Janesville64°

McDonald, Voskuil, Rashkin fill council seats

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
April 2, 2008
— The three novice council members to be seated later this month—Tom McDonald, Kathy Voskuil and Yuri Rashkin—will be charged with one of the most important jobs council members will ever face: hiring a new city manager.

No incumbents sought re-election.


The three were the top vote getters from a field of six Tuesday.


Today, a consultant is interviewing community members on what to look for in recruiting for the top spot. The process had been on hold until the new members were elected. Now, it will kick into high gear.


City Manager Steve Sheiffer will retire this fall.


Two of the new council members—McDonald, 27, a lawyer, and Rashkin, 32, the owner of a mortgage business—have no experience in the city’s government. Kathy Voskuil, 48, served for seven years on the plan commission and was chair during the contentious Wal-Mart Supercenter development.


“We’re basically going to be hitting the ground running,” McDonald said. “Now, we’re gearing up for hiring the city manager.”


For him, a second immediate priority is the city’s potholes: “Getting them fixed up after the tough winter.”


McDonald didn’t attribute his win to any one thing, but said he had a “good support group” that got the word out.


Voskuil said the results showed that voters were informed and took the time to learn about the candidates in the various forums.


She believes the voters valued her past years on the plan commission, which decides such important issues as land use and development.


She, too, is gearing up for the intensive process of choosing a manager.


Other priorities include economic development and the 2009 budget.


Rashkin, who came in fifth out of 11 candidates in the primary, said he got out in the community to campaign and figures that nudged him up the needed spots.


“I know so many more people in the community than I did three months ago,” he said.


Rashkin said he’s made a lot of friends and has learned a lot during the campaign.


He said he is “humbled” by the “trust that’s been placed in me by the voters. Now, it’s up to me to justify that trust.”


Rashkin said he’s looking forward to the process of hiring a manager.


“We’ve got to make sure we have the best city manager in Janesville. Period.”


Another issue will be the 2009 budget, as well as considering the ideas that Rashkin hopes residents will bring forward.



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