KENOSHA – On Friday, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser called recent behavior witnessed coming from the County Board “disheartening.”

Kreuser reacted to certain County Board members’ actions — specifically, Zach Rodriguez and Erin Decker —  at the most recent County Board meeting on Sept. 15. 

In a live video of the meeting that continued after the session ended (near the one-hour, 40-minute mark), Rodriguez told County Board Chairman John O’Day that he’s a “joke” and should resign from his post as chairman of the board.  

Seconds later in the video, County Supervisor Gabe Nudo told fellow County Supervisor Ron Frederick to “get the (expletive) out of here.” 

District 8 County Board Supervisor Zach Rodriguez, speaks during the board’s Sept. 15 meeting. Rodriguez had verbal spats with two of his peers following the meeting, both of which were caught on video. Credit: Daniel Thompson / Kenosha Lens

In a second video, County Supervisor Monica Yuhas argued with Rodriguez (pictured right) over the legitimacy of a letter he and six other Kenosha County Board members’ letter to President Donald Trump asking him to visit the area in the aftermath of recent riots in the city. The question of legitimacy stemmed from arguments that the letter sent by the second County Board members had not gone through official or proper channels. Therefore, it was not an “official” letter on behalf of the whole board. 

That exchange ended with Rodriguez saying that he was sick of dealing with “bullshit” and walking out of the room, calling Yuhas a “joke,” as she continued to yell her words in his direction as he exited the building.

Kreuser responds to Kenosha County Board video

In a statement released after receiving a request for his opinion on other county leaders’ recent behavior, he said he’d “very much like to see our County Board working together during this challenging time.”

“It is my hope that all Kenosha County Board supervisors will take this opportunity to join me in doing the important work of Kenosha County that is in the best interest of our community for the long haul,” Kreuser said.

Middle, Kenosha County Supervisor and Republican Party Chair Erin Decker sits with her back turned to the public during the County Board’s meeting Sept. 15. Bottom, Zach Rodriguez, the youngest member of the County Board, also serving as a Republican, speaks during the board’s Sept. 15 meeting. Credit: Daniel Thompson / Kenosha Lens

Kreuser also noted his thoughts on County Supervisor Erin Decker’s (pictured left) decision to, in a well-documented move, keep her back turned towards citizens — even those who lived in her district — who commented during the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting. 

Decker’s behavior at the Sept. 15 County Board meeting follows the controversy surrounding her since she gave an interview to “Fox & Friends” on Sept. 1. During that interview, she stated that “80 percent” of people in her area supported 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Ill., who killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum near downtown Kenosha on the night of Aug. 25. 

“It looks like it was self-defense,” Decker said in the interview, “and, talking to people around the area, I would say about 80 percent of the people support what Kyle did.”

She further stated in the interview that the other 20 percent of people “are probably the people that can’t stand Trump.”

The one and only time she turned towards the public during the more than two-hour meeting was to respond, with a smile, “No,” when asked if she was wearing a face mask.

A note on the door of the Kenosha County Job Center, where that meeting was held Wednesday night, stated that masks are required within the building to the public coming into the building. 

“For a supervisor to literally turn her back on the board’s constituents at a time when we need to be listening is very disheartening,” Kreuser said. “We need to be adding value in the healing process, not making the wound worse.”


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‘NO RESPECT’

Following the release of Kreuser’s comments Friday afternoon, District 10 County Board Supervisor Andy Berg sent an emailed statement to the Uptown Observer Saturday morning, Sept. 19, decrying Decker’s actions at the Sept. 15 board meeting as showing a lack of respect for the residents the board serves.

“Supervisor Decker stood in the city between 11th and 12th Ave on 60th St and demanded action from the governor for OUR county,” Berg wrote. “But when voters speak, not one grain of respect for OUR residents.  So when we play partisan politics, its (sic) OUR county, but not when the black men and women stand up to speak?  That is exactly what the black community is saying.  NO RESPECT for the black men and women of OUR county.

“I invite my colleagues on the board who were called out on Tuesday, to come down to  13th Ave. and 52nd St. and join in on the events and prove the community wrong.  Bring food for the community, but we got the music. For the black community in her district, if you need any help, please reach out.  I got you.”

Berg has also been criticized by local activists recently after he made a motion to adjourn a County Board committee meeting on Sept. 15 — prior to the meeting of the full board — amid a standoff over citizen’s comments. He has also been criticized for a Facebook post on Sept. 14 that local activists and people of color perceived as causing unnecessary alarm.

He has since responded to those criticisms, too. In a Facebook post dated Sept. 16, 2020, Berg stated that he had “a very interesting past 20 hours.”

“Whats (sic) great about it, is really good conversations were had,” his post reads. “So good, that there will be wonderful relationships built, and friendships that will be created. I appreciate those that had a conversation today and glad that we can all have thick skin and understand we all have a responsibility collectively. #BlackLiveMatter”

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Daniel Thompson is an independent journalist and the founder of The Uptown Observer based in the Kenosha, Wis., area. He started in journalism at the Western Nebraska Observer in 2012 and, most notably,...