Q. What relevant experience do you bring to the office you seek?
I believe that being a State Representative, first and foremost, means you are a strong public servant. Growing up working at the Two Acres Supper Club in Bloomer, I learned a lot about serving others. I believe my small-business and hospitality background will bring a great deal to the 67th Assembly seat, including firsthand job creation experience. I know how to make tough decisions and how to be fiscally responsible with the businesses I have owned and this will translate to being a good steward of taxpayers' dollars.
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?
It is clear that the transportation funding issue needs to be addressed. Until the audit from the Department of Transportation is released, I don’t believe in removing options from the table, but I also will not choose one specific solution until we see where efficiencies and other cost-savings can be found at the DOT.
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?
I believe this is a matter that reflects my personal belief that local control should stay at the local level. If a community votes to put their dollars towards a cause they deem to be necessary, then it is their own choice. There are numerous grants available that schools can apply for to help fund educational programs. I look forward to helping local school districts receive the resources that they need to further invest in our children's future.
Q. What makes you the best candidate to represent your district?
I believe I am the best candidate to represent the 67th Assembly District because I am qualified, have a proven track record of civic engagement and common sense, and most importantly, because I care about this district. I was born and raised here, and I have a strong understanding of the problems facing the constituents of the 67th. I have gone door-to-door throughout the district seeking to understand what matters to these residents. I have based my central positions on this information which goes to show I’m in this to serve, not to be self-serving.
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?
I believe the top priorities for the state will be closing the skills gap, transportation, and the funding of medicaid. I believe that all of these issues will be relevant to the 67th Assembly District as well, but I also want to make it a priority to ensure that schools are being funded to their appropriate levels. If elected to office, I would advance these priorities by participating in the budget process regarding transportation, medicaid, and school funding. I will advocate on behalf of the constituents of the 67th to let the members of Joint Finance know that it is crucial to not kick the can down the road on ending borrowing for roads, ensuring we pay our medicaid bills and look at ways in which we can create efficiencies in our current system, and ending additional cuts to education funding. In order to help closing the skills gap, I plan to be involved in legislative initiatives and policy that will focus on technical education that will help meet the available, family-sustaining jobs for the up and coming Wisconsin workforce.
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