Spring Election 2020: County supervisor District 18 candidates Q&A

Kenosha County Supervisor District 18

Voters in county board district 18 will be able to cast a ballot in a contested county supervisor race on April 7 (or by absentee voting before then).

The 18th District includes much of Bristol in Western Kenosha County (see map above). The rest of the district is in Pleasant Prairie.

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

Here, in alphabetical order is their biographical information, followed by their question responses:

Jill Gillmore — Age: 36. Village, town, city where you reside: Bristol. Education: Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Occupation: Substitute Teacher, President of Marleigh’s Ministry, Small Business Owner OakVue Farm (Home of the Live Nativity). Previous elected/appointed public office: Kenosha County Supervisor, District 18, 2016-2018; Facilities Committee Kenosha County Parks/Recreation/Highways 2016-2018; Planning Development,UW Extension and Education Committee 2016-2018; Youth in Governance Mentor.

Monica Yuhas — Age: 51. Village, town, city where you reside: Village of Pleasant Prairie Education: Attended University of Wisconsin Parkside
Occupation: Engineering Department Secretary. Previous elected/appointed public office: 2018 – Present Kenosha County Supervisor, District 18; 2018 – Present Public Works and Facilities Committee; 2018 – Present Judiciary and Law Committee; 2018 – Present Kenosha Joint Services Board Member; 2007 – 2014 Trustee, Village of Pleasant Prairie; 2013 – 2014 Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities; 2008 – 2014 Vice Chair, Community Development Authority; 2007 – 2013 Member, Parks Commission; 2001 – 2008 Member, School Commission.

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

Gillmore — Kenosha County has a spending problem. We have one of the highest median property taxes in the United States, and are ranked 111th of the 3143 counties in order of median property taxes.  The average yearly property tax paid by Kenosha County residents amounts to about 5.08% of their yearly income. The tax and spend mentality of our county has to come to an end. I will stand up for the taxpayers and will not be just another rubber stamp on the Board. As a substitute teacher, I will continue working daily to advance the interests of communities west of the I and it’s families by serving in our public schools.  I will also continue advocating on behalf of babies born addicted to opioids who frequently end up in our foster care system. As a County Supervisor and through Marleigh’s Ministry, I will keep fighting the fight against prematurity and infant loss in Kenosha County. Supporting 4H and the ever-growing mental health needs of our youth in the county are also priorities. Finally, Western Kenosha County, along with the entire area, is experiencing an unprecedented amount of growth. We need to balance that growth with the rural quality of life enjoyed by the residents. Road maintenance has been an important concern of many residents in Western Kenosha County, and emergency repairs have been needed recently in the western part of the county. I will work to make sure our roads are in good repair and are fixed quickly when needed. The lack of mental health care and veterans’ services are also affecting those of us that live west of the I, and I will continue to support increasing these services to those who need them.

Yuhas — My involvement and partnership with the Village of Bristol over the past years has been one of the most rewarding aspects of serving as your County Board Supervisor. I have had many, many opportunities to speak with residents about their concerns, ideas and outlook for the future of our community. Kenosha County works in tandem with the Bristol Village Board with respect to new economic development. This collaborative partnership ensures that ALL parties have a seat at the table, ALL voices are heard and a desirable outcome is reached that represents the future vision of the Village of Bristol. I serve on the Pringle Nature Center Board, my husband and I are members of the Bristol Historical Society, my family and I participate in the Bristol Progress Days and I attend the annual George Lake Rehabilitation District Annual meetings. Being involved, contributing and making a positive impact on our community is very important to me and my family.

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

Gillmore — My biggest concern right now is our high tax burden in Kenosha County. We cannot continue to raise taxes and increase our debt and expect people to remain here. Much of the burden is paid in the form of property taxes and much of that goes to Kenosha County. Because of that, I will continue to support common sense budgeting and taxpayer savings whenever possible.  Over the last two years, my opponent raised taxes 2.9 million dollars on the backs of the taxpayers in Kenosha County. It is time to get this massive spending problem under control. I have a degree in Criminal Justice, so I am in a unique position to understand, as well as support, law enforcement. Contrary to what my opponent has said, a priority of mine is to support both the police and sheriff departments. During my time on the board, I supported $250,000 in grants to support public safety and appropriate funding of our sheriff’s department. If re-elected, I will continue to support our sheriff’s department and promote safety for families in Kenosha County. Another important part of public safety is our 2nd Amendment Rights.  I will continue to support law-abiding citizens’ rights to possess firearms to protect themselves and their families. Kenosha County faces many other important issues which include mental health care shortages, the opioid crisis, the lack of trained skilled workers, and the shortage of correctional officers. I am eager to help address these issues on the County Board as well.

