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Candidate Profile: Louis Armstrong
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Election 2018: City of Monroe

There are five open seats on the April ballot for Monroe Common Council. Incumbents Richard Thoman, Rob Schilt and Michael Boyce are seeking re-election. Aldermen Charles Koch and Tom Miller are stepping down. Write-ins Mickey Beam and Donna Douglas are looking to take the remaining two spots.

Position sought: Mayor - City of Monroe

Age: 53

City/town of residence: Monroe, WI

Family: Wife Josephine, Son Louis II

Education: B.S. U.W.S.P

Occupation: General Manager Minhas Craft Brewery

Previous elected positions held: Mayor, Alderman Ward 7

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

Whether campaigning for Alderperson or Mayor, Monroe's annual Budget is perpetually the top issue. Maintaining discussions throughout the year on status of the current budget is an important component to understanding how to develop and establish a budget for the following year. I offer a couple points of philosophy. First is communication and historically we have communicated too late in the process. Ideas for greater efficiency or areas of improvement have usually been brought to discussion at a point in the budget cycle that does not allow opportunity for action. In 2017 I engaged some of these discussions prior than previous years with some success and I plan to improve upon those efforts. Secondly, I feel we are mismanaging an opportunity to control our biggest expense, wages and associated costs. The City is mired in old habits as we continue to approach wage adjustments by following the State's annually posted cost of living adjustment instead of looking what amount of funds we can actually afford for wage adjustments. The 2018 budget we were able to lower taxes slightly but it was achieved through cuts and some staff adjustments: not a sustainable concept as you cannot cut your way to profitability.

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

Keeping Monroe vibrant and moving forward. This is an issue that will require a continued team effort by many entities from the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and Monroe Main Street, to the City Council's continued financial support, and many others both private and public. It should include topics such as Housing, improving and expanding our Parks, and concentrating on keeping the heart of Monroe, our Downtown District, a desired destination for all.