Kenosha – County Board Chairman Daniel Esposito has selected Village of Somers Trustee Joe Cardinali to fill the vacant 15th District County Board seat.
The vacancy occurred following the death of 15th District Supervisor Greg Retzlaff in June. Retzlaff was re-elected to a two-year term in April. He was first elected in 2014.
The County Board confirmed Cardinali’s appointment in a vote taken during Tuesday night’s board meeting.
Cardinali will fill only about eight months of Retzlaff’s term until a special election can be held to fill the seat in April. The Spring Election will be held on April 2. If more than two candidates file to run for the seat, a primary election will be held Feb. 19. Cardinali is eligible to run if he so chooses.
The 15th District, which includes much of the Village and Town of Somers, is roughly bounded by Highway KR, Lake Michigan, the Kenosha city limits, highways H and L and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks that parallel Highway 31.
Cardinali, who was re-elected as a Village Trustee in April, said he will resign from his Village post so that he can devote his full attention to the County Board. He has served on the Somers Village Board since 2015 and has been the board liaison to the Somers Park Committee, which includes responsibility for developing the annual Parks and Recreation budget.
“Joe Cardinali has a strong commitment and passion for Somers and Kenosha County as a whole. He has demonstrated an ability to see all sides of an issue and to understand government, as evidenced by his work on another elected board in a community which has undergone rapid change and dealt with complex issues,” Esposito said.
"As a result of his experience on the Somers board, Joe will be able to be fully engaged and hit the ground running in the work of the County Board as we enter the critical stage of scrutinizing the County Executive’s proposed 2019 budget, which is key for this eight-month stint on the board,” Esposito said. “His experience and knowledge will best benefit his constituents in Somers as well as the whole of Kenosha County.”
Esposito said he was impressed with Cardinali’s broad base of support, as indicated by the 70 letters of support, from all across the political spectrum, that were supplied along with his application.
Cardinali said he will serve in the tradition of the late Supervisor Retzlaff, whom he considered a mentor and a friend, by digging in to issues and seeking the most cost-effective and efficient services for county residents.
“I am humbled and deeply honored to receive this appointment and will do my best to follow the great example of service set by Greg Retzlaff, who asked tough questions and always looked for the most fiscally responsible ways of doing county business,” Cardinali said. “I am looking forward to serving on the County Board and I am committed to doing what is in the best interests of my community.”