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2/13/2014 12:49:00 PM
2014 Spring Primary: Candidates in their own words
The Spring Primary Election will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18



The Tuesday, Feb. 18, Primary Election will feature one race in Oneida County, District 7; two races in Vilas County, districts 15 and 21; as well as a race in the Vilas County town of Lincoln.

Voters on Feb. 18 will be asked to select two candidates. Whichever two candidates receive the most votes will face off in the spring General Election in April.

In addition to the counties and town primaries, electors in the towns of Woodruff and Arbor Vitae will vote in a referendum for the Arbor Vitae-Woodruff School District. The referendum will ask residents whether they want to approve a recurring property tax levy, which means keeping the school’s property tax rate at an increased level indefinitely above state levy limits.

School board members want to use money from the tax increase to restore positions and programs that have been cut, including a media specialist, foreign-language teacher and technology-education teacher. The referendum money would also help fund repairs and updates to the school building, such as bolstering entrance security and fixing the roof.

The candidate profiles are included below.

 

Oneida County District 7

The only primary for the Oneida County Board of Supervisors is in District 7, which covers the towns of Enterprise, Schoepke, Monico and Piehl, as well as Ward 2 in the town of Three Lakes and Ward 2 in the town of Stella.

 

Bob Mott (incumbent)

 

Background

I have a master’s degree and taught in Neenah for 33 years. I coached basketball, football and track throughout my career.

I am completing my first two-year term on the county board while representing Enterprise, Schoepke, Monico, Piehl, the second ward of Stella and the second ward of Three Lakes.

I serve on the Conservation and UW-Extension Committee as well as the Health and Aging Committee. I have recently been appointed to complete Supervisor Gary Baier’s position on Planning and Development.

I am a supervisor in the Town of Schoepke and a trustee in the UCC church – Elcho.

I served for six years on the Pelican Lake Property Owners Board and am currently the grant writer for that group.

I am vice president of the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association.

 

Reasons for running

I am running for the county board to represent the people of my district and all of Oneida County in an informed way. I believe that I am just starting to learn the job. I enjoy the variety of questions that arise with my committees as well as with the different resolutions offered to supervisors to consider.

I like the job and enjoy the challenge to do a responsible job.

Voters should elect me because I have been and am willing to put the time in to do the best job possible. The committee meetings take eight to 10 hours in the meetings themselves and involve at least four different dates. In addition to being present at the meetings, there is preparation needed to stay informed and be able to ask the right questions and vote in an educated way. After the meetings, there is follow up on what was discussed.

From those committee meetings there are other group meetings to attend. Recently, I attended a daylong summit in Wausau dealing with hunger and homelessness sponsored by Congressman Duffy. I have attended two state conventions of the Wisconsin Counties Association and two state Land and Waters conventions. In addition, I am a representative from Oneida County on the Lumberjack Resource and Development Council, which serves nine counties in conservation-related projects.

Many of these are events mean taking personal time but are ways to keep myself informed on issues that benefit Oneida County. I am willing to spend that time to stay informed.

Major issues facing the county

The major issues facing our county are wise money use in a restricted environment; increasing technology to make Oneida County business- and visitor-friendly while serving our citizens, schools and hospitals; retaining and protecting the excellent recreational opportunities with which Oneida County is blessed; and promoting job creation.

Currently, there are restrictions placed on the county by the state that limit spending. Each year roads deteriorate, gas and electric bills rise, employees need fair wages to keep up with rising costs of living here and the county is faced with continuing services that are expected by citizens in a progressive county.

To manage the cost of county government budgets are closely examined yearly by both committees and at public budget hearings – a three-day process. Needed cuts are made. Currently the county is 42 years behind on road maintenance. We need to be sure that the money we are paying to the state and federal governments is being returned to our county.

The UW-Extension and Economic Development are working with a newly-formed county committee looking at broadband technology. Having an efficient county-wide communication network is important to businesses that want to locate here as well as vacationers who need to keep in touch while here.

Ensuring that our lakes and rivers are protected through a strong Shoreland Protection Ordinance will support for years to come a tourist industry that annually brings in $180,000,000 to Oneida County and supports over 2,000 jobs. People don’t come here to see dirty, weed-infested lakes. It is the job of the county to offer sensible and balanced protection.

