Residents in the Village of Sturtevant are getting good news this year: a 25 percent decrease in their property taxes after the village’s tax incremental financing district closes.

With the $1.3 million lump sum payment that comes with the closure of the TIF district – most of which is located in the Renaissance Business Park – trustees will have the opportunity to allocate funds toward a veritable wish list of items. Some ideas floating around are improving, adding to and maintaining parks; creating a revolving loan fund to help small- and medium-sized business handle some of the up-front costs of setting up shop in Sturtevant; and hire more police officers with salaries closer to their peers in neighboring communities.

Three incumbent trustees are up for re-election, and the fourth space on the ballot will feature Michelle Duchow who narrowly missed a seat in the 2015 election. Daryl Lynaugh said he would not participate in the Racine County Eye candidate questionnaire.

(i)Carrie Harbach, 47
2833 90th Street
Village Trustee, Office Assistant and Bookkeeper. High School graduate, Worthington, OH. Extended Learning Certificates in childcare training and teaching.

Why are you running for this seat?

I joined the Sturtevant fireworks committee in 2011. I continued volunteering and assisted in coordinating events in Sturtevant prior to living in the Village. I became a resident of the Village in April 2014 and became more involved. When an appointed seat presented itself, I contacted the Village President and asked to be considered; I was sworn in just over a year ago. I have learned quite a bit and I am still learning. I would like to continue with what I have started with my assigned committees and I enjoy working with my fellow board members and the staff which is my motivation to run for office.

Name three great things about your community that you hope to build on. 

When I was appointed as a Trustee, I was assigned to three committees and each one of them has revealed positives in our Village.

The Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee turned a disappointing situation into a positive one by swapping the timing of one improvement project for another. The committee is now moving forward with plans for a much needed DPW facility. I look forward to being a part of approving the design proposal and the watching actual construction of this project to complete our vision of a Village Campus.

The Public Safety and Health Committee has taught me about the needs of our Fire and Police departments for the Village. I look forward to maintaining and supporting our joint efforts with the South Shore Fire Department. This is a huge positive for the Village and I would like to build on this relationship by showing support for the needs of the department as a whole. Our Police Department continues to work hard to maintain a commitment to our safety even with the past budget restraints. I would like to build on our police department by recognizing their recruitment needs and work on any changes necessary in order to retain those recruits.

The Parks, Event Planning and Beautification Committee has worked for years on establishing annual events and activities for the Village. I have spent the last year working with the committee and community volunteers to build on a new mission which promotes a sense of community, family, healthy living and small business recognition by bringing life back in to our parks.

Name three challenges your community is facing and your ideas for overcoming them. 

Staying on the smaller scale of community challenges, the Volunteer Event Planning Committee’s mission statement is as follows: Bring community together, raise funds for under-budgeted programs, help to bring overall improvements to the Village. Seems simple enough but there are some real challenges:

1. Finding new volunteers to help plan and carry out community events. I have been trying to change this by creating a more diverse list of events in the hope that I may spark interest in more residents which may in turn compel them to get involved.

2. Finding financial sponsorship and raising funds. I am trying to overcome this challenge by planning smaller events throughout the year. My goal is to create opportunity for small businesses or local franchises to advertise by sponsoring one of the events. Their sponsorship assures business name recognition in our Village newsletter, signage at the event and a meet and greet opportunity for the them to use as they see fit.

3. Getting the word out. There is a true challenge in finding ways to share with our residents that an event is scheduled. The Village newsletter is a great resource for all of the happenings in the Village but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Truly overcoming this challenge requires an investment in signage on the Village Campus that has an electronic message center. In the meantime, large banners are being purchased to help with this communication gap.

What do you think our regional leaders can do to encourage job growth? 

Job growth only occurs when our leaders work together; regional, community, and business leaders alike, as well as our educational systems leaders. I have seen positive strides in this area from our leaders. I am confident that they are making an effort to work together and I do see them pushing for changes and growth in our school district’s foundation. Job growth is inevitable when everyone is on the same page.

Do you support exploring a separate school district? Why or why not?

I do support a study regarding a separate school district; Our future lies in the hands of our children so honestly, it is in our best interest to investigate what might be in our children’s best interest. Our residents voted in favor of the Village participating in a study and in turn, the study will allow us to make the most informed decision on the subject.

If you could implement one idea – no matter how crazy it might sound – what would it be? 

I would like to move forward on a proposal that came from our Village Historian, Chuck Snyder. A proposal for a small historical district encompassing the old Village of Corliss and a historical marker program for the proposed area.

Chuck originally submitted his proposal in January 2010, prior to my involvement in the Village, but he took the time to reintroduced his design ideas to the Board in January 2016. Parts of the project would fall under the Parks, Event Planning and Beautification committee that I currently Chair so my wish is to move forward with some of his ideas. If I have the support for such a project and I have a committee that is willing and able, this historic district would also be marked as a dedication to Chuck, as he recently passed away.

