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Candidate Profile: Teresa (Tere) Dunlap

Village of Monticello

In the Village of Monticello, Tere Dunlap is running unopposed for president. She is also running for one of three open trustee seats, along with fellow incumbent Rene Nicholson and newcomer Daniel Pederson.

Position sought: Village Trustee

Age: NA

City/town of residence: Village of Monticello

Family: Married, 2 adult children, 2 grandchildren

Education: Masters

Occupation: Writer and farm owner; retired news reporter

Previous elected positions held: Village Trustee, 2013-2017

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

There's going to be a delicate balance over the next few years between updating our wastewater treatment plant to maintain our permit and not raising our sewer rates astronomically. While I've been Chairman of the Public Works Committee, we've identified and prioritized the needed repairs and replacements, and planned for them in phases over several years. We are searching for grants. We're just going to have to proceed with care and appreciate the dedicated staff we have watching out for us.

Staying informed and current on the budget every month has become a tough task for the "work" committees (Park & Rec, Public Safety, and Public Works) in the past year or two. In the Public Works Committee meetings, I started and would continue having monthly budget reviews, for the members to discuss with each other where they might see a problem or a short-fall coming. I think it would be beneficial for the full board to do these types of reviews each month, to put everything into perspective.

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

The public wants more information. I have been encouraging people to attend committee meetings - where, I believe, more information is discussed than at board meetings. And to help them, we need to make sure our meeting times and places are posted and visible on the website, in addition to the traditional locations in the village (village hall, post office and Gempeler's). We might benefit from one of our present committees overseeing Communication and Technology.

As a member of the Personnel Committee, I wish the annual flow of issues regarding employee benefits, wages, and evaluations were easier to handle. I feel we get hit by them piecemeal, and never gain a sense of how they fit together or into the budget. I'd like to create a calendar of issues coming up for that committee, and to develop graphics that show the percentages they comprise in the labor costs and budgets, for easier presentation to the board.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I hate this question. There is never a best candidate for a board like this. Each of our trustees has brought a different aspect of knowledge and skills to the board that others didn't have and that helps create a broader and more complete composite. It's up to the voters to shape their board as they see fit.