Good paying jobs that a family can live on are important to keeping the county strong. We need to work to offer those jobs in both the public and private sector. Currently, Tim Brown of UW-Extension is surveying young people on their reason for staying in (or leaving) Oneida County. He is trying to find what makes the county attractive and what we need to do to keep a young workforce here. Increasing forest production is another way to manage what nature has given us and to increase county jobs. It is an area that needs both county and citizen support by contacting legislators to encourage responsible management of the forests.

Major issues in your district

Our district is no different from the rest of the county. It has a wealth of amazing lakes and forests that support our towns through tourism. Three Lakes was named the best small town in America and is very involved in promoting tourism while maintaining small town excellence. 

People living in my district enjoy their way of life – fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, ATVing, and snowmobiling and living in an area that people drive hundreds of miles to enjoy. Protecting that way of life is important here. 

Specific policy goals

My specific policy goal is to see that tax money is wisely spent but to continually make people aware that you don’t get something for nothing. Protecting our aging population, providing excellent health care, equipping our law enforcement and highway departments as well as social services with needed funds to continue serving our county costs money. Most people understand that and support our efforts. I would seek to maintain the services we offer in our county to everyone's benefit.


Role of a county supervisor

A county supervisor’s role is to be informed and active in discussion. The supervisor should ask for a reason for the way things are being done or are being proposed while not accepting everything at face value.

Be open to opposing views and consider their merits.

Spend the time needed to understand the issues and ask throughout the county for input.

Then make the best decision you can.

 

Dennis Schoeneck

 

Background

I was born and raised in Enterprise. I met my wife of 33 years, Kim, while attending Elcho School and we have raised our three children in a home we built in Enterprise in 1992. I am the current owner/operator of the logging company Enterprise Forest Products Inc. and have been since 1979. 

I had no formal education training after high school, but have dedicated my life to my God, my family, my business and to my community. I was on the Elcho School Board for 14 years, have numerous years of experience on church boards and committees, have spent years on various forestry-related boards and committees, and have served on specialty committees for the Township of Enterprise. Most recently I have been involved with developing the township of Enterprise Land Use Plan. This process has placed me in direct contact with the Oneida County Board, along with several other local units of government, to discuss issues and solutions. 

 

Reasons for running

I am running for county board because I believe my knowledge and experience as a local, hard-working small business owner, combined with my knowledge and experience of how boards and committees function to accomplish what is best for all involved, will allow me to serve the citizens of Oneida County in an honest and effective manner.

Voters should elect me because I want to represent them. The county is filled with hard-working citizens who want to make a life for themselves and their families. I want that, too. I feel I have been blessed with the ability to take on leadership roles and use all facts, combined with common sense, to make sound decisions. I will fight for what is right and just, even if it isn’t the easiest path to take. My opinions may not always coincide with yours, but I will respect your views and will expect the same.

 

Major county issues

At the moment, I am not familiar with all of the county’s issues. Land use planning- and forestry-related issues have received much of my attention up until this point due to my occupation and involvement with my town board. However, if elected, I would put much time and energy into becoming well-versed in the issues facing the county, as well as all possible solutions.

 

Specific policy goals

My only goal would be to represent the citizens of the county to the best of my ability. I don’t have a preconceived agenda. I want to be a voice for the people. 

 

Role of a county supervisor

The role of a county supervisor is to make sound decisions based on what is right for the citizens of the county.  

 

 

Gregory Meyer

 

Background

Education: Graduated Three Lakes K-12 School in 2005; attended Nicolet Area Technical College. Courses included business management, entry-level firefighting.

Experience: Town supervisor for Monico (April 2011 to April 2013 and April 2013 to present); Wisconsin Youth Leadership Board of Directors Member (June 2012 to present); Wisconsin Youth Leadership Delegate (2004); attending Wisconsin Partners In Policy Making Conference (November 2013 to present); Monico Volunteer Fire Department (November 2012 to present).

 

Reasons for running

The reason that I’m running for county board is to bring a younger perspective, more ideas from the people of the district to bring their thoughts and feelings to the county board. Try to bring the meetings and committee meetings to late afternoons or nights for more people to be able to come and voice their opinions.

The voters should elect me because I can bring fresh ideas from the people to the county board to deal with issues that come up to the board and any committees. I don’t have a lot on my agenda because I am interested in how the people in District 7 feel. I want to be your supervisor.