(i) Jayme Hoffman, 45
3248 93rd Street
self-employed Gateway of Racine Firefighter 1&2/EMT

Why are you running for this seat?

I am running for Trustee, to continue moving the Village forward in the right direction. I have lived here most of my life, and love the Village. It is my way to be a part of my community. When the TID was created, the Village tax payers were promised a tax reduction when it closed. It is set to close in the next few months. I want to ensure that promise is carried thru with tax relief and add services that were cut over the years.

Name three great things about your community that you hope to build on. 

Parks: I have worked hard to make positive changes in the last 4 years. We have wonderful parks in the Village that were way overdue to be updated. I have worked with donations of supplies and labor when there wasn’t any money available to spend. I continue to work to make our parks safe and updated for our kids and grandkids to go to. We are trying to bring our community together in our parks.

TID closing this year: Our successful TID is closing early, and expected to bring tax relief to the tax payers of the Village and be able to step up services that have been cut over the years. The Village is no longer operating in the red. It was a long, hard road to get here. It is going to be exciting to see the end result how this is going to benefit the Village and taxpayer. I will continue to move the Village forward in the right direction.

Public Safety: Our Police Department has done well with the cut of services over the years. This Village continues to grow both in residential and business, and our Police Department hasn’t. I would like to see more officers in the Village to be able to grow with our growing population and call volume. I will continue to help keep Sturtevant a safe place to live, play, or work in.

Name three challenges your community is facing and your ideas for overcoming them.

There are some homes in the Village that need some help. They are either in need of repair or be cleaned up. I don’t want some of these eye sores to ruin it for the rest of the Village. We continue to send letters to these homes, and encourage them to engage into fixing up their investment. I would like to continue what we are doing and be more aggressive. I would like to see if there are any programs out there to assist them.

There has been cuts in state funding in all shapes and forms over the years. Makes it hard for a Village our size to make up the difference and pay our bills. With the help of the TID closing this year, we need to look ahead and continue to be financially responsible.

Sewer bills: Our sewer in the Village goes thru Mt. Pleasant and Racine. So we have a charge from both. So when one or both raise rates, Sturtevant is forced to raise rates to be able maintain the sewer and pay Mt. Pleasant and Racine. We continue to try to work with both on finding cost saving measures to avoid the price hikes.

What do you think our regional leaders can do to encourage job growth? 

It is hard to attract business to move east of I94 in Racine County due to cost of water and sewer hook up fees. The cost sometimes scares of big business from moving into the area because of it. I would like to see if our local leaders can help in finding a solution so we can help encourage job growth, not scare it away.

Do you support exploring a separate school district? Why or why not? 

I do support it. The study will be filled with information that will show the cost of our own district, and also teaming up with Mt. Pleasant. The Village only has Schulte school in the Village. Another school would need to be built in the Village if we were on our own, so this study is necessary to see where the cost would be. If the law where to change, I would support the idea if Sturtevant could join Union Grove/Yorkville school district since we have so many children from the Village already going to school out there.

If you could implement one idea – no matter how crazy it might sound – what would it be? 

I would be in favor on bringing back some ” Welcome to the Village” feeling that we have been lacking lately. Signs hanging on the telephone polls going up and down the Hwy 11 corridor. Relating to the season we are in, or an event coming up. Other communities do that and it gives you that welcome feeling like you are at home.

Michelle Duchow, 42
8723 Broadway Drive
I am a School Social Worker. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UW-Milwaukee

Why are you running for this seat?

I felt it important to run for election again because of the 366 people that voted for me last year. I think a a more diverse/fresh perspective is needed. The current board works very well together; and while I admit I have a lot to learn, I think new ideas are needed.

Name three great things about your community that you hope to build on. 

a. Safety- It is a very safe, secure village, but in order to maintain that the Police Dept does need more full-time officers.
b. The July 3 Fireworks. WE cannot have  year like year when the fireworks did not take place.
c. Our Village Administrator, Mary Cole. Mary is very dedicated to Sturtevant and she needs to recognized for her hard work.

Name three challenges your community is facing and your ideas for overcoming them.

I honestly don’t think the Village has an major challenges. President Jansen has managed the budget very effectively and ensure that taxes do not increase.

What do you think our regional leaders can do to encourage job growth? 

I don’t know enough about bringing jobs to the community to effectively answer the question. This is an area I need to learn more about.Do you support exploring a separate school district? Why or why not? 

Do you support exploring a separate school district? Why or why not?

I do not.  I believe RUSD offers excellent programs, supports, and extracurriculars. The outside villages need to come together to support Unified. I am excited about the prospect of being on the School Board to represent Sturtevant as well as part of Mt Pleasant and fight for strengthening those schools.

If you could implement one idea – no matter how crazy it might sound – what would it be? 

I want us to one day have a thriving community center where residents of all ages can come for education, fun, and leisure opportunities.

 

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