Lincoln County Board of Supervisors candidate questionnaire
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – Competitive races in Supervisory Districts throughout Lincoln County will appear on April 5 ballots. Learn more about some of the candidates below.
To view Lincoln County’s Supervisory District maps, visit www.lincoln.wi.us/bc-county-board/page/district-maps/.
Incumbent William R. Bialecki is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 1.
Name: William (Bill) Bialecki (Incumbent)
Family: Spouse Judy, 9 children, 4 grandchildren
Employment/position: Part-time Director of Lincoln County Development Corp., retired master electrician and state certified commercial electrical inspector
Past/present elected offices: Two terms as Mayor, one term on City Council, three terms on County Board.
Other memberships/offices: Central Wisconsin Economic Development Fund Board Member, Grow North Board Member, Wisconsin County Forest Association Board Member and Treasurer, Lumberjack Research & Development Council Member, ex-officio member of Merrill Chamber of Commerce Board, 54-year member of VFW, past Post Commander, 6 years US Army active duty (3 tours in Vietnam), 1 year Wisconsin National Guard, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (retired), member Merrill Optimists, member of St. Francis Parish, 25-year member of Lincoln County Sports Club, 11 years as President, and 43-year member of Ducks Unlimited, Annual Fund Raiser Chairman.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I would look forward to serving the residents of the 1st District for a fourth term. Aside from the Committees I now serve on, I’d like to give attention to affordable housing in both Merrill and Tomahawk. I’d also like to be involved in the extension of broadband in the county. My platform also includes: Continued economic development, childcare, and attraction of labor for our business community.
Lori L. Anderson-Malm is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 2.
Name: Lori L Anderson-Malm
Family: Spouse – Eric; two step-children – Brittany and Austin; one grandchild – Forest; and two Miniature Dachshunds – Lady and Abby.
Employment/position: Accountant for a not-for-profit insurance company.
Past/present elected offices: I have not been elected to an office previously.
Other memberships/offices: Member of St Stephens Church; Friends of the Library Board Member and Treasurer since 2011; Volunteer at St. Francis Friday Night Fish Frys for 13 years; Committee member of the O’Tannenbaum Tour; and Redevelopment Authority Commissioner since 2019.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I chose to run for County Board Supervisor, District 2, because I believe in due diligence, integrity, and transparency in all county government operations.
I was born and raised in Merrill. Graduated from Merrill High School in 1981. We relocated to Merrill because my husband and I wanted to come back to our home town. We appreciate what we have in Merrill after living other places. This is a great community to grow up and raise a family. I can still walk down the street and feel safe. I love this area and know Lincoln County has a lot of potential.
My husband and I met at our 25th MHS Class Reunion (he being separated and me being widowed). We spoke with each other that night and now have been married for almost 14 years. I not only married Eric, I married his two children – Brittany (Bell) and Austin. We have a wonderful son-in-law, Tommy Bell, and an adorable grandson, Forest. Our home also includes two miniature Dachshunds, Abby and Lady, who actually run the house but allow us to live there.
I’ve worked in numerous fields throughout my career, but all of my positions involved communication and numbers. My most recent positions were as co-owner of an interior design business and my current position as an accountant for a not-for-profit insurance company. I have a degree in Interior Design and a degree in Accounting.
While I know Lincoln County has tremendous potential, our County has a significant amount of debt which is very concerning. In following Board meeting agendas and meetings, I do not see any significant plans or strategy being developed to turn this around.
The consensus among County residents I have spoken with personally, and their main issue, is property taxes. They want to see a halt to property tax increases and essentially want lower taxes. We are asking families, usually with two working adults, to accept a pay cut, in the form of higher taxes and more debt, every year. It’s unsustainable, especially in these hyper-inflationary times. The same old strategies the current Board has been utilizing are obviously not working.
Lincoln County is my home. This is where my husband and I will retire. My goal is to make Lincoln County live up to its potential. I look forward to being part of a revitalized County Board to set a new direction towards balancing the budget and addressing other legacy issues. I’m asking for your vote on April 5 for County Board Supervisor, District 2.
Incumbent Elizabeth McCrank is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 3.
