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Candidate profiles: Local elections set for Tuesday

County, municipal and school board elections will be held April 1. The New Richmond News sent questionnaires to candidates in contested races and their responses follow:



Fred Horne (i)

District 4 Alderperson:

Jane Hansen (i)

District 5 Alderperson:

Ron Volkert (i)

District 6 Alderperson:

Jim Zajkowski (i)



Village Trustee (three seats):

Mary Rivard (i)

Age: Over 21

Address: 825 Norton St., Hammond

Occupation: Retired

Family: Husband, John; five grown children; six grandkids

Prior elected offices: Village Trustee on and off 1977-2014; St. Croix Central School Board 1992-2004; St. Croix Central School Board treasurer 2000-2004; past Plan Board member; past Board of Review member

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: St. Mary’s Social Justice Committee, St. Mary’s Guild Treasurer, Hammond Library Board, American Legion Auxiliary, St. Croix Central Needs Committee, volunteer

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Hammond Village Board?

To me it is important to represent all of the residents of Hammond.

I have served on many diverse boards and committees and by far serving on the current Hammond Village Board has been the most challenging and at times frustrating. However many good things have been accomplished, those being the hiring of an administrator, reigning in of budgets, developing budgets in both the water and sewer departments to prevent any future deficits, a new handbook and putting into effect strict policy procedures. There is still a great need to work on bringing down the cost of utilities, continue better budgeting and to fix the communication gap.

I would like the opportunity to continue to serve Hammond and meet the challenges head on.

No matter who you cast your vote for just get out and vote April 1. It’s your vote that counts.

Lynn Pabst (i)

Address: Hammond

Occupation: Sales

Family: Spouse Beth; daughters Ashley and Kayla

Prior elected offices: Village of Hammond Trustee 1992-1996, appointed Village of Hammond Trustee Fall of 2013

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Hammond Lions Club, Hammond Snow Drifters Snowmobile Club

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Hammond Village Board?

I wanted to be appointed to the board because our Village was going through turbulent times. I bring a common sense and calming approach and feel the board is now more productive and efficient.

One thing in the village that troubles me is our Main Street. I volunteered for a committee to help businesses improve the store fronts and am hopeful that we will see improvements this spring.

I will continue to work hard and am hopeful it will bring new businesses to town.

Another concern I have is the increasing cost of our water and sewer bills. We need to work together to lower our budget and debt for the sewer fund so we can eventually lower the residents’ bills.

Mark Benton (i)

Age: 38

Address: 160 Clyde Hanson Dr., Hammond

Occupation: Application Specialist

Family: Wife Kari; no kids, just cats

Prior elected offices: 1.5 years as a trustee by appointment

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Heart of Hammond, Friends of the Library, senior member of the American Society for Quality

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Hammond Village Board?

Current member of the board. I got involved because I like Hammond and the people whom we have gotten to know. I originally ran because I wanted to try my hand at making a difference. I have no right to criticize the board if I am not willing to be a part of the decision process. This has been a lot harder than I expected but I have really enjoyed the experience and ability to work with everyone.

Wally Graf

Age: 54

Address: 540 Second St., Hammond

Occupation: Service technician for Kolbe Millwork of Wausau

Family: Wife, Debbie; two adult children; two granddaughters

Prior elected offices: Village Trustee for 15 years

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Lions Club, member of St. Mary’s Church

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Hammond Village Board? I have previously served as a Village Trustee, Plan Commission member and Library Board member. I believe it is extremely important to control rising utility costs and property taxes while maintaining essential services. Hammond needs to be affordable and safe for all residents and businesses. I would like to see the Davis Street project finished and the issues with the sewer plant resolved. I will make decisions based on what is best for the future of the village and not on personal agendas.

I consider it a privilege to serve the residents and employees as a Trustee of the Village of Hammond.

Ron Kappers

Address: Resident of Hammond since 1984

Occupation: Driver of a semi-truck

Family: Wife Judy; two children

Prior elected offices: none

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Past volunteer at the Hammond Community Library

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Hammond Village Board?

I have seen many changes in the village of Hammond, and not all of them have been positive. I would like to see Hammond begin to move in the right direction. I am confident I can make needed changes in Hammond. I am most concerned with keeping spending down in the village while reining in existing expenses.

The people of Hammond need a break from high sewer rates, and I would like to find a way to bring those costs down. I also want to look at every other department to see what expenses can be cut and to ensure things are being done properly and ethically.

