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Candidate Profile: Joe Riechers
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Darlington School Board

There are five candidates, Donna Jean Wiegel, Aaron Wolfe, Matt Crist, Joe Riechers and Bob Hermanson, running for three spots on the board. Wolfe and Riechers are incumbents.

Position sought: Darlington school board

Age: 41

City/town of residence: City of Darlington

Family: Wife, Tina; Children, Jacob, 15, Willie, 13, and Katie, 11

Education: UW-Platteville, BS Agribusiness

Occupation: Farmer

Previous elected positions held: Darlington school board, 2010-present

What are the top issues facing this district/municipality and how would you work to resolve it?

The top issue facing the district is our budget. We work hard to spend the taxpayers' money as responsibly as possible while doing our best for our students. Our fund balance has been on an upward trend the last few years. I know it sometimes look like we are overtaxing our constituents. Having a healthy fund balance will allow us to take care of building projects and programming needs. Smaller districts like ours need to have a higher percentage fund balance because the cost of these projects is a higher percentage in our budget.

What are other key issues facing the district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?

Increasing enrollment in our elementary school, an increase in English Language Learners, and utilizing technology are other issues facing us. The first two are resolved by hiring the most qualified people to educate the children whether that is done by hiring teachers or aides to assist the teachers. We are trying to better utilize technology by updating infrastructure and devices. The cost of updating technology is partially offset with grants.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I have six years of experience on the school board. I think having members with experience and an understanding of where we've been and where we want to be is very important. I have a good working relationship with our administration team. I care about all of our students succeeding while attending Darlington and in whatever endeavors they choose post graduation.