Name: Elizabeth McCrank (Incumbent)
Family: Biebl (a bulldog, age 8 years) and Kentucky Blue (a beagle, age 14 years)
Employment/position: UW-Madison Extension Community Development Institute, Organizational Leadership Educator; formerly employed at the T.B. Scott Free Library, Merrill, as a Reference and Circulation Assistant.
Past/present elected offices: Lincoln County Board of Supervisors, District 3 – (2020-2022); and City of Merrill Historic Preservation Committee, Mayoral appointee (2020-2022)
Other memberships/offices: Member Lincoln County Sports Club, member Merrill Historical Society, and member Merrill Noon Optimists Club
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I believe that County governance is about day-to-day operations and getting things done for people. The County maintains the highways, provides ambulance service, oversees conservation and health standards, and encourages Countywide development even, for the people who live in the cities. The Sheriff’s Department, the Health Department, and the Emergency Planning Department are County responsibilities, and to keep them all running for people requires pragmatism, working with people who have different points of view, and sometimes just rolling up your sleeves and helping our County staff get their jobs done. The most important politics really is local, and while the County Board may not be as glamorous as other positions in government, it is where I believe the real contributions can be made to making people’s lives safer, easier, and happier.
Steven L. Osness, Jr., is running against Derek Woellner for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 4.
Name: Steven L Osness
Family: Married to Kendra Osness for 17 year. Have two daughters: Payge and Raya.
Employment/position: Employed at the Merrill Area Public schools in the Maintenance Department.
Past/present elected offices: City Council Alderman for the City of Merrill from April 2018- April 2022. While holding office as an Alderman, I held the following positions: Chairperson for Sewer and Water, Personnel & Finance committee, Airport Committee, and Board of Review.
Other memberships/offices: Currently I am a member of Saint Stephens Church, I coach the Merrill area traveling girls 8U Softball team. City Council Alderman for the City of Merrill from April 2018- April 2022.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I have chosen to run for County Board for the people of District 4 to be their voice. Since being on City Council from 2018-2022, I have not voted on one budget that would raise the citizen’s taxes. I do believe in the growth of a community and building a better place to live. I heard many concerns in my district about: Property Tax, Wheel Tax, roads, County workers not receiving raises while the administration has. This is to name a few of the many concerns I have heard. I believe the people in my District need someone to stand up for them and to let their voices be heard. As difficult as public office is, I will continue to work diligently for the people in my district and the County by bringing truth to the Board and supporting and addressing the citizens’ concerns. I will not bring a personal agenda to this position, this will be an agenda by the people and for the people.
Incumbent Nathan Peterson is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 5.
Landis Paul Holdorf is challenging incumbent Norbert “Nubs” Ashbeck for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 6.
Name: Landis Paul Holdorf
Family: Wife – Jewell Holdorf; Son – Landis David Holdorf
Employment: District Outreach Specialist at the Office of Congressman Tom Tiffany
Past/present elected offices: No prior elected offices held.
– Member at large at Nicolet Student Leadership Council, 2016-2018
– Governor at Wisconsin Student Government, 2017-2018
– Associate Budget Director at UWSP Student Government, 2018-2019
– Elders Guild at Zion Lutheran Church, 2020–2021
– City of Merrill Community Development Committee, 2020–Present
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am running for this office because, as a lifelong resident of Lincoln County, I want Merrill to continue to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I believe I can help the County achieve this as a member of the County Board. I will work with other supervisors, local business and community leaders, and my constituents to promote fiscal responsibility, reduce regulations, and promote opportunities for growth within the county. I believe, if done correctly, we can achieve these goals without losing the culture and small-town values that make Lincoln County a special place to live.
Name: Norbert “Nubs” Ashbeck (Incumbent)
Family: I have been married to Anne (Dirkx) Ashbeck for 53 years and have 3 children – Paula (Eric) Doty, Chad (Jenny) Ashbeck, and Renee (Chad) Krueger and 7 grandchildren.
Employment/position: I have retired as the Director of Radiology, Good Samaritan Health Care Center, where I worked for 41 years.
Past/present elected offices: I have lived in Merrill for over 50 years and have been honored to serve as the 7th District Lincoln County Supervisor for the last four years as well as serving on the MAPS School Board for the last 9 years.
