Arc Dane County Questions for the Dane County Board of Supervisors candidates

Click on your district to see the candidate's answers.
District 1
Frank Harris
(I) Scott McDonell
District 2
Beth Gross 
(I) Judith M. Wilcox
District 3
Joe Campana
Elaine H. DeSmidt
District 4
(I) Brett Hulsey
Charles Thimmesch
District 5
(I) Echnaton Vedder
District 6
(I) John Hendrick
District 7
(I) David Blaska
Maureen Marrinan
District 8
Richard Berg
(I) Rob Fyrst
District 9
Dan Carl
(I) Ruth Ann Schoer
District 10
Carousel Andrea Bayrd
David Worzala
District 11
(I) Al Matano
Dean Showers
District 12
(I) Paul Rusk
Roberta Valle-Statz
District 13
(I) Chuck Erickson
District 14
(I) Mike Hanson
District 15
(I) Richard V. Brown, Sr.
District 16
Dave de Felice
Andrew Kraiss
District 17
(I) Andy Olsen
Dave Schneider
District 18
(I) Jim Mohrbacher
Dorothy Wheeler
District 19
(I) Gene Nelson
Jeff Kostelic
District 20
Jeanne M. Behrend
Duane Gau
District 21
(I) David E. Wiganowsky
District 22
(I) Dennis J. O’Loughlin
District 23
Lynn Beyler
(I) Don Eggert
District 24
(I) Bill Graf
District 25
(I) Eileen Bruskewitz
Dorothy Valentine
District 26
(I) Mark Opitz
District 27
(I) Kyle R. Richmond
District 28
(I) Vern Wendt
District 29 
(I) Dave J. Ripp
District 30
Steve Cowan
(I) Bill Hitzemann
District 31
Judy Collison
Gerald Jensen
District 32
(I) Penny Rollins
Mike Willett
District 33
Brian Casey
(I) Jack Martz
District 34
Paul France
(I) Kevin R. Kesterson
District 35
Jeff Bradley
Donna Vogel
District 36 
(I) Rich Pertzborn
District 37
(I) Bob Salov

April 6, 2004 election

Arc Dane County asked the following of candidates for the Dane County Board of Supervisors: 

Education and Experience

Education and Experience that qualify me to serve on the Dane County Board.

In 200 words or less, We asked these questions of all Dane County Board candidates. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies

Agencies providing services to people with developmental disabilities have suffered 20% cuts in real dollars in the last 15 years. Dane County cut $1.2 million (County levy funding) for DD services in 2004, losing over $2 million in federal matching funds. The County receives $1.43 federal “match” for every $1 in county funding. What will you do to protect this investment? (200 words or less).

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Staff turnover is estimated at 40% due to low wages and eroding benefits. Quality services for people with disabilities depend on experienced staff. The current Dane County Living Wage is pegged at the poverty level for a family of four. Would you support raising the Dane County Living Wage to 110% of the poverty level? (200 words or less).

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

If increased revenue becomes available in 2004, what would be your top three priorities for spending additional dollars? Please explain.(200 words or less).

District 1:

Education and Experience:

Frank Harris

I am senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Political Science. I want to make a difference and improve the quality of life for the people of the 1st District. I have been politically active through different campus organizations and serving as a legislative staff aide in the state capitol.

 

(I) Scott McDonell

no response 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Frank Harris

The Dane County Board must work for a government that operates efficiently, effectively and is adherent to the needs of the people. Difficult fiscal times surely lie ahead. During the budget making process, we must prioritize when making decisions on funding. A singular aspect tied into improving the quality of life in Dane County is assuring adequate funding for programs like those dealing with developmental disabilities. Maintaining and restoring funding for these agencies is a priority of mine. I believe that Dane County should assure funding for special needs programs, before allocating funding for items such as a costly light rail transit system.
 

(I) Scott McDonell

no response

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Frank Harris

We are in fiscal crisis, locally, statewide, and nationwide. Sacrifices must be made to ease the budget burden that we all face. However, there is no reason why someone who provides care for those with disabilities should be paid a wage waiving around the poverty level. It is unlikely that we as a county can afford a 110% increase in wage increases. However, if the budget allows and fiscal tight times diminish, then I fully support raising the Dane County living wage. 
 

(I) Scott McDonell

no response

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Frank Harris

We are in fiscal crisis, locally, statewide, and nationwide. Sacrifices must be made to ease the budget burden that we all face. However, there is no reason why someone who provides care for those with disabilities should be paid a wage waiving around the poverty level. It is unlikely that we as a county can afford a 110% increase in wage increases. However, if the budget allows and fiscal tight times diminish, then I fully support raising the Dane County living wage. 
 

(I) Scott McDonell

no response

District 2:

Education and Experience:

Beth Gross

I have a Master's degree in Educational Policy from UW-Madison, and I work organizing non-partisan seminars for the state legislature on child and family policy issues, including rising health care costs, early childhood education, and long-term care. I have 15 years' experience in activism for the environment, the mentally ill, and women's and workers' rights. I am a union member and have been a renter and homeowner in Madison for five years. 
 

(I) Judith M. Wilcox

  • Dane County resident, 36 years, Second District since 1989
  • Served on the Dane County Board 1992-presentHealth and Human Needs (Chair),
  • Long Term Support (Vice Chair), Information Resource Management, and W2 Steering Committees.
  • Dane County Housing Authority (Vice Chair), Area Agency on Aging member
  • Task Force on Aging
  • Developed housing for elderly and disabled persons (1972-1993)
  • Section Chief, Rental and Special Needs Housing, Bureau of Housing

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Beth Gross

One of the chief reasons I became interested in running for county board was to be a stronger advocate for the protection of human services. I am strongly opposed to further cuts, and if elected intend to work with service providers, service recipients, members of the community, and other Supervisors to explore policy solutions to prevent further erosion of funding. Most importantly, I intend to be open to citizen input into the budget process, and to view my decision-making as a collaboration between community stakeholders, district residents, and myself. 

If elected, I will work to maximize state and federal funding for Dane County and to find new, progressive funding streams. For example, the transportation fee was initially appealing as it shifted costs onto transportation users and would have freed up money for human services and property tax relief. On closer examination, however, it appears that the transportation fee would be as regressive as property taxes, so that idea may not be one to pursue again. Nevertheless, it is that kind of creative thinking within limited options for local funding that needs to be explored so that we can continue to provide quality services to those who need them. 

 

(I) Judith M. Wilcox

I believe that it is important to take advantage of all possible MA funded waiver programs. Currently there is a potential $400 million shortfall in MA state match funds. I believe we all need to work with the legislature to impress upon them the importance of retaining these valuable MA funded services. The potential loss in funding to Dane County is even greater for 2005 than it was in 2004. It is not possible for the county taxpayers to pick up the total loss of those MA funds. I will work to protect those services that help persons with disabilities remain in their homes in the community. I think we need to examine the opportunity for additional funding sources and I am open to evaluating potential alternatives to the property tax.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Beth Gross

I agree that wages for homecare workers and other human service providers need to be increased to reduce the deleterious effects of staff turnover. The living wage is currently indexed to the poverty line for a family of four (and therefore to inflation), but this is too low. I believe the base wage should be increased to a point where indexing would be more meaningful. Therefore, I would support an immediate increase in wages, including 5% this year. However, I am hesitant to support an automatic increase every year since workers helped by the living wage ordinance should not be the only ones to get increased pay and, given tight budgets, it would be impossible to provide increases of 5% for everybody, every year. 
 

(I) Judith M. Wilcox

I was one of the original sponsors of the "Living Wage" ordinance and have supported all of the increases to the living wage over the past several years. I cannot respond positively to the question of increasing the "Living Wage" to 110% of the poverty level because I don't know what the full impact of the increase would be. In addition to the wages of the lowest paid persons, we would have to take into consideration the wage compression that occurs when the lowest paid workers have their salaries increased. I believe it is important for us to be examining the possibility of providing health care benefits to home care workers at a reasonable cost to the agency and the individual. I will be working with members of the Purchase Of Service community and the Human Services Department to determine the possibility of developing a health insurance pool that would provide those benefits at a more reasonable cost. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Beth Gross

My top funding priority would be to restore funds to county human services. In the past, Dane County has provided quality services through an infrastructure that pays family supporting wages, but it is now under pressure because of tight budgets at the county and state levels. The county has always, and rightly so, paid for human services with both county and state funding. The use of county money over and above state money shows our commitment to service providers and to those in need. I agree with the County Executive's efforts to avoid property tax increases to fund larger county budgets. Because property tax is regressive, it hurts those with limited incomes the most. I believe that the solution is for the state to provide more funding for state-mandated services. State funding is more appropriate than county funding, since it comes from income and corporate taxes. So, while we continue to provide the best possible care while still paying good wages, we also need to work at the state level for more and more equitable funding.

My other funding priorities include: expanding and promoting affordable housing options throughout Dane County, protecting green space, and keeping our lakes and watersheds clean. 
 

(I) Judith M. Wilcox

The County Board through its action on the 2004 budget has already committed any increase in funding of over a million dollars to the county to renegotiating with the unions the zero percent salary adjustment county employees agreed to for 2004. In addition we also directed any additional funds go to Human Services. After the union negotiating takes place my priorities for the balance of funds would be an adjustment to Purchase Of Service contracts to increase funds to help pay for health insurance costs and to provide matching funds for MA waiver programs.

District 3:

Education and Experience:

Joe Campana

I've been employed as a researcher and educator; project and team leader; and manager in State and Federal Government and the private sector with increasing fiscal and budget responsibility in each job. I am a person of service and responsibility that people could count on for 35 years. I have numerous community accomplishments as a neighborhood association leader and as a leader of one the largest metropolitan business associations.
 