I would like to see more businesses move into town, and I want to support the businesses already in Hammond. To help the businesses on Davis Street, I would like to coordinate the upcoming Davis Street construction project with the scheduled upgrade of the freeway exits. The local businesses cannot survive two more summers of traffic disruption, and doing the projects at the same time would cut that time in half.

Municipal Judge:

Sandra Nelson (i)



Village Trustee (three seats):

Marge Wolske (i)

Age: 77 years young

Address: 109 West Ash St.

Occupation: Retired

Family: My husband Lyman passed away 10 years ago in December. I have two sons: Gary Wolske lives in Alaska with his wife Lisa. Lyman B. Wolske Jr. and his wife Kris live in rural Hudson. I have 10 grandkids (that includes in-laws) and nine great-grandkids.

Prior elected offices: I was on the Roberts Village Board for a total of 10 years and St. Croix County Board for two years.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Member of Roberts congregation of the United Church of Christ. Member of Roberts Lions Club for 11 years.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Roberts Village Board?

I want to serve on the Roberts Village Board ecause I have been a resident of Roberts for 47 years. I love the village of Roberts. I have the third generation of children going to St. Croix Central School system. I was on the Board as a Trustee 10 years ago when we opened up the new kitchen at the Roberts Park Building and started the Roberts Senior Center. I would like to see Roberts grow just a little bit more. I love this town and the people are great. I do hope I will be elected to the board for another two years. Who knows after that.

Chad Svacina

Age: 30

Address: Roberts

Occupation: Inventory journeyman

Family: wife Ashley; sons Scott and Jacob and Chocolate Labrador Koda

Prior elected offices: none

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Wild Sheep, Wisconsin Trapper Association, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Roberts Village Board?

I’m running for Trustee to continue serving my country and community. I served in the U.S. Army Reserves for nine years, including service as a Technical Advisor to the Iraqi Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom. My hope is to preserve the community I fell in love with. I want to maintain the integrity of our small town while looking to the future and our best interests as growth and industry move our way. I want my children to grow up in the village my wife grew up in, attend SCC. schools and grow to be an integral part of our community.

Peter Tharp

No response received

Lorraine Siegert

Age: 54

Address: 112 ½ Main St., Roberts

Occupation: Machine operator

Family: Two adult stepchildren; four step-grandchildren

Prior elected offices: none

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: none

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Roberts Village Board?

A number of my friends are or have been on the village board. They have been trying to talk me into running for a few years now. All of my friends have said I’d be an asset to the board.



Village Trustee (three seats):

David Carufel (i)

Bartt Palmer (i)

Ryan Sicard (i)



Village Trustee (two seats):

Andrew Marrier (i)

Adress: Star Prairie

Occupation: Music Teacher/Band Director

Family: Wife Rachael Marrier; daughter Chloe 13, son Derek 10

Prior elected offices: Trustee for the past six years.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: none

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Star Prairie Village Board? I enjoy working with the current board members and being involved with the processes and discussions that accompany village government.

Gary Peterson (i)

Age: 69

Address: 303 Main St., Star Prairie

Occupation: Retired

Family: Three children: Pamela, Brady. Douglas

Prior elected offices: Current Star Prairie Village Trustee since Sept. 9, 2009.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Currently on the Village Park Committee, previously on the Planning Commission.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Star Prairie Village Board?

I grew up in the village and went to the Star Prairie grade school through the eighth grade and graduated from New Richmond High School in 1962. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls I worked in the Twin Cities for 38 years for a computer company. I have lived in and around Star Prairie all of those years. I currently own two premises in town so I am concerned with the maintenance of the village infrastructure. I currently assist in the installation and maintenance of the village computer systems. Being retired I am around the village daily and have a good working relationship with all of our employees and elected officials. I know most of the village residents personally and I am available to listen to their concerns if required.

Chad Peterson

Age: 38

Address: 132 Hill Ave., Star Prairie

Occupation: Retail Manager

Family: Spouse Katie Peterson; three children: Ethan 9, Gavin 6, Owen 6

Prior elected offices: None

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: None

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Star Prairie Village Board?

I was born and raised in Star Prairie and have lived here for the majority of my life. I would like to be involved in planning the future of our village and represent the people of our community while making sure that the best interests of the residents are the top priority.



No offices are up for election in 2014.



No offices are up for election in 2014.