Other memberships/offices: I have been a member of Lincoln County Crime Stoppers (20 years); Merrill Evening Lion’s Club (10 years); Youth Softball, Baseball, and Basketball Coach; Jefferson School Parent Teacher Organization; and am a Vietnam Veteran.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am running for re-election for the Merrill Board of Supervisors 6th District. Over the last few years, the current Board has been working to address several issues, mostly due to lack of funding to continue to sustain our current level of services in Lincoln County. Some of these efforts have included transferring the administration of Pine Crest and Lincoln Industries to North Central Health Care due to substantial financial loss. This transition has been challenging due to the pandemic, but there have been some improvements and we would like to continue to be part of the monitoring and planning to maintain these services for our community. Additionally, Lincoln County owns 100,000 acres of land, most in forest. The Forestry Department has received over $2 million per year in pulp sales. With the closing of the paper mills, we have lost a big share of the market and will need to continue to address potential losses in revenue as a result. Lincoln County, as well as every business nationally, is struggling to retain and recruit employees. We need to support our workforce so that we have the experience necessary to have quality services. I also serve as a committee member for the ADRC Regional Board and North Central Community Action Program. It is important to me that our most vulnerable in our community have a voice.
Wallace Jay Downey is challenging incumbent Greta Rusch for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 7.
Name: Jay Downey
Family: Married to my beautiful wife Lori for 33 years. We have two kids, one daughter age 32 and one son age 29.
Employment/Position: Sun Chemical/Business Development Manager for Flexible Packaging
Past/present elected offices: Elected Team captain of the UW Stevens Point college football team for 2 years (1988-1989). Elected Vice President of GCIU (Graphic Communication International Union) local union and served over 100 members for four years (1993-1997). Elected chair to the sustainable and wide web leadership councils of the Flexographic Technical Association that serves over 30,000 members nationwide and served six years on both councils (2009-2015). Elected as co-chair of the Executive Board to the SGP (Sustainable Green Printer) Association that serves over 8,000 members nationwide and served for six years (2009-2015). Recently appointed as a member of the UW Stevens Point Academic Advisory Board for the Paper Science Program (2021-Present).
Other memberships/offices: Flexographic Packaging Association (2002-Present), Flexographic Technical Association (2002-Present), Sustainable Green Printer (2009-Present), Confectionary Association (2003-Present), Salted Snack Association (2005-Present), Digital Printer’s Association (2014-Present), Midwest Converter’s Association (2002-Present), Who’s Who of Flexographic Packaging Association (2022- Present), Wisconsin Waterfowl Association (2019-Present), Ducks Unlimited (2008-Present), Packaging Professionals (2014-Present), Coatings World (2014-Present), and National Rifle Association (2019-present) and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (1997-2002).
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am running for County Board Supervisor for District 7 to bring accountability and transparency between our County Board and the voters who elect them. An example of the lack of accountability and transparency back to the voters who elect those to serve them, is the Wheel Tax our County has implemented over the last couple of years. The Wheel Tax has become the “moving, mystery fund” on where and what it does for the County and those who are required to pay it. This example demonstrates the need to become more accountable and transparent to the voters who entrusted those they have elected; we all should know where money is going when a new tax is being asked to be paid. This should not be done by following personal agendas, operating within silos within the Board itself, or to serve personal or group interests. When one is elected by the voters, that is where your responsibility is, to the voters! We also need to continue to explore and grow the recreational opportunities we have in our County, which will help grow different segments of the food service, manufacturing, and housing industries that we currently have within our County. Our County needs a fresh voice, an experienced leader, and a vision to move the County forward. My experience leading other organizations to define and scope out a new vision to grow and move forward and that impacted all positively, will help in moving that vision for our county forward. I ask for your vote for that new leadership, new vision and new voice on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Thank You!
Name: Greta Rusch (Incumbent)
Family: Widow – Three children – four grandchildren
Past/present elected offices: Lincoln County Board Supervisor – District 7 – 2006-Present
Other memberships/offices: Member of St. John Lutheran Church, Merrill
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am running for the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors office because I would like to continue serving Lincoln County residents.
I have lived and worked in the area for the majority of my life and am familiar with the community and its concerns.
I started serving Lincoln County residents as an employee of the County. First, I worked as a Public Health Nurse and then became the Director of the Health Department and first Health Officer for the County. This commitment and dedication continued for 30 plus years.
