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Former street boss challenges Baraboo alderman

January 5, 2019 GMT

A Baraboo Common Council member will face a challenge from the city’s retired streets superintendent in April.

There will be only one contested city race this spring, with longtime streets boss Bob Koss and incumbent Council Member Michael Plautz filing nomination papers to seek the District 3 seat. Filings were due Tuesday. Council members serve three-year terms, with three of the nine seats up for grabs each year on a rotating basis.

Plautz was first elected in 2010 and said he enjoys the work. “I want to help serve people,” he said. “It’s working with people and helping them.”


He didn’t bristle at facing competition from Koss. “He and I are good friends,” Plautz said. “I’ve always encouraged people to run. I think it’s a healthy thing.”

Koss served as streets superintendent from 1999-2016. He said his knowledge of the city’s inner workings put him in a good position to propose potential reforms. “I just see some things that need to be changed,” Koss said. “I never like to show my cards.”

He joked about local office serving as a potential springboard to an eventual presidential run. “I’ve got the time, so I just want to put it in,” Koss said.

Incumbents John Ellington and Dennis Thurow will run unopposed in districts 6 and 9, respectively. Ellington has served since 2013, and previously sat on the council from 1982-86. Thurow has served since 2010, after a previous stint on the council from 1974-77 and a term as mayor from 1988-92.

J. Merle Alt will run unopposed for re-election to the Police and Fire Commission. The retired Sauk County Sheriff’s Office detective and court bailiff won a five-year term in 2014 after defeating longtime Baraboo ambulance volunteer and CPR instructor Beverly Federman in a battle of write-ins. Alt succeeded Mary Deppe, who retired from the panel.

The Police and Fire Commission oversees the police and fire departments, particularly the hiring of staff and other personnel matters.