Email address*:

Answer: denise.anastasio@gmail.com

First name*:

Answer: Denise

Last name*:

Answer: Anastasio

Age:

Answer: 67

Address:

Answer: 6145 Potomac Place, Mt. Pleasant, WI

How long have you lived in the community:

Answer: I have lived in Racine, Caledonia or Mt. Pleasant all of my life. I have been at my current residence in Mt. Pleasant for 22 years.

What position are you running for?*:

Answer: Mt. Pleasant Trustee, Seat #4

Have you ever held an elected office position before?* Yes or No

Answer: No

If so, what position(s) were you elected to?*:

Answer: I have only been elected to positions in volunteer organizations, such as AAUW (American Association of University Women – Racine branch), not for a public position.

In thinking about your election bid, what top three issued need to be addressed?*:

Answer:

  1. Planning for the current and future growth of the village in a thoughtful and sustainable way. 
  2. Ensuring that the financial status of the village remains strong.
  3. Collaborating with the other governmental entities in southeastern Wisconsin to achieve goals while representing the interests of Mt. Pleasant residents.

How would you plan to address those issues?*:

Answer:

The village is already in the process of a significant planning process. A master plan has been developed and new zoning and development regulations are being drafted for discussion. I plan to engage in that process by participating in discussions with residents and businesses as the plans are developed and finalized.  Of course, the role of the trustees is to provide a framework for the administration and staff and to oversee the process and, if necessary, adjust to changes as needed.

The village has made progress in putting together budgets that are responsible and realistic. With the growth of the village not always easy to predict, it is especially important that we spend time understanding the assumptions behind our budgeting process to ensure that we are not putting current or future residents in a financial bind.

Mt Pleasant is a key component of the Greater Racine Area, Eastern Racine County, and Racine County as a whole. We should not isolate ourselves but work with other municipalities when it makes sense to do so. I plan to be an active participant in regional efforts to improve the quality of life and utilize resources in a thoughtful and efficient manner. For example, the Wisconsin Policy Forum independent study on regional Parks & Rec and Fire & EMS shared services was released in November and will be under discussion by the village board. I plan to be actively engaged in that discussion and decision.

In reference to those issues you have identified, what would success look like to you in making an impact?*:

Answer:

Should I be elected, I would be one of seven members of the board, so any impacts are going to be shared successes.  On that basis, I think planning success would be if the village develops and approves zoning and development regulations that reflect the desires of the residents and businesses in the village and takes into account the changes in our community that are anticipated. 

Achieving and maintaining financial stability requires leaders to understand the budget and how it is developed. It also means that we must look at how internal and outside pressures and changes might impact us in the future, both near term and farther out. So success would mean that the budget is approved and managed in a responsible way and that the leaders of the village look ahead to how economic conditions might influence future budgets.

In terms of collaborating with other governmental entities, I believe success in the near term would mean that the Wisconsin Policy Forum reports would be openly debated, the options analyzed, and a decision made to implement the desired options (if any).  In the longer term, success would mean that Mt. Pleasant continues to be engaged in inter-governmental initiatives in a meaningful way.

Why are those issues important to you?*:

Answer: All three of these issues (planning for growth, financial stability, and collaboration) are focused on creating a village that has an identity and an understanding of what we are and what we want to be. We do not want things to “just happen” and then we have to respond under pressure. We want to look ahead using our best judgment, and be willing to make adjustments as the environment changes. Changes will come that are not anticipated, of course, but if we are actively engaged in “looking down the road,” we can better control our future.

At the end of your term, what would you like to have accomplished?*:

Answer:

As part of the board, I would like to have updated zoning and development regulations for the village, a balanced and responsible budget, and progress made toward increasing collaboration and intergovernmental communication.

As an individual, I would like to have established a reputation as a board member who is responsive, available, honest, and hard-working on behalf of the village and its residents.

Why should people vote for you?*:

Answer:

I have always been interested in government and I chose to study Public Administration when I returned for my master’s degree at Parkside. I just find it interesting. I enjoy setting goals and carrying them out. I don’t have an ax to grind, I just want to make a contribution.

I have a history of taking on leadership roles and working in a collaborative way with others. I worked in health care, then became a faculty member in a health program, then became the Dean of Biological and Health Sciences at the College of Lake County. I gained strong experience with large, complex budgets of a public entity. During that time, I not only managed all of the health programs, I successfully started several new ones. As a leader in AAUW, I think I developed a reputation for transparency, collaboration, and inclusiveness.

I am not afraid of making difficult decisions.

I am known for having integrity. I don’t make decisions because they benefit me personally, but because I feel that they are the best decision.

I am a hard worker. I am conscientious about “doing my homework.” I am not afraid to do the detailed work to get something accomplished.

What is your educational background?*:

Answer: H.S. diploma from Case High School; Bachelor’s degree in English from UW-Parkside, Certification in Health Information Administration from Seattle University; Master’s degree in Public Administration from UW-Parkside; Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Loyola University, Chicago.

What civic organizations do you belong to?

Answer: AAUW-Racine branch, past president and current treasurer. Racine Kenosha Master Gardener Association, newsletter editor and horticulture helpline coordinator. I have also been a Big Sister, a member of the Big Sisters of Greater Racine and have volunteered in other community initiatives as well.