After retirement from the Health Department, I served Lincoln County residents by becoming a County Board Supervisor for District 7. My experience as a Supervisor is reflected by serving on the following Committees: Administrative and Legislative, Finance and Insurance, Land Services, and Social Services.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the voters of District 7 for your past and continued support.
By continuing my passion to serve and by listening to my constituents: Together we can keep Lincoln County a safe and stable community.
Laurie J. Thiel is challenging incumbent Christopher Heller for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 8.
Name: Laurie J. Thiel
Family: Husband – Roy Thiel; son and daughter-in-law, Tyler and Colie Thiel and their son Beckett; Son and daughter-in-law, Lucas and Liz Thiel, and their children, Harper and Grayson Lennox and baby girl who could be here by the time this is published.
Employment/position: I am a Field Support Assistant with Church Mutual Insurance Company.
Past/present elected offices: I have never held a an elected office.
Other memberships/offices: I am a member of Preceptor Alpha Beta Sorority, currently Co secretary. When the boys were in school in the 90’s into the 2000s’, I was involved with the Merrill Youth Hockey Association as a Board member and Treasurer, and I was also involved with the Merrill Youth Hardball Association, and have participated on the Relay for Life Team through Church Mutual.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am running for office because I have seen the financial burden on the citizens of this County change, and I want to see if I can help make a difference in some of the decisions that are made.
We, as elected officials, need to all work together to start living within our means, just as we all do in our personal lives. We need to re-evaluate some of our spending and ask ourselves, “Do we really need this, and at what cost?” If we determine that it is a necessity, then we need to make sure that we have the means to fund it, without placing additional burdens on the taxpayers.
I also believe that it is very important to be transparent and held accountable for the decisions we are making on behalf of the citizens of Lincoln County. We need to be better at communicating with each other and with the citizens. Remember, at the end of the day we are working for them. We are their voice, and they deserve to be heard.
It is time to bring a new set of eyes and ears to the Board, to see where we can make changes, cut waste, and at the same time listen to what the citizens of the County are saying. As your District 8 County Board Supervisor, I will do my very best to be those eyes and ears for you, to help make changes that will keep Lincoln County great. Please remember to take time to visit the polls on April 5 and make your voice heard
Name: Christopher Heller (Incumbent)
Family: Wife – Ann
Employment/position: The Pool People – Warehouse Manager
Past/present elected offices: District 8 County Board Supervisor 2016-Present
Other memberships/offices: St. Francis Xavier Church, Knights of Columbus
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am running for re-election because I still feel that the voters need a hard-working and reliable candidate to represent them.
Over the past six years, I have listened to the residents of Lincoln County on their needs and what they would like done. I do not let my personal beliefs do the voting. I do what is right for the people of the County.
I serve on four committees; I am the Chair on both the Highway and Land Services Committees and Vice-Chair on Public Property and Solid Waste Committees. I take my role seriously and put in a lot of time with my position. I take calls from my constituents to hear concerns and ideas. I respond to them in a timely fashion, as well. I take pride in my position on the County Board, and I always do my research.
While being a Lincoln County Board Supervisor, I have pushed for the wheel tax NOT to be permanent. I do not believe the County utilizes this tax correctly. Our Highway Department’s budget gets short-changed by $560,000. Their budget is then supplemented with the wheel tax money.
I have also helped push for Lincoln County to collect more on the delinquent property taxes. I do not want the people who are paying property taxes to suffer and the County to take on this debt. The County has been doing better with recouping delinquent taxes, but there is still room for improvement.
Working alongside the Department heads, which my Committees oversee, I have a “call me anytime” approach. They know I am available to them no matter the time of day. The job does not stop after meetings.
Lincoln County is a great place to live. We have some of the best ATV/UTV trails in the state. The people and the abundance of activities to enjoy make it an amazing County to be in.
I ask that people get out and vote. I would like to ask for your vote on April 5 so I can keep Lincoln County moving in the right direction. Thank you.
Incumbent Don Friske is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 9.
Jesse Boyd is challenging incumbent Judy Woller for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 10.
Name: Jesse Boyd
Family: Spouse – Ashley Boyd, three daughters.
