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Village of Roberts races highlighted by president contest

The local elections for the Village of Roberts will take place April 7. Following is a list of the candidates and a short biographical sketch of each.

Name: Eric Fisher

Office seeking: Village of Roberts president

Age: 43

Family: Married for 23 years, three children.

Public service experience: Youth Leader, Roberts United Church of Christ; Assistant Scout leader, Boy Scout Troop 161; life member, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) New Richmond; member, Roberts Lions Club; Roberts Village Board President (two years).

Why are you seeking office?: I am currently the village president and I wish to continue the opportunity to allow all residents of Roberts to have a voice in the decisions facing the village board. We have strong committees and great leadership on the board. Working together, we are able to continue building a strong community.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

First of all, I believe that this community needs to continue growing and allowing all citizens to help in the decision making process. This is something that the current village board and I have strived for.

Secondly, I believe that public concerns need to be heard even if it means continued objections by a few in the community. Every citizen is important and I believe that their opinions and issues deserve to be brought to the entire board and not arbitrarily dismissed.

Finally, rather than prioritizing three specific items in the community, I feel priorities should be heard by the entire board and decided democratically - not just with the input of one person. I will continue to work with the other board members to address all issues that surface in our community. A few immediate issues before the board at this time include continuing to raise support for the new library, strengthening the police department, preparing for economic development opportunities, keeping up the good work of providing safe and effective parks in our community and maintaining our important infrastructure.

Name: Willard Moeri

Office seeking: Village of Roberts president

Age: 63

Family: Wife, Margarie; sons Steven, David and Justin; daughter Emily.

Public service experience: Village of Roberts president from 2000-03, trustee, plan commission, sewer and water committee, finance committee, Warren Fire Commission, Roberts Community Development Authority and St. Croix County EDC Board of Directors.

Why are you seeking office?: I feel that my experience will offer the most for this position and the citizens of the Roberts community. The Village of Roberts has been good to me and my family and this is a way I can give back to the community.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

1. Use proven leadership to provide stability for the Roberts community during depressed economic times. Control spending so that tax increases are limited.

2. Provide accessibility from the village president to the Roberts citizens. I will be in the office on a daily basis with an open door policy. My home phone will never be unlisted and always available to the public.

3. Help enable the new Hazel Mackin Library to become a reality. The fund raising committee has done an excellent job in not only raising money but also obtaining community support.

Name: Scott Gerhardt

Office seeking: Village of Roberts trustee

Age: 38

Family: Wife, Gayle, and son Tyler.

Public service experience: Six years on the village board, also Roberts Park Board and Roberts-Warren Fire Association.

Why are you seeking office?: I enjoy being on the village board. It gives me a chance to help the village in the right direction.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

1. Keep taxes at a minimum.

2. Being involved with replacing the vacant police chief position.

3. Keep the village heading in the right direction.

Name: Katy Kapaun

Office seeking: Village of Roberts trustee

Public service experience: I have served on the village board as a trustee since 2002. Over the years I have served on several different committees. I currently work on the finance committee and library board. 

Why are you seeking office?: I am seeking re-election for a fifth term as village trustee. I hope to provide continuity regarding issues we have worked on in the past.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

1. I expect financial issues will dominate our agenda for many months to come. We will have to maintain our budget with little increase from past years and still provide the level and quality of service our residents expect. We also will need to address the issue of impact fees that have been collected for some services that are not yet ready to be expanded.

2. Another important issue for our community will be the search for a new chief of police.

3. We need a new library! Usage at our library has more than doubled in recent years. We are nearing our fund raising goal and hope to begin construction of the new Hazel Mackin Community Library in 2009. 

Name: Peter Tharp

Office seeking: Village of Roberts trustee

Age: 60

Family: Wife, Mary, and three grown children.

Public service experience: Current member of the Roberts Planning Commission, the Community Development Association and the Park Board.

Why are you seeking office?: I am now able to devote time to research the issues affecting Roberts and make informed decisions that, I hope, would benefit the village.

Top issues your municipality is facing?:

1. It will be important to make careful and deliberate decisions regarding the undeveloped annexed property in the village.

2. With growth will come costs that need to be assumed by the developers to create a unified community rather than force current residents to subsidize further expansions.

3. I think a third important issue is to expand communications among board members and village residents. Many issues facing the board dealing with the police department, sewer and water rates and expansion, streets and sidewalks and walking paths and overall growth could be dealt with more efficiently with expanded communication.

Name: Chuck Pizzi

Office seeking: Village of Roberts trustee

Could not be reached for comment.

Name: Peter Close

Office seeking: Village of Roberts municipal court judge

Could not be reached for comment.