Fontana's Pollitt remembered as quiet leader
A scholarship fund in honor of former Fontana Village President Ron Pollitt has been established at Walworth State Bank.
Those who wish to contribute may send a check payable to the Ron Pollitt Memorial Scholarship Fund to Walworth State Bank, P.O. Box 66, Walworth, WI 53184.
Donations also can be dropped off at Walworth State Bank, 105 N. Highway 67, Walworth, or Fontana Village Hall, 175 Valley View Drive, Fontana.
FONTANA Ronald Pollitt was a quiet leader.
He ran for public office not because he wanted the recognition but because he saw himself as a guy who could make a difference in his community, friends and colleagues said.
Pollitt, who served as village president for nearly two years and as a village trustee for three years prior, died of a massive heart attack Tuesday. He was 61.
Before his retirement—and before his foray into public service—Pollitt worked in financial management at Westinghouse Electric for 28 years, spending half that time as senior vice president of its subsidiary, PCI Energy Services.
It was his longtime friend, Bill Turner, who has served as a village trustee since 1976, who encouraged him to someday run for election to the village board.
"I thought he would bring a great deal of help to the village," Turner said.
Pollitt in 2004 joked with The Janesville Gazette about his reason for running.
"Will Rogers once said 'All politics is applesauce,'" he said. "And I want to find out what this applesauce is all about."
Pollitt, a relative newcomer in a race among incumbents and others with experience in village government, received the most votes in the election.
During his time as a village trustee and then as village president, he was especially committed to getting the job done, friends and colleagues said.
"Without a doubt, these positions—trustee and president—take a great deal of time, and he was always very, very generous with his time," said Kelly Hayden, village administrator. "He gave it his all. He was just very dedicated to the cause."
But for Pollitt, public service was simply something he needed to do.
"He always felt that you should give back to your community," said his wife, Peg Pollitt. "He always felt people should do their part for their community."
Pollitt was particularly proud of the restoration of an old mill—one of the oldest buildings in the village—into an outdoor educational facility. He was integral in the fundraising, construction and dedication of the Mill House Pavilion, which was completed last summer without the use of taxpayer money.
"That was kind of like his project," Hayden said. "He took full leadership of it because … I think he felt it was a little piece of history that needed to come to life."
Between the historical value and educational function of the building, "(the restoration project) brought home everything that he represented," she said.
Pollitt recently had decided to not seek re-election as village president.
"He felt he had done his part," his wife said. "He really wanted to have more time to…be retired."
Among the things he was looking forward to doing was spending winters at the couple's home in Arizona, golfing and fishing, she said.
Pollitt is survived by his wife, Peg; daughters Elizabeth Pollitt, Jennifer Pollitt and Lara Rodriguez; son Roger Pollitt; and granddaughter Victoria Rodriguez.
Services will be held Saturday.