Elaine H. DeSmidt

I have been a lifelong resident of Dane County and a property tax payer in the district for 18 years. Being active in both civic affairs and politics since an early age, I have been involved as a member of Wisconsin Women in Government, block captain for the Rolling Meadows Neighborhood Association and served as a volunteer for Family Connections and Madison Urban Ministry programs. Providing Home Health Care to the elderly has heightened my concerns on Human Services issues while also recognizing the importance of early intervention programs for both the young and the elderly. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Joe Campana

When looking at county services to fund, one important criterion is a Federal match. Other important criteria include services that are fundamental to the constitution (e.g. providing for general welfare, justice, and public protection) and services that are not already provided by for-profit businesses. Federal Match allows taxpayers to get more bang for their dollar on necessary services that the county should be providing to residents in need. 

One category of service that the County has the responsibility to continue to provide is for those people who cannot help themselves, for example, children, the developmentally/mentally disabled, and senior citizens. 

We need elected officials with fresh ideas, viewpoints, and strong leadership so we can begin the difficult task of responsible fiscal control. Across the board cuts, for example, is not responsible fiscal control, which is part of the reason the that DD services has been receiving unfair cuts. All programs are not equal - as across the board cutting implies. 

Two areas of focus are improving the operational efficiency of all services so that we can free up funding for other needed services. The second is increasing our tax base by economic growth within the County.

 

Elaine H. DeSmidt

I will support programs that help keep our families and seniors safe and productive. I will support additional revenue to programs that have strong federal matching funds to make sure that we get our fair share of these monies. I will support the proposal that will allow our purchase of service contract agencies to join the Dane County health care pool to reduce their health care costs.

Providing Home Health Care to the elderly has heightened my concerns on Human Services issues while also recognizing the importance of early intervention programs for both the young and the elderly. Protecting Human Services and Public Safety should be the County's top priorities. Investment in compassionate and adequate human services programs protects children and others in need and these many early intervention programs save money in the long run. 

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Joe Campana

The following is a partial excerpt from a letter that I submitted to the WSJ. 

A portion of a similar letter was printed in the Capital Times. "Jen Squire's guest Column, "Disabled hurt by budget cuts," hits the nail on the head. Let's have a conscience and not cut funding for people who cannot help themselves - the developmentally disabled, seniors, and children.  Caretakers who work with the disabled, seniors, and children are under paid - service providers under contract to the County have not received a decent cost of living wage increase for 13 years as Squire says . . . "

We must change this unfair trend and inequity by increasing the wages for our POS workers in the county. Our limited public dollars should not be subsidizing poverty-wage work. Taxpayers are paying for hidden costs of the high (40%) turnover that results from the poverty wage. Taxpayers are subsidizing food stamps, medical,  housing, and other social services that these low wage workers may require to support themselves and their families.

I would join together with unions, religious and community coalitions to increase the Dane County Living Wage as one possible way to change this trend.

 

Elaine H. DeSmidt

YES.

I will support a proposal to increase the living wage to 110% of the poverty level. I want to work with your to find the necessary monies for this increase. People who care enough to work with those in need should not be forced to live in poverty. I also support incentive programs that help attract good health care workers and social service providers. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Joe Campana

Based on my responses to the first two questions, no one should be surprised by my priorities.
Compensation and Benefits
Programs for those who cannot help themselves
Public Safety and Protection.
We'll get the best performance and cooperation from people who are fairly compensated. Increased productivity and morale are important in my desire to reduce spending by increasing operational efficiency. Our employees can be very helpful in finding ways to reduce spending. Those programs for children, the disabled, and seniors and programs for public safety and protection are my priorities.
 

Elaine H. DeSmidt

I support increased revenues to help with jail overcrowding, to make sure we get our full share of matching fund for DD, and to fund our living wage ordinance. 

District 4:

Education and Experience:

(I) Brett Hulsey

     My nephew has autism, so I know these programs are important. For the past six years, I worked on the County Board to protect vital family programs. 

     On the Personnel and Finance Committee, I restored funding for vital family services and supported more funding for DD services. I also am working with the agencies to create a health care pool to increase the quality of service and control healthcare costs. I would appreciate your support.

 

Charles Thimmesch

 -City Plan Commission
-Chair- West Washington Ave Parking Committee 
-Long Range Transportation Planning Commission
-Joint West Campus Committee
-Past Chair- Broadband Telecommunications Regulatory Board
-Past Chair- Our Lady Queen of Peace Pastoral Council
-Air Force-5 years
-Scout leader
-Little League and football coach
-Lifelong Wisconsin resident- 26 years in Madison
-Electrical Engineering Degree UW-Madison
-Married, two children
-Member-1,000 Friends of Wisconsin
-Member- River Alliance of Wisconsin
-Visit thimmesch4u.org for more information

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Brett Hulsey

     We need to protect programs that help families, and return money to the county. On the Personnel and Finance Committee, I voted to restore money for this vital program in the final budget. 

     We also have to increase efficiency in other areas of government to protect money for DD and other vital services. We also made progress getting funding for mandates like state Probation and Parole Hold Prisoners saving more than $300,000 a year. 

     I look forward to working with you to come up with additional sources of revenue to fund this vital program.

 

Charles Thimmesch

I sat through both nights of the Health and Human Needs budget hearings this last fall. It was painful to hear one client after another state in human terms that which you present statistically in your question. Interestingly enough one of the very first speakers stated that she was most angry because "…we were not given the opportunity to have the discussion we need to have." This is exactly one of my core beliefs. As we do in our households, it is time for the citizens of Dane County, through their elected representatives, to prioritize all of the County's services and responsibilities. My first priority is humanity. The 'passing through' of the State cuts to the corresponding budgets at the County level is not leadership, it is the lack there of! When elected, I commit to seeking a seat on the Health and Human Needs Committee. I will work with all of the client agencies in order to gain the knowledge to competently and passionately defend the DD services budget. It is time for a change. Instead of the 'politics as usual' approach of passing responsibility to others, I will work for you! 

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Brett Hulsey

     I was an original sponsor to the Dane County Living Wage Ordinance that raised wages to their current level and reduced turnover from 60%. We are making some progress, thought no one should work fulltime and still live in poverty. 

     I will work with you to fund funding to increase this level of support. 

 

Charles Thimmesch

In June of 2000 I took the Red Cross' Adult, Infant and Child CPR and Community First Aid and Safety training courses in preparation for taking some scouts on a 'high adventure'. One of my 'partners' was a first line supervisor for one of the County's contracted service providers. As one does, I asked him about his job. He shared with me his biggest challenge; namely, retaining his staff once they were trained. Equivalent jobs in the private sector had significantly higher compensation packages. I was amazed. One of the basic principles of effective management is retaining good employees. The expense of training and the lack of productivity with new employees are well documented. As I started to question his management, he explained that the County was renewing contracts without a cost of living adjustment. I offered the old English expression about being: "penny wise and pound foolish." Further, he shared with me that contract increases were being proposed and blocked. Finally, he wondered if anyone in County government has reflected on the negative impact this turnover has on the clients. To conclude, I understand this issue at a personal level; and, will support the Dane County Living wage at 110% of the poverty level.

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Brett Hulsey

     Fund vital family programs, such as the DD CIP 1B match, treat county workers fairly, and fully fund our Conservation Fund commitments supported by 76% of Dane County voters. 

     Thank you for supporting me over the last six years. I have worked hard on the county board to serve you and would appreciate your vote on April 6th.

 

Charles Thimmesch

Sadly, the second year of the State biennium incorporates additional cuts for next year's County budget. Now, with the recent announcement from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (revenue not matching forecasts), we might be looking at potentially absorbing even greater cuts. Yet, being ever hopeful, here are the three priorities for additional funding. As stated previously, I witnessed two nights of agency representatives pleading their case (sometimes with a musical presentation). I fully believe that Health and Human Needs client agencies have proven their needs. As such, my first priority. The District Attorney's Office and the County Court system lost some positions which previously had allowed for diversion programs and victim support. I would want to regain some of this capability. Finally, I would want to fund the County Law Library to once again have it available to the public. It was an invaluable service to the citizens who could not afford attorneys.

District 5:

(I) Echnaton Vedder -unopposed - no response

District 6:

Education and Experience:

(I) John Hendrick - unopposed

B.A. UW Political Science 1975
J.D. UW Law School 1978
Dane County Supervisor 1994 to present

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) John Hendrick - unopposed

The next county board needs to explore all revenue alternatives to maintain vital services, such as those to persons with developmental disabilities, while controlling property tax increases.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) John Hendrick - unopposed

I am already on record support a Dane County Living Wage at 112% of the Federal Poverty Level to account for the higher cost of living in Dane County.

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) John Hendrick - unopposed

My top priority would be restoring Human Service spending cuts. If the amount is more than $1 million, I would also support an COLA increase on July 1st (instead of December 26th) for county employees. At the same time, there should be an increase for employees of contract agencies, at least the lowest paid. 

District 7:

Education and Experience:

(I) David Blaska

Served on Dane County Board 10 years; vice chairman of its Public Works Committee; board member, Convention and Visitors Bureau. Former member, Health and Human Needs Committee. Member, National Assn. Of Counties Finance Committee. Orchard Ridge Community club. Former chairman Madison News Credit Union. St. Maria Goretti parish member. Employed by Wisconsin Department of Revenue, previously at Workforce Development with experience in welfare reform. Former town constable. Born and raised (and worked!) on Dane County farm. Married with one adult child.
 

Maureen Marrinan

I have a BA in Parks and Recreation, a BA in Biology and a MA in Education. My experience as a teacher (environmental science), a small business owner, and a realtor, has given me a solid understanding of what makes for well-planned growth, balancing the social and economic needs of our residents without compromising our environment. I have lived in both rural and urban Dane County, broadening my understanding of the needs of the County as a whole. My experiences on committees, boards, and as director of various programs have honed my skills in negotiation and in working cooperatively for the good of ALL Dane County residents. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) David Blaska

I proposed selling off 4 acres of surplus Dane County real estate, which would have realized $500,000, most of it earmarked for the developmentally disabled community. Unfortunately, the county executive and the county board chairman signaled that they could support a $20 annual wheel tax on every vehicle in Dane County and many in the DD community were gulled into supporting that proposal rather than mine. When push came to shove, neither the chairman nor the executive backed the wheel tax and neither that proposal nor mine came to pass.
 

