County Government – Session 4 – Renee Berg

County Government in Session 4

By Renee Berg

At the Waupaca County Courthouse, we started our day with some of the Waupaca County Board members in attendance.  The County Board Chair, Dick Koeppen, shared some insight with us and discussed the importance of working together as a team and staying positive.  One of the quotes I took away from his conversation was “don’t rock the boat, let’s row the boat together.”  I had to smile when later in the day I got the opportunity to meet with Mandy Welch, Director of Human Resources, and she cited the same quote from Dick.  It gave me the sense that they truly do work together as a team and have this family environment that she talked so enthusiastically about. 

“Don’t rock the boat, let’s row the boat together.” Chairman Dick Koeppen, Waupaca County Board of Supervisors

Dan Veroff from Applied Population Laboratory was our speaker for the morning.  He had prepared many different graphs and statistical data for Waupaca County.  It was interesting to see the trends over the past few decades.  It led to great conversations about the “why” behind the data.  I was specifically interested in the data related to age in the county.  The median age for Waupaca County is 45.7, which is the 25th highest county in the state.  He also had graphs detailing the percentage decrease in all age groups up to the age of 64 and a 43% increase above the age of 65.  I enjoyed hearing the thoughts of the County Board members that were there in attendance.  They shared some reasons for the increase that included wanting to be close to family and grandkids, going back to their roots, having the Veterans Home and nursing centers in the county and overall Waupaca county is a beautiful place to retire.  The question remains – how do we use this data to get more people of all ages engaged and involved in the community?

P.S. Be on the lookout for the 2020 census arriving in about 4 months!