Incumbents Theresa Rusch and Larry Laehn and newcomer Bill Wilson won the three open seats on the Milton City Council on Tuesday.

Three seats were up for grabs after city council member Jeremy Zajac chose not to seek re-election.

Rusch and Laehn were the only candidates to file paperwork, which subsequently encouraged Wilson and Devin Elliott to run as write-in candidates.

The incumbents took the lion’s share of votes, with 1,335 going to Rusch and 967 to Laehn.

Wilson snagged his seat by earning 147 write-in votes, three short of the 150-vote goal he set for himself. Elliott received 32 votes.

Laehn said he was thankful the community had enough confidence in him for another term. He hopes to continue focusing on issues he has targeted in the past: fiscal responsibility and making Milton a quality place to live, work and play.

Addressing Milton’s deteriorating fire station and managing growth are two of Laehn’s top priorities.

The Milton and Janesville fire departments began sharing services in early 2016 and started sharing administration in late 2017.

Some residents and local officials hope to review the shared services agreement with new Fire Chief Ernest Rhodes, who was sworn in last month.

Meanwhile, Milton’s fire station has been in a state of disrepair for years, and the Milton Joint Fire Commission is looking into building a new station or joining the Janesville department in building a station on the north side of Janesville.

Laehn encourages people to stay in touch with him and other council members.

Wilson said he was pleased with his victory, considering how difficult it is to get people to write in candidates.

A community the size of Milton has to distinguish itself from other communities, Wilson said. As a council member, he hopes to encourage people from other communities to visit or relocate to Milton.

Wilson said he has a few “low-cost projects” in mind that he thinks could make an impact locally. He wants people to feel free to contact him with ideas or concerns.

The Gazette could not reach Rusch for comment by press time.


Recommended for you