VanGundy defeated as mayor |

VanGundy defeated as mayor

Rodeman handily wins seat

— After weeks of defending her actions to the town and supporting the decisions of the old Town Board, Deb VanGundy can finally take a time out.

The Oak Creek mayor won’t be coming back to work next week.

Cargo Rodeman defeated VanGundy for the mayoral seat in a surprise 164-81 decision Tuesday night.

VanGundy sat on the Town Board four years ago when she was appointed mayor of Oak Creek. She assumed the position again two years ago when no one challenged her.

That all changed with Rodeman’s candidacy.

Rodeman’s wide margin of victory surprised VanGundy, who said she was confused by the sudden interest in town hall.

During her time with the Town Board, meetings garnered little interest until a few weeks ago when accusations surfaced concerning the town manager and Town Board.

Many unpleasant surprises accompanied the weeks leading up to the election, VanGundy said.

But she believed the town would change after the election.

She does not know what to think of her opponent’s win, she said.

When rumors began circulating about her candidacy, Rodeman’s critics initially doubted her resolve to run.

Despite a clear-cut win, Rodeman said she expected to face some skepticism when she assumed the mayoral seat at the new board’s first meeting.

Some people have painted her as a radical, but they fail to see past that undeserved image, she said.

“There is the other side,” she said.

Word of mouth helped increase awareness about her campaign, she said.

Oak Creek needs a positive change, she said earlier, starting with its children, water and streets.

Rodeman said she hopes the new board leaves behind any hidden agendas.

“Everybody is ready for a change,” she said. “I’m hoping there’s a lot of common sense and none of them come with closed minds.”

She intends to jump into her newly earned position, she said.

And the current mayor, now on her way out of office, said she is looking forward to getting away from the contention that seemed to drive a wedge between people in Oak Creek.

“I don’t plan to do anything now,” she said.

“I’ll sit back for a while, take a little rest and then see what’s going on.”

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