke with Patch. 

“I want to thank everyone for 19 years on the board," Steliga said. "It was a wonderful opportunity to serve. People clearly wanted to go in a different direction.” 

Michael McDonald did not immediately return a call from Patch Tuesday night. He was a trustee since 1990.  

Here’s how residents voted Tuesday in the Village Board race (all results are unofficial until canvassed):

Seat Four

  • Jeremy Walz 52.9 percent, 3,215 votes
  • Michael McDonald (inc.) 47 percent, 2,856 votes

Seat Five

  • Bonnie Lemmer 53.1 percent, 3,203 votes
  • Jeff Steliga (inc.) 46.8 percent, 2,825 votes

Trustee Steve Raymonds also kept his seat as he ran unopposed Tuesday. Voter turnout for the spring election was 28.5 percent of registered Falls voters. 

Roggensack Rolls in Menomonee Falls 

Residents also voted in a heated state Supreme Court election Tuesday, which was the only other contested election. Here’s how the votes tallied in Menomonee Falls:

State Supreme Court

  • Patience Roggensack 78 percent, 5,509 votes 
  • Ed Fallone 21.9 percet, 1,546 votes

School Board 

The Menomonee Falls School Board will also welcome a new member after an uncontested race.

Michele Divelbiss, who fell short of earning a School Board seat during the last board race, is on the board now. She joins incumbents Scott Ternes and Faith VanderHorst who also ran in that uncontested race. Divelbiss will fill the board vacancy left behind by Lori Blodorn, who was hired by the Menomonee Falls School District earlier this year.

Patch will update this story with candidate reactions. 

Steve ® April 03, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Bye bye RINO's. Will you repay us the debt you leave behind with your idiotic hotel? Nice work Falls now let's pick off the rest of these RINOs next go around.
WEACHATER April 03, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Hey Eddie, EPIC FAIL.
Common Sense Conservative April 03, 2013 at 03:07 AM
For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my village because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback. Good job Falls!
Todd April 03, 2013 at 04:02 AM
Congrats both Jamie and Bonnie, remember we are watching your performance and how you will move our Village forward. First point of order get something finalized with the Hotel, then put Fitzgerald on ice, he still needs to be brought to responsibility for the hotel and the hostility with the police and fire departments. Then let's get our Village together before we take on another Village. Using mutual aid agreements is working with all of our surrounding departments. No need to take on another expence.
J Ro April 03, 2013 at 07:21 AM
Trustee-elect Walz stated above, "and hopefully he’ll <McDonald> stay involved." Umm, no, first mistake, Trustee-elect Walz. I and others voted for you to get rid of Mr. McDonald, permantly from the village board, plan commission and any other village govermental body he had his fingers into. If you support bringing McDonald back in any capacity, I and others will support someone else come April of 2016.
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) April 03, 2013 at 10:07 AM
Maybe he just meant that so Mikey wouldn't get a sourpuss, take his ball, and go home.
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) April 03, 2013 at 10:10 AM
When the voting results are nearly identical for two races such as this, it's a definite sign it wasn't just one person. It's too bad no one went up against Raymonds. These two big players will do though.
Unions_NO April 03, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Anyone who would approve a loan to an organization already turned away from banks deserves to have their head examined - or in this case, to get thrown out of office. THANK YOU residents of Menomonee Falls for waking up, and finally taking this bull by the horns. The hotel was just the latest of years of fiscally irresponsible, "progressive" (God help us) ideas. LOCAL elections like this affect the quality of our lives in so many ways. Maybe this afternoon Mark Belling will comment that the time finally came and the residents of Menomonee Falls finally woke up and took out the trash. Good riddance!
Had Enough Yet? April 03, 2013 at 01:40 PM
I am so proud of my community. Thankfully we woke from our slumber and realized that the good ol boys got to go
Tom McMahon April 03, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Now if we could just have Jeff & Mike pay the $500/person we all owe ...
Di Atribe April 03, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Wouldn't that be a wonderful protest! If every resident sent bills to the Village Board for the hotel bill. How many would write me a check for my family's $2,000? That being said--GO TO THE HOTEL AND RBG RESTAURANT! It's a beautiful facility with good food staffed by fine people who just want to do their jobs.
Jann April 03, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I think he was just being nice, but you bring up a good point. The plan commission consists of the Village president, one trustee and five other people. McDonald could very well end up on the plan commission again. I have gone to meetings of the plan commission and village board in past years and just gave up going. It was painfully obvious that their minds were made up prior to the meetings and they would not take any citizens concerns into serious consideration. I hope this changes with two new members on the board.
Boatnurd April 03, 2013 at 02:34 PM
What kind of benefits do trustee's get? There is an annual stipend but what about the hidden retirement and health care costs? Who knows this as it never gets published and people fight for these 5-6 thousand dollar a year positions so I am thinking there is more to it then what is published.
Steve ® April 03, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Free booze at RBG and rooms to hide special visitors for the wife.
John Wilson April 03, 2013 at 03:32 PM
The people have spoken; they wanted change! I will patiently wait to see all the positive changes that take place between now and 2016... it really isn't as easy as a lot of the posters here think...
W . Benz April 03, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Taxpayer Heroes : Blogers Craig, Nuitari, Steve, #44 and all the other blogers who help make this change removing the RINOS and some of the Cabal members who have spent taxpayers monies on Hotels -Bike trails -Grants for Bars / coffee shops landlords. Remember there are alot more Rinos to take out and the first thing these New Trustees should do is to remove the Un-Elected King Fitzgerald. Make a motion for the resignation of Fitzgerald and see how the other Trustees vote and another motion to stop the Hotel bailout --- NO MORE TAXPAYERS $$$$$$$ New Trustees you better do your homework because these RINOS will be waiting on you and will slam dunk you every chance they get.
W . Benz April 03, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Funny OTIS comments on his facebook blames Belling and everyone else . Bellings pod cast wisn... hr 1 part 2 and hr 2 part 2 . Belling said the same thing I did --Fitz and others should be fired. The new trustees should move to remove Fitz and stop the bail out and sell the hotel now. No more Bail-outs

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