Town Board Supervisor (two seats):

Kent Wynveen (i)

Paulette Anderson (i)



Town Board Supervisor (two seats):

Richard Berquist (i)

David Naser (i)



Town Board Supervisor 1:

Tom Spaniol (i)

Town Board Supervisor 3:

Steven “Morrie” Johnson

Age: 64

Address: 289 122nd Ave., Hudson

Occupation: Claims Specialist – Travelers Insurance Company

Family: Married to Theresa; two children, Patrick and Ann

Prior elected offices: Past Constable of the Town of Hudson (elected – two year term)

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: I am a longtime hunter, fisherman and supporter of conservation practices that protect and preserve our natural resources in the Town of St. Joseph and supporter of the St. Joe Fire Department and First Responder Emergency Services.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the St. Joseph Town Board?

I have 40 years of experience in the area of risk management and claims management services provided to insurance companies, self-insured corporations and government entities (cities and counties) to include operations, planning, budgeting, litigation management and conflict resolution.

The critical issues currently facing the town are the impacts from the St. Croix River Crossing and adhering to long term planning and maintenance of our town roads in the most efficient and

cost effective manner.

The town needs leadership that will make positive decisions at the right time which will ensure a prosperous future for the citizens of St. Joseph.

Richard Thompson

Age: 54

Address: Houlton

Occupation: Teacher - Somerset High School - Physics, Math, and Digital Electronics

Family: Wife: Becky; one daughter

Prior elected offices: None.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Faith Community Church in Hudson, several activities within church over the years; attended Town Board meetings for the past eight years; member of New River Crossing Committee.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the St. Joseph Town Board? I have lived in the Town of St. Joseph for 14 years and expect to for many more. I work in Somerset as a Teacher, go to church in Hudson and grew up in Ellsworth. I like the area, have friends here and think it's a great place to live. I have been attending the Town Board meetings for the last 8 years and am familiar with the issues and how the Board operates. With the new bridge our town will grow. The question is how do we grow the town smartly and keep the rural atmosphere. The resent town survey shows very well what residents find important and what they are willing to spend tax money on along with what they are not. I have the ability to listen to many sides of an issue and reason through what would be the best for everyone not just a few. I have been a Naval Officer, Engineer, and now a Teacher. I am interested in politics so this job for me is not about what I want but what is best for the community and all the residents.



Town Board Supervisor (two seats):

Lenny Germain (i)

Shane Demulling (i)



No offices are up for election in 2014.



Town Board Supervisor (two seats):

Michele Hermansen

Age: 60

Address: 1829 100th St., New Richmond

Occupation: Now a speaker, photographer, and author following a successful career in corporate management

Family: Spouse Jim; two grown daughters

Prior elected offices: No elected political offices

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Currently serving as a FutureWalk Tent Leader and a volunteer for several nonprofit and church organizations.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Star Prairie Town Board?

Our “government by the people and for the people” starts at the local level and I realized that it is my turn to step forward and serve. Two of our incumbents on the Town Board have decided to step down. This is a critical time to have well-functioning boards that make sound decisions for the future and exhibit leadership working together for the well-being of our area as a whole. I am known as an informed, compassionate and positive leader. I have significant senior management experience in national corporations as well as local, national and international leadership experience.

Joe Schachtner

Age: 54

Address: 1064 210th Ave., Somerset

Occupation: Andersen Windows

Family: Wife Patty; six children; six grandchildren, one on the way

Prior elected offices: none

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Star Prairie Area First Responders for 20 years, Director past seven years. Vice President, Board Member Championship Pulling Series for six years.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Star Prairie Town Board?

With the recent news of our county’s projected growth, I feel it is imperative to reach out to our neighbors and form collaborative relationships—especially when planning for the future. We need to make sure our infrastructure is ready for this growth and our relationships are open and transparent. This allows us to best represent those involved and handle the various changes this increase will create. I feel it is the supervisor’s responsibility to educate themselves on all sides of the issue before making a vote. As supervisor I will make informed decisions for the best of our community.

Patrick Geraghty

Age: 33

Address: 1957 County Rd. CC, New Richmond

Occupation: City of New Richmond Street Department Laborer, beef and hay farmer

Family: Engaged to Tracy Miller

Prior elected offices: None

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: New Richmond Fire Department (13 years) and New Richmond FFA President in 1999.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Star Prairie Town Board?

I would like to step up and help the township. Somebody has to do it. I would be able to take my experience I have from my job as a street laborer and years on the fire department to help the township with road repair and resurfacing issues, as well as completing street signage updates. I’m young enough to help the township with some of their needs: ditch mowing, clearing downed trees, animal control issues, replacing house numbers, etc., as well as helping inform residents of township issues as they arrive or are mandated, so we can all make decisions relating to the budget to help the township with fiscal budgeting, expenses and planning for the future.

