Q. What relevant experience do you bring to the office you seek?
It is not enough to have experience and knowledge; you must also have the desire and the fire to represent the many voices of the people who have entrusted you. Elected as District 2 Alderman to the New Richmond City Council in 2012, I currently serve as the Chair of Public Safety, 2016 Chair Board of Review, Library Board, Ethics, Community Development Authority, Emergency Government, New Richmond Housing Authority, Finance Committee of the Whole and previously the Historic Preservation Board (my work in preservation is ongoing). In addition I serve as a Citizen Representative on the St. Croix County Health Center Construction and Public Relations Committees. I am an active member with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Lobby Team and Rapid Response Team. My activities in advocating and educating on local, state and national issues have been a lifelong avocation.
Q. The American Society of Civil Engineers says Wisconsin motorists spend $2.0-billion per year in costs from driving on roads in need of repairs. What are the ways you would help find funding for the rebuilding of this state?
Efficiency at the DOT is part of the answer sought; we have neglected roads and bridges too long. Any additional tax would have to have a sunset based on funds raised not time. The DOT must prioritize projects and present a long range plan rather than day to day or emergent and work closely with municipalities to have a face to face understanding of the projects needed and the impact to the locality. Toll roads can be an effective and efficient source of funding, however toll roads are not suitable for every area of Wisconsin and must be considered with great vision. At the state level we must be willing to make hard decisions which will affect all budgets in order to fund our dire situation.
Q. State aid to local school districts has been reduced, or remained flat for the last few years. Leaders of local school districts say that has resulted in stagnant teacher pay and reductions in educational programs that students need and want. Some worry that we are losing our best and brightest teachers to neighboring states. So many local school districts are now going to voters, asking them to pass referendums that would allow these schools to raise local property taxes to make up the difference. In your opinion, is this the best and most fair way to fund these projects? If so, what is the role of the state to provide further assistance? If not, what, specifically, would you do to provide more state aid to local schools and where would that money come from?
Wisconsin has lost many great teachers due to the loss of collective bargaining which provided a fair means of negotiating compensation for the experience and knowledge of quality, qualified teachers. We have also traded short term gain for a long term negative impact in reducing funding to public education. School Districts and municipalities are the largest share of property tax. Raising funds by levy increase does not address the base issues of continued pubic school funding. Education should be a priority of the state government with a change in the funding formula to better reflect and address the needs of Wisconsin school districts. The DPI budget proposed by Dr. Evers is a first step in funding our public schools to an effective and equitable level. Scottie Ard Candidate 29th Assembly District www.ard429.com scottieard429@gmailcom 715-338-6064 2
Q. What makes you the best candidate to represent your district?
I speak on behalf of the people and not at them. My voice is not the predominate voice, but one among the thousands I would represent. It is not enough to want to represent you must have a strong knowledge of the issues, experience in navigating the public and political waters and a passion and commitment to serve the people who have entrusted you to speak on their behalf. I have such qualities and will equitably represent the voice of the people.
Q. What do you think should be the top priorities for the state and your area over the next decade? If elected to office, how would you advance those priorities?
Education, job security, health insurance, conservation and transportation are the top priorities. When these factors are strengthened and funded, economic stability and growth will follow. Addressing an open and accessible state government will be an ongoing priority.