BY CALEB ALEXANDER
There’s 14 townships in Clinton County and an election in each one on April 6 but very few contested races. Does it speak to the contention that township governments are not necessary? Should they be dissolved? That has been an ongoing issue in Illinois for decades but they continue on.
If you do not live inside the borders of a city or village, then you are a resident of an unincorporated area of the county called a township.
In only two of those elections is the top township position, that of supervisor, featuring opposition. They are in Irishtown where incumbent Supervisor Erika Knolhoff is facing a challenge from Carl Vonder Haar and in Brookside where incumbent Nancy Michael is challenged by Michael Chambers, Michael vs. Michael.
The township supervisors sliding in for terms of office with no one running against them, largely incumbents, are Karl Winkeler in St. Rose, Clyde Strotheide in Wheatfield, Timothy Hanke in East Fork, Rusty Venhaus in Sugar Creek, Ralph Kuhl in Breese, Ronald Becker in Wade, Joseph Isaak in Carlyle, Gregory Baysinger in Clement, Rodney Koelmel in Meridian, Gail Peters in Lookingglass, Warren Strieker in Germantown, Tim Fuehne in Santa Fe and Marie Lippert in Lake.
There is, however, some competition in three township races for highway commissioner. That is a job with results that are more visible to the citizens because it involves road maintenance and snow removal.
In Breese Township, incumbent Cletus Ratermann is challenged by Paul Huelsmann for highway commissioner. In the Clement Township highway commissioner race, Michael Gehrs, the incumbent is not on the ballot but Mike Hohmeyer and Steven Finley are going for the position.
Germantown voters will find three men on their ballot for highway commissioner but one of them is not the incumbent, Jerome Ripperda. The contestants in that race are Brian Detmer, James Schomaker and Carl Toennies.
The other township highway commissioners in Clinton County that are all unopposed are Rick Zumwalt in Carlyle, John Pate in Wade, Dale Wessel in Lake, Cory Kleiboeker in Brookside, Michael Timmermann in St. Rose, Tom Alexander in Wheatfield, Jeff Vonder Haar in Irishtown, Robert Lyons in East Fork, Michael Emig in Sugar Creek, Robert Kannall in Meridian and Mike Peters in Lookingglass.
Irishtown Township, one of those with a race for supervisor, also has four seats on its board open. Those running are incumbents Linda Collins, Ivan Gunter, Colin Carver and Gerhard Diekemper and challengers Rita Lewis, Justin Henkel and Leroy Humke. This is the most candidates for any township race in the county. Also the only one for trustees’ seats where a decision needed by the voters. All the others are unopposed.
Those consist of Robert Zimmermann, Doyle Twenhafel, Gary Knolhoff and Joseph Smith IV running for four seats on the Lake Township Board, incumbents Kyla Beaver, Robert Grote, Joy Michael and new candidate Gina Selle for four seats on the Brookside Township Board and Matthew Woltering, Michael Gall, John Kalmer and Jim Kohlbrecher for four seats on the St. Rose Township Board.
In Wheatfield Township, the four running for four seats are Lisa Huels, Evelyn Wuebbels, Marilyn Peters and William Wade. Same in East Fork Township with those running being Jerald Buening, Tracy Schilling, Travis Schneider and Timothy Meyer. Also for Breese Township, there are four seats and four people running, incumbents Alfred Ratermann and Red Jansen and new ones Neal Richter and Bernie Bruns.
You also have the same voters choosing four for four slots situation in Wade Township with the trustees to be serving being Jerome Kampwerth, Michael Peppenhorst, James Mensing and Ronald Holthaus. Likewise for Clement Township – Norma Tucker, Theresa Garrison, Clifford Stevens and Donald Lueking and Carlyle Township – Jack Wuebbels, Scott Kleber, Raymond Rainey and Matt Dannaman.
Meridian Township’s four are Mark Geiger, Timothy Boeker, Dean Jett and Jason Brammeier then in Lookingglass, the voters will find the same set up with those running being David Wellen, Tom Rakers, Kenneth Graul and Bradley Albers, the last two being incumbents.
Germantown Township’s election has four people running for board seats with Terry Deerhake being a new one along with incumbents Keith Knobeloch, Gary Eversgerd and Dennis Lakenburges. Rounding out the four seats open and four people running for them is Santa Fe Township with incumbents Don Timmermann, Kurt Becker and Steve Varel and one new one, Daniel Mueller.
One of the hardest township jobs is that of clerk. They have to keep the records and make sure everything on paper is in order like the meeting minutes and agendas or important documents. But there are none of them in the county running for reelection who are opposed. These are Sandra Cain in Carlyle, Marcella Lueking in Clement, Brett Huelsmann in St. Rose, Danielle Peters in Wheatfield, Todd Schneider in Irishtown, James Tyberendt in Lake, Jean Sloat in Brookside, Tammy Lyons in East Fork, Soda Buzzard in Sugar Creek, Daniel Strake in Breese, Marlene Beckmann in Wade, Harvey Holland in Meridian, Debra Kehrer in Lookingglass, Ronald Eversgerd in Germantown and Jessie Winkeler in Santa Fe.
Yet another township job that involves some time, effort and work is that of assessor but the candidates running in all the townships on April 6 have no one against them. These are Tracy Mensing in Wade, Scott Kauling in Carlyle, Tammy Booth in Brookside, Chris Wellen in Lookingglass and Pamela Mueller in Germantown.
The smaller townships have combined their assessor positions of which some are included in this year’s election, they are shown as multi-township assessors and include Philip Rueter for Santa Fee and Lake, Cathy George for East Fork, Clement and Meridian, Brad Knolhoff for St. Rose, Wheatfield and Irishtown, and Debora Riddle for Breese and Sugar Creek.