Manitowoc Library Board Fellow Sparks County Council Race Debate
MANITOWOC – After an unusual debate over a nomination to the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Directors, Margaret Pauwels, a woman of Manitowoc County, was appointed County Representative by Manitowoc County Council on June 15.
The appointment came from County Executive Bob Ziegelbauer to replace former County Representative Supervisor Nick Muench. Pauwels will serve on the library’s board of directors for a three-year term expiring in April 2024.
During the 40-minute discussion on Pauwels’ appointment, supervisor Tyler Martell said he thought the discussion was highly unusual. He said he had watched city and county meetings for almost 10 years and had never seen the county council contest a committee or council appointment.
Pauwels has spoken on several occasions during public participation in county board meetings, most recently on May 18 after a library event hosted by Lakeshore Visionaries United focused on a discussion of white privilege.
“A library should in no way be used to promote political ideology,” she said at the meeting. “The dangers inherent in such activity include the potential violation of the rights of library workers by creating a hostile work environment, not to mention the effect it has on our community. “
LUV is a local organization that promotes unity, diversity and inclusion for people of all races. Representatives from LUV have been active over the past year organizing community events and speaking out on issues related to racial equity.
Pauwels also spoke out against the racial sensitivity trainings received by library workers earlier that year.
Supervisor Paul Hansen said at the June 15 county board meeting that he reviewed footage from the May 18 meeting as Pauwels spoke and said his attitude to the breed and to the library was concerning.
“I am not voting for this person tonight, because I did not hear… ‘give information to make a choice’ (de Pauwles),” he said. “I saw withholding information and being upset because things were being discussed – not changed, discussed. Is it professional? Is it rational? Is it civil?
Supervisor Rita Metzger said she thought Pauwels’ attitude towards the library seemed very negative and that she would like to see someone on the board with a more positive attitude.
A citizen, Patty Marquardt, also spoke out against Pauwels’ appointment and said she believed the library was in danger of being censored if Pauwels was on the board.
Other supervisors, including James Falkowski and Don Zimmer, said they felt that not accepting the nomination to appoint Pauwels to the library’s board because of divergent opinions would not foster a culture of inclusiveness.
“From a perspective, does she meet the standards to be nominated? Yes. There is nothing, there is no criminality, there is absolutely nothing that disqualifies that person for the nomination, ”said Falkowski. “If that’s your opinion, that’s another matter. … I reject these attempts at division.
Martell, who also sits on the Manitowoc Public Library Board of Trustees, agreed and said he believed Pauwels’ track record of home schooling and activism on library issues made it worthwhile. she a qualified candidate for the library board.
“I have never seen a nomination to a board of directors be challenged or refused until this evening when there is a female candidate for the nomination who says what she thinks,” Martell said. “I think to be qualified for a position on a board or a commission the first thing you have to show is passion. I see no Manitowoc County resident who is more concerned, more passionate and more involved in what goes on at the Manitowoc Public Library than Margaret Pauwels.
Pauwels’ nomination was accepted with a 13-10 vote by County Council. Supervisors Mark Linsmeier, Norbert Vogt, Jim Baumann, Catherine Wagner, Dave Nickels, Jamie Aulik, Rick Henrickson, Metzger and Hansen voted against the nomination.
Contact Alisa Schafer at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @AlisaMSchafer.