Spring Election 2021: Paddock Lake village trustee Q&A

Paddock Lake residents will be able to vote for three candidates in a field of four for village trustee in the April 6 election.

Appearing on the ballot are incumbents Bena Ahlburg and Scott Garland and newcomers Renee Brickner and John Poole.

Incumbent Kathy Christenson did not run for re-election.

All candidates were sent identical questionnaires. Below are their answers as they sent them in:

Bena Ahlberg — Age: 30. Education: Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Beloit College – Class of 2012. Occupation: Assistant Buyer in foods retail buying. Previous elected/appointed public office: Appointed to Trustee for Village of Paddock Lake in May of 2020

Renee Brickner — Age:  57. Education:   Westosha Central High School – Carthage College. Occupation:  Officer Manager/Paralegal. Previous elected/appointed public office:  None.

Scott Garland — Age: 46. Education: Libertyville High School. Occupation: Purchasing Coordinator. Previous elected/appointed public office: Paddock Lake Village Trustee.

John Poole — Age: 73. Education: Graduated from Illinois State University with BS in Accounting. Served in US Marine Corps as a Vietnam Veteran, discharged as a Sergeant E-5. Occupation: Accountant. Previous Elected/Appointed public office: Served on Kenosha County Board for 6 years from 2014 to 2020.

Why are you the best choice for Paddock Lake village trustee?

Ahlberg — I grew up in a service oriented family and participated in multiple organizations and events for the betterment of my community.   I was appointed to the Village of Paddock Lake Board in May of 2020 to fill a vacant position and have been invested in learning the details of what is going on in the village.  It’s important to not only view the big picture of the community itself, but to also take into consideration the needs of individuals. I have enjoyed being able to offer a fresh perspective from a new generation on the board and have had multiple conversations with community members in order to form my opinions.  It is the duty of a Trustee to be well informed and seek input from others to make decisions which impact the future of our community. My career in the retail buying world is fast paced and multi-dimensional.  I have years of experience balancing a large budget and working with a variety of individuals and suppliers from a diverse background.  I am not afraid to fight for what I believe to be fair, even when it may not be the easiest path. I want to ensure a stable, welcoming, and safe community for my family and all of the other residents of Paddock Lake.  My husband and I will be starting a family in the next couple of years and are deeply committed to this community for decades to come.  I am passionate about Paddock Lake and hope to have the honor of continuing to serve the village.

Brickner — I have lived in the Village of Paddock Lake and been involved in the community for 30 years.  I have been an Office Manager/Paralegal for 21 years.  I have practical experience managing a law office.  As Office Manager, I am involved in the financial aspect of the law office.  I have past experience with budgets and finances from serving as the Treasurer of the Central High School Booster Club.  As part of my employment, I am personable and compassionate in serving our clients as well as the public, which will carry over in serving the residents of our community if I am elected as Trustee for the Village of Paddock Lake.

Garland — The qualifications I have are that I’ve been a Village Trustee the last 2 years. I’ve lived in Paddock Lake for over 8 years and beyond Trustee, even if I end up not getting re-elected for another term, I am and will continue to be an active member of this community.

Poole — I’m an accountant with over 40 years’ experience so I can read and balance a budget.  I served 6 years on the Kenosha County Board, so I know how government works.  I have attended Paddock Lake Board meetings for over 6 years so I am aware of what the issues are for the village.

What are the chief issues facing Paddock Lake and how do you feel they should be addressed?

Ahlburg — The Village of Paddock Lake continues to grow year after year.  We have a delightful small community here with deep rooted history.  It is important to nurture the traditions and the nuances which make Paddock Lake so special while balancing the growth in the community that brings additional resources, businesses, and population.  I believe it is important to promote civic engagement with the next generation of residents in Paddock Lake. 

Brickner — The chief issues I would like to help address are to make the board more accessible to our residents.  I feel it is important that the voices of the residents are not only heard, but that the residents also receive the proper attention of the Village Board.  I would also like to help address improving our Village, while bringing smart, balanced growth, without raising taxes for the residents of our community.

Garland — Personally, if the funding was right I would like to see an overpass cross walk over Route 50 making it safer for our residents to cross. Not just for students at Central, but for everyone, especially now that there will soon be a band shelter at Old Settler’s Park. I’m also a community events guy. I’d like to see a few more events in the community other than our annual Oktoberfest.

Poole — The biggest problem is enlarging the limited tax base. There are several subdivisions plated, but not yet built. These need to be built to increase the tax base and also the water utility base so water rates
won’t cost taxpayers as much in the future. Paddock Lake is poised for development as the Village Board has provided Water and Sewer that developers need to make us a destination shopping place between I-94 and Lake Geneva. I will continue that trend. I would also like to see more community based events and festivals such as Oktoberfest. This would help bring more tourist dollars to the community.


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