News: Spencer - City Clerk (Ewert - 1974)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Ewert, Ampe, Timm, Cook, Jossi, Sampson, Meyer
----Source: Tribune Record Gleaner (Loyal, Clark Co., WI) 8/15/1974
Spencer City Clerk (Ewert - 1974)
Mingling with Mary (By Mary Woods)
A notice in last week’s TRG stated that applications are now being accepted by the City of Greenwood for appointment to the office of City Clerk, with typing, bookkeeping, and filing experience required …. Eight years ago, Arlyn Ewer answered a similar ad in the Spencer Record and in an interview, he reflects on the changes, the responsibilities, and the demands of serving as village clerk, treasurer, and assessor for the southwestern village in Marathon County, Spencer.
Born and raised in the Town of Unity, and the son of Henry Ewert of Dorchester, and Dora Ewert of Unity, Ewert attended eight years of grade school at the Sunshine Grade School west of Unity. He attended two years of high school at Riplinger, and graduated from the Unity High School. He furthered his education in commercial work at the La Crosse Vocational School for one and a-half years. After finishing the program, Ewert returned to the family farm and began 25 years of farming. While on the farm he married the former Helen Ampe of Loyal and raised three children, Sandra, now Mrs. Jerry Timm of Eau Claire, Jeffrey of Belvidere, and Bradley, a senior at Spence High School.
In 1966, when Ewert was appointed to serve the offices which were formerly held by Lorraine W. Cook, clerk; Walter Jossie, assessor; and Donna Sampson as treasurer, the family farm of 200 acres was sold to Larry Meyer of Loyal. The three offices were combined by a chartered ordinance in the village. Ewert had formerly served for nine years as clerk for the Town of Unity.
Turning to the different offices he holds, and the responsibilities involved, Ewert first reflects on that of village clerk. He states that the major responsibility of the clerk is to prepare the tax roll, and figure the tax amount for all village residents.
Under the clerk’s office also comes the issuing of building permits, of which permits for 23 new homes in 1973 were issued, along with numerous remodeling permits. Ewert is also responsible as clerk to record all village board action, which meets twice a month.
As treasurer, as with all treasurers, Ewert’s time is spent with handling the village’s money, mainly that of collecting taxes, after the book work is done and bills are sent out.
As for assessor, he is responsible for assessing village property for tax purposes. According to Ewert, age, condition, and quality of the building’s material determine the assessing of property. He notes that the Wisconsin Dept. of Taxation have devised a manual, to help assessors figure out the value in relation to the above factors. In 1966, Ewert points out that the equalized value of all village property was $6,235,535, and in 1973, the figure was $16,331,200. Asked as to the figure rise, Ewert points out the new industries, resulting in village growth is perhaps the major cause, with the present population of Spencer, calculated by the state, to be 1,339.
Ewert’s position also makes him responsible for the water and sewer utilities in the village, adding book work to his schedule, with quarterly bills sent out to village residents.
Another part of the three-title position is that of serving as financial secretary-treasurer for the Spencer Community Ambulance.
Getting away from the responsibilities and turning to the most consuming time element of the positions, Ewert state that the book work involved is continuing to grow. As an example, he points out that a recent state financial report, which is new this year, requires the allocation of every expense to a purpose rather than a total picture report. In explaining this further, he notes that his yearly salary has been sub-divided into 14 categories rather than 1. He also notes that this must be done for all village employees. The report will be used to determine state shared tax and federal revenue sharing.
Asked as to the hours involved in his work, Ewert explains that he works from 8 a.m. to 12, 1 – 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, resulting in a 40-hour week. He also attends special meetings of committees within the village board and county meetings.
Besides being a very important man to the village of Spencer, Ewert is a member of the Spencer Lions Club, of which he has served on the executive board. He is also a member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Spencer. If he finds extra time, he enjoys woodworking.
Back in 1966, when Arlyn Ewert applied for the job which he read about in the Spencer Record, he perhaps wasn’t totally aware of the responsibilities that the combined job called for, but today, eight years later, he’s learned that time, patience, dedication, and knowledge to the village of Spencer is something that the ad forgot to ask for - but anyone will agree Ewert has given it, and will continue to give it to his favorite village-Spencer.
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