Name three long-term goals you have for the Village and why you chose them.
1) I want Caledonia to be a recognized, sought after area .where people of all kinds aspire to live. Caledonia is a wonderful and special place. it will not remain exactly as it is, but all things change. My goal is to help manage that change to keep what’s best about Caledonia–its friendly neighborhoods, beautiful rural areas, parks, healthy subdivisions, housing for all economic levels while managing development to keep Caledonia taxes affordable in the short and long term, and ensuring the best protection for our environment.
2)Foxconn is coming, and I don’t think that’s debatable. The I-94 corridor will and should develop and Foxconn will speed up that development. Any new rezoning for the abutting area or any area should be based on the best economic information telling us which type of development provides the best tax base with the least infrastructure cost. I will work for the best most environmentally and carefully planned residential development as well. I also want rezoning to be a public,citizen-involved process, particularly with those neighbors most closely impacted. I want ALL Caledonians to benefit from Foxconn, by an excellent tax base which creates a quality of life, a healthy environment, family-supporting jobs, excellent schools while minimizing the burden on residential property owners.
3) I have and will continue to advocate for the most transparent and accessible local government. Of course, some particularly sensitive meetings do need to be closed, but there should be full public disclosure of the content of those meetings(excluding personnel matters) in plenty of time for citizens to react.The Board should err on the side of openness where’s there’s any question.
What are the three biggest challenges the village faces and how would address them?
1) We need to be sure the anticipated benefits of Foxconn are spread across all residents of Caledonia. This means protecting our ‘quality of life “ assets parks, open space, recreation for kids, adults, seniors, housing for all economic levels. We’ll need to avoid a boom town approach to the expected large influx of Foxconn construction workers by careful thoughtful planning.
2) We have many already platted but undeveloped residential developments, most of which were put on hold when the 2008 recession hit. It’s highly likely those will re-emerge in rapid order. It will be a challenge for existing Village staff, Planning Commission and Board to handle that, to carefully consider what’s desirable and what’s not, as well as coping with proposed retail, commercial and industrial development.We have community assets in Gateway, UW-Parkside and Carthage College faculty with the expertise I think they’ll share-and I think we need to cultivate that sharing.
3)We need to improve Caledonia’s reputation for being “user-friendly” for anyone building here, whether a single-family residence, subdivision commercial or industrial. I’ve seen, as chair of Caledonia’s Community Development Authority (CDA), that Caledonia has a reputation with builders and developers for being difficult to work with. I don’t fault Village staff, but rather the process. The very able volunteer members of the CDA have been working on this, including having a leader from a more developed community speak to us about their process.
The Village is poised for growth. How should it adapt to that growth?
The I-94 corridor will and should develop and Foxconn will speed up that development. We already have bonded to the DeBack Farms Industrial Park. I want to see any new rezoning for the adjoining area to be based on the best possible economic information telling us which type of development provides the best tax base with the least infrastructure cost. I also want those neighbors most closely affected to be specifically kept aware of and involved in the process. I want ALL Caledonians to benefit from Foxconn, by an excellent tax base which creates a quality of life, family-supporting jobs, excellent schools while minimizing the burden on residential property owners and preserving our unique green areas. The Foxconn project magnifies the need for the Board to act as a watchdog for the benefit of all Caledonians for the multitude of reasons we have all chosen to call Caledonia our home.
I want our Village government to be as accessible and transparent as possible. Of course, some meetings do need to be closed, but the Board should err on the side of openness. I want our new Village website to provide the most information about Board and Committee decisions because those decisions affect all of us. The process of open governing is important, and easy public access to information before the Board is a priority for me, which we can and should do by using current technology.
How would you describe your leadership style?
A Village Trustee is one of seven on the Board. Decisions are made by majority vote,so reaching consensus is imperative. I’ll look for facts, citizen input, and expert advice if needed before making a decision. I believe in listening carefully to all points of view, then arriving at a conclusion and explaining my reasoning. I’m quite persistent in attempting to persuade others once I’ve reached a conclusion, but I’m not reluctant to change my mind if there’s reason to do so,either.
Why should people elect you?
For the same reason, I’m endorsed by Bob Bradley, Tom Weatherston, Tom Buhler, Melissa Warner and Joe Kiriaki-as well as many other neighbors, who collectively span the political spectrum. I have more than 30 years of experience practicing private sector civil(not criminal) law. Because Foxconn is coming, I think that experience can be helpful to our village at this particular time. The position of Caledonia Trustee is truly nonpartisan. The next few years will be a challenge I’m certain and none of us will have all or perfect answers.
But I love Caledonia, and because of Foxconn, I’m hoping to put my years of experience to Caledonia’s benefit to embrace the future while preserving our unique and beautiful green community.
Learn about Fran Martin’s opponent, Ed Willing.
The Spring election will be held on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018.
Find your polling location here.
Learn more about the other Village Trustee candidates.