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Somerset village races set for April 7

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The races for the Somerset Village Board will be decided April 7.

Name: Jeff Johnson

Office seeking: Village of Somerset president

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Age: 51

Family: Wife, Betsy; two grown children, Ryan and Amanda

Public service experience: Village of Somerset president for the past four years

Why are you seeking office?: I enjoy being involved in the growth and development of the village.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

1. We have a sludge storage problem at the treatment plant. We either need to increase our storage capacity or remove more water from the sludge.

2. The library is planned for future expansion. Since we now own the adjacent property, we can begin looking at design issues to fulfill the needs.

3. The industrial park, which was almost completely developed, has been expanded by the purchase of additional land. We can once again accommodate a large industrial-type business.

I'm proud and confident in the village staff, contracted assistants and elected officials. I look forward to serving the community for another two years.

Name: Lauren Stephens

Office seeking: Village president

Age: 43

Family: Has children that attend Somerset Public Schools.

Public service experience: I have several years current experience working in the family court, district court and federal court system.

Why are you seeking office?: I am running for village president because the way our current government operates is pretty shocking and that needs to change. I am running because I couldn't find anyone else willing to do it (I asked several long-time citizens). I am committed to helping Somerset become a prosperous and thriving community. I am willing to actually put in the time needed to do the job and I don't mean just a couple of hours a month. I will put together useful and active committees and appoint fair, impartial and responsible people to help run this government. We need to start bringing money and businesses here. We need to immediately put Somerset back on the map. It definitely will not be politics as usual.

Top issues your municipality is facing?: Three biggest problems (that can be dealt with at village level):

1. Corruption

2. Lack of transparency in our local government

3. Lack of equal support to all businesses and residents

Name: Greg Sayers

Office seeking: Village trustee

Age: 35

Family: Wife, Jennifer: four children Jackson, Dylan, Gianna and Gabriel.

Public service experience: For the past two years I have served on the Somerset Village Board as a trustee. I am also on the planning commission, finance committee, board of review and am the chairman of the public safety committee.

Why are you seeking office?: I have really enjoyed my time on the board and would love the opportunity to serve the people of Somerset for another two years. Somerset has seen a lot of growth and there are many new residents in town. As a fairly new resident myself, I have lived in Somerset for five years, I feel I relate well to the new residents and can be their voice on the village board.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

1. Growth. The economy will turn around and the housing market will come roaring back. As a village we need to be prepared and plan for the turnaround with smart growth practices. It makes much more sense to be proactive and plan now, rather than be caught off guard and forced to be reactive.

2. Schools. I have nothing but great things to say about the Somerset schools. I currently have three children in the school system, and will have a fourth there in two years. As the community grows, we will need to look at every option to ensure the school district can continue to offer the quality education it is known for.

3. Local business. I think we need to do more as a board to attract different types of business to our town. We should focus on areas such as retail and family dining.

Name:Lisa Kreucher

Office seeking: Village trustee

Age: 31

Family: two sons

Public service experience: I was involved in the Chamber of Commerce in my previous community.

Why are you seeking office?: Now I'm part of a community and both my boys are in the school system. Anything that happens will affect them. We came from Indiana and registered sex offenders were not allowed to live within a half mile of the schools. Here in Wisconsin you don't have that. That terrified me. I'm concerned about my community.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

Definitely a need for commerce, we need to get some business in town and not just for summer. I'd like to see downtown area revived. I would also like to see a community center for the downtown.

Name: Ryan Halverson

Office seeking: Village trustee

Age: 33

Family: Married, father of three.

Public service experience: I was a prison guard in my previous job, so I did a public service by keeping the inmates inside instead of letting them get outside.

Why are you seeking office?: There are changes I would like to have made, or at least be privy to. For example, the schools are brand new, but now they are too small. Driving in and out of there every day is congested. I want to be on the who's who list of how to deal with problems. My family has lived in Somerset for a long time -- we can do so much more.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

The schools are one. The schools affect everyone in Somerset one way or another. There's a lot of drunken behavior for such a small town. Somerset is a nice town for families, but I don't know the top three issues until I can get inside and work my way on to committees where I can be useful.

Name: Bob Campbell

Office seeking: Village trustee

Could not be reached for comment.

Name: Michael Kearney

Office seeking: Village trustee

Age: 29

Family: One son.

Declined to comment.

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