Spring Election 2018: 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 3.

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: 64. Village, town, city where you reside: Town of Randall. Education: Holy Name Grade School, Wilmot WI-8yrs, Wilmot Union High School-4 yrs, UW Madison 3 yrs. Occupation: Landscape Design & Contractor,  Elverman Landscape Inc. Previous elected/appointed public office: Twin Lakes Village Board: 8 yrs.  Kenosha County Board 23 yrs.  2 yrs. Board Vice Chair.  2 yrs County Board Chair.  Currently now serving as a Kenosha County Library System Board Member.

Mark Starzyk — Age: 72. Village, town, city where you reside: Randall/Powers Lake. Education: AA in accounting, BBA in business administration — UW-Whitewater. Post graduate work in cost accounting and taxes, Wright State. Occupation: Owner of multiple businesses with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, Country Home Center. Previous elected/appointed public office: Current chairman of the Kenosha County Housing Authority Board. Former county board supervisor 27th District, served on the Personnel, Building & Grounds and Jail Study committees. Randall town chairman 4 years. Randall town supervisor 20 years. Former Community Library  Board member. Joint Twin Lakes/Randall Smart Growth Commission member.

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

Elverman — In my district and many West of the I, we have high property values with a low proportion of business to residential.  We need to add more business in an aesthetic and practical way.  I have supported and will continue to support KABA and their promotions West of the I.  The Salem Business Park, Allied Plastics in Twin Lakes, and Five Star Fabricating in Randall. I will continue to work and to maintain our infrastructure, Roads, buildings, Parks, and waterways. We must balance growth with responsible budgeting and planning. We have moved many services to the County Center.  I would push for more.

Starzyk — Providing a better future for our children and grandchildren by concentrating on Long Term Quality of Life Issues. Work to preserve the counties most productive agricultural land, while accommodating economic growth and employment opportunities. With Fox Conn coming to our area Major Growth will occur. The County Board should take the lead role of working with all other units of Local Government to ensure everyone works together for the benefit of all.

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

Elverman — To keep doing what we are now doing.  Kenosha County has benefited from location, but our success has been also from a very strong County Exec and County Board.  We have moved from the Great Recession at the “head of the class”.  We have enhanced the quality of life here with less than a .6% levy increase in the past 10 years and have raised our bonding status to AA+, saving taxpayers millions.

Starzyk — Life Style and Preserving Natural Resources  would come first, followed by Kitchen Table Issues and good solid money management. They county should get a dollar’s worth of value for every precious tax dollar spent. And stop wasting money purchasing short-term assets  with long-term bonding. I also would do my best to see to it that communities west of I-94 stop subsidizing the east end of the county.

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

Elverman —  My opponent at his best is an obstructionist.  This may work or be cute and popular at the State or Federal level, but not at the local level where people expect you to actually deliver and perform. I have a record of delivering.  When I became the Chair of the County Board, the Judges had been asking for 17 years for Court House Security. Fred Patrie and I made that happen in my first few months, with donated equipment from an airline in Milwaukee. You can put out campaign promises on your flyers that sound great.  But you must deliver. My opponent was drafted to join a small fraction on the County Board that do little or nothing to contribute to our success. The County Exec and those of us that lead and contribute have made Kenosha County the envy of the state, the Mid-West 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 businesses and families have wanted to locate for the high quality of life. We have in a planned and timely approach enhanced our infrastructure, parks, highways, golf courses and public buildings.  As Chairman of Public Works I have played a large roll 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 embarked on a phased roof project for all of our County buildings, beginning in the spring of 2016.  In the spring of 2016 we also began an expansion of our award winning nursing home, Brookside, which will pay for itself from day one. During my time as Chairman we have also added a new county park (KD Park) with no levy dollars.  We then added an addition to that park, that with 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 disk golf in a public/private partnership to two of the our parks at little cost to the county.  We brought off-road bicycle to our Silver Lake Park with private partners providing all of the labor.  We partnered with the Pringle Nature Center to operate at our Bristol Woods County Park, and have brought our golf courses to profitability for the sixth straight year.  This year we added a Biergarten in  a partnership with a private vendor at our Petrifying Springs Park that raises revenue for our parks system.  We have partnered for years with the Kemper Center to operate our beautiful park on Lake Michigan.   We partnered with Lakeland Little League on fields at Brighton Dale Park.  We built and maintain three dog parks without taxpayer dollars. We recently received an award for “Innovations in Urban Forestry from the Arborist  Association and the DNR. This award was for the approach we took in handling the emerald ash borer crisis.  By using a logging company, letting them own the resource, sell and use all parts of the trees, we saved the County close to 1 million dollars below some estimates. I pride myself with being fiscally conservative.  I have owned and operated my own small business, Elverman Landscapes, in Kenosha County for 30 years.I have raised 100’s of thousands in sales tax for the State and local governments through that work.  I made payroll in good times and in bad, and I still have a shovel in my hand every work day.  To be blunt, I refuse to waste your, or my own hard earned tax dollars. If you see where I am going with this, you realize that I am a huge advocate and promoter of public-private partnerships.  They bring a quality of life benefit to us, without tax dollars.   Kenosha County has done all of this with less than 1% adjusted tax levy increase per year for the past 20 years and a .53% in the last 10 years. We have been able to pay down our long-term debt and added to our reserves at a high rate.  This positive financial strength has earned us AA+ status with the top 3 bonding agencies.  That puts us in a very small selective group of government bodies.  The + after the AA means that they have us trending up to the top rate you can achieve.  This is earned through good planning, fiscal strength and a proven record of a conservative approach to achieving growth and stability. I’m asking you to give me the opportunity to help keep Kenosha County moving forward, and elect me your County Supervisor on April 3rd.

Starzyk — Twin Lakes and Randall are the Jewels of the County. We have four beautiful, pristine lakes, unmatched scenic beauty and high yielding farm land. We must strive to strike a balance to preserve our natural and agricultural resources, while improving our infrastructure and local job opportunities. Clean light manufacturing could increase our tax base and lower our property tax burden. I also will bring many years of private sector work experience to improve the counties budget priorities while defending the lifestyle we all love.

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