March 30, 2018 – West Bend, WI – Some spontaneous excitement at Thursday night’s candidate forum at the West Bend Moose Lodge.
The question on the floor was whether candidates for alderman in District 3, Andrew Chevalier and Justin Reichert, and District 7, Adam Williquette and Justice Madl, felt the cities deer population was too large or did they think an archery hunt in the parks was needed or there a better option.
As candidate Andrew Chevalier wrapped up his answer a couple deer wandered into view looking north out the window facing Chestnut Street. Their timing could not have been more perfect.
Deer population too large and do you like archery hunt
Justin R. – last thing we tried failed terribly, we do have an issue with deer – that’s nothing new. I have 8 – 10 deer in my yard every morning, we’ve hit a deer driving and killed a reindeer according to my daughter. Archery hunt – we do need to look at options in key areas like public safety but learn from mistake and the last abatement program.
Adam W – yes city of WB has a deer program, deer don’t get close enough for successful archery hunt, we need sharpshooters to cut herd and then put in archery program to help support the program.
Justice M. – I don’t mean to sound uneducated on the topic but we have to determine what does an issue mean. I collect opinions for a living and I have a client whose wife did a study in this city and she came to conclusion that deer are not an issue.
Andrew C. – Yes there is a deer problem. Deer are eating plants. When I was younger seeing a deer was cool but not so much now. Archery program was planned really quick. I like to keep it in house and save on cost but need to be more organized.
Is there a better option for the Dark Store issue and what is the solution?
Andrew C – it’s a concern because the companies aren’t paying taxes. It’s a problem but the Walgreens thing is an issue. I’m not in favor of dark store theory
Justin R – I know people at county level has talked in Madison and it’s a huge disadvantage to our small businesses. We’re letting corps get away with taking our tax money. This will hurt our kids moving forward. Huge disadvantage for small businesses – unfair competition.
Adam W – I’m on the board of directors for Commercial Association of Realtors. That knowledge helped me bring information to the city. Menards and Walmart are challenging tax bills right now. There’s a Dark Store Bill in Madison – trying to value an empty building similar to one that’s open and operating. That’s unfair. TIF Districts – a lot of these big box retailers kick off the TIF Districts and then come back a year later and play Dark Store card. We have to make sure our TIFs don’t go underwater.
Justice Madl – what he said.
The county is combining different agencies and departments with neighboring counties to save money. Are there any areas you would like to see such as a joint venture with the county or adjacent townships to save money?
Justice M. – working with WBFD and there’s a crunch with other public services and we have some cooperation with neighboring communities and focus on public safety.
Andrew C. – with insurance there is a PC code with fire departments – the WB PC class went down but that improved. Our DPW could do something with roads.
Justin R. – Work better with our county using county resources a joint effort with the city to eliminate certain costs including health care/health services. It’s more difficult at a city level to merge with other cities.
Adam W. – health insurance costs – WB explored with the county a near-side clinic to help lower health insurance costs. Also have duplicate services with city and county taxi – can we create one service to save costs. Also Parks Department – county and city both have equipment that sits idle. Can we share equipment?
City advisory referendum on April ballot and which 4 questions are you in favor of?
Adam W – not in favor of first three questions on the referendum but third is to ask county to share part of sales tax. County is using a portion of the money to offset general fund. Question 4 is fair to ask county for a portion of it.
Justice M – nice to see county sharing in the cost of road repair. Not sure how realistic it is for county to agree. First two questions – it seems the questions are vague and the funds going to something else. Question 3 for wheel tax would directly help roads. At $20 that’s an unfair disadvantage for people who are struggling financially. Doesn’t favor any of the questions.
Andrew C. – raising taxes for question 1 and 2 would vote NO, third question of a $20 wheel tax – would vote NO. The final question means need county support.
Justin R – not in favor of Question 1 or 2 and third would be a valid option at $20 wheel tax. Questions how county is spending money they’re getting. Nobody is for raising taxes but I’d personally vote for the wheel tax. Likes that it’s an advisory referendum.
Most proud of in WB and biggest improvement needed
Adam W – most proud of tackling budget problems. Complete overhaul of services and now we ask how we can help to make business thrive. The city being more friendly over the past 6 years has been positive. Improvement is to continue to control our debt. We used to live on a credit card and now we’re paying cash for more and get debt down.
Justice M – best thing about WB is it’s my hometown. We’re a compassionate city. Best place to bring special need child or adult. Things improvement is the north side – it’s neglected and more we can do on the north end.
Andrew C. – nice we have a small town feel by offering bigger amenities. We’re in a good location. Improvement – retention of constituents. Out of all 10 of my friends I’m the only one left. How do we bring them back.
Justin R. – I’m proud of WB as a whole. I came back after the military. Small-town feel but so much more. We should be proud of where we’re from. Improve our budget and not a fan of leaving the next generation with our mistakes. $60 million should mean more to us and what can we truly do to not have my 13 year old worry about additional taxes. We need to be responsible with city finances.
Justin R. – father, husband, vet and returned to WB. Proud to be from there. Important to care about it as an elected official. If I don’t win – I have to still be involved. Roads, drugs, public safety and budget are key. Won’t take salary if elected
Adam W. – important to educate yourself on issues. We’ve seen positive steps and thankful I have served the last 6 years. Thanks for endorsements and met a lot of good people to be a good listener and give back to the community. I run because I care about Barton and WB. I want to continue to move the city in a positive, conservative direction.
Justice M. – found support in public and behind closed doors. I’ve run a clean campaign and telling things about character. Safety, financial security, don’t pretend to have all the answers but do have common sense.
Andrew C. – lifelong WB resident, and alderman is leadership position. I will represent needs of district. End goal of serving on council is to make WB a place to reside. I’m the man for the job and giving back to the community.