Maureen Marrinan

Unfortunately this trend is not unique to Dane County, nor to programs providing services to people with developmental disabilities. However, it is our responsibility to maintain critical services and programs that support our families, seniors and at-risk populations. Cuts that result in the loss of federal "match" monies are short sighted, and result in even greater budget constraints due to loss of federal revenues. I would definitely support measures to reinstate programs with federal matching funds, as well as closely examining existing programs to see where we can become more efficient WITHOUT affecting the level or quality of direct services.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) David Blaska

Dane County's living wage is currently $7.87 an hour, which is 107 percent of the 2003 living wage for a family of three. I oppose the living wage concept as being too inflexible but I do support helping caregivers. That requires additional funds. I do not support raising taxes to acquire those funds but do support non-tax sources of revenue. See answer to Question #2 above.
 

Maureen Marrinan

I am in strong support of increasing the Dane County Living Wage.   Having been a small business owner, I know that higher wages do result in lower turnover rates.  And high turnover is very expensive: advertising, hiring, and training staff to a competent performance level.  Those monies would certainly be better spent in higher wages, reducing turnover and resulting in a more experienced, better trained staff.

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) David Blaska

If that hypothetical increased revenue becomes available, developmentally disabled would be a priority for those funds.
 

Maureen Marrinan

I am most interested in maintaining those budget items that support, strengthen, and protect our communities: public safety; programs for our at-risk populations (youth, families and seniors); programs that encourage small scale economic development within the county; and last but not least, programs that protect our unique environments and natural resources, from ground water to farmland.

District 8:

Education and Experience:

Richard Berg

Born in Madison and both sides of my family go back 4-5 generations in Dane County. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and have worked in a variety of policy-making positions in County and State government; including a period of time when I served as Dane County Budget Director in the Dane County Executive's office. Twice elected to terms on the Madison Board of Education. Served as Special Assistant to the Governor.
 

(I) Rob Fyrst

For four years, my District 8 neighbors have honored me with the privilege of representing them on the County Board. Together, we have worked to control out-of-control sprawl, protect families, support positive youth initiatives and spend responsibly. I have served on the Youth Commission, Veterans Service Commission, the City of Madison Personnel Board and the Health and Human Needs Committee. I have the experience to continue to serve District 8 residents for another two years. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Richard Berg

The County Board must ensure that funding to provide services to the neediest and most at-risk Dane County residents is preserved. I am not in favor of creating new ways to tax Dane County residents, such as a $20 wheel tax on all vehicles registered in Dane County. However, I would fight to preserve, or increase, existing state and federal revenue streams. The state of Wisconsin has a historic and important role to play in being a funding partner with local government and that role must be preserved. Our best shot at preserving funding for necessary programs for people with developmental disabilities is to continue fighting for the state and federal government to pick up their fair share of the costs associated with services and programs aimed at people with developmental disabilities. The property taxpayer simply can't do it all.
 

(I) Rob Fyrst

As the parent of a child with special needs, this is a huge issue for me. Meeting the financial and emotional burden is something our families should never have to fight for. However, state and federal cuts to local services have created many holes in local budgets. As a Dane County Supervisor I have and will continue to work with our state and federal representatives to fill those holes without overburdening the taxpayer. I will work with the Department of Human Services and POS agencies to identify alternative revenue sources and opportunities to increase efficiencies. Dane County must remain a quality, safe place for all our citizens to live and share family in.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Richard Berg

There are likely many reasons that account for the high turnover of staff assigned to provide services to people with developmental disabilities. The rate of pay may be only one component and perhaps not even the most important. It is, of course, important for the county to be competitive with other Dane County employers in terms of pay offered for various kinds of work. If a study shows that Dane County is in a very distinct non-competitive posture in terms of pay and benefits for this kind of work, I'd be willing to look at ways to make the county more competitive. However, before doing that, I'd like to know more about all the reasons for the turnover and what the fiscal impact might be of making the county more competitive, should a study point in that direction.
 

(I) Rob Fyrst

I have actually supported raising the Living Wage to 112% of the poverty level as defined by the federal government. However, let's face it…112% is still too little to actually raise a family of four. Many wonderful and talented workers are giving more than 100% of their talent and effort to serve those in need in our community. Dane County should work hard to compensate them appropriately for that service. In addition, we should work with the federal government to demonstrate why it is necessary for the federal government to accurately reflect the poverty level in America. Only then can we get a true living wage for our workers. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Richard Berg

My first priority would be property tax relief. Second priority would be public safety. Third priority would be human service programs for the neediest and most at-risk Dane County residents. Fourth priority would be road construction and maintenance. Since Dane County already asks a lot of property taxpayers in this county, the first priority for new sources of funding must be holding down the property tax levy to a reasonable level. Beyond that, any new spending should be targeted at public safety, human services and roads . . . and in that order.
 

(I) Rob Fyrst

Human Services. Public Safety. Salary Increases. We need to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. State and Federal cuts to local governments forced hard choices and difficult budgets to be passes all across Wisconsin. We must work to restore those cuts. This is why I supported the Ray of Hope Amendment placed in the 2004 budget and it is why I have met with DD families and leaders to try to identify options. Public Safety must be secured in Dane County. We must protect our citizens without taxing them out of their homes. In addition, Dane County staff are among the brightest and the most committed to public service. They should be well compensated. Unfortunately, due to budgets cuts over the past few years, with the cost of inflation, our workers have actually received salary cuts. If we can identify new revenues, I would support salary increases for Dane County employees.

District 9:

Education and Experience:

Dan Carl

I am professionally employed as a land use and transportation planner. I work with communities and elected officials throughout Wisconsin addressing many of the same traffic and land use issues we are experiencing in Dane County. As an appointed member of the Dane County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee I regularly work with Supervisors on both ends of the political spectrum. My other volunteer activities include Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Friends of Alicia Ashman Library, and the Oakbridge Condominium Board of Directors.
 

(I) Ruth Ann Schoer

no response 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Dan Carl

As budget reductions are considered countywide, we must provide funding that results in match-funding. Failure to do so is like not taking advantage of a company-sponsored 401k match. I believe one of the most critical roles of government is providing specialized services that address unique needs including people with developmental disabilities. I will work to ensure Dane County receives the largest federal match possible.
 

(I) Ruth Ann Schoer

no response

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Dan Carl

Retaining well-trained and qualified staff is the key to any successful organization. I would support wage adjustments that will help reduce staff turnover and maintain high-quality service.
 

(I) Ruth Ann Schoer

no response 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Dan Carl

Programs such as human services, public safety, and the conservation fund must be protected because they ensure the safety and livability of Dane County for all county residents and future generations. Thank you for your consideration.
 

(I) Ruth Ann Schoer

no response

District 10:

Education and Experience:

Carousel Andrea Bayrd

I am a civil rights and employment discrimination attorney. I am a member of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin's Dane County Volunteer Action Board, a commissioner with Madison's Equal Opportunity Commission, and a volunteer with the Rape Crisis Center and Madison's Fair Housing Center. My legal and volunteer work both center on being an activist for people: advocating for workers, people with disabilities and seniors; working on issues of justice and fairness; and improving people's lives.
 

David Worzala

I have twelve years of federal and state government service. Under the Clinton Administration, I worked for the Office of Management and Budget, the National Performance Review (Gore's Reinventing Government) and the Department of Transportation. In Wisconsin, I worked for the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Department of Administration, and interned for Representative Rebecca Young. I have a Masters Degree in Public Affairs and an undergraduate degree from UW Madison in Political Science and History. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Carousel Andrea Bayrd

Over many years, the Dane County Human Services system has been built and strengthened by the hard work and dedication of many people: county staff, people with disabilities, their families and guardians and providers. It is a system of which we can and should be proud. We need to preserve its scope and quality while doing all we can to make it stronger. This question identifies a very key challenge in the budget and one that I don't think gets enough discussion: cuts in County tax dollars to our DD services. These cuts result in significant, additional losses of federal matching funds which, in turn, worsens an already difficult budget situation. As a County Supervisor, I will do all I can to protect the match by being a very strong advocate for human services funding during the budget process. We need to preserve the amount of County, State and Federal funding we already get and we need to advocate for County dollars that enable us to leverage more federal monies. If there are other, specific steps that would also be effective, I would be very interested in learning about them.
 

David Worzala

I believe providing adequate funding to serve people with developmental disabilities is a commitment that this community shares. It is a component of Madison's civic responsibility and contributes to our quality of life here in Dane County. Therefore if elected to the Board I will work to maintain funding for developmental disabilities and other human service programs. This will be difficult, but will be a priority.

I think ARC is correct in pointing out the importance of the federal matching funds to programs that serve people with developmental disabilities. Wisconsin ranks 49th on a per capita basis in getting federal funds. I previously worked for the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration trying to bring additional federal funds to the State. I hope to use this experience to argue for more investment in these programs, not only for the moral reasons, but also because it brings outside resources into the community. The dollars that are spent on these programs are primarily service related and the money will stay in the community.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Carousel Andrea Bayrd

I support raising the living wage in Dane County, and as a County Supervisor, I would work with The ARC and others to ensure we have, and find, the funding to do so. There are very few things that have as much impact on the lives of people with developmental disabilities than the quality, commitment and dedication of direct support workers. Recruiting and retaining qualified, experienced direct support workers is critically important, and low wages and eroding benefits are barriers. The vast majority of POS agencies is efficient and well run. Providers would pay their employees more, and offer accessible and affordable health care, if they had more resources. The County must invest in their budgets as well.

Currently, I serve on the Madison Equal Opportunity Commission, the lead committee for Madison's proposed living wage ordinance. I have listened to public comment regarding the ordinance and am part of a team researching the ordinance. I understand that there are nuances we need to be alert to in reconciling the Madison and Dane County Living Wage ordinances as they pertain to the human services arena. I look forward to working on Madison's ordinance and taking that experience to the County Board.