Gary Hanson

Age: 59

Address: 1881 County Road C, Somerset since 1986, Somerset area for 32 years

Occupation: Owner of Bake Star, Inc., specialty bakery equipment design and manufacturing

Family: I am the middle child of Doug and Margery Hanson; I have two older brothers and two younger sisters. One of my brothers is disabled and lives with me. I have never been married and have no children of my own, although I have been a foster parent to children in Malaysia and the Philippines over the years.

Prior elected offices: I have never held regular elective office, although I had been elected to leadership positions at WITC for three years, Congress Mpls. Neighborhoods for four years and 5th District IRP for six years.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, Jr. Achievement Mentor, Paint-A-Thon, Highway Cleanup, Mpls. Planning Council, Member Sons of the American Legion, Fraternal Organizations, ASTM: Sanitation Bakery Standards Board, WITC Student Senate/Alumni. Awards: 3M – Outstanding Contribution to the Community; Congress Mpls. Neighborhoods – Community Service Award.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Star Prairie Town Board?

The issues facing the town of Star Prairie are becoming more complex, from such issues as sand mining to the Public’s Right to Know. As a professional engineer and a small business owner, I am used to uncovering issues, researching solutions, while there is still time to have an impact. I am a strong believer in personal property rights, within code and in the community interest. The Town Board should not assume they know what is best for you, that your ignorance is bliss. When you come before the Town Board you should be respected.



Town Board Supervisor (two seats):

Ann Magee (i)

Gerald Mueller (i)



Board member (three seats):

Stacy Brevard-Mays

No response received

Marilyn Duerst (i)

Age: 72

Address: 955 W. River Dr., New Richmond

Occupation: College chemistry professor, UW-River Falls, since 1981

Family: married to Richard Duerst; six children; 12 grandchildren

Prior elected offices: Board of Education, New Richmond, six years; Chair, Minnesota Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), two years; national governance board of the ACS, eight years: Board of Directors, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin, four years

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Local section and national ACS; National Chemistry Week outreach events, presentations for children in regional libraries.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the New Richmond Board of Education?

As an educator myself for more than forty years, I have brought an in-depth and broad perspective on curriculum and pedagogy to the Board, and wish to continue doing so. Striving for the highest quality educational experiences for all our children is our top priority. New Richmond has made great progress the last few years in adopting curricula across the academic disciplines that encourage critical thinking skills development. I will continue to encourage collaborative efforts among our teaching staff and wise use of funds and resources.

Paula Kolbeck (i)

Age: 46

Address: 1075 185th Ave., New Richmond

Occupation: Director of Human Resources

Family: Husband, Dave; two daughters, Elise, age 14, 8th grade at NRMS, and Allison, age 10, 5th grade at Starr Elementary

Prior elected offices: No other prior elected offices. This is my second term for the School Board.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Have served on the boards of the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce, New Richmond Rotary Club, and WITC Supervisory Management Advisory Board

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the New Richmond Board of Education?

It is important to me to be able to serve the community and the staff and students of the New Richmond School District. I am passionate about our youth and want to contribute to ensuring that every student in our district can achieve his or her potential and ultimately set them up for success in life.

Chris Skoglund (i)

Age: 57

Address: 321 W. First Ave., New Richmond

Occupation: Wife and Mom

Family: Spouse Steve Skoglund; sons Michael and Thomas, daughter Natalie

Prior elected offices: New Richmond School Board since 2002.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the New Richmond Board of Education?

When my kids were starting school I was told that parental involvement was very important for their education. I attended school board meetings for two years to understand how educational decisions were made that impacted my kids’ education. When an opening on the board occurred, I decided to run and was elected

Over the last 12 years of my tenure, New Richmond School District has had many accomplishments and some challenges. Through these I have acquired the knowledge and the experience needed to continue to serve our district. Research has guided my decision making process, not emotion or personal agendas. I believe I have been part of a great team that includes board members, administrators, staff, parents and community that have their focus on “what’s best for our kids”.



Board member (two seats):

Lee Sarnstrom

Age: 43

Address: 1739 96th Ave., Hammond

Occupation: Vice President / Sr. Design Engineer Metal-Tronics, Inc.

Family: Wife Paula Sarnstrom; two children, Breonna 5th grade, Austin (A.J.) 3rd grade

Prior elected offices: none

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: I am currently actively involved with children’s programs at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in River Falls, and actively involved on the boards, and as a member of the council.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the St. Croix Central Board of Education?