Employment/position: County Materials Corporation as a Project Manager: Providing superior products in wastewater management.
Past/present elected offices: —
Other memberships/offices: My family and I are members of Trinity Lutheran Church of Merrill for 28 years. I have an Associate degree in Mechanical Design Technology from Northcentral Technical College, then continued to receive a Bachelor of Science in Management from Upper Iowa University. I served 16 years as a member of the United States Army Reserves, 428th Engineer Company out of Wausau. I retired from the military in February 2016. I have two deployments – one in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 -2004 to New York and Texas. The other in 2010-2011 to Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). It was there we provided route clearance for 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain. We suffered sustainable losses, but we did it to serve our country.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I’m looking to continue supporting our County by providing trusted leadership, encouraging innovative ideas and forward-thinking in partnership with our taxpayers, the business community, and all levels of local services to achieve a collaborated vision for Lincoln County. Currently, Lincoln County has no written vision statement. A vision statement is an inspirational statement that expresses a direction one would like to achieve. We, as a community, need to have a collaborated idea of what we want Lincoln County’s future to look like. My thought is a central Wisconsin manufacturing hub, to provide parts and services needed in forestry, dairy process, food service, and trucking. We obviously don’t limit the potential of other manufacturing entrepreneurs, but at least direction. I’m not opposed to other ideas, but we need to clarify our direction. Either we send out surveys, or we trust our District Supervisors to collaborate and come up with a vision; this needs to happen.
There also must be accountability and open communication. Unless you show up to Board meetings or review and understand the agenda items, you are left to interpret on whether your representative is doing right by the individuals they are representing. I will be looking for opportunities to broadcast the Lincoln County Board Meetings (LCBM) like the Merrill Common Council Meetings. I will also be looking at restructuring the Committees so the Committee Chair will represent the Committee at the LCBM giving reports to the LCBM on agenda items.
I believe the direction of Lincoln County is going the wrong way. For instance, if you ask for more money as in form of a wheel tax, what is the benefit? What benefit/improvements have we seen in the last four years to our roads that couldn’t have been done without the wheel tax? If the Highway budget stays the same, with or without the wheel tax, then what was the benefit? What has the $2,159,229 been used for in that last four years? This started in 2018, what is the end date? Is there an option to end? These are questions needing answers. These are questions District 10 has been asking me. The overwhelming concern is what are we going to about it and when will it end. It all begins with change.
Name: Judith Rose Woller (Judy) (Incumbent)
Family: Divorced. Son – Frederick Karl Gruetzmacher; Daughters – Tanya Rose Stege, Margo Woller-Carter. Grandchildren – Taylor Rose Stege, Megan Jordan Labine, Jonathan Gruetzmacher. Great-Grandchildren – Twins Christian Stege and Nathaniel Stege.
Employment/position: Retired after 30 years as the Executive Director of Household Abuse Victim’s Emergency Network, Inc. (HAVEN, Inc.)
Past/present elected offices: Presently Board Supervisor representing District 10, Pine River, since March 2021.
Other memberships/offices: Member of St. Stephens United Church of Christ since 1964. Taught Vacation Bible School – St. Mathews, Merrill, 1959-1962. Taught Sunday School from 1976-1986 at St. Stephens United Church of Christ. Boy Scout Leader Webelos 1975-1978. Positive Youth Development 1985-1989. Merrill Evening Lioness President 1990-1995 (about).
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: During my employment at HAVEN, INC., I was able to develop the skills, knowledge, and connections needed to provide a strong basis to meet the challenges of a County Board Supervisor.
At HAVEN, the focus of the services included improving the safety for women and children in their own homes. Trained Advocates were available to provide court accompaniment and medical advocacy. They collaborated with medical facilities, law enforcement, the legal system, schools, landlords, and Social Services. Several of these agencies have been assigned their own Committees at the County Board.
It is important to understand the financial documents and procedures before voting on expenditures and proposals. At HAVEN, my responsibilities included planning and adhering to a Board-approved budget, including a projection of increases for the coming year, financial planning and preparing for an annual Certified Audit, grant writing and adhering to grant requirements, fundraising, plus hiring and training staff after developing the training materials for employees and for members of the Board of Directors.