 

David Worzala

I support the Dane County Living Wage Ordinance and would likely support an increase of that wage to 110%. First I think it is appropriate to pay employees, either employed directly by the County or as contractors to the County, a decent wage. Second, rapid turnover in a profession is indicative of either poor wages or working conditions. As mentioned, this leads to poor quality. Those with developmental disabilities are less able to compensate for those services and therefore a solution needs to be pursued. As an experienced fiscal and policy analyst, my only reservation to endorsing this proposal is a concern over what this increase would cost and what tradeoffs would be required. I look forward to working on this issue if elected to the County Board. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Carousel Andrea Bayrd

  1. We must fund and protect the scope and quality of our strong human services. We must protect the federal match (see above). We must invest in programs that enable seniors to stay in their homes and people with disabilities to live independently. We must continue to support programs that allow the recipients to play a key role in determining what services they need and from whom they need it. We must also protect our programs for kids and families.
  2. Depending on how much increased revenue is available, my other priorities would be to invest in initiatives that make our community stronger and turn lives around, and also result in long-term taxpayer savings. This includes jail diversion programs and developing alternatives to incarceration. 
  3. We must preserve our green spaces, invest in conservation, and support smart-growth land use policies that stop sprawl. The question is not if Dane County will grow, but how. We must have land-use policies that encourage mix-use developments, increase affordable housing, support vibrant downtowns, foster local businesses, and protect farmland. We must also plan for, encourage, and support a mix of transportation options, including light rail, buses, bike ridership, and walking, along with driving. 
 

David Worzala

My three priorities if elected Supervisor are to protect human service programs, expand transportation options, and improve environmental programs. However, given recent budgets, I would direct any funding increases in 2004 to human service programs because of reductions in these areas. I would emphasis programs dealing with Children, Youth and Families, the developmentally disabled, and job and housing assistance.

The Children, Youth and Families programs provide a safe and nurturing environment for children and deserve our support. In general, they are preventative programs or address families in crisis. In both cases they have the potential to help people before their situation deteriorates.

As mentioned previously, providing additional resources for programs that assist those with developmental disabilities is also a priority. Dealing with low wages and high turnover is essential if the programs we do fund are to be successful. Case management should also be adequately supported to achieve program goals.

Lastly, I would put a priority on job and housing assistance programs. Having a job and stable housing are building blocks to participating in society. We should assist those who seek help. Specific programs include transition to employment and the homeless and housing assistance programs.

District 11:

Education and Experience:

(I) Al Matano

no response
 

Dean Showers

Professional communicator: Journalist: all levels government - federal, state, county, towns & villages (numerous awards); marketing communications executive - advise public officials on political strategy; advise others on government relations

Five terms chair, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission, its $2.5 billion Water Pollution Abatement Program; appointed by Democrat Mayor Henry Maier

Director, Democrat Martin Schreiber campaign for governor

Issues manager, campaign for Milwaukee County Executive

First chair, State Rehabilitation Planning & Advisory Council; appointed: Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson

Teach public affairs journalism, UW-Milwaukee

Active in numerous civic organizations

Ameteur ecologist 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Al Matano

no response
 

Dean Showers

It doesn't take 200 words to answer this. I was the first chair of the State Rehabilitation and Advisory Council.

As a former DVR consumer with a disability, I was dismayed when the state began to reduce its DVR budget and lost matching funds. I do not appreciate the county's decreased funding for DD, even though times are tough. I do believe we all need to share the fiscal pain in very difficult financial times, but that human needs must be the last to suffer and then only at a minimum - such as to get no increase instead of a cut - not a decrease.

It is during the most difficult times, especially, when persons with disabilities and their abilities need help the most.

You will find me to be a staunch advocate of DD and other human services needs.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Al Matano

no response
 

Dean Showers

I have had friends who are high level home care consumers and also providers.

I very much favor wage increases for these providers. Yes, I would support the proposed living wage increase, assuming this is pegged specifically to this staff. However, I believe we need to be extremely cautious about requiring a county minimum wage for all employees in Dane County, public and private workers. A statewide hike that provides a living wage is fine. If we had one that is only countywide, we'd shoot ourselves in the foot with lost businesses and a loss of jobs.

But I very much favor a wage hike for experience staff working with persons who have disabilities and abilities that need to be nurtured. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Al Matano

no response
 

Dean Showers

First we need honesty in budgeting. Huge line items go deliberately underfunded to make the budget appear more fiscally responsible than it really is. You see this in Human Services, in the Sheriff's Department and elsewhere. That means use of the contingency fund to pay up the millions a department is shorted. The weakened contingency fund can put our bond rating at risk. In addition, it must be replenished later by taxpayers anyway.

I think it's better to budget honestly, tell taxpayers "we need these services and here's what they cost," and be candid about it. I proposed a complete overhaul of the budget and the budget process, over a two- to four-year period, with a complementary review of how we tax to get revenue.

A cleaner, more honest process would keep some of our leaders from going after that ridiculous funny money, such as that unreliable source called gambling.

The question should be how much money; where from?

Home care and other human services definitely need more in the budget. I also believe we should budget for more deputies and keep our prisoners in Dane County.

District 12:

Education and Experience:

(I) Paul Rusk

I'm a longtime Northside resident who has been very active in efforts to improve our neighborhoods. As the Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association I supervise a professional staff and manage a sizeable budget. My master's degree is in social services administration from the UW's LaFollette Institute. My community involvement includes the Northside Planning Council, Lakeview Library Expansion Committee, Warner Park Center Advisory Committee and the Brentwood Village Association.
 

Roberta Valle-Statz

 I have lived 20 years in District 12, and owned rental property here 32 years. Having worked through the neighborhood association, and the landlord's association, I have helped keep this a safe an attractive neighborhood.

I was a teacher for 15 years, but have also run a small business. This business perspective will help me make the tough choices needed in order to support my priorities: law enforcement, children, seniors, and the profoundly disabled.  

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Paul Rusk

Although I am not on the finance committee, I do support our extensive human services system in Dane County. This adds substantially to our quality of life. As the director of the Alzheimer's Association I fully understand what we need to do to assist persons in need, including seniors, children and those with various disabilities. I'm hoping we can pool heath insurance costs for all our non-profits to provide additional direct care dollars.
 

Roberta Valle-Statz

My approach to tightening the budget for Dane County differs significantly from the method currently used. The board has been using "across the board cuts." The reasoning behind this approach is that it avoids pitting one agency or department against another, and therefore is fair to all.

This is the easiest path. But I disagree with it on many levels. I believe today's economic climate calls for tough choices. This across the board approach is not fair to groups in our county who have the greatest need. Because of the amounts of "matching" funds these groups receive; it puts many basic, vital programs in extreme jeopardy: programs for children, seniors and the profoundly disabled. It magnifies the total impact thus putting the programs at risk. It also stresses an already financially stretched law enforcement program. These programs have not been treated fairly with the "across the board cuts." They are the programs I will support when serving on the county board. 

Savings can occur in other areas by evaluating the efficiency of the programs and their outcomes, and by consolidating city and county services where there is duplication. 

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Paul Rusk

We still have significant staff turnover for those very special caring people who dedicate their lives to caring for others with special needs. I'm not sure where we can find the additional dollars to increase wages, but I agree that wages need to increase. Caregiving is very difficult work and we need to make it possible for people to stay in this line of work, especially as our population ages and we need more workers.
 

Roberta Valle-Statz

 The "Living Wage" campaign, as I understand it, would require any agency receiving county funds to pay employees no less than 110% of the poverty level for a family of four.

Over the last 7 years Dane County has spent over 3 million annually, over and above the cost of living increases to help bring these important workers' wages in line with the value of the work they do. Although it is still not enough, we can be proud of the leadership that Dane County has taken on this issue.

At the present, however, with shared revenues shrinking drastically, I do not believe Dane County can afford the 110% living wage. I would, however, consider looking at a lesser formula for wage increases that would make these jobs more attractive and make retention better. It still would have direct dollar benefits to the employee in a year many employees are getting no increase, still others have taken cuts. 

Along with giving the employees some help, it will also provide some indirect benefits to the employer, less employee turn over, reduced recruiting and training costs, and better care for the client.  

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Paul Rusk

I supported the "ray of hope" resolution that calls for additional new dollars to go back into the human services programs. I would direct the dollars to areas that were reduced the most, including services for those with developmental disabilities. Other priorities include direct support for seniors and children and families in special needs situations.
 

Roberta Valle-Statz

With the defeat of the Dejope referendum, I do not anticipate increased revenues for 2004. However if that does occur, I have stated above that my priorities are law enforcement, and programs for children, seniors, and the profoundly disabled. stated These are all protective programs and services for those that cannot satisfactorily protect or take care of themselves. I believe this to be a major priority for any governmental body. 

District 13:

(I) Chuck Erickson -unopposed - no response

District 14:

(I) Mike Hanson -unopposed - no response

District 15:

(I) Richard V. Brown, Sr. -unopposed - no response

District 16:

Education and Experience:

Dave de Felice

no response
 

Andrew Kraiss

     I am a life-long resident of Madison's far-east side with a life-long interest in local politics and community issues. I am currently a member of the Elvejhem Neighborhood Association Board of Directors and represent Elvejhem on the Stoughton Road Policy Advisory Committee. I am also a citizen member of the Dane County Comprehensive Planning Commission. I am employed by the Transportation Security Administration at the Dane County Regional Airport. I have bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Dave de Felice

no response
 

Andrew Kraiss

     I believe we must begin restoring the Human Services budgets. It is of course difficult to ask for property tax increases but there are other places to look first. We have subsidies like the $200,000 for the Monona Terrace Convention Center which do nothing for the average Dane County resident. If we used this for DD services we could restore $486,000 of the budget when federal matching funds are taken into account.

     We should also put through the Health Dept. merger as a way to cut administrative costs. The savings should be used to restore services and all of the personnel who provide the actual services should be retained.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Dave de Felice

no response
 

Andrew Kraiss

  

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Dave de Felice

no response
 

Andrew Kraiss

     My top three priorities would be Human Services (as stated above), land acquisition for the Green Space Initiative and Transport 2020. The Green Space will control sprawl and let us refocus on infill development. Sprawl development costs more to service than can be recovered through the additional property taxes leaving a net loss for local governments. Infill development uses existing utilities and roads and therefore costs much less to service than the new property tax revenue, giving local governments more money to spend on human services and public safety.