I want to see our district increase the education for all students. We must work harder to help our struggling students while continuing to challenge our average and advanced students. We have great teachers in our district, but that alone will not give our children the best education. They also need the tools: everything from curriculum, resources, and facilities. Technology/ Engineering is lacking in our middle school and needs to expand in the high school. After all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), is the future in educating our children. Our district should supply our administrators and teachers with the tools needed to accomplish this.

David Olsen (i)

Age: 43

Address: Roberts

Occupation: Vice President of Engineering and Operations for KOBRA Molds

Family: I’m married to Jennifer and we have four children in the district - a junior, a sophomore, sixth grader and fourth grader.

Prior elected offices: SCC school board for nine years now.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the St. Croix Central Board of Education?

I’ve enjoyed serving the school district and feel that we, as a board, are a very cohesive group. We have our differences of opinion, and are about as diverse as I could imagine, but we look mostly to data and facts when making decisions concerning the district, our staff and our students. We are trying constantly to look for the best way to educate and develop the “whole child”, while trying to promote individual student achievement academically. I think that we’re definitely headed in a good direction as a district, and I want to continue my part in that progress.

John Hueg (i)

Age: 51

Address:1612 County Road J, Hammond

Occupation: Vice President, Business Integration and Compliance, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Family: Married to Amy for 20years; three children, Anna – freshman at College of St Benedict, Claire – junior at SCC, and Joe – 7th grade at SCC.

Prior elected offices: St. Croix Central School Board since 2005.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Trustee and Finance Committee; St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Hammond, Choir and Praise Group; President and founding member, St. Croix Central Band Boosters Association; St. Croix Central Alumni and Community Band (Bi-focal Band); Wells Fargo Volunteers; Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign Ambassador; Volunteer, SCC Senior All Night Party; Volunteer music service for civic and church events throughout Roberts and Hammond; Leadership and show consultant – Brookings High School Marching Band, Brookings, SD

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the St. Croix Central Board of Education?

Since 2005, I have influenced the district’s vision, mission and goals in advancing being excellent in student achievement. As federal and state expectations evolve for students and teachers through the Common Core, Response to Intervention (RTI) and teacher effectiveness, it is important to keep our students’ ability to achieve at their highest potential in the center of our planning, strategies and activities. My professional experiences in building high performing teams, strong processes and great execution will continue to benefit the district as we drive challenging conversations concerning resources, leadership, curriculum, instruction and assessment to the highest benefit for our students.



Board member (two seats):

Nancy Dressel

Age: 37

Address: 985 198th Ave., Somerset

Occupation: K-12 Technology Integration Coach for the Hudson School District

Family: Husband Luke Dressel; children: Catie (9), Liam (7), and Grady (4)

Prior elected offices: None

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: I served as a parent representative on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Learning and Innovation Team which developed the 2011-2016 Somerset School District Strategic Plan. I lead the team which initiated the Somerset High School Danceline. I enjoy supporting local organizations and volunteering in our schools, at Pea Soup Days, and at Feed my Starving Children.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Somerset Board of Education?

As a parent of elementary children and a child receiving special education services, I believe I can provide a voice for a currently unrepresented population of students, parents and taxpayers. During this time of rapid change, increased accountability, and budget reductions, I believe a school board member with background knowledge and experience in education is an important asset. If elected, my goals include: improving student achievement through competitive hiring and focused professional development, improving two-way transparent communication with all stakeholders, and leveraging existing technology infrastructure to improve achievement, communication, and efficiency.

Marie Colbeth (i)

Address: Somerset

Family: Rick and I have four children, three that have graduated from Somerset and also college as of January this year.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Somerset Board of Education?

Having been on the board since our youngest was born (a freshman this year) I have learned most importantly it is not what “I” think or want so much as what “we” think and believe to be important. A strong school district is not a passive district. There needs to be different views, respectful interchanges, plenty of research, acceptance, trust, and we must continually ask “are we doing what is best for the students at a cost that is reasonable and acceptable for those of us who pay the taxes?” My hope is to have Somerset be a school of choice where the teachers are engaging and help all develop into team players who respect others and recognize the value of challenging themselves. As a parent I hope that I emulate those values.

Bob Gunther (i)

Age: 37

Address: 434 Reed St., Somerset

Occupation: Public Works Supervisor, Village of Somerset

Family: Married to Jaci; two step children and one daughter, all students at Somerset.

Prior elected offices: Somerset Board of Education for the past six years.

Clubs, organizations, civic involvement: Volunteer for community and school events.

What are your reasons for wanting to serve on the Somerset Board of Education?

