Wisconsin Geospatial News

Governor makes appointments to Land Info Board

Governor Jim Doyle recently announced six appointments to the Wisconsin Land Information Board. His actions brought membership up to the full complement of fifteen. Between these appointments and some changes in representatives from state agencies, the board will have a large proportion of new members when it meets in late January for the first time in over nine months.

Most recent appointments
Jane Licht (Dane County Register of Deeds) and James Servais (a semi-retired dairy farmer from the Stoddard area in western Vernon County) were both appointed effective November 1. Licht’s term ends in 2007, and Servais’ runs to 2009. David Eisele, a Professional Land Surveyor from Menasha, was appointed late in December to a term ending in 2006. (All board appointments end on May 1 of the designated year).

Licht replaces retired UW-Madison professor Ben Nieman as a representative from a professional land information organization, while Servais fills a vacant position designated for a representative from a city council, village board, or town board. The governor also appointed Licht to the Wisconsin Land Council. Servais is a member of the Town of Hamburg Board and the Vernon County Board. In that latter capacity, he is also a member of the Vernon County Land Information Committee. Eisele is co-owner of a surveying/engineering/planning firm in Menasha. He fills the seat vacated when Arden Sandnes resigned several years ago.

Outgoing board member Niemann is a charter member of the Board, beginning 14 years of service in 1989. Niemann, a leader in the creation of the state’s Land Information Program, was elected as the Board’s first chair, and later served for years on its Executive Committee.

Three others appointed earlier
In early October, Governor Doyle appointed three other members to the Board. Reappointed was Mike Romportl, Land Information Officer for Oneida County. He fills a position that has no term. Joyce Fiacco, the Land Information Officer for Dodge County, will be joining the board as a new member with a position expiring in 2005. She fills a membership position designated for a county officer active in land information management.

A new face to many in the land information community is Jim Baumgart who represented the Sheboygan area in the State Senate through last fall’s election. His WLIB term expires in 2007. Baumgart, representing private business, fills a position formerly held by Fred Halfen, Vice-President of Ayres Associates, a photogrammetric mapping firm in Madison. Halfen was appointed to the Board in 1998, and for the past four years held the position of Vice-Chair.

The WLIB is composed of fifteen members including five state agency representatives and the state cartographer, none of whom are appointed by the governor. The remaining nine positions are appointed of which eight have staggered six-year terms. With these six recent appointments, WLIB membership is complete for the first time in six years.

Board sets meeting date
The Land Information Board will hold its first meeting since April 3rd (2003) on Tuesday January 27, 2004. That day, the Board and the Wisconsin Land Council will first meet jointly for two hours to review the functions of each body for the benefit of new members. Following the joint meeting, the Board will meet on its own to consider issues specific to the Land Information Program. Visit the Wis. Department of Administration’s web site for specific information on upcoming or previous meetings of either the WLIB or WLC.