Common Council Appoints Bobbi Jo Kunz to Fill Alderman Seat Left by Nancy Vanderkin

— Waupun Pioneer News is brought to you by Homan Auto Group. Article continues below. —

WAUPUN — The Waupun City Council filled the vacant 6th Alderman District position with local real estate broker Bobbi Jo Kunz at the Common Council meeting Tuesday night. She was appointed in a 3-2 vote following several candidates making their case to the Council as to why they would make the best Alderman.

The 6th Alderman District seat was left vacant late last year after the tragic passing of Nancy Vanderkin, who was a staple of the Waupun community. Due to the timing of her passing, the seat was too late to be added to the election cycle this year, so the City opted to appoint a new alderman after opening up applications to the public. Any citizen who lived in the district and passed a background check could be considered for the position.

A total of five people put their names forward for consideration. These included Steve Buchholz, Jay Graff, Bobbi Jo Kunz, Kenneth Liebenow, and Andrea Torres. In the week prior to the meeting, Buchholz withdrew his name from the running and endorsed Torres for the position. The four remaining members each gave a short address to the Council during the meeting.

Andrea Torres is a lifetime resident of Waupun and mother. Her husband runs Torres Tree Service. After she finished her address Alderman Kaczmarski asked her about her supervision experience and qualifications, and Alderman Westphal asked her to elaborate about her goals to make Waupun better.

Jay Graff is a former 1st Sergeant in the US Army as well as a long-time labor activist. He has a deep history with local organizations, having been the president of the Waupun Historical Society and a current member of the Waupun Community Fund committee. Graff also previously ran for mayor of Waupun.

Bobbi Kunz is a real estate broker at My Property Shoppe. Family involved in local sports. Leadership background as FFA Alumni president. Alderman Kaczmarski asked about her experience and qualifications with being part of a group and organizing projects, and Alderman Westphal asked her about what specific goals she had in mind, which she talked about downtown and community growth.

Kenneth Liebenow is a longtime local and the owner of a number of downtown buildings in Waupun. He discussed his interest in learning about local governance and being a part of the process. Alderman Kaczmarski asked about what committees he might be interested in serving on, and Alderman Westphal asked about specific policies or plans he wanted to target which Liebenow discussed supporting local organizations and buying local.

Following the presentations from each candidate, the City Council began discussions on who they would select. It was decided that the Council would take nominations for consideration.

Alderman Westphal nominated Bobby Jo Kunz for consideration, Alderman Matoushek nominated Andrea Torres for consideration, and Alderman Kaczmarski nominated Jay Graff for consideration. All nominations moved forward, followed by a motion by Westphal to make a roll call vote.

The vote went for two rounds, with results 2-Torres, 2-Kunz, 1-Graff, then 3-Kunz, 2-Torres.

First round:
– Langford: Torres,
– Kaczmarski: Graff,
– Siebers: Kunz,
– Matoushek: Torres,
– Westphal: Kunz.

Second round:
– Langford: Torres,
– Kaczmarski: Kunz,
– Siebers: Kunz,
– Matoushek: Torres,
– Westphal: Kunz.

Kunz was immediately sworn in and seated on the Council, casting votes on resolutions for the remainder of the meeting. Following the tradition started by the late Nancy Vanderkin, she made the motion to adjourn.

“I absolutely love this small town feel and what Waupun offers,” Kunz told WPN following the meeting. “I wanted to be a part of that, so why not run?” Kunz went on to say that she had been thinking about running for a very long time, but did not think she could ever run against Nancy Vankerkin. She described the encouragement she received from friends and family after Nancy’s passing, and her hope that she can fill the shoes of the previous Alderwoman.