I am seeking re-election to the Somerset School District because I desire to continue to be an advocate for our district taxpayers by making responsible fiscal decisions and maintaining the communication relationship I have with the community. Many new initiatives have been mandated in the public school system and I would like to continue to be a part of a team that has student achievement as the primary goal in the Somerset School District. The students, teachers and community will all have their best interests be my motivation to serve the district to the best of my abilities.



St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge, Branch 1:

Eric Lundell

St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge, Branch 4:

Howard Cameron (i)

District 1 Supervisor (Town of Somerset, Village of Somerset):

Travis J. Schachtner (i)

District 2 Supvervisor (Town of St. Joseph, Town of Somerset):

Agnes M. Ring (i)

Age: 59

Address: 1488 23rd St., Houlton

Occupation: Brand strategy consultant; background in professional services community development consulting, marketing and management.

Family: Husband Mark Vanasse, two adult sons

Prior elected office: One term (two years) County Board supervisor

Civic involvement: Board of Directors, Westfields Hospital; Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin; St. Croix Bike Pedestrian Trail Coalition citizen member; founding member, Friends of Perch Lake; Church of St. Anne and past member of Parish Council and St. Anne School Ministry of Education; member, first Hudson Community Education Advisory Committee; community yoga instructor

What are your reasons and/or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

As the fastest growing county in Wisconsin, and with the St. Croix River Crossing underway, we face many challenges and opportunities.

My family roots in the county go back to the 1850s. I want to make a difference. I bring a long-term perspective, collaborative approach and fiscal responsibility to decisions.

My vision for St. Croix County is a high quality of life for residents based on: A strong, diverse and growing economy for agriculture and business; natural resource protection; and excellence and efficiency in county infrastructure; libraries; community development; health and human services; transportation and public protection.

Tim Bender

Age: 48

Address: 645 196th Ave., Somerset

Occupation: Reliability Engineer III, Andersen Corporation

Family: Wife Stephanie Bender, three daughters

Prior elected office: None

Civic involvement: Bridge Bible Church; homeschooling; Pinecliff Home Owners Association

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I love this nation, the Constitution and the individual rights endowed by our Creator. Rather than simply lament the accelerating erosion of those rights by the government, I decided to run locally to do something about it.

I am a student of the Constitution and understand the proper roles of government at the national, state and local levels. I promise to vote against any proposal that exceeds the authority of the County Board.

I will further look for responsible ways to reduce county spending so you can keep more of your own money.

District 3 Supervisor (Town of Hudson, Town of St. Joseph):

Tim Hood (i)

Age: 58

Address: 1095 Golden Oaks Lane, Hudson

Occupation: Small business owner, retired pilot

Family: Wife Wendy Hood

Prior elected office: St. Croix County Board, two years

Civic involvement: Oakridge Community Church; NRA; Trout Unlimited; Willow River Rod & Gun Club

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I was humbled to be given a position of public trust in the last election. I took that trust to be sacred.

Government must be limited in scope, fiscally responsible and respectful of liberty. This requires vigilance, discipline, thoughtfulness and a willingness to make difficult decisions from those holding that trust.

Unlike the federal government, the county must produce a balanced budget annually. Therefore, how and where we spend hard-earned tax dollars is one of our most important priorities. A program or service must be of great benefit and financially sustainable or it will not earn my support.

Dr. Chris Babbitt

Age: 57

Address: 1221 County Road I, Hudson

Occupation: Clinical child psychologist; director, Northwest Counseling Services at Baldwin Area Medical Center

Family: Wife Peg Audley, daughter Tess

Prior elected office: None

Civic involvement: Board member, Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) since 2008, board chair since 2011; Executive Board of Success by Six (SB6), a United Way St. Croix Valley program

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I have lived and worked in St. Croix County for the last 25 years. I have had the chance to travel to every corner of the county to work in schools, medical facilities, courtrooms and many other venues, and as part of my professional life have met many interesting people in all walks of life.

I am very concerned about the way county government has been operating and want to be a part of changing that direction. We need to return to the days when “We take care of our own” was the motto of county government.

District 11 Supervisor (Town of Stanton, Town of Star Prairie, Village of Star Prairie):

Roger Larson (i)

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired

Family: Widowed, five grown children

Prior elected office: County Board, three terms; Star Prairie village president, 12 years; Star Prairie village board member, two years

Civic involvement: Bethany Lutheran Church, Amery Gun Club

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I feel I’ve kept up with things. I serve on many committees (chair Public Protection, chair emergency management subcommittee, vice chair of County Board, vice chair of Health and Human Services Board, member of Council on Aging). I think it’s important to keep the ag building as it is – they can really take care of everything there.

