10/1/07

County supervisor shifts to SEIU full-time

A busy work schedule has forced another Fond du Lac County Board supervisor to resign. Todd Schmitz said Friday that he is leaving the board. He represented District 26, which includes Ward 5 in the city of Fond du Lac (WI).

Schmitz is the third supervisor in less than a month to depart from the board. Jennifer Saul, former supervisor for District 32, resigned earlier this month due to personal and work conflicts. Robert Tank, who represented District 12, left within days of Saul's resignation. He said he quit for personal reasons.

Schmitz said work influenced his decision. He frequently travels to Minneapolis to fulfill his duties with SEIU Healthcare, a division of the largest and fastest-growing union in the United States, he said. Being out of town so much makes it difficult to attend board and committee meetings, he said.

He added that he has served for six years and enjoyed his time with the board. However, time restraints have forced him to choose between working with SEIU Healthcare and representing his constituents. "The citizens deserve someone who can do the job," he said.

The upcoming County Board reduction did not affect his decision but still saddens him, he said. Schmitz believes people will lose representation and democracy next year when the County Board will be reduced from 36 to 18 districts.

County Executive Allen Buechel said he also doesn't believe the reduction has driven more supervisors to leave the board. Having three resignations in such a short time period is not unusual, he said. The County Board goes through periods when no one resigns. However, an influx of departures will suddenly occur because supervisors encounter hefty work or personal schedules, he said.

"It's not that people are saying, 'That's it. I'm out of here,'" he said.

(fdlreporter.com)

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