 

Major county issues

One of the issues that have been brought to my attention is that the county had purchased some properties and is now taking bids on the properties for less than the purse price. I would make sure that the board doesn’t overspend on properties and justify needs in the future. Another major situation with senior citizens and disable citizens in the county is not getting the needs because they are on the waiting list to get help with these services. I have been trying to get two programs called Family Care and IRIS in to the county that the state of Wisconsin had rolled out in total of 57 counties not including Oneida County. I have been in contact with some state senators and representatives to expand it to Oneida County and other counties. In the long run, the county will save money because Family Care and IRIS are state programs and the expansion into the county will save the state money in the long run.

 

Major issues in district

I have found out that the information and issues from the district haven’t been getting to the meetings. I would be out getting to know the people, sharing ideas, and any issues from the people in the district who are not able to make it to the meetings.

 

Specific policy goals

My policy goals that I have as a county board supervisor is to have an open mind for everyone’s options to get heard. Also, I will have a say and vote for what is right for the people of Oneida County and vote for what is right for Oneida County. I will check up on any old news and any news for the people and for the county as a whole. I will make sure that everything is going to get taken care of that the county board has issues with.

 

Role of a county supervisor

In my view a county board supervisor is a person that has an open agenda and listens to the people from my district and as the whole county. I will vote for what’s right for the county and people in my district. Also, the role of a county board supervisor should be together in the county and in the district to talk to people about any concerns and any ideas.

 

 

Vilas County District 15
 

 

Steven A. Rhode

 

Background

I have an associate’s degree in information technology and also in accounting. I have been on Conover’s town board for 13 years with 10 as the chairman of the board. 

 

Reasons for running

I don’t think the county board supports the citizens of this county the way they should and the board has a budget that they approve every year but does not use this budget as they should and always spend beyond that budget and spend like they don’t have one. I work with a budget at the town level and the budget always balances at the end of the year. If elected, I would try to work within whatever budget the board approves at the beginning of the new year. The county board is supposed to work for the people of this county and I would try to do that if elected. 

 

Specific issues to address

Getting the county budget under control and working for all of the people of this county would be my main concern. 

 

Role of a county supervisor

The role of a county supervisor is like I said above – work for all of the people in the county and having the budget balance at the end of the year, not spending beyond our resources or means. 

 

Specific policy goals

My goal would be to treat the employees of the county fairly and remember that the employees are also taxpayers of this county. Open door policy so that everyone in the county can come up to me and talk about any concern that they might have about the county and not have to worry about repercussions about what they say to me.

 

Steve Doyen

Background
As a resident of Phelps, I am a past county board member and town businessman.

 

Reason for running

The current board member filed non-candidacy papers. He was an asset to the town and I hope to fill the void left by him.

 

Specific issues

Budget needs, address services and needs of the county population.

 

Role of county supervisor

To do the very best for the district I represent and to match that with the county goals and needs, within budget constraints.

 

Specific goals

To help bring economic needs and goals to the forefront to help promote infrastructure to all of the county.

 

James Schweizer 

Thank you for your interest in my candidacy for Vilas County Supervisor, District 15.

My late wife, Diana, and I were married for 49 years. We raised three children and have seven grandchildren. We have a home on North Twin Lake in Phelps and have lived there full-time for nine years.

I retired from the SNE Corporation after 29 years, during which time I was responsible for the shipping of windows, doors, and general freight. In my position with SNE, I traveled to 48 states and six Canadian provinces.

I graduated from Wausau Senior High School and have an associate degree in agriculture from North Central Technical Institute.

I’m a current member of the Phelps Lions Club, the North and South Twin Lakes Riparian Association, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Phelps, and a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. I’m also a past member of the Valley Highriders Snowmobile Club and the Machinists Union.

As a candidate for supervisor in Vilas County District 15, I hope to bring my experience and skills to the county board. 

I support a balanced budget, a strong sheriff’s department, and quality county services. 

I will work hard on the committees that I’m appointed to, and will strive to make Vilas County the best in Wisconsin. 

I will bring a new voice, new ideas, and a fresh perspective to the Vilas County Board.

 

 

Vilas County District 21

 

 

Kim Simac

 

Background

I have resided in Vilas County since 1983 and raised a large family with my husband, Butch.  

I have operated a range of small businesses and understand the fragile economic structure we have in Vilas County.  As a rural farmer I am involved in agricultural and environmental issues. Protecting our pristine natural resources, while assuring regulations and zoning do not infringe on property owners is a great concern.  

For more than 10 years I owned and operated a resort. I recognize the incredible importance the vacation market means to this area. My summer camp and equestrian business relies completely on tourism, too, so working to keep Vilas County a top vacation destination is an ongoing priority. I am an author of children’s books. My business has published and marketed three of my four titles.