I also support keeping the nursing home where it’s at. We’ve been looking at adding assisted living.

It’s important to listen to constituents from throughout the county, not only to those in my district. I’m running for a reason: It’s not to benefit myself. It’s to look at what the whole county wants.

Bradley Perrin

Age: 48

Address: 820 210th Ave., Somerset

Occupation: Residential real estate appraiser

Family: Wife Loni, two young children

Prior elected office: None

Civic involvement:

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

As a residential real estate appraiser for the past 13 years, I have seen firsthand the devastation caused by the collapse of the housing market. St. Croix County has foreclosed on 2,156 homes in the past four years — a rate which is higher than the national and state averages. These become more than numbers when one looks inside these homes and sees the remains of displaced families and broken dreams.

I am running for the District 11 county supervisor position because I feel my principles and analytical skills developed as an appraiser can provide an objective and fiscally responsible contribution to the direction of St. Croix County.

District 12 Supervisor (Town of Star Prairie, City of New Richmond):

Daniel Hansen

Age: 51

Address: 446 E. 3rd St., New Richmond


Family: Wife Jane Knutson Hansen

Prior elected office:

Civic involvement: Volunteer for 5 Loaves Food Shelf, Salvation Army

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I am Daniel Hansen, a UW Stout graduate and have been a resident of New Richmond for 15 years. New Richmond is my wife Jane’s hometown — we were glad our kids could grow up here.

For years I have been active with issues that are important to New Richmond at the County Board. I believe that all citizens deserve to have access to county government. This means working to hold all meetings in the evening when citizens are available to participate.

I will continue to work to rescue our county nursing home from those who wish to close it.

Joseph M. Brost

Age: 45

Address: 525 E. 2nd St., New Richmond

Occupation: Printer/copier repair technician

Family: Engaged to Shiloh L. Trenholm; two sons

Prior elected office: None

Civic involvement: Lifetime member, New Richmond Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW); Persian Gulf War veteran.

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I was born in Barron County and moved to Hudson with my parents in 1985. I joined the Navy after high school and served in the Gulf War, 1990-1991. I moved to New Richmond with my two sons in 1998, and now that my children are grown I would like to serve the hardworking people of St. Croix County.

I believe my life and career experience coupled with my commitment to preserve the quality of life in my community will enable me to serve the people of St. Croix County.

District 13 Supervisor (City of New Richmond):

Ron Kiesler (i)

Age: 50

Address: 1359 Parkview Dr., New Richmond

Occupation: Manager, Pierce County Community Behavioral Health Program

Family: Wife Laura Kiesler, two adult children

Prior elected office: St. Croix County Board supervisor

Civic involvement: Former member, Youth and Family Initiatives of New Richmond; coached New Richmond Youth Soccer, Youth Little League, Youth Flag Football; brought these services to county: Coordinated Family Services, certified Mental Health Emergency/Mobile Crisis Services, certified Multi-Systemic Therapy, MATRIX Chemical Dependency Treatment; introduced Drug Court to St. Croix court system

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

In a word, “Experience.” I have worked for St. Croix County for 24-plus years. I understand the financial challenges, politics and administration. I have served the last two years as county supervisor.

I carefully listen to my constituents. I fight for their needs and cast my vote on their behalf. We need to get back to the business of serving our most valuable assets, the residents of St. Croix County. We have an outstanding 5-star nursing home — the County Board needs to support it. We have a modern Ag Center building — let’s keep it and staff it to serve farming communities. Let’s return to our motto “Service is our Purpose”.

Kristy Teske

Address: 1455 Doman Dr., New Richmond

No response received

District 14 Supervisor (Town of Erin Prairie, Town of Richmond, Town of Warren):

Andy Brinkman (i)

District 15 Supervisor (Town of Kinnickinnic, Town of Pleasant Valley, Town of Rush River, Town of Warren, Village of Roberts):

David Peterson (i)

Age: 72

Address: 331 County Road JJ, River Falls

Occupation: Retired

Family: Wife Arden; four adult children; 11 grandchildren.

Prior elected office: County Board, two two-year terms

Civic involvement: Cross Lutheran, Roberts, member and Mutual Ministry Committee; Thrivent Habitat for Humanity, volunteer

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I think St. Croix County is one of the finest places to live that I know of and feel it is a privilege to serve its citizens as a board supervisor.

I am currently serving as chair of the Administration Committee and have served on the Board of Adjustment since 2008. I have a positive working relationship with the Kinnickinnic Town Board and feel I will continue to be an effective advocate for District 15.

