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**Editor’s Note: This is the last in our series leading up to the April 2015 Election for Sturtevant trustee. Incumbents Chris Wright, Chris Larsen and John Johnson are running for re-election, and challenger Michelle Duchow will also be on the ballot. These are the candidates’ answers in their own words; responses have not been edited.
Should the village fund the annual fireworks through the municipal budget? Why or why not?
Wright: I don’t think tax dollars should be the main support for the fireworks. The village should provide a safety net during lean years, but the main source of financial support should come from private donations and fundraising.
Larsen: No. The Village board made a promise to residents a few years ago to remove the fireworks from the tax rolls. We must continue to keep that promise. The funding for the fireworks should come from fundraising by the independent committee. I encourage more residents to get involved with the committee so the fireworks can come back strong and financially healthy in 2016.
Johnson: No. In the November 2014 referendum the residents of the Village said almost 2 to 1 that they did not want tax dollars used for fireworks and the parks. With the decline in revenue and continued “non funded mandates” from the State and Federal governments; the Village will need to find some creative ways to keep the parks attractive for residents and visitors. The Fireworks committee will need to continue to find ways to generate funds for the event.
Duchow: I guess my first question is whether other communities fund their fireworks. I would like to see the village possibly fund them partially.
What do you want the village to look like in 10 years?
Wright: I see the Highway 11 corridor becoming a major commercial hub for the county in the coming years. We will also see continued residential and industrial growth. With the substantial drop in property taxes that we are forecasting with the closure of the TIF, Sturtevant will be a very attractive location for growth and development.
Larsen: My vision of the Village is to continue to develop our western commercial/industrial lands in conjunction with the redevelopment of our Hwy 11 corridor. We have the chance to look at setting up a new tax increment district to jumpstart retail and commercial development along Hwy 11. I also see additional police positions. In 10 years Sturtevant will continue to be a strong independent Village. Our roots firmly in the past but building toward the future.
Johnson: I would like to see us improve the Hwy 11 corridor since this is seen as the main street in the Village. We need to find a way to encourage businesses to move here so we can develop Hwy 11 into business area for residents to shop and work.
Duchow: I would like to see continued growth in the areas of housing and business. But, I also would like more community/recreation activities and beautification.