If you live in Kenosha County’s 16th district supervisory, you have two chances to vote – February 15, 2022 and April 5th. After the primary, only two candidates will face each other head to head. This is a unique race, where while three candidates will be on the ballot, only two are seeking the seat. We sent questionnaires to the three candidates and their responses are below. The order in which they are displayed was selected randomly.
I have decided not to actively seek the office of county board supervisor. I am supporting Amanda Nedweski for district 16.
Why are you running for the County Board?
I am a lifelong Kenosha County resident, and have lived in the City, Somers, and Pleasant Prairie. Having witnessed the evolution of our county throughout my life, I have a clear understanding of our economic, social, and cultural achievements and challenges, as well as the events and circumstances that led to them. Understanding the past is a key element in how to grow the future. Kenosha County is a prime location to live, work, and to do business, so there is no doubt that growth will continue here. I am running for county board because I want to give back to the community that has given me so much. My professional background in finance and business intelligence can be leveraged to contribute economic and procedural insight on county operations. Especially with the massive influx of federal funds into the county from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the need for improved fiscal analysis and oversight at the county level is necessary to make sure that we are prioritizing spending on areas that most affect people. I am running for this seat, first and foremost, to represent the views and concerns of the residents of District 16, and I’m confident that my qualifications can measurably impact county decisions that directly affect them.
If elected to the county board, what will your three biggest priorities be?If elected to the county board, my top priorities will be dictated by the residents of District 16, not by me. The outreach I have already started in our district has revealed shared concerns among many residents. Though I have personal opinions about the county budget, I will prioritize constituents’ concerns first and foremost. The areas I hear the most concern about from residents are the effects of the pandemic on children (especially virtual schooling), public safety, and quality health care. In my role on the board, I will advocate to improve partnerships and outcomes in the areas where county services intersect with schools, such as public health. Our residents have seen a rise in dangerous traffic situations and theft near the state line, and I will work to make sure that the Sheriff’s department has the resources they need to best partner with the Pleasant Prairie Police Department to help quell the crime surge. Pandemic stress caused a sharp rise in the need for mental and behavioral health support, and I will advocate for KCPH to increase services in this area. I also have several ideas that will help address the staff shortages at Brookside and other long-term care facilities.
I will collaborate with peers on economic issues that impact the entire county. Examples include addressing the rate of economic growth and the types of jobs being created as a result. To sustain ongoing development, we must be able to attract and support the workforce needed to staff new and expanding businesses. We are fortunate to live in a prime location, but we need infrastructure and housing support to uphold this growth. We must maximize the benefit of growth to residents so that individuals are not penalized for economic expansion through increased taxes.
Please explain how you will make yourself available to constituents.Responsiveness to the community is key to effective representation. Whether it’s by phone, email, social media, virtual meetings, or in person, I am always willing to connect with people in a way where I can effectively listen. In addition, regularly patronizing area local businesses is a great way to continually engage with people and hear their concerns. Whether it’s sharing a meal at Ruffolo’s or The Village, or a beer at Gordy’s, Johnny’z Pour House, or The Starlite Club, I will always be open to hearing people’s views in our district. The best way to monitor the heartbeat of the community is to be immersed in it with open ears. I prefer to listen more than talk, which is what drove me to run for office in the first place. In my role as a volunteer leader, I find satisfaction in connecting people with resources they need to get answers and to solve problems. I intend to continue that model as a county board supervisor.
Please explain what you think the role of a County board supervisor is.A county board supervisor is primarily a representative of their district, but they also must have a strong understanding of the big picture. On the surface, the county board makes and modifies policy and adopts the county budget. It is the responsibility of supervisors to educate themselves thoroughly on all action items upon which they will vote, as well as to extend that knowledge to the communities they represent. In order to find success, supervisors must be willing to work together – and with the County Executive – even when they disagree. The driving force in governing must be the needs of the people, not the platforms of parties. That supervisors are non-partisan roles should remind us that we have common goals, and that politics need not be a factor in reaching those objectives. We need common sense government, and the county board is a great place to start.
Being a member of the county board means that decisions affect the entire county, not just the district one represents. Having an understanding of the unique needs of each county municipality is important to me, from Pleasant Prairie to Randall, from Kenosha to Genoa City, and everywhere in between. What works for my district might not work for another, and collective decision making must respect the whole community.
Retired ( 31 years Director of Kenosha County Aging & Disability Services)
Why are you running for the County Board?
I’ve lived in Kenosha County for over 40 years and believe it’s a great place in which to live, work, raise a family and grow old. I want to give back to the community by contributing my experience, insight, energy and rational decision making toward the challenges we face.
If elected to the county board, what will your three biggest priorities be?
Among my priorities are strengthening our workforce, in all sectors, but particularly in health and long-term care through partnerships with employers, schools, labor and others. I would also like to support and expand the county’s collaboration with law enforcement, EMTs, providers and others for prevention and treatment of addiction and mental illness. As our community grows, sustainable development and infrastructure are also priorities.
Please explain how you will make yourself available to constituents.
I value input from people concerned about an issue and would welcome e-mails, calls and citizens comments at meetings, as well as planned group meetings in accordance with public health safety protocols.
Please explain what you think the role of a County board supervisor is.
County Board supervisors are stewards of county services and funds. It is a non-partisan position.
As a county board supervisor I expect to listen, weigh facts, analyze costs and encourage collaboration and thoughtful decision-making.