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Weese appointed to library board

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The North Hudson Board of Trustees voted 5-1 to appoint Curt Weese as the village representative to the Hudson Public Library Board of Trustees at their re-organization meeting Tuesday.

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New village board president Stan Wekkin said he had received numerous emails and telephone calls from people objecting to the appointment and believed other board members had similar contacts. But he said he was confident that Weese would represent the village with integrity and fairness. He and Weese are neighbors and described him as a friend and an upstanding citizen.

Wekkin acknowledged that Weese has a reputation as a vocal opponent of, among others, the school district on multiple issues and in the Star-Observer.

"I believe he will be a good representative of the village. There are a lot of budget issues facing us. We are constrained by limits from the state. I'm a fan of the library but want to have someone there who can keep the board apprised of what is going on so we can make good decisions about possible funding options," said Wekkin.

Trustee Colleen O'Brien Berglund said she was concerned about Weese's nomination in view of what she called his outspoken opposition to the new library. "Someone a little more in favor of the library would be a better representative from North Hudson."

Weese took issue with Berglund's assertion that he is not a library supporter and called the library a great asset to the community. He did say that he was disappointed that the move to the new facility was something "we can't afford which has resulted in the library closing on more days and not being able to purchase new books."

Trustee Marc Zappa questioned Weese about what he saw as his role as the village representative on the library board.

Weese said he would represent the views of the village board and president. He said that he understood that the village board president is "not looking to raise taxes in the village."

Weese added, "I would not at any time act or do anything that would be an embarrassment to the board. If I ever do, I will step down."

Trustee Darryl Standafer requested that the board postpone the vote on Weese's appointment along with other outside appointments until the next board meeting in May in light of the "substantial number of people who have voiced concern about this appointment and others."

Wekkin reiterated his support of Weese and said postponing the vote would not change his nomination. "Even with time I will be staying with Curt - we just need to corral his passion. At the end of the day it would be unfair to decline his appointment and would not reflect on us as open-minded people. He has no poliltical ax to grind - he's just a resident who wants to serve on that board and we should let him do it."

Weese has been an unsuccessful candidate for the village board and the Hudson Board of Education.

Zappa, Wekkin, Klein, Standafer and new trustee Paul Rode voted in favor of Weese's appointment along with others in front of the board. Berglund alone dissented.

As the beginning of the meeting, Wekkin was sworn in as president along with incumbent trustees Zappa, Berglund and Rode, a write-in candidate. The board also approved the appointment of former trustee and board president George Klein to complete the last year of Wekkin's term as a trustee.

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