Spring Election 2018: County supervisor District 22 candidates Q&A

A map of county supervisor Dist. 22. (Click image for a larger view)

Voters in county board District 22 will be able to cast a ballot in a contested county supervisor race on April 3.

The 22nd District includes parts of Brighton, Wheatland, Randall, and Salem Lakes, including all of Silver Lake. (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:

Erin Decker — Age: 41. Village, town, city where you reside: Salem Lakes. Education: A.A.S. from Gateway Technical College. Occupation: Small business owner. Previous elected/appointed public office: County Board Supervisor.

Bruce Nopenz — Age: 54. Village, town, city where you reside: Silver Lake. Education: BA University of Wisconsin Madison, Graduate certificate in business Harvard University Cambridge MA.  Occupation: Outside Sales. Previous elected/appointed public office: Past Village President of Silver Lake and interim President of Salem Lakes, currently serve on the board of review, board of appeals and the planning commission.

1.) What will you do as county supervisor to advance the interests of Western Kenosha County?

Decker — If re-elected, I will continue to advocate for the residents of the district as I did during my previous terms. As the chair of the Planning, Development & Extension Education Committee, I will continue to work to preserve our natural and rural character and protect the lifestyles of district residents. I will also continue to work to protect taxpayers by being a conservative voice and a taxpayer advocate. In addition, I will continue to fight waste and misappropriation of our tax dollars, and fight against tax increases. I will also work to get our bonding under control. For example, the county board should not be approving long-term bonding for short-term assets. There isn’t a household out there that would take out a ten year loan for a computer that only lasts three years. That sort of debt is irresponsible I will continue to fight against it. I will also work to ensure open and honest government, for example, I recently exposed the $6 million owed to the county in delinquent taxes.

Nopenz — The first thing I will do as a supervisor will be to have quarterly meetings in rotating locations through my district. While other politicians wait for problems to come to their desk, I will be proactive in engaging in the issues that face our community. I also intend to engage in proactive conversations with other supervisors, elected officials, state and federal elected officials to ensure that the needs of the district are well represented and heard. Finally, I won’t just promise and give rhetoric, I’ll get the job done. Getting the job done means attending meetings that pertain to issues facing the district, not just the ones I’m required to be at. Unlike my opponent, I will attend the budget meetings and advocate for changes rather than just vote no.

2.) What will be your top priorities if elected to the County Board?

Decker — My top priorities include planning for future growth while working to preserve our natural and rural character, continuing to facilitate private sector job growth, and fighting tax increases. As a small business owner, I bring an unique perspective to the county board. As a conservative, I work to find areas where spending can be cut to save taxpayer dollars. I will also continue to support efforts to stop the opioid epidemic that is affecting residents of the entire county.

Nopenz — I decided to run because the people of the 22nd District felt that they were being inadequately represented on the County Board. As people approached me to run, there were three major issues that reoccurred each and every conversation. First people desperately want a more assertive approach on the opioid crisis in our community. Just a few weeks ago a sixth individual died due to a suspected overdose. This crisis puts our children, families, and livelihood at stake- I will prioritize responsive services, mental health service improvements, and resources for our first responders. The second issue is very collaborative with the first issue, mental health services. For folks out west of the interstate, we don’t have a responsive approach for mental health other than sending them in the City. This presents a number of logistical, personal, and/or financial constraints on those needing this help. I will focus on engaging in conversation with the County Administration on broadening mental health service outreach west of the interstate. The final priority is promoting a workforce that is responsive with the incredible economic opportunity and growth the County has seen. I will use my private sector business skills to bring collaborative solutions so that our County is going above and beyond in preparing the workforce of today for the jobs of tomorrow.

3.)  Why are you the best choice for county supervisor?

Decker — As an experienced County Board Supervisor,  I will continue to work hard for the residents of the 22nd District. I will continue to return every constituent email and phone call I receive regarding county government issues. Representing my constituents in a conservative manner, I will continue to watch out for taxpayer dollars and fight wasteful government spending. My record includes voting against every budget that raised taxes, and voting twice against raises for County Board Supervisors. It also includes fighting wasteful spending while supporting job creating initiatives like the Salem Business Park and co-authoring the resolution supporting Foxconn coming to the area. Recently, I exposed the over $6 million owed to the county in delinquent property taxes. After the extreme flooding last summer, I requested Rep. Paul Ryan allocate FEMA dollars to the flood victims in the district, and I have been pro-active in addressing the opioid epidemic facing Kenosha County. In addition, I am currently active in many organizations such as St. Alphonsus Parish, We Back the Badge, 4-H, Youth As Resources, and Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program, giving me a unique perspective into what is happening in Wheatland, Salem Lakes, Randall, and Brighton.

Nopenz — I am asking for your trust and vote because I have taken a stand on principle before, and even if it wasn’t popular, I fought hard and brought solutions to the table. As the President of both Silver Lake and Salem Lakes, I have unique local government experience, leadership experience, and elected experience. We tackled big issues in Silver Lake and Salem Lakes, I am prepared to continue to fight for what is right for our community. My opponent has had nearly a decade to give voters a reason to send her back to the Board. However, time and time again she gives us rhetoric when we need solutions. She votes NO nearly every time on the annual County Budget which puts the Sheriff’s Department, Brookside Nursing Home, Foster Care, and Workforce Development at risk because of her political stunts. She’s campaigning on fiscal responsibility and conservative values, but she took a taxpayer funded raise (yet says she voted against the raise) and hasn’t returned it back to the tax roll and she took expensive county insurance before they eliminated the program. My opponent isn’t the advocate we elected her to be, she’s turned this into a stepping stool for divisive partisan rhetoric. I intend to return decency and integrity to our district’s seat on the County Board and I will always do my homework and fight for you.

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