With ever increasing pressures for services, I advocate a common-sense listening approach and a proper balance between services and the tax levy.

Donald E. Schumacher

Address: 2012 18th Ave., Baldwin

Occupation: Farmer, owner of family farm, Whispering Silos Inc.

Family: Wife Louise; three children; eight grandchildren

Prior elected office: Chairman, town of Rush River, 14 years; member, Rush River planning board, 12 years; United Fire and Rescue Finance Committee, board of governors, 8 years

Civic involvement: Vice president, Military Officers Association of America, Indianhead Chapter, 8 years; life member, American Legion, VFW and MOAA; member, Peace Lutheran Church, 40 years; work closely with FSA, NRCS, Land and Water office, UW Extension office and DNR regarding conservation issues

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I worked with county citizens, including farmers, to speak about the desire to keep the Agriculture Service and Education Center in Baldwin. This is very important for those engaged in agriculture, plus organizations that use the building for meetings, including numerous 4-H groups.

I was instrumental in helping develop the Enterprise Area for Town of Rush River and helped develop the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Presently working on Agriculture and Farmland Preservation Plan with the county.

I believe St. Croix County has several challenges at this time — balancing the needs between urban and rural areas, how to provide and keep services closest to the clientele and how to wisely spend on needed projects.

District 16 Supervisor (Town of Baldwin, Town of Hammond, Village of Hammond):

William “Bill” Gary

Age: 44

Address: 889 162nd St., Hammond

Occupation: Federal contractor

Family: Married, two children

Prior elected office: None

Civic involvement: My professional associations have all been work-related (law enforcement and law enforcement training)

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

I was raised on a small farm in Iowa in a community similar to St. Croix County. My wife and I own a small business in Roberts (Daisy Hill II).

I work as a federal contractor and have been involved in running large multi-million-dollar contracts and dealing with federal agencies. Being owner of a small business as well as working on federal contracts gives me a lot of experience to draw on.

I have worked on both sides of the table when it comes to union, both a member and on the supervisory side. I believe I have a unique perspective to bring to the board to work for both taxpayers and employees.

Paulette Anderson

Age: 61

Address: 1781 100th Ave., Hammond

Occupation: Director, St Croix Central Community Education; owner, Paulette’s Gardens, 1983-2007

Family: Husband Joseph Anderson, no children

Prior elected office: Town of Hammond supervisor, 12 years

Civic involvement: Founder, director, Hammond Arts Alliance, 17 years; member, Hammond Event and Leadership Planning, seven years (Events: Yellowstone Trail Social and fundraisers, Hammond Showcase; member, Running of the Llamas Committee member, 17 years; teach unicycle and yoga classes; Roberts/Hammond Senior Center Board, member, three years

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

As a Town of Hammond supervisor for the past 12 years, I am familiar with the issues in my district and the county. My involvement in my community shows that I am engaged in making the area a better place to live. I am also interested in keeping the Agriculture Extension building in Baldwin.

District 17 Supervisor (Town of Cylon, Town of Emerald, Town of Forest, Town of Glenwood, Village of Deer Park, City of Glenwood City):

David Olson

Age: 56

Address: 1373 280th St., Glenwood City

Occupation: Construction superintendent

Family: Married, three grown children

Prior elected office: None

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

Government on all levels is out of control. Elected officials need to be reined in and held to their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution first and foremost.

I believe that my nearly 30 years of construction experience including managing multi-million dollar projects, successfully completing them on or under budget is a great quality to be a steward of taxpayer dollars.

Judy Achterhof

Age: 60

Address:1759 County Road O, Emerald

Occupation: Retired substitute teacher

Family: Husband Tom; two adult children

Prior elected office: Glenwood City School Board, 10th year

Civic involvement: Volunteer for many school-related activities and organizations; member Kohl scholarship selection committee, Academic Decathlon and others; Indianhead Federated Library System board, second year; St. Croix County Fair Board and HCE Board; member Emerald Crossroads HCE Club, over 20 years

What are your reasons and/ or qualifications for wanting to serve on the County Board?

St. Croix County residents face many important issues, such as the Ag. Center location, frac sand mining, wind turbines and nursing homes. Important decisions will have to be made and/or followed through on in the near future, many affecting the environmental and economic health of our county.

These decisions will have a long-term impact on present and future St. Croix County residents. Through my past experiences, I believe I can fully and fairly represent my constituents from the east side of St. Croix County. I am not afraid to ask questions or disagree. I care.

Candidate profiles compiled by The News staff members Judy Wiff, Sarah Young and Jordan Willi