 

Reasons for running

I am running for Vilas County Board to set an example to my family and friends on the importance of public service. I have worked in earnest the last seven years to learn the complex issues that are changing the way America works. My experience balancing businesses in the challenging northern Wisconsin environment; my knowledge of the trends in changing policies being presented and passed federally, state, and locally, will be a strength I would utilize in the role of a county supervisor.  

Specific issues

Currently the county debt is of concern and the depleting funds on hand reflect a possible lapse of prudent spending. 

Protecting Vilas County citizens’ right to local control is a great concern. Pressure to make decisions regionally risk diminished control and can release authority to a broader base. We need to protect and guarantee that what happens in Vilas County is decided in Vilas County.

 

Role of county supervisor

A county supervisor is the voice of the people who reside in their district. This position allows equal representation of all people in the county. A good county supervisor will have an ongoing dialog with constituents, bringing their opinions and concerns to the table. 

 

Goals to promote

I would work to provide strict policy that would reinforce Vilas County citizens’ right to local control. 

I would also promote policies that would encourage a cohesive work environment between county workers and the county board.

 

 

 

Kathleen Rushlow

 

Background

I believe in fairness and honesty when dealing with people that have put their faith and trust in me. 

I have a degree in nursing and have attended many classes and lectures, including federal emergency management classes. 

My husband and I have owned a small business in Eagle River (Mud Creek Saloon) for 34 years. I have also owned and operated a catering business. I have managed doctors offices and other places of business as well, including 13 years as manager in the county jail kitchen. I am well acquainted with the financial and human resource areas in county government. I believe that I am an attribute to this county.

 

Reasons for running

In running for the county board I feel that I am able to pay back some of the help I have received from others. I also believe that one thing we need on the county board is common sense with which I have been blessed. 

I like helping people and feel that I am a good problem solver.

 

Specific issues to address

The county board needs to address spending issues. Long-term budget issues need to be considered for large items. Policies need to be formulated to cover emergency and day-to-day events so that we are all starting from the same place. Consistency is essential.

 

Role of a supervisor

The role of a county board supervisor is to work for and with the citizens of Vilas County for fair and equal treatment for all. 

It is also the responsibility of the elected official to be prepared for whatever may be brought up during the course of a meeting.

 

 

Christine M. Caz 

 

Background

I was born and raised in St. Germain where my family owned Alexander’s Resort on Little Germain Lake, I attended the “Little Redbrick Schoolhouse,” Eagle River High School and received an Associate Degree from Nicolet College. 

I attended UW-Stevens Point where I majored in English literature. In 1977, I began working for Eagle River Memorial Hospital, that beginning in health care led me to a 34-year and the opportunity to work as an emergency medical technician, risk manager, executive assistant and a community services coordinator. 

My last position with Ministry Health Care allowed me the great honor of coordinating over 400 volunteers. I also represented Ministry in a variety of organizations including the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Eagle River, The Vilas County Extension Coalition and the Vilas County Highway Safety Committee. I also became the first woman to be elected the chief commissioner of the Eagle River Union Airport. I was named Woman of the Year for Eagle River in 2010 and received an honorary Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Club. 

In 2013, I was named the honorary chairman of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. I am now retired but remain active in volunteering. My husband, Joe, and I have lived on Mud Creek over 20 years. I am a graduate of the Vilas Visions Leadership Class and received the Health Care Hero Award in 2011. 

I am an independent thinker and am not afraid to speak out for the people I represent and the things I believe in. 

 

Reasons for running

My father was involved in town government in St. Germain and that began my interest in public service. I was active in student government at both the high school and college level. This interest in leadership further developed as I served as president for several local organizations and services. 

I know that my experience and leadership skills will bring a fresh presence to the board. I want to take an active part in facing the challenges we face today including public safety and service, a commitment to issues of our senior population and protection of our great environmental resources. The economic viability of our county depends on the collaboration of many entities. I hope to be a positive force in helping ro recruit new businesses.

 

Specific issues to address

Initially I feel it is important to network with my fellow supervisors and strengthen my relationships with them. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the county department and have a good working understanding of the role they play in our county and how their work dovetails with the policies and actions of their board. This is a transition time for the board with the combination of committees, I would work to help integrate the multiple committee framework, which will result in the board’s ability to summarize problems and concerns to quickly recognize and deal with key issues.

