Q. What relevant experience do you bring to the office you seek?
This area has always been home to me, my parents are from Bloomer and I grew up in Chippewa Falls. I’ve always felt strong ties to the community and area. I learned a lot about the importance of caring about your neighbors, working together to make your community a better place, and always doing the right thing. I learned that if you see something wrong, you say something, and then fix it. The values that I learned here at home gave me the support to join the military and give back.
It wasn’t until I joined the military that I really appreciated the importance of working with others to solve tough problems. In the military, people don’t care what your political sides are; they just care if you get the job done and do your best. After I returned home from the military, I was the finance director of Chippewa County. I noticed that the government wasn’t working for the people. When I saw financial and ethical concerns, I said something. It cost me the job but I kept my integrity.
While I am still trying to hold people accountable, I’m also using my financial skills to help the community. I am the owner of a small business, Chippewa Valley Financial Services, and I work my hardest to make sure that other small businesses and families have the financial help to succeed. My experiences have shaped me to be a hard worker, honest, and willing to do my best to serve Wisconsin.
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?
Roads are one of the top reasons why I’m running for state assembly. According to the same group, Wisconsin roads are rated as 47th out of 50 states. This is not acceptable. We can’t continue endangering motorists with unsafe roads and decrease our business competitiveness. But we also can’t place the burden of high taxes on hard-working families. Our roads need to be a high priority this year and they will only be fixed by both sides working together. This means exploring funding options that are sustainable long-term. We also need to give equal priority to our highways and rural roads.
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’s public schools have suffered from budget cuts. As a result, Wisconsin’s families have suffered from higher taxes because of referendums. This isn’t an effective process. I would work to reverse Walker’s $1-billion-dollar budget cuts in schools, including the transfer of $750 from public schools to accountable private schools. By reversing these cuts, communities could receive the resources they need to fund schools instead of passing the burden on to the local levels in the form of referendums. This is especially important in rural areas, where schools have to fight to remain open. All kids deserve an equal opportunity at education.
Q. What makes you the best candidate to represent your district?
This is my home and I want the very best for our children. I won’t be a rubber stamp for policies. I know that elected officials need to stand up for what’s right. Additionally, I have a background in accounting that provides me with the tools to balance our budget and grow the local economy. I can’t do this alone, so I’m looking forward to working across the aisle to help our schools, roads, and families. I will work my hardest to ensure I am best representing the 67th Assembly District and fighting for our children’s future.
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, infrastructure, and growing the economy are what Wisconsin’s lawmakers need to prioritize in the next decade. Reversing cuts to education, improving our road and rural broadband and increasing middle income wages are critical investment priorities to make our community and state better. We must work together and create bi-partisan task forces to identify the best possible solutions to these problems. I will work across the aisle to do what is best for Wisconsin.