Spring Election 2016: County supervisor District 23 candidates Q&A

A map of county supervisor Dist. 23. (Click for a larger view)

A map of county supervisor Dist. 23. (Click for a larger view)

Voters in county board District 23 will be able to cast a ballot in a contested county supervisor race on April 5.

The 23rd District includes parts of Twin Lakes and Randall and small portion of Wheatland. (see map above).

The same questionnaire was submitted by westofthei.com to each candidate, by email or by mail.

Here is their biographical information, followed by their question responses:

Dennis Elverman — Age: 62. Education: Holy Name Grade School, Wilmot High School, 3 yrs University of Wisconsin-Madison. Occupation: Landscape contractor. Previous elected or government experience: 8 yrs Twin Lakes Village Board, 21 yrs Kenosha County Board.

Thomas H Gibbons — Age: 67. Education: B.A., University of Illinois at Chicago. Occupation:  Systems Analyst. Previous elected or governmental experience: None.

1.) Why are you a better choice for county supervisor than your opponent?

Elverman — I am a better choice for County Supervisor than my opponent for numerous reasons.  My opponent by his own admission has lived in Kenosha County for only 18 months.  I was born and raised here, have owned and operated a business here for 28 yrs, have raised thousands of dollars in local sales tax, and know what it’s like to make payroll in good and bad times.  My family has owned property and lived in Kenosha County since the mid 1800’s.  I know the people, the area, and their needs well. My opponent was recruited and is being financed by one of our large political parties.  I am a true independent, and answer to no one but the tax payer.  All you have to do is look at the recent medical cannabis oil bill that was blocked by 4 State Senators even though the bill had wide support from both sides and you can see how poorly partisan politics can affect good peoples lives.  We certainly don’t need that in local Government.  We need what we currently have going on in Kenosha County. I have served as the Vice Chairman of the County Board, Chairman of the County Board, and have served for many years and currently serve as Chairman of highways, parks, golf courses, and all county facilities.  Kenosha County is the envy of the State of Wisconsin, the Midwest, and much of the nation.  This has not been an accident.  Our administration and County Board through responsible budgeting and planning, have made this the place that many business and families have wanted to locate for the high quality of life.  We have in a timely planned approach enhanced our infrastructure, parks, highways, golf courses, and public buildings.  As chairman of Public Works I have played a large role in all of this.  We did not wait until buildings crumbled as some of our neighbors have done.  We renovated our historic Court House and our administration building.  We are embarking on a phased roof project for all of our County buildings, beginning in the spring of 2016.  We are also in the spring of 2016 beginning an expansion of our award winning nursing home Brookside that will pay for itself from day 1.  During my time as Chairman we have also added a new county park called the KD park, with no levy dollars.  We then added an addition to that park that with the proper use of grant money not only netted the county a profit of $380,000 but also gave us an additional 100 acres and a building that houses our entire parks operation.  We brought disc golf in a public/private partnership to 2 of our county parks at little cost to the county.  Brought off-road bicycle tracks to our Silver Lake park with private partners providing all of the labor.  Partnered with the Pringle Nature Center to operate at our Bristol Woods County park and have brought our golf courses back to profitability for the 5th straight year.  We have done all of this with less than 1% tax levy increase per year for the past 20 years. My opponent has issued statements with facts that are just not true.  He knows little or nothing about Kenosha County.  The people he has allied himself with that are currently on the County Board have contributed little to the County Board if anything.  I have been a leader on the County Board since my 1st term and remain one today, very active, involved, and conservative with our tax dollars.  I don’t just show up — I perform.

Gibbons — 1)  The incumbent has served unopposed for 21 years, voting for budgets that raised the tax levy during that time from $22 million to $62 million, an increase of 173% while the cost of living increased only 54%, a 3:1 ratio.   I am a fiscal conservative who will be an advocate for the taxpayers of my district. The residents of the district cannot keep up with their property tax bills when property taxes overwhelmingly outpace inflation. Taxpayers need someone to fight tax increases instead of being a big-spending rubber stamp. 2)  21 years is too long for anyone.  It’s time for a change. As I go door-to-door I find may voters agree with these two points.

2.) What will be your top priorities if elected?

Elverman —  My top priorities if elected will be to keep our foot on the gas attracting business and residents to lower our tax burden, while balancing growth with quality of life improvements.  Adding more public/private partnerships.  Keeping up with our infrastructure.  Continue paving 13-15 miles of highway a year.  Continue to improve our parks and public properties.  I will also continue to work as hard in the future as I have in the past to do all of this with my fellow tax payers in mind.

Gibbons — I am a concerned fiscal conservative who has worked in the private sector for 45 years. I am now semi-retired and wish to give back to the community through public service. I believe the district needs a person with a fresh perspective who will: -Be a true advocate for the taxpayer; – Ensure fiscal responsibility and fight against tax increases. – Ensure open & honest government. I am aware of several issues besides taxes that the county needs to address: -Work to facilitate private sector job growth. -Work to improve veterans’ services. -Seek solutions to address mental health services.

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