     Commuter bus and rail does the same in the long term by cutting expensive road building and maintenance projects. Both will provide more livable communities.

District 17:

(I) Andy Olsen - no response

 

Dave Schneider - no response

District 18:

Education and Experience:

(I) Jim Mohrbacher

I have a B.S. degree in Political Science/Public Administration and a Master's in Urban & Regional Planning/Urban Studies. I have worked for the State of Wisconsin in community development, housing and land use. I currently work for Madison Gas & Electric as a Business Development Manager, Economic Development.

Elected to the Dane County Board in 1994. Current committee responsibilities include: Comprehensive Planning, Living Wage Review, and Personnel & Finance, (Vice Chair) and Parks Commission.
 

Dorothy Wheeler

My name is Dorothy Wheeler and I am a candidate for the county board from the 18th District. I am a retired school teacher (1999) who has an interest in politics - studying issues and trying to find solutions to problems in this society. Making policy that works to solve problems which makes people's lives better is what government should be about. As a teacher, I had experiences with a great diversity of people which helped me to understand society's needs more directly. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Jim Mohrbacher

For 2004, the County Board passed a budget that required tough decisions. Sacrifices from workers delivering services to individuals, as well as, organizations receiving services were made. Forty vacant positions were not filled and another moratorium on hiring for this year has been imposed. Cuts were regrettable, however layoffs to County employees were avoided. Funding for County employees (jobs) must be preserved.

Losing matching funds for developmental disability programs was unfortunate. Loss of shared revenue from the State, as well as the shortfall in sales tax revenue back to the County were major reasons that precipitated a cut in the County's levy. This will require significant cooperation and individuals with budget experience as we continue to see reductions in state and federal revenue.

As Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, I will promise to listen to and work together with the DD community to try to find ways to improve the situation.
 

Dorothy Wheeler

The county budget is a huge issue in this campaign because of the cuts in shared revenue from the state. Although I believe in fiscal responsibility and have supported the county exec's formula for tax increase, I think it's time to set a new formula for how the county taxes its citizens. We need to look at the human services division which I know to be half the county budget and add some other variables to the mix. How many more cases of citizens in need will we have - for instance - and how many jobs have we lost, how many homeless should we expect, etc.? Without making this too complicated a formula, we can find a way that really reflects the needs of this county. We should certainly not lose federal dollars!! Since I believe more revenue will be needed in the future budget, it would be wise to begin studying that issue now. Lobbying the state for more shared revenue has to be part of the mix especially if we see a change in leadership in the legislature.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Jim Mohrbacher

I truly recognize that staff turnover is an important issue. The County did increase the 'living wage' from $8.70 to $8.85 for 2004. That increase required $250,000 from the general fund/tax levy. If we were to go to 110%, an additional $0.885 an hour, that would require an additional $1.5 million from general fund taxes. Should POS workers earn $9.75 an hour, ABSOLUTELY. Can we get this to 110% next year? I don't believe we can. As the County faces numerous challenges and demands on its limited resources, I am sensitive to this issue, and will do what I can to support some movement above 100%. A lot depends on what sales tax and shared revenue projections look like for this year.
 

Dorothy Wheeler

It pains me to begin this way but caretakers in this society are not valued because this is "women's work". As most of the women caretakers have gone out to work in careers, we must depend now on hired caretakers to do the "real work of the world". Whether we speak of child care or home health aides, we are looking at a class of people whom we have determined need little training and education so, therefore, we can pay them poverty wages. I have recently visited two homes where sullen aides opened the door without a "hello". Maybe they are working up to their wages!! I know we can't give these people a college education, but we should be giving them training courses, upgrading them because of their caring attitude and cheerful disposition, and showing them they are performing needed and valued service in this society. I definitely support higher wages for these workers, but I would like to know how they are trained. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Jim Mohrbacher

As Vice Chair of the Finance Committee I will do what I can to support developmental disability programs for adults and children, alternate care programs, (especially in-home care programs for our seniors), public protection programs and programs and services that help our children and young adults. I have consistently stated these in previous interview questions regarding spending priorities, whether they are existing tax dollars or new additional/unanticipated sources of revenue.
 

Dorothy Wheeler

I know that increased revenue must first be placed at the bargaining table for AFSCME workers. That is a given. As an environmentalist, I would support buying up environmentally sensitive land for the purpose of protecting our water systems and critical habitats. I would also support more studies for land use like the North Mendota Parkway study. (The study that is now being considered ,"Attain Dane" , has my support.) Not the last and least of my priorities would be a close look at human services which is a huge consideration. I do support fair wages for POS employees. People working daily with frail citizens must be encouraged and shown respect with support from their agencies which are paid by the county. There is no question but that they deserve better and some of them might perform better when they are given more support, both financial and emotional. They provide a vital service.

District 19:

Education and Experience:

(I) Gene Nelson

I am a graduate of Madison Business College with a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a Major in Accounting degree.

I am currently on the County Board.

I retired from Dane County following a 34 career, the final 30 years serving as Controller. During my years working for the County, I gained a level of knowledge about County Government that you will not find in any other candidate.

 

Jeff Kostelic

I have thirteen years of experience working on budget issues as a policy analyst in the State Legislature. My job affords me the opportunity to work on a broad range of topics important to local government. I received the Wisconsin Counties Association's Outstanding Legislative Staff award for my work for a member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. I have a degree from UW-La Crosse and have completed graduate work at the UW's LaFollette School. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Gene Nelson

The preparation of the County Budget is a very difficult task, given the multitude of services that the county is required to perform under the state statutes. A balance must be achieved in the level of funding being provided for mandatory services like public safety and optional services like parks. For 2004, both the economy and severe cuts in state funding forced across the board cuts in county services. Unfortunately, this had an impact on the funds available for serving the needs of persons having developmental disabilities. The option of simply raising property taxes to cover the effects of the economy and lost state aids is not an option that is acceptable to the majority of taxpayers. We now need to look at all of the programs funded in the budget and prioritize these programs. In order to provide additional county funds to serve the needs of the developmentally disabled, possibly the county can terminate its funding for the July 4 fireworks, close some county parks that see limited usage, or cut back on the hours that road are plowed during a snowstorm? I believe that making these hard decisions this is the only way to reprioritize the use of county property tax dollars to provide the additional funding needed for people with developmental disabilities.
 

Jeff Kostelic

A society is judged by how well it cares for those who cannot care for themselves. With that in mind, I believe it is imperative that funding for people with developmental and physical disabilities be the first consideration during budget deliberations. I have seen first hand, during my years of work in the State Legislature, the plight of those with disabilities and the devastating impact the lack of adequate services can have on the quality of life for those served and their families.

Unfortunately, the state has projected its budget woes on to local units of government by cutting the valuable shared revenue program. This trend is expected to continue - further exacerbating Dane County's budget problems. Funding for services to our most vulnerable must remain a priority. Those with disabilities should not be asked to bear the brunt of budget cuts. At a minimum, I will fight to protect current funding for services for the developmentally disabled. 

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Gene Nelson

Your question states "Would you support raising the Dane County Living Wage to 110% of the poverty level?". The short answer is no, but let me explain. If the living wage were to be increased to 110% of the poverty level, this could have an adverse effect on the benefits that you say are already "eroding". Any living wage also should take into account the benefits being provided to employees because if you pay them a higher hourly rate but decrease their health insurance benefits, many of them probably would be worse off than they now are. For many, increasing their benefits could provide them with more flexibility than they would realize from increasing their hourly rate of pay. Remember, benefits provided to an employee, like a better health plan, does not increase their deductions for Social Security, Federal Income Tax or State Income Tax from their paycheck like a pay increase would. In addition the employer also does not have to pay the employers contribution to Social Security on benefits like health insurance as they would on increase wages.
 

Jeff Kostelic

I do not have a position on the specific proposal of raising the Dane County Living Wage to 110% of the poverty level. It is my hope however, that Governor Doyle will exercise his emergency rule making authority in the Department of Workforce Development to raise the state minimum wage to a level that represents a meaningful living wage. Our neighbors to the south (Illinois) have taken the initiative to establish their minimum wage at a rate significantly higher than the federal minimum. It is my understanding that the Doyle Administration hopes to advance a proposal to increase the state's minimum wage by the end of the year.

It does concern me that dedicated members of our workforce are not properly compensated for valuable work. I also realize that many of those who work for near poverty level wages are often engaged in work with the elderly and disabled. These services are worth more than the compensation would indicate. I will fight to improve the wages and working conditions for those who work with our most vulnerable.  

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Gene Nelson

Now that the "no" vote has prevailed on the casino issue, I do not foresee a revenue windfall coming to the county in 2004.

If the casino issue had won voter approval, then the following would have my priorities:

  • The County would have had to honor the provision that was included in settlements with most of the unions to re-open the contracts on the matter of wages if the county achieved a new major revenue source during 2004. This provision was agreed to because the unions had agreed to no wage increase for 2004.
  • Conduct a study to determine what problems have arisen due to the across the board cuts that were made as a part of the 2004 budget process with priority given to the human services programs.
  • Used to reduce property taxes.
 

Jeff Kostelic

With the defeat of the casino referendum it appears highly unlikely that the county will see a significant increase in revenue. Given the fact that no additional funds will be available, my top three priorities for county spending are: (1) services for the physically and developmentally disabled, (2) improvements to our roadways to decrease congestion and increase safety and (3) improvements to our public safety system. As I mentioned earlier, services for our most vulnerable citizens must be the county's top priority. Transportation is of particular interest to the people of the 19th District. Improvements are needed to the Reiner Road/County C/HWY 151 intersection and to the increasingly congested stretch of HWY 19 on Sun Prairie's West Side. Conditions at these two locations will continue to worsen as increased development puts more pressure on the roadways. Finally, it is important that the county support public safety measures, including adequate patrols and improvements to the county Huber facility and jail.

The county must not focus exclusively on where to spend money, but also on savings. Unfortunately, the tax and revenue options available to the county are regressive. Higher property taxes associated with a failure to hold the line on overall spending will end up hurting the elderly and the poor. 