Yuhas — My goal is to provide: Essential public services while minimizing the financial impact on the taxpayers of Kenosha County. I have supported the following critical items which my opponent voted against during her time on the County Board: Public Safety – I serve on two committees that affect the daily lives of us all where personal and public safety are concerned: Judiciary and Law and Kenosha Joint Services Board. The Judiciary and Law Committee works with the Sheriff’s Department, Kenosha County Courts, the District Attorney’s Office and Kenosha Joint
Services Board, which provides safety support services for the City of Kenosha Police and Fire Departments, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and various other law enforcement and emergency services agencies. In helping to develop the annual County Budget, I voted for competitive wages for our Sheriff Deputies, ensured that they have tactical vest replacements and other much needed equipment and training that allows them to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. I have supported the replacement of 911 radio console systems, two new
transmission towers with new radio equipment for Fire and Rescue communication as well as the completion of the simulcast project which strengthens communication between our Sheriff Deputies as well as our County Fire and Rescue departments. My opponent voted against our Sheriff Department every budget cycle while she was on the County Board. In the 2017 budget, my opponent voted against secured space for key operations for the Medical Examiner’s Office as well as the installation of more video cameras at the Detention Center to improve safety for our correctional staff. She voted against the hiring of three more Deputies and a patrol Sergeant in the 2018 budget when our community desperately needed additional deputies. Mental Health / Opioid Crisis – I understand the importance of having resources available for those who need guidance and / or treatment for mental health issues which is why I supported and voted for an additional five beds at the KARE Center in 2019. The KARE Center is a community based residential facility which offers mental health and substance abuse recovery in Kenosha County. Additionally, I will continue to support the Vivitrol Program which is a comprehensive alcohol and drug treatment program that has had a very high success rate in the treatment of opioids addiction. Overdose deaths are down, in part because of this program. My opponent says she supports of mental health initiatives, but in 2017 she voted against the purchase of the KARE Center building as well as its operations. My opponent will say she’s going to work on behalf of the opioid epidemic, and yet in 2017 and 2018 she voted against the Vivitrol program which plays a vital role in treatment of opioid addiction. Veteran Services – I have spoken with many of our Kenosha County veterans about
their service to our country as well as their challenges with making ends meet. Our Veterans Services department processes thousands of claims every year to help with legal issues, benefits and support that directly affects these men and women. By spending time in this department, I have seen first-hand the amount of time it takes to process a claim, and provide guidance on how to pursue a remedy for a given situation. In order to process these increases in claims, and provide additional needed support for our veterans, I supported and voted for an additional staff member in the Veteran’s Services department. I also supported and voted in favor of renaming KD Park “The Kenosha County Veteran’s Memorial Park” in this last budget cycle. My opponent did not vote for a single line item in the Veteran’s Services 2017 or 2018 budget.

Why are you the best choice for County Supervisor?

Gillmore — My time on the County Board from 2016-2018 was extraordinary, and now that my daughter is well, I am eager to serve the community again. Kenosha County is my home, and I care deeply about making sure it is an affordable, safe place to raise a family and retire comfortably. As a lifelong resident of Kenosha County, I have supported the community over the years through countless volunteer activities and fundraisers. I have a degree in Criminal Justice and experience as a small business owner and president of a non-profit organization. Although this is a non-partisan board, my values won’t change because of that. I am a proud Christian, Conservative, Republican who loves to serve families in our community. As your County Board Supervisor, I will commit to promoting an atmosphere of fiscal responsibility and a heart of collaboration. Unlike my opponent who helped raise taxes 27% during her time on the Pleasant Prairie Village Board (over 2 times the rate of inflation) during the recession, I will work to save your tax dollars and make the best use of the county’s revenue. I know what it takes to transform complex issues into practical solutions, and I will continue to think “outside the box” and offer proactive approaches with a positive attitude. Finally, I am the only conservative candidate running for the 18th District and I am the only 18th District candidate endorsed by the Republican Party of Kenosha County.

Yuhas — Hard Work, Experience and Independence. This is my third campaign for this seat. Once again, I find myself the target of a partisan
political focus by people interested in serving themselves, not you. I am an independent voice watching out for your, the taxpayer. Here’s what I’ve accomplished: I am the ONLY supervisor in this race with a 100% attendance record. I did this while balancing two County Board meetings and three committee meetings each month, numerous civic, social and family commitments and a full-time job. You matter. I ran to serve you. I will continue to do that. I am the ONLY supervisor who has toured every department in County Government. I dedicated nine days of vacation time over the past two years to meet staff, observe, and learn about what it takes to run County operations. This time spent helped inform my decision-making as I navigated the Kenosha County budget. I am the ONLY supervisor in this race endorsed by Sheriff David Beth, Deputy Friendly
Ray Rowe, Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Dave Smetana and Pleasant Prairie Fire Chief Craig Roepke. This is the first time ever that all four law enforcement officers, Sheriff Beth, Deputy Friendly Rowe, Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Smetana and Pleasant Prairie Fire Chief Roepke have all taken the public position of endorsing a candidate for public office. I am extremely proud to receive all of their endorsements and support. They are publicly supporting me because they feel strongly that the only supervisor who can deliver for OUR public safety and OUR Sheriff Deputies is Monica Yuhas. I am the ONLY supervisor who has watched out for us. I supported budget cuts to save you $1.5 million dollars in the last two budgets, as well as supporting and voting for a 60% reduction in open records fees. I am the ONLY supervisor who collected all of her own signatures to be placed on the
ballot – that’s 130 signatures. My opponent did not personally get one signature on her own. I do not have a political machine supporting and operating my campaign – I am truly independent. My loyalties are to you, the taxpayers and the residents of the 18th District, as well as all of the residents of Kenosha County. My opponent did not find the time to knock on doors, speak with you and get her own signatures. I ask you this, who
do you think she will be working for?

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