Racine County Eye asked candidates to fill out a questionnaire so that our readers could learn more about them. These are Nancy Washburn’s answers for the Mount Pleasant election.
What position are you seeking?
Village of Mount Pleasant Trustee #3
How long have you lived in Mount Pleasant?
I have lived in Mount Pleasant for 27 years.
Self Employed Entitlement Consultant
What motivated you to seek office?
My motivation to run for Village Trustee was a combination of the retirement of a long-time trustee, my interest in civic service, and knowing how effective my skillset could be to the Village. For the last 25 years, working for large home builders/developers, I had worked closely with multiple departments in the Village. I was part of the Village zoning code rewrite. I had worked in Tax Incremental Districts throughout Southeast Wisconsin and understood the Village’s Strategic Long-Range Plan.
I was keenly aware of the Foxconn project and its perceptions and misconceptions and knew the importance of acting as a partner with Foxconn, not the enemy. This would help provide housing, first-rate medical care, public safety, restaurants, stores and services. Having been asked to run numerous times in previous years, all the elements came together in 2020. I am very proud of my record and look forward to serving the Village of Mount Pleasant residents in 2023 and beyond.
What do you think Mount Pleasant’s strengths are?
Mount Pleasant has much to offer. Since the extension of utilities over 20 years ago west of I-94, Mount Pleasant positioned itself for growth. To meet the needs of that growth we now have an outstanding public safety network. The police department received the WILEAG accreditation, one of only a handful in the State; EMS and fire response times are at an all-time low; we have state-of-the-art medical facilities; a Park System that includes the new Campus Park and Pike River Corridor pathway, miles of walking & biking trails; new housing developments offering a wide range of housing options for sale and rent; the lowest tax rate in 13 years fueled by the growth in commercial and industrial development; the Strategic Long Range Plan is in place and working to move us forward for the next generation’s benefit. We have a lot to be proud of!
What do you think Mount Pleasant’s weaknesses are?
Unfortunately, one of Mount Pleasant’s weaknesses is the school system. It is a system in conflict and the education of our children is suffering. We demand quality education for our children and need to be able to provide it. Racine Unified represents a large part of our tax bill every year and yet the GPAs don’t improve. RUSD has a tremendous amount of money at its disposal. They continue to argue among themselves about what to spend it on.
They need to be able to retain and attract quality teachers and support staff. To attract quality teachers & staff, they need quality environments for them to teach in. Too many of the schools need such significant repair and renovation that razing the school is sometimes the most cost-effective option. RUSD has a large population of at-risk and special-education-needs children. They have nowhere near the staff and support system and have failed to effectively help these students. We need to do better.
If elected, name three priorities you would want to focus on during your term.
Three priorities would be to:
- Keep lowering the tax rate
- Maintain and Continue to improve public safety, response times for EMS services for most of the Village are six minutes or less
- Keep updating our Strategic Long Range Planning Efforts. A “Goal without a plan is just a wish.”
If you are proposing any new programs, how would you pay for them?
The strength of our Strategic Planning process is that we are always looking ahead. As we prepare our annual budget and meet with the Department Heads, it is our opportunity to budget ahead so that we are not having to go to the bank, so to speak. An example would be our Parks Department has been very active in creating programs and leagues. I want to make sure they have the equipment they need and it will be able to be funded out of budgeted items.
If you are proposing cutting services, please explain why that would be a priority.
I see no reason to cut any programs at this time.
Did the Foxconn project benefit the taxpayers in Mount Pleasant? Please explain your reasoning.
The Foxconn project has had very positive benefits for the taxpayer. The Assessed Value of their project and its location in TID #5, expanded economic growth and allowed us to lower our tax rate to the lowest it’s been in 13 years! Huge! Foxconn has attracted employees who live in our community. Their employees shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants, and use local services and businesses. Aurora Hospital announced its plans for their medical facility. The Highway 20 corridor boomed. Hotels, car dealers, office buildings, fueling stations & restaurants sprang up! TID #5 paid for a new fire truck.
This investment of almost 2 million dollars in public safety was completely funded out of TID #5 and not the taxpayer. I am satisfied to let Foxconn run their business as long as they continue to uphold their agreements with Mount Pleasant. In view of global tensions between China & Taiwan, I think Foxconn made a great investment in Mount Pleasant that they will protect.
Why should people elect Nancy Washburn?
Mount Pleasant is the 2nd largest Village, by population, in the State. Residents should vote for me because Trustees need to have a high level of understanding how government works, budget management, and be active on Committees. I have that experience. Having lived in the Village for almost 30 years, I had an active part of Mount Pleasant’s transformation from a Town to a Village. I was involved, as I am today, in critical economic growth and housing initiatives.
My participation on various Village committees and understanding of the importance of Long-Range Strategic Planning. Served on the Kenosha County Multi-Jurisdictional 2035 Land Use Plan Committee; worked for over a decade for a large home builder-developer, where we brought hundreds of quality homes to Mount Pleasant; was a founding member of the fund-raising committee to build the “Kids Connection” playground; served as Chairwomen of the Zoning Board of Appeals; and served on the Community Development Authority.
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