District 20:

Education and Experience:

Jeanne M. Behrend

As a psychologist and family therapist I am aware of many of the challenges facing individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. As co-chair of the Dane County Youth Commission and chair of the Youth Resource Center Coalition I work to promote opportunities for our youth. I have worked for four years with all levels of government-city, town, county and state to preserve additional land around Patrick Marsh.
 

Duane Gau

no response 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Jeanne M. Behrend

We need to continually look for ways to improve efficiencies in county government so we can maintain and restore money for the federal match for crucial developmental disability services.  We need to protect programs that help seniors, youth, families and those most in need.  We need to do all we can to get our fair share back from the federal government.  I am open to hearing your suggestions on how to protect funding for developmental disabilities.
 

Duane Gau

no response

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Jeanne M. Behrend

It is important to reduce staff turnover to maintain a high quality of service. Obviously an important aspect to retaining staff is to provide a good wage and benefits. I am willing to work with you to find funding to increase compensation.
 

Duane Gau

no response 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Jeanne M. Behrend

If increased revenue becomes available in 2004 I support putting money into the Department of Human Services, including money to meet the needs of seniors, youth, families and those most in need. I support using increased revenue to treat people with alcohol and drug issues to deduce recidivism and jail crowding
 

Duane Gau

no response

District 21:

Education and Experience:

(I) David E. Wiganowsky  - unopposed

Age 54
Married 35 years
3 children
5 Grandchildren
Self-Employed 22 years
Oscar Meyer Employee - 14 years
Union Steward Local 538 - 3 years
Tavern League of Wisconsin State Board Director - 2 years
Town of Burke Chairman - 10 years
Health and Human Needs Committee - 8 years
Chair of Transportation Committee - 2 years
Long Term Support - 2 years
Board of Health - 2 years
Veterans Service Commission - 6 years
Airport Commission - 4 tyears
Vice Chairman RPC - 3 years
Commissioner on old RPC representing towns
Task Force on Drinking and Driving - 2 years
Joint Legislative Council Special Committee on Economics and Health of the Tavern Industry - 7 months

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) David E. Wiganowsky - unopposed

I will continue to support proper funding or introduce Budget Amendments as I did in the 2004 Budget.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) David E. Wiganowsky - unopposed

I don't believe raising the living wage to 110% of the poverty level will accomplish what they hope to. I believe caregivers should be paid the same as other employees that work for the county.

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) David E. Wiganowsky - unopposed

I support the Ray of Hope that is proposed in the 2004 Budget. This may not leave any other revenue for a second or third choice.

District 22:

Education and Experience:

(I) Dennis J. O’Loughlin - unopposed

This will be my fourth term on the County Board serving as Chairman of PP&J, Chairman of Specialized Transportation, Vice Chairman of the Airport Commission, Justice Oversight Committee and member of City-County Liaison, Build Committee and Strategic Growth Committee. I am committed to being involved in County Government and enjoy serving the residents of Dane County. Being a business owner that faces budget issues, personnel issues and strategic decisions daily, I have used this experience in my County Board duties and responsibilities.

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Dennis J. O’Loughlin - unopposed

The Chairwoman of Health and Human Needs committee is very committed to supporting the DD community's needs. Pressure on the entire County budget is cause for concern in all departments. The obvious answer is to raise taxes however we don't have the political will to do it.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Dennis J. O’Loughlin - unopposed

Before one can approve or disapprove the living wage issue, a survey of businesses in DC should be taken to compare wages paid for similar skills and experience. Various duties require a salary format that should match the required work skill. We have faced that issue at the Airport and would have jeopardized the flying public from DCRA if the County implemented a required wage base. The agencies should provide data to support any requirement that government implement a wage increase. Taxes are too high for the majority of our citizens.

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Dennis J. O’Loughlin - unopposed

Maintain public safety. Our mission statement requires we fund the public safety programs. Human services being over 50% of our budget the pressure to continue funding at these levels will grow. Hopefully some economies of scale can spread the available funding to support the needed services. Specialized Transportation-One of my top priorities. These citizens deserve to have the same mobility, as any of us and my goal is to make it happen.

District 23:

Education and Experience:

Lynn Beyler

I have been a life long resident of Madison. In 1972 I graduated from Madison Memorial. I attended UW Madison until I married my husband in 1974. I have been a successful small business owner of a floral shop on Monroe Street and now manage my husbands Chiropractic Clinic located in the new Princeton Health Club. I have raised two fine sons. In 1992 I began to do international volunteer work in different countries: with Brides for Peace in Israel, schools in Haiti and orphanages in Brazil with YWAM. Here at home my husband and I have taken food and clothes to State Street every Tuesday for the last 4 years where we work directly with many young people who need a hot meal, a warm blanket and someone to encourage them. I began volunteering at Oak Hill Correctional Center in 1999. These volunteer experiences have given me a real understanding of many of the needs in our community.
 

Don Eggert

 As South Madison's representative on the County Board, I strongly believe Dane County must maintain its commitment to human services. That's why I serve on Health and Human Needs, the Human Services Board, and the Long Term Support committee. My experience on these committees gives me a thorough understanding of the difficulties The Arc and other agencies face, and solidified my commitment to working with our service providers to get through this ongoing budget crisis. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Lynn Beyler

I will take time to investigate why you have suffered 20% in cuts over the last 15 years. I will look for creative ways to find additional Finances. I will do everything I can to protect the investment that provides matching funds.
 

Don Eggert

     I recognized the magnitude of our reductions as soon as the budget was presented by the Department in committee. In fact, I specifically asked about their efforts to avoid impacting matching funds, and I definitely share your concerns. The impact of this year's cuts goes far beyond DD services. The problem is system-wide, and dramatic. The Department's base budget (tax levy funding) was cut by $7 million, well over 10%. We simply cannot afford another year of such drastic reductions.
     At our last committee meeting, I directed the Department to gather data on staff and service reductions that are being implemented, and report their findings. We have to educate the public now, well in advance of the next budget. It simply isn't enough to wait until public hearings in October, and hope that the message gets out.
     It is also important to recognize that the County Executive develops the budget first, and presents it to the County Board. I am already working with her staff and Department managers on issues such as health insurance pooling (along with Supervisor Hulsey) and RFP reform, and I will continue to be a strong voice for improved human services funding in next year's budget.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Lynn Beyler

The problem is not with the living wage. The problem is that we under fund our human services agencies. If we simply tell them we should pay more, but don't provide adequate funds, we get cuts in service. Every agency I know would like to pay their workers a better salary, but they are also dedicated to providing maximum services with limited resources.
 

Don Eggert

     I strongly believe in the Living Wage Ordinance, and if it is proving to be inadequate we should definitely look at modifying it. However, changing the living wage alone won't necessarily provide a reduced turnover rate. We also have to look at benefit costs, and the annual cost of living adjustments (COLA) that are built into contracts. If the COLA is inadequate to maintain benefits and services, agencies will continue to be forced to make cutbacks that affect retention, regardless of what we do to the living wage.
     It is important that we all work to change the public perception of human services. The truth is that human services aren't just an expense, or a cost. They are an investment in our quality of life, and that investment is providing jobs and helping our local economy. We need to change the debate in Dane County, and the living wage should continue to be part of that discussion.
 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Lynn Beyler

Health and human service, public protection and economic development.
 

Don Eggert

     Since the casino referendum has failed, the prospects for any general purpose revenue increases are dim. However, based on the magnitude of the human services budget cut, I strongly believe that all additional general revenue we might receive should be directed to the Department of Human Services. That was the spirit of the "Ray of Hope" resolution that the County Board passed in connection with the budget.
     Within human services, restoring matching funds must be at or near the top of the list. In addition, the professional recommendations of the Department's senior managers should carry the most weight. The decisions we are being forced to make are far too important to be left to political posturing and partisan advantage.

District 24:

(I) Bill Graf -unopposed - no response

District 25:

Education and Experience:

(I) Eileen Bruskewitz

As a former Registered Nurse at UW Hospital, I have used my skills to plan, evaluate and take action on county issues. Currently, as a business owner, my skills of management and problem solving are utilized. During my 2 terms on the Dane County Board, I have worked to improve traffic safety, map the N. Mendota Parkway, and protect lakes. Working with other supervisors through the intricacies of county government has brought results for the people of District 25.
 

Dorothy Valentine

I have a Bachelors degree in English and a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology. I have worked on several campaigns to get those elected who see the needs of Dane County Citizens as I do. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Eileen Bruskewitz

The first duty of government is to protect its most vulnerable citizens-children in need of protection, the disabled, and elderly at risk. Dane County has provided high quality services to our citizens with disabilities because of innovative programs such as Sound Response and Self Directed Services. The Developmental Disability agencies have been good service delivery partners, becoming lean and efficient over years of increasing demands and decreasing funds. With expected cuts in 2005 and possibly beyond, we need to bring service providers together to find ways to cut overhead expenses, such as consolidating functions like accounting and human resources. We need to discuss new models of adult family homes and adult foster care, which provide clients with independence and individuality while reducing costs. We need to analyze how we might leverage CDBG and HOME dollars for housing for both service providers and their clients.

The county must make DD services a priority. The County Executive gives the County Board a budget. If that budget does not prioritize services to the DD community and if the County Board cannot override the Executive's budget, then we will continue to see an erosion of federal matching funds and services.

DD agencies have shown they are willing to step up to the plate. The County must do the same.
 

Dorothy Valentine

Having worked at Access to Independence, I encountered people who have every type of disability. I have a brother who is developmentally disabled, and I have a disability myself (MS). Because of this experience, I believe I understand better than most the importance of caring for people. On the County Board I will work to promote the issues important to those with all disabilities, as well as issues important to the 25th district; protecting senior and family programs, promoting smart growth, making our roads safer, and containing tax growth.

We need to protect programs that help senior and families and those with disabilities. I would do my very best to protect funding for critical programs like family service programs, the elderly, the ARC, and keeping people in their own homes if they are able to live on their own with assistance.