 

Role of a county supervisor

I feel the role of the county supervisor is first and foremost to be an advocate for our constituents, our county and to positively promote the businesses, services, organizations, and events of our beautiful area. 

A supervisor must do their “homework” and be ready and prepared to actively participate at the board and committee level. It is also important that a supervisor interact with their constituents and keep them informed. And above all, listen.

 

Goals to promote

My first item of business would be to help with the transition to the multiple responsibility committee structure. Having these new committees organized and running quickly is the key to providing employees and residents with an efficient and researched short- and long-term plan. I need to hear from my constituents and the tenured board members to gain knowledge concerning policies that need to be revised and policies that need to be initiated. I need to learn, so I can do the very best for my district and my county.

 

 

Town of Lincoln

 

Bill Hassey


Background

I spent most of my adult life in the wholesale appliance and electronics distribution business, the last 20 years as general sales manager and vice president of the Almo Corporation, a Philadelphia-based company. 

I managed the Milwaukee and Minnesota branches, which covered the region from Lake Michigan to Montana. I managed two office and warehouse staffs, and 11 salesmen, spent six years serving in the U.S. Army as an MP, and a drill sergeant in my earlier years.

 

Reasons for running

I have several years of experience in town government, serving as a town supervisor and town chairman, on the Town of Norway in Racine County, from 1994-2003 prior to moving to Eagle River in 2003. My wife and I have owned a home in Eagle River since 1981. I believe have a strong understanding of town government and its functions.

 

Specific issues

The maintenance of our town roads.

 

Role of a county supervisor

I know from experience that the role of a town supervisor is to make fair and common sense decisions when representing the people that put their trust in you to serve.

 

Specific goals

Knowing that the most expensive item a town owns, is its roads.

My goal would be to help put a long-term plan together to ensure the quality and maintenance of our town roads for the future.

 

Kara Vander Bloomen

 

Background

I work for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families where I oversee the northern 15 counties and six tribes in Wisconsin for child care entitlements.  

I am also a member several state level committees and work groups. I am a graduate of Northland Pines High School. I attended Nicolet Technical College where I received Associates Degree in criminal justice and I am currently finishing my BA in public administration through UW-Green Bay.

 

Reasons for running

I decided to run for the Lincoln Town Board due to the deplorable conditions of our town roads during the winter time.  I consider the winter servicing of our roads to include plowing and scraping in the spring – a significant safety issue that is being neglected by our current town leaders. 

I feel the electors should vote for me because I will bring fresh ideas to the table and I am not afraid to think outside the box to find cooperative solutions to problems.

 

Specific issues

The servicing and maintenance of our town roads is the first issue I plan to address. The Town of Lincoln needs to re-formulate its priorities and start thinking outside the box for alternatives that will satisfy both our need to maintain safe roads while being fiscally responsible. I will bring my life experience and passion to the table to seek reasonable alternatives.

Role of the town supervisor

The role of town supervisor is to work the issues that arise for our town residents and come up with a solution.  When our town leaders respond to complaints about town roads with “Oh well” and “Slow down” I feel there is a significant disconnect.  

Town supervisors are representatives that work for and are accountable to the people of the township.

 

Specific goals

In addition to re-formulating the priorities of the township to ensure our roads receive top priority, I would like to promote outreach to our residents to keep them informed of town business.

In these days of email, social media, pod casting, etc., I believe we can reach out to our electorate and keep them informed right from the comfort of their own homes.

 

Leon Kukanich (incumbent)

 

Background

Kukanich graduated from Eagle River High School and promptly started working. He held a number of jobs over the years, including lawn work, carpentry and building. He also owned his own business: a bulk fuel company that provided gasoline and fuel oil.

He said he has served on the Lincoln Town Board for about 18 years and the Vilas County Board for about 11 years.

 

Reasons for running

Kukanich said he is seeking re-election because he was born and raised in the town, and he wants to help people who are new to the area.

“I feel like I should be here to do it, to watch what’s going on,” Kukanich said.

Voters should elect him, he said, because of his record: “My time on the board will tell you something,” Kukanich said. “I never got shot down once at all. I lived all my life here, dedicated to the town.”

 

Specific issues

“There are not really any problems at hand,” Kukanich said. “Things have been running smoothly.”

Town supervisor role

Kukanich said a town supervisor’s job is to attend meetings. He also said town supervisors should make sure roads are kept in good working order: “That’s one of the biggest things and one of the most costly,” Kukanich said. 







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