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Incumbent, two challengers vying for pair of trustee seats

Spring election set for Tuesday, April 7

March 25, 2009

Three candidates for two seats on the Thiensville Village Board share similar sentiments when it comes to their community.

They mourn the loss of the Haus of Prime, love the small-town, friendly feel of the community and think the village has great potential.

Incumbent Don Molyneux and challengers Gail Buenger and Toni Ihler also consider being a village trustee a service role, not political office.

Trustee Elmer Prenzlow is not running for re-election.

Don Molyneux

Molyneux, who has the rare distinction of having a village park named in his honor, has been active either as a trustee or village president almost continuously since 1970. He ended his village president stint in 2006, running for trustee.

"When I gave up the village president position, we were debt-free," he said.

The village continues to be debt-free but Molyneux said he wants to stay on the board to work on two projects, the flood control project on Pigeon Creek and development of the Town Center with Mequon.

"I was (village) president when we started talking about that," he said. "There have been people hired to help develop and establish new businesses in the village as part of that.

Molyneux, a Thiensville resident for 55 years, said he likes staying busy as a trustee. He also is a Special Police volunteer.

Gail Buenger

Buenger moved to the village last May.

"I had enough of the East Side noise and traffic and hustle and bustle," she said.

She and her husband drove through Thiensville about three years before they made the move. The village was new to her, and she immediately appreciated its "quaintness and potential."

She finds herself in the race because she called Village President Karl Hertz to ask about opportunities for volunteering.

"I have always volunteered in the community I live in," she said. "I think it is important to do that. I am looking for a way to serve the community."

Buenger said Main Street has great potential and she would like to help make it grow and bring vitality to the community.

Toni Ihler

Ihler began visiting the village years ago with her grandparents, moving in 15 years ago after 10 years in Austin, Texas. She said Thiensville, with its proximity to Milwaukee, has safety and a quality of life not easily replicated.

She is an emergency medical technician and recently was elected to the executive board of the Thiensville Volunteer Fire Department Corp., serving as the public information officer.

Ihler said she wants to see the Pigeon Creek project completed and she also is interested in bringing more businesses to Main Street.

"We need to be a destination, not a drive-through on the way to Cedarburg," she said. "We have tremendous natural resources and need to use them. We need to attract businesses for our tax base and tax stabilization."

Ihler said she sees the spirit of the village as the intangible that makes it special.

Trustees serve three-year terms and earn $1,800 a year.

Mary Buckley can be reached at (262) 446-6615.

Don Molyneux (i)

AGE: 89

EMPLOYER/OCCUPATION: retired, formerly zone manager for NCR

EDUCATION: accounting classes for two years

CONTACT: (262) 242-1548, dmolyneux@wi.rr.com

Gail Buenger

AGE: 50

EMPLOYER/OCCUPATION: regional vice president of operations, Aurora Healthcare

EDUCATION: law degree

CONTACT: (414) 223-4882, gbuenger@wi.rr.com

Toni Ihler

AGE: 49

EMPLOYER/OCCUPATION: program educator, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital

EDUCATION: master's degree

CONTACT: (262) 236-3757, ihlertoni@yahoo.com

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