I believe we must do all we can to keep these vital programs working and get our fair share back from the federal government. We must look at other methods to improve efficiencies. 

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Eileen Bruskewitz

Three years ago I voted with other moderate and conservative supervisors to increase the COLA, but the County Executive vetoed the increase in wages for DD service providers. I argued that wages were not keeping up with housing costs and that we had a duty to keep wages competitive. While many of the DD service providers are part-time workers, students, and temporary workers, long-term, experienced staff need adequate compensation if they are to continue to work in this field. I am opposed to fixing formulas for wages. I support the funding of successful agencies that are able to work with their employees to provide services.
 

Dorothy Valentine

To decrease high turnover rates, I will work with you to find funding sources to provide a living wage where possible. Lower turnover rates will increase job satisfaction and result in better quality services provided. No one should work full-time and still live in poverty, especially those who work to help others live.

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Eileen Bruskewitz

The County must also provide and invest in basic services for public safety, the courts, environment, and public investment in county buildings and lands. If the County received increased funds in 2004, my priorities would first be to restore funding to the DD community. My second priority would be to audit the planning and development department, and third, to begin the process of correcting costly problems at Badger Prairie. 
 

Dorothy Valentine

1). I would support added money to meet the federal DD match.
2). Support senior and family services, as well as those with disabilities and the elderly to stay in their own homes if they want, and are able to do so with assistance.
3). Funding to treat drug and alcohol problems and reduce jail crowding. 

District 26:

Education and Experience:

(I) Mark Opitz - unopposed

Elected office: Dane County Board, 1998-present; Middleton City Council, 1995-1999. Employed as a planner for the City of Middleton since 1999. M.S. degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UW-Madison. I currently chair the county's Transportation Committee and serve on the Executive Committee and the Environmental Council, as well as one of the comprehensive planning workgroups. I have also served on the county's Specialized Transportation Committee and Lakes & Watershed Commission.

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Mark Opitz  - unopposed

County government needs to continue its strong commitment to serving people with physical and developmental disabilities. Given economic conditions, population growth and loss of state funds, many needs in Dane County are not being met. Programs for which there are matching funds available need to receive a high priority as we allocate limited county levy funding. I will continue to support the Health and Human Needs Committee and other groups in their efforts to stretch the county's dollars as far and as effectively as possible to improve services to people with developmental disabilities. In addition, I will help look for opportunities to pursue innovative community partnerships to achieve long-term solutions that promote the quality of life of both current residents and future generations. 

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Mark Opitz - unopposed

I have supported living wage increases in the past. In addition, a few years ago, when the county budget situation was not quite as challenging, I voted in support of a budget amendment which would have increased the Human Services budget by about $1.3 million, nearly two-thirds of which would have funded a 1.5% cost of living adjustment for purchase of service agencies involved in meeting the needs of people with developmental disabilities. (Unfortunately, this initiative did not end up remaining part of the budget.) At this time, I am not prepared to commit to an increase to 110% of the poverty level for a family of four. However, I am willing to consider this matter further as a solution to help reduce staff turnover rates, which are unacceptably high particularly given that loss of experienced staff negatively affects the ability to care for some of the county's most vulnerable residents. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Mark Opitz - unopposed

I am increasingly concerned that we in county government are starting to spread our limited county funds too thinly across too many programs. We are no longer adequately staffing some of our departments, which means we probably are not operating as efficiently or cost-effectively as we could and should be. County government is obligated or has committed to provide a wide variety of services, but it has gotten to the point where some programs (including staff and beneficiaries) are suffering from being operated on a shoestring budget. Rather than cobbling together entire programs or dramatically increasing revenue through higher taxes or user fees, it is time to make some fundamental decisions about which program elements we can no longer fund. If new revenue becomes available in 2004, with no strings attached, I would look to apply it to areas where we are currently over-extended. One of my top priorities would be to increase compensation for human service workers to help reduce staff turnover and improve quality of care. As noted above, I would give high priority toward funding programs for which there are matching funds available from non-county sources. 

District 27:

(I) Kyle R. Richmond -unopposed - no response

District 28:

(I) Vern Wendt -unopposed - no response

District 29:

(I) Dave J. Ripp  -unopposed - no response

District 30:

Education and Experience:

Steve Cowan  (text taken from supplied campaign literature)

Steve Cowan was born and raised on a dairy farm, raising dairy cattle, pigs, chickens, and ducks.

Graduated from the UW with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Science in both Wildlife Ecology and Industrial Education.

Teacher at Wisconsin Heights and Madison East High School the years 1976-1979.

Small businessman who started his own residential remodeling business 24 years ago.

With his wife Jan, Steve owns a 110 acre farm in Vermont Township where he raises registered Scottish Highland Cattle (including 30 acres set aside for wetland preservation) and residential rental properties in Vermont Township and the Village of Black Earth.

Steve has served two terms on the Wisconsin Heights School Board.
 

(I) Bill Hitzemann

 no response 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Steve Cowan 

 

(I) Bill Hitzemann

no response

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Steve Cowan

 

(I) Bill Hitzemann

no response 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Steve Cowan (text taken from supplied campaign literature)

Growing smarter, or good land use planning, protect family farms and good agricultural land from development while allowing development on marginal farm land.

Protecting our Lakes, Streams, and Drinking water

Protecting and promoting purchases of our open land for hunting and recreation

Protecting our Families and the services that they need

Try to slow property tax growth and develop a more equitable tax system
 

(I) Bill Hitzemann

no response

District 31:

Education and Experience:

Judy Collison

A former associate director of the Exchange Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Collison also has worked for Madison Urban Ministry as a congregation/community coordinator. She also is a member of the Stewardship Advisory Committee for the Churches' Center for Land and People, an inter-faith organization that supports and advocates for the needs of rural communities being affected by the farm crisis in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

In addition, Collison is a leader in Dane County United, a newly-formed group of organizations - including neighborhood associations, labor unions and faith communities - working to address countywide problems.

Collison also is a member of Oregon's 'Share the Care' Task Force. The task force is a mostly volunteer local organization that will bring people into relationships of care with each other, in order to respond to the needs of individuals and families in the Oregon community.

Collison holds a degree in Social Work from Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa). 
 

Gerald Jensen

no response 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Judy Collison

I don't know what I would do but I can assure you that I would work with you and County staff to do what we can to protect this investment.
 

Gerald Jensen

no response

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Judy Collison

Yes.
 

Gerald Jensen

no response 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Judy Collison

Substance abuse programming and mental health services that will in the long run reduce crime, family violence and dependence on other County programs and improve wage and benefits of County employees and POS providers.
 

Gerald Jensen

no response

District 32:

Education and Experience:

(I) Penny Rollins

no response
 

Mike Willett

I have lived in the District for 20 years and for 19 years have been co-owner of Dependable Carstar in Verona. I am presently on the Verona Town Board and serve on the Fire Commission. My experience includes terms as chair and board member of the Verona Area Chamber of Commerce and the Verona Education Foundation. This experience in various aspects of the life of my community qualifies me to represent the 32nd District. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Penny Rollins

no response
 

Mike Willett

The 2004 Dane County budget was a challenge, resulting in an increase to the levy of almost 5%. The 2005 budget does not promised to be much better. I understand that cutting county funding for DD services causes a loss of federal funds. I would prioritize human services in the budget deliberations and within that $200m+ budget area, I would prioritize programs for children and those with disabilities. I would also try to find increased resources for grantsmanship. However, without knowing what the impacts of federal and state cuts will be, and with a shaky economy, I cannot promise, in good faith, to support the levels of spending I might personally prefer. 

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Penny Rollins

no response
 

Mike Willett

I understand that the low wages and benefits for the POS staff is causing high turn-over. This is troubling in light of its impact on clients. Again, IU would like to promise to support a raise in salaries to 110% of the poverty level, but until I see how the budget develops, I cannot promise this. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Penny Rollins

no response
 

Mike Willett

My three top priorities if additional revenues becomes available would be:

a. supporting those human services programs for children and the disabled which have waiting lists for services

b. catching up on infrastructure improvements and maintenance, such as for our roads

c. maintaining public protection services within the Sheriff's Department.

District 33:

Education and Experience:

Brian Casey

I earned a PhD from UW-Madison. I also started and run a small internet and software business here. Building my business has taught me to listen carefully to people with a wide variety of needs, to do more with less, and to find creative solutions to recurring problems. I believe my energy and commitment to open representation -- focused on what the community needs, rather than a narrow agenda -- will serve my district well.
 

(I) Jack Martz

 As a three-term member of the Fitchburg City Council and now completing my first term on the Dane County Board, I know how decisions at the county level impact the City of Fitchburg. I have been appointed to the County’s Health and Human Needs Committee, Emergency Service Committee, Board of Health Commission and various ad-hoc committees. I have also served as the Chair, Vice - Chair or a member of Fitchburg’s Finance, Public Works, Public Safety and Human Services, Community Development Authority and the Emergency Services Study Committees. I am also an experienced administrator with over 29 years of state service.

I’ve also been a dedicated volunteer in community activities, including, a charter member of the Fitchburg Lions Club, Fitchburg Days, St. James Catholic Church and School and the Fitchburg Economic Development Commission.

I believe that my experience and knowledge of government helps me represent the people of my district on the Dane County Board. 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Brian Casey

In tough budget times, we must be especially vigilant about protecting vital human services programs and supporting seniors, people with disabilities, their families and guardians, and the providers who make our system so special. As I understand it, protecting the match has two parts. We must advocate for County funding and ensure it is being invested in ways that help us leverage more federal monies. In addition, we must do all we can to preserve the amount of County, State and Federal funding we already get. As a County Board Supervisor, I will prioritize this in the budget and be a strong voice for protecting human service programs in Dane County. I will do all I can - advocate on the Board, vote for funding, work with other supervisors - to invest needed resources wisely and well in our Human Services program.
 

