January 4, 2018
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
REEDSVILLE – Jesse Walt grew up like a lot of kids in rural America. Born and raised two miles north in the country, he attended Reedsville High School, played sports and now has a job in the area.
Now a village resident, he also has become something he didn’t envision for himself. Reedsville’s president.
“It never even crossed my mind,” Walt says, laughing at the idea in retrospect.
The 2009 graduate, who is also on the volunteer fire department, became a trustee two years ago to try to bring, what he calls, a fresh mind to the board.
“I kind of heard some things that were going around and figured I could help make a change,” he said. “I figured maybe get some fresh blood in there, fresh thoughts, different ideas, a different way to look at it … so, I ran and got elected. Here I am.”
Walt agreed to become president in October following Andy Bubolz’s resignation. When the village had uncertainty surrounding the position, Walt felt the move from trustee was necessary. “I felt the board needed a leader. I felt the village needed a leader,” Walt said.
Walt’s hoping that there’s open communications in the village between himself and the residents, and it’s part of the largest message he wants to send to residents.
“My biggest thing is I want to encourage people in the village, if they have an issue, I want to hear it … I want them to come to meetings. I want them to call me. I want them to come up and approach me,” Walt said. “That’s why I’m the president. I want to know about it, because how are you going to fix it if you don’t know?”
The open communication was a part of December’s meeting with trustee Jerry Reis and fire chief Brad Busse discussing recent problems within the fire department. Tempers flared, but with the topic of the department on the agenda Walt let the discussion happen.
“At the last meeting things probably went farther than they should have … I feel it’s best to just get it on the table sometimes. There’s a time and a place for some of that stuff,” Walt said. “My opinion is just get it out in the open.”
Walt says that he balances his roles as president and the fire department by removing himself from discussions. He admits balancing the two is a challenge. He’s been on the fire department since he moved to the village five years ago.
Please see the complete feature on Walt in the January 4, 2018 edition of The Brillion News.