Village of Monticello
There are four candidates for three seats on the Monticello village board. Incumbents Teresa Dunlap and William Loveland are being challenged by Rene Nicholson and Greg Bettin. Incumbent LaVerne Crooks is the only candidate for village president.
City/town of residence: Monticello
Family: Husband, Raymond; adult son, daughter and son-in-law; and grandson.
Education: MA Religious Studies, Bachelor of Science in English writing.
Previous elected positions held: Appointed to the board in 2013, and serve as Public Works Committee chairman.
What are the top issues facing this district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?
What scares me the most is our aged wastewater facility that needs to be replaced and/or upgraded. It will be an enormous, costly undertaking and not something that can be put off for much long - DNR won't allow that, and we are already facing breakdowns and obsolete parts that can't be replaced. The board, in 2013-14, already set our engineering firm into action to find out what financial support we might possibly qualify to get, and we are looking at the DNR to finalize it regulations on effluent levels for phosphorus and others pollutants. We don't want to build something that would be out of compliance before it gets started. Once those two factors are confirmed we can start to layout the project.
Monticello could use some major industrial or commercial growth, but one thing we need badly is reliable internet service in our area. No business can't operate or compete without it today. The board is in discussion with LiteWire, to see if it can supply a reliable alternative for internet access.
What are other key issues facing the district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?
Our current industrial tax increment district (TID) east of town is now filled, and so we should look at another plot to help develop before we have to turn some company away.
And I want to make sure our comprehensive plan update this year focuses on this. Personally, I want the village board to be wide awake, adamant about protecting our taxpayers, when planning and selling these future development lots, We are located right on Wis. 69; there shouldn't be any reason we can't attract more businesses and commerce. But we can't afford to invest more taxpayer money into an area than the developments will give back in added tax revenue. The balance has to tip in favor of the taxpayers.
Net new development and those additional property taxes are about the only source of revenue the village can rely upon in the future to help replace our worn out equipment and to step up the pace of street repairs. It's not much, but without it, the state's expenditure restraint program will hang us. The size of the ERP program ($58M) has been frozen since 2003, while the number of recipients have gone up.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I don't know if I am the best, but I do believe I offer a lot of knowledge about and experience with municipal government, which I gained while covering the City of Monroe government as a reporter for The Monroe Times for seven years. I dug into every aspect of city government, from finance and taxes to streets and wastewater - and public works was always my favorite, most fascinating department. I don't know why, except maybe growing up on a farm whet my desire to make sure things worked ... because if they don't work right, it ends up causing more work, and costing more money.