(I) Jack Martz

The challenge for 2005 will be to keep funding at 2004 levels. Additional Federal and state cuts in 2005 will continue to impact the Dane County budget. Proposals to raise taxes will not be received favorably. Therefor, we will need to be creative in finding new revenues to help offset these cuts and help restore some of the present cuts in the health and human need budget. I have discussed some controversy funding ideas with a few people. I plan to explore these ideas during the next few months in more detail so that they can be introduced prior to next budget.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Brian Casey

Yes, I support raising the Dane County Living Wage and I pledge to help work with The ARC, other supervisors, advocates, the County Executive and others to find the funding to do so. I understand that low wages and eroding benefits are barriers to recruiting and retaining the best, most dedicated and committed direct support workers and I understand the importance of the work they do in the lives of their clients. Living wages for staff providing these services greatly reduce turnover, which results in better care. Reduced turnover can also result in reduced training and administration costs, allowing us to stretch our tight budget further. It's hard, important work, and people working at it full time shouldn't be living in poverty. 
 

(I) Jack Martz

I have had the honor to serve on the Health and Human Needs Committee for the past year and one-half. During this time I have had the opportunity to meet with many service providers and their staff. I see so many positives including the dedication of the staff of these providers to insure the best quality service for their clients. They work hard and do a great job while receiving very little public credit. Some of the people we place our trust in handling these very needy people make less money per hour then people who start at McDonald’s. There seems to be something wrong with this picture and I hope that I will be able to work with others to at least bring some parity for these great employees. I will support increases however, I think the county budget will again be under siege causing 2005 to be the year of survival and not of progress. I am optimistic that some new ways of finding funds will be proposed. It will be up to the county board to decide if they want to move in this direction or fall back to raising taxes, which has addition impacts on others. 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Brian Casey

At present, new sources of revenue are not apparent, and we face continued challenges from the loss of shared revenue. We must set clear and responsible budget priorities so we can fund those things most important to our community. We should also recognize that the choices we make have a direct impact on the quality of people's lives. I will be a strong advocate for programs that enable our seniors and citizens with disabilities to live independently, and for initiatives that help at-risk youth. I will work hard to keep Dane County a wonderful place for all of us to live.

Whether the revenue comes from the existing budget, or a new source is found, we should protect and, if possible, improve funding for programs which receive matching funds from state and federal sources. Every dollar spent there is multiplied and we should take advantage of that. We should also invest in more programs like jail diversion, other alternatives to incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse treatments, etc. that help people turn their lives around and which save money long term. We should also help lower taxes for our hardworking families by reducing the burden of the regressive property tax.
 

(I) Jack Martz

If additional funds would become available there are many programs that have needs because of this years budget cuts. The three priorities would include Health and Human Needs programs, the sheriffs department and having a county board audit section.

All health and human need programs have had significant budget cuts, I think each program would have to be evaluated to determine how funds would be distributed.

The jail is a major problem that needs to be addressed before we have to spend funds to defend ourselves. Using funds for defensive purposes would be a waste and cause additional stress on the budget. I think the expansion of the jail has to be revisited as well as some alternative ways to deal with people who have medical problems and violate the law.

Are programs operated by the county running efficiently and are they effective? We don’t know. I think that an audit section could help answer these questions. Not only would program efficiencies be reviewed but it would help determine if the services provided are effective. The end result would identify inefficiencies that could be changed so that money could be saved. I f you have some doubt about the savings that can be obtained through the audit process, check with the state legislative audit bureau.

District 34:

Education and Experience:

Paul France

I have a MS degree in Criminal Justice, BA in Political Science and a minor in criminal Justice and a post graduate certificate in Integrated Marketing & Communications.
I have fourteen years experience in public safety. As a former Deputy Sheriff I protected and served the citizens of Dane County for over ten years. I am a former Narcotics Agent and currently specialize in homeland security. My many years of public safety experience have allowed me to assist and work with many diverse individuals within the community solving problems. 
I am appointed to the Village of McFarland Budget & Finance Committee. As a committee member I am directly involved in the yearly budget process. I am also a youth soccer & basketball volunteer and volunteer for the McFarland Family Festival.
 

(I) Kevin R. Kesterson

I'm currently serving my 6th term as County Supervisor in District 34; finishing my 3rd term as Chair of the Board. These 12 years, along with 6 prior on the McFarland Village Board, 34 years in McFarland, and service on multiple Village and County Committees give me the experience and desire necessary to keep Dane County a place we all want to live. I graduated UW-Eau Claire with a BA in Business Administration in 1976.  

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Paul France

I am not in favor of any additional cuts to the Arc program or programs that support those with disabilities. I do believe it is very important to get the local communities and businesses involved in fund raising and building partnerships to help support these various programs. I myself as a former Dane County Deputy Sheriff strongly supported Special Olympics. I volunteered for Special Olympics and helped raise money for what I believe is truly a wonderful cause. 
I support taking full advantage of federal matching funds and am pleased we can receive these dollars. However, with that said, there must be a balance between these programs and other programs the county has to offer. As costs continue to rise I would like to see additional monies support the Arc of Dane County.
 

(I) Kevin R. Kesterson

Matching funds, especially those with a better than 1:1 ratio, are an elected officials dream. I have never supported cutting matching funds in any area of our budget, preferring to increase our buying power any way can. I will support any effort, as I have in the past, to restore these cuts in the DD area. Enough said!

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Paul France

3. I truly sympathize with the staff turnover and understand that it is an issue. I do support raising the minimum wage. However, I cannot support raising the wages to 110% of the poverty level for the Arc staff for the following two reasons; first and foremost, due to cuts in state shared revenue and the problems with our county budget it is truly a difficult time to support such a measure and I would not want to make such a decision until I am made fully aware of how serious the issue of staff turnover is at the Arc. As the budget improves, I would seriously consider such a proposal, or perhaps look at some kind of a small step increase program that rewards experience and longevity.
 

(I) Kevin R. Kesterson

I would like nothing more than to be able to lift every family in Dane County out of poverty and pay every worker what they are worth for the service they provide. But I also won't lead you down a primrose path and tell you that 1.) there will be enough money in next year's budget to do this; or 2.) even if the Board passed it that it would not be vetoed. (If you recall, I and 22 others, supported an increase several years ago that was vetoed, and the veto sustained). Unfortunately, given fiscal realities and decreasing state and federal revenues an attempt to raise the Living Wage floor is not likely this year. 

I will however make the same suggestion to you that I made to another Department seeking an increase:

The DD coalition should work with other County agencies that provide direct, visible services (and need an increase) to develop and promote a new method of funding, and work to promote and justify that source to the public. You are in the best position to promote what you do to the public via your unions and their communications network 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Paul France

If additional funding became available in 2004, my top three priorities for spending would be what I consider to be essential services; public safety, children in need of protective services and those with disabilities. I believe the government's job is to keep us safe. I include those programs which aid and assist those who cannot fend for themselves such as CHIPS and those people with disabilities. We need to make sure our children are well taken care of and aid those who need some assistance.
We need to ensure that we have adequate police, fire & ems protection and 9-1-1 communication center resources to help keep all of us safe. I believe in these essential services. These are commodities we cannot do without and if we do not increase services with our growth within the county than lives are at risk.
 

(I) Kevin R. Kesterson

District 35:

Education and Experience:

Jeff Bradley

no response
 

Donna Vogel

no response 

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

Jeff Bradley

no response
 

Donna Vogel

no response

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

Jeff Bradley

no response
 

Donna Vogel

no response 

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

Jeff Bradley

no response
 

Donna Vogel

no response

District 36:

(I) Rich Pertzborrn -unopposed - no response

District 37:

Education and Experience:

(I) Bob Salov - unopposed

Town of Christiana resident - 34 years. Active volunteer EMT-D, Lion, National Ski Patroller, and Cambridge Youth Board. I sit on the Marshall JFF team, Board of Directors of Watertown Mutual Insurance Co., and the governor's Fire Fighter / EMT Length of Service Award Board. I am a graduate of UW-Madison (BA & MS) and have worked as administrator of human services agencies, owner/operator of information technology company and regional sales manager. I have been elected four times to the office of Supervisor. Appointments: Health & Human Needs Committee, Human Services Board, Library Board, and Emergency Medical Commission, chair.

Question 1: Protecting funding of agencies  

(I) Bob Salov - unopposed

Dane County must radically revise its budget process, data collection and priorities. I authored an amendment to the County budget increasing the allotment to the direct service DD workers for a 1% pay raise. I advocated the increase with the knowledge that over 60% would be matched by state and federal dollars. The amendment did not pass through either the Personnel and Finance or the Health & Human Needs Committees. I conclude that there is a need to change how we will invest county tax levy. We need a zero based budget i.e. each program must build their budget from the ground up. The Board deliberates every year only on the changes from the previous year. If we are going down a poorly thought-out commitment, we simply continue instead of viewing the complete requirements of an enterprise. The administrative cost ceilings, POS contracts and intense lobbying (by those capable) are only piecemeal approaches - although somewhat successful in limiting budget increases and channeling precious funds to the "squeaky wheel" - not my idea of sound budget process. I also believe that much more consolidation can be done. Although health insurance joint purchasing is a high cost center, it has been difficult to attain. However, workman's compensation, purchasing and facility use are much more workable areas that would initiate cooperation and benefits to all POS agencies.

Question 2: Dane County Living Wage.

(I) Bob Salov - unopposed

I supported the living wage ordinance passed by the county and implemented in the past two year budgets. Should we go further? I think it warrants further study. The full impacts must be understood. Our precious levy money is being committed without understanding ramifications of accepting federal and state monies. Most publicly funded grants are frozen at time of awarding. The living wage imposed by the county then must support increases in programs that were initially fully funded by grants. Many applaud these "pass-through" or "free" resources when in fact they commit dollars that may be better spent on supporting the salaries of direct care workers in the DD programs. The fiscal implications of "pass through" monies must be forecasted 2, 3, and 5 years into the future. I fully understand that the living wage is hardly a financial safety net for a family of four; this cannot be an isolated effort to strengthen our human service system.

Question 3: Top three priorities for spending additional dollars.

(I) Bob Salov - unopposed

  1. Increase emphasis on community based social services
  2. Increase transportation services for handicapped and elderly
  3. Increase access to our library system for all residents especially those with special needs

Arc Dane County

Last updated March 6, 2004

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