Spring Election 2020: County supervisor District 22 candidates Q&A

Voters in county board District 22 will be able to cast a ballot in a contested county supervisor race on April 7.

The 22nd District includes most of Wheatland, part of western Brighton, the northwest corner of Salem Lakes, including Silver Lake and part of Randall. (see map above).

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:

Erin Decker — Age: 43. 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 since 2010-present. Elected in 2010, re-elected in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018

Bruce Nopenz — Age: 56. Village, town, city where you reside:  Salem Lakes (Silver Lake). Education:  BA communications, Graduate Business certificate. Occupation:  Sales. Previous elected/appointed public office: Village President Silver Lake, Village President Salem Lakes, Chairperson Board of Appeals Committee, member Planning Commission Committee, member Board of Review.

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

Nopenz — Back the Sheriffs Department. Protect our open spaces. Work to reduce taxes. Fight government waste. Work to stem opioid crisis. Work to develop Mental Health services.

Decker — If re-elected, I will continue to advocate for the residents of the district as I have done during my previous terms. As a conservative voice and a taxpayer advocate, I will continue to work to protect taxpayers. My priority remains fighting waste and misappropriation of our tax dollars, and fighting against tax increases. This past term I worked with other conservatives on the board, against the wishes of the County Executive, to save taxpayers $1.5 million, thereby reducing the tax levy. I will also work to get our bonding under control. Total Kenosha County direct per capita general obligation debt is currently one of the highest in the State of Wisconsin. The Kenosha 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 car that only lasts three years, but that is  similar to what Kenosha County is doing with our money. That sort of debt it irresponsible, and I will continue to fight against it. 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. Recently, I worked with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to secure a land donation on Hwy. W just north of Hwy. 50 to create a new county park. Ensuring open and honest government is also important to me. For example, I supported decreasing our open records fees 60% — ensuring access to government records.

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 support public safety, fighting tax increases, and reducing the county’s out-of-control bonding. As a small business owner, I bring an unique perspective to the county board. As a conservative, I will work to find areas where spending can be cut to save taxpayer dollars. I have voted to accept over $1.5 in grants for public safety. The opioid epidemic is affecting residents of the entire county, and I supported programs that resulted in a 45% reduction in overdose deaths.

Nopenz — Tax reduction. Government waste. Sheriffs department. Mental health services.

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 in a timely manner. 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 three times against raises for County Board Supervisors. In addition, I am currently active in many organizations such as St. Alphonsus Parish, We Back the Badge, 4-H, Kenosha Area Family and Aging Services, and Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program, giving me a unique perspective into what is happening in Wheatland, Salem Lakes, Randall, and Brighton.

Nopenz — Success through building consensus to get things accomplished. Proven track record of meeting goals. A new voice with new ideas. I listen to the people and do what’s best for the community.

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