Agencies which collaborated with HAVEN included the Lincoln County Judges, District Attorney and the Court System, Tomahawk and Merrill Law Enforcement, the Health Department, Social Services, Merrill and Tomahawk Schools, and Clergy plus area medical facilities. During my tenure, my staff and I were instrumental in informing and educating professionals, parents, and students about domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and the impact of trauma on children. As a Supervisor, I am working with many of these same agencies.
Statewide connections, including serving on the Governor’s Council Against Domestic Violence, End Abuse Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Balance of State Committees, and Housing and Urban Development. I have experienced testifying at hearings in Madison for HAVEN, Inc., and look forward to the opportunity to represent Lincoln County at future hearings, also.
Currently, I am a member of the newly-formed Broadband Committee, the Forestry, Land, and Parks, the Social Services Committee, the Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, Judicial and Emergency Management Committee, and the Board of Health. My past work experiences prepare me for making cost effective, commonsense decisions required.
My past work history and contacts have prepared me to serve as Board Supervisor. I encourage open communication in an effort to consider all possible options in order to make difficult commonsense decisions. My accumulated knowledge and experiences have formed a strong basis to address the following priority issues.
– Continuing services for the elderly and disabled through Pine Crest. Do we need to revamp our services? How do we best serve this population?
– The high cost of out-of-home placements for children in need of protection. What can we afford?
– How can we create a safe place for consumers and employees as they access services at the Court House?
– Focus on expanding Broadband service throughout Lincoln County. I am excited to serve on the Broadband Committee to improve access for everyone.
I ask for your vote of confidence on April 5, 2022.
Randal John Detert is challenging incumbent Hans Breitenmoser Jr., for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 11.
Name: Randal John Detert (Randy)
Family: Wife – Jane, Sons – John and Jeffrey
Employment/position: Storeroom Supervisor
Past/present elected offices: I have not held a public office.
Other memberships/offices: Life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Eagles Club Member, Prior Cub Master for Cub Scouts, Prior Church Day School Board.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I would have to say the way that the government is treating citizens. It seems to me that people who question what our government officials are doing are many times being treated poorly. Citizens have a right, in fact a responsibility, to ask questions of our government.
I graduated from Merrill in 1980, and I went into the Navy that year. When I was out of the Navy, I came back and went back to school. I received a degree in electronic circuit design from North Central Technical Institute. There I met my wife of 33 years.
I did electrical design and built machines for material handling companies. This work took me all over the United States and Europe.
My wife and I chose to raise a family here, and that is when I started with my current employer. I have 27 years with my company. The people of this County are honest and very hard working. People here still care about each other. I think that is important.
The Lincoln County Board has a few challenges in the next few years. The debt has been increasing, the County has added new taxes, and some on the Board want to look at spending money on items like solar energy (for carbon credits). That is something that people need to be aware of. I think that the citizens of the County need to be part of that decision. I don’t see the current Board allowing that debate or allowing that opposing viewpoint.
There are areas that the Board needs to work on in this year. They are: Tax, Accountability, and Transparency. The County has a wheel tax that goes to the road work that needs to be done. That is over $500,000 per year. If you look at the budget for that department, it did not increase. The same amount of money that the Highway Department had come in from the wheel tax is about the same amount that was moved to other departments. That is not Transparency. That is what some call a shell game.
We reduced 1/2 employee in the Veteran’s Service Office. That person worked directly with the veterans of this County. At the same time, the Health Department is looking to add two people that may be used to assist with tracking people for the compliance with mandates. There is some federal money to start but then what? This is what people believe amounts to the people working for government and not the other way around.
When the state or federal government gives money, there are strings attached. My question is simply, what is needed? Nothing is free.
I am running for District 11, Towns of Scott and Corning, I would like your vote on April 5. If elected, I will work to bring an end to the wheel tax and help the Board be more accountable to the citizens of Lincoln County. Our governments must live within OUR means. Let’s take our County back.
Name: Hans Breitenmoser Jr. (Incumbent)
Family: Wife – Katie, Five children
Employment/position: Self-employed dairy and crop farmer
Past/present elected offices: County Board 2012-Present
Other memberships/offices: Wisconsin Farmers Union
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I’m running agin for County Board Supervisor because Lincoln County is a great place to live and raise a family, and I feel like this is a way for me to give back to my community.
