Tom Rutkowski, 63, is running against Steve Smetana in the spring election. He is running for the Racine County Board of Supervisors District 3 seat. The election is taking place on April 5.
Rutkowski lives in Racine, Wis. He has been a resident of Racine County for 35 years.
To read more about other races and candidates visit the Racine County Eye Election Guide Spring 2022. The following answers were provided by Tom Rutkowski on Feb. 1, 2022.
Questionnaire: Tom Rutkowski
Have you ever held an elected office position before?
In thinking about your election bid, what top three issues need to be addressed?
We need to plan for smart, sustainable growth; to address inequality in health care, employment and education; and to begin the transition to renewable energy to improve public health and to mitigate the effects of climate change.
How would you plan to address those issues?
By making both people and infrastructure more resilient, better able to bounce back from adversity, we will more quickly recover from the disruption of the pandemic and better prepare people for future challenges. County government can play an important role in developing this capacity by insuring that people have equal access to the many services it provides and by planning wisely for the future.
In reference to those issues you have identified, what would success look like to you?
Success in these issues would be closing the gaps in health, employment and education that exist in our community. It would mean making the benefits of renewable energy more accessible for everyone and making Racine County a thriving community with a high quality of life for all.
Why are those issues important to you?
Working with young people throughout my career as a high school teacher made me often think about what the future holds for them. We need to make Racine County a place that retains young people and prepares them to take advantage of opportunity and to fully participate in our community. I believe our unique location between two major cities on the shore of Lake Michigan has great potential to make us a more vibrant place, a place where people will come to raise their families.
At the end of your term, what would you like to have accomplished?
I would like to accomplish a greater coordination and integration of the services that county government provides, increase access to mental health services, and ensure a healthier environment for all.
Why should people vote for you?
I have worked with groups of people my whole life to accomplish common goals. I understand the strengths and problems of our community and will work together with other members of the Racine County Board to achieve the goals I’ve mentioned. I communicate well and will quickly acquire the background and skills necessary to be an effective county board supervisor.
What is your educational background?
I have an undergraduate degree from UW- Madison and a Master’s degree from Carthage College.
What civic organizations do you belong to?
I am on the executive committee of the Sierra Club and the Clean Power Coalition and have worked as a volunteer at a number of organizations such as the Racine Literacy Council, Schools of Hope, the Eco-Justice Center, and the Racine Correctional Institute.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know?
I see serving on the Racine’s County Board as an extension of the work I’ve done as a teacher and an engaged citizen in service to the Racine community. My wife and I have been involved in community art projects like the Zoo Beach Mosaic and enjoy the cultural life and the natural beauty of Racine County. Most of all I appreciate the people who choose to live here with the goal of making it a better place.
Election Guide 2022
Learn more about the other candidates running with Tom Rutkowski in this election by viewing the Racine County Eye Election Guide 2022.
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