Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Roan wins Reek spot without a campaign

by Steve Targo

April 12, 2012

LINN — Doris Roan was a Reek School Board candidate in the April 3 election and she didn't even know it. Sort of.

During a telephone interview Monday, she said someone asked her to run, but she told that person she wouldn't do any campaigning.

Then, last week, after the election, Roan said she walked into a Reek School Board meeting and President Bonnie Cornue congratulated her on her victory.

"I was surprised," Roan said.

During a separate interview, Reek Administrator Joe Zirngibl said the question remains whether Roan will accept the position. But Roan, N1744 East Valley Park Road, said she would.

"I've got some ideas, I don't know whether they're going to fly, but yeah, I'm going to take it," she said.

Only one person sought an opening on the Reek School Board in the April 3 election.

Reek School Board Vice President Peter Borgo, W3736 South Lake Shore Drive, ran unopposed.

School Board member John Palmer filed his noncandidacy statement in December 2011. His term expires later this month.

With Palmer not seeking re-election and no one else in the race, the position was up for grabs.

After Tuesday's Reek Board of Canvassers meeting, Zirngibl said there were a total of 44 write-ins April 3.

Of those, 36 were from town of Linn voters.

Roan received 23 write-ins.

"According to what we've learned, the person who gets the most write-in (votes) gets the position," Zirngibl said. "The question is whether or not they're going to accept it."

Now, Zirngibl said for the sake of consistency, they will notify Roan and Borgo of the election victory.

He said they will have two options — attend a special board meeting Thursday, April 19, to be sworn in or inform Zirngibl they will not accept.

Zirngibl said Roan told board members she would think about accepting.

However, on Monday, Roan said she will be there.

She said several times she will accept the position.

"Because I can't squawk if I'm not involved," Roan said.

A little about Roan

She may be well-known for being involved, or as how she described herself, outspoken.

"People know that I'm honest and upright," Roan said.

A past member of the Linn Public Parks Committee and former volunteer at the Lake Geneva Museum, Roan was by profession a school teacher.

Before her retirement, she taught in California, Madison, Star Center Elementary School and at Reek, in kindergarten.

"I had Mark Cates, the chief of police (in Linn), in my kindergarten class," she said.

But Roan is planning to take office during a difficult time for the Reek school Board.

Last year, the board failed twice at the polls to obtain approval from district voters for a $3.9 million renovation project.

Those referendums failed by narrow margins.

However, that failed referendum project received the most support in a recent district survey conducted by the board.

In February, Zirngibl said it appears the idea of building a new school is off the table.

On Monday, Roan said she would be interested in further researching the construction idea.

She also said prior to the election, she helped the late Bill Grunow spread the word about a dome school proposal for Reek.

But how does Roan stand on the issue now?

"I stand on this — I don't believe in putting good money after bad," she said.

Roan said she suspects a third referendum attempt would fail if the amount, of whatever it is the board decides to do, totals more than $2 million.

Although she said she would support looking into building a new school, Roan said she needs to conduct more research.

"I hope we look at all possibilities before we make a decision," Roan said.

She also alluded to needing more information about how the board itself works, especially on this issue.

"I want to find out how they found out what they found out," Roan said.

Although she expressed good intentions, she gave away hints of uncertainty about her new job.

When asked what she hopes to bring to the board, Roan said, "Peace."

When asked how she will accomplish that, Roan said she isn't sure.

"I just don't know what I'm running into here," she said.