As your County Board Supervisor, I’ve served on multiple committees. I currently chair the Public Property Committee and serve on the Land Services, Economic Development, and Administrative and Legislative Committees. In addition, I represent Lincoln County on the North Central WI Regional Planning Commission, the WI Counties Association Agriculture and Environment Committee, and the WI PACE Commission.
Some of my accomplishments include introducing a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) ordinance. As a result of its passage, Lincoln County businesses have access to commercial bank loans specifically for energy conservation. On the Public Property Committee, I helped negotiate with the City of Merrill to allow the Fair Grounds to be owned by the City. This allowed the Fair Grounds to stay alive and get much-needed improvements while taking it off the County books where it could no longer be afforded. I also introduced a successful voter referendum allowing Lincoln County voters to have a say in how their legislative and congressional districts are drawn.
Lincoln County has opportunities that some other counties don’t have because of resources such as our county-owned forest land, not to mention that we’ve kept the budget balanced, which keeps us in the driver’s seat with respect to our credit rating. Looking forward, your Board is going to have to continue to deal with rising costs while working under State-imposed levy limits. We will have to make decisions on how best to utilize limited federal dollars in ways that reduce operating costs, make our infrastructure more resilient, and improve roads and broadband access. In other words, we will have to make solid long-term decisions and have some creative vision. It’s what I’ve tried to do, and I hope I’ve earned your vote. Thank you.
Julie DePasse and Jon K. Weiler will compete for the position of Supervisor for Lincoln County District 12, having both won in the Feb. Primary Election. Incumbent Paul Gilk was defeated in the Feb. Primary but has since filed paperwork to run as a registered write-in Candidate.
Name: Julie DePasse
Family: I met my husband, Tom DePasse, while serving in the Army and we have been married for 35 years. We have two wonderful children and both are married to incredible people. We have one grandchild, a foster grandchild, and two new grandbabies due in October.
Employment/position: I am the CEO of a not-for-profit risk management association, which is run similar to a traditional insurance company.
Past/present elected offices: I have never held public office.
Other memberships/offices: My husband and I are very active in our church, Immanuel Lutheran, in the Township of Corning. He is currently an Elder and I am the Financial Secretary, and we have served in other capacities there over the years.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: Thomas Jefferson once said, “When you abandon freedom to achieve security, you lose both and deserve neither.” For decades, politicians, bureaucrats and judges, at every level of government, have slowly (and lately, not so slowly) eroded our liberty. The government tells us we will be safer as a result, as governments have been doing for hundreds of years. It is a lie.
I believe nothing poses a greater threat to our liberty than government’s ever-increasing spending and debt.
Lincoln County has a population of 28,415, with 12,625 households. That is not a lot of people, yet our County budget is over $45 Million and our County debt is over $30 Million. This does not include the spending in Merrill, Tomahawk, and our two school districts, collectively more than $90 million, or their combined debt, in excess of $40 million. We are making indentured servants of our children and grandchildren, consuming resources they will never have, but are now obligated to pay for.
I am the CEO of a not-for-profit risk management (insurance) program and, before being promoted, I was its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). I have a degree in finance, a master’s degree in business administration, and am 12 credits short of a degree in accounting. I developed the budgeting, pricing, and accounting systems for the company I now run, and continue to manage them. This is not written to boast, but I have had the opportunity to build a unique skill set and these are skills we need on the County Board.
In order to tackle the budget, we need Supervisors who not only understand it, but are willing to dig into the data and look for ways we can do things more efficiently. To properly manage our financial resources, we need a representative that is well-versed in our financial statements, notes and all. I have been digging into the numbers of our County for months, have studied the budgets and financial statements, and have attended both County Board meetings and Finance Committee meetings. If elected, I will be ready to work on the 2023 budget, which starts next month.
Admittedly, there are a host of things I know nothing about, like forest management or highway maintenance. There is much to learn, but we already know that we need money to pay for it all. Your money. We have to quit spending it like it is a resource that will never run out.
No city, no county, no state, no nation has ever taxed and borrowed its way to freedom and prosperity. The course we are on only leads to suffering and pain. That is the truth and the truth is all we have, but it is everything.
I am anxious to serve you and am asking for your vote on April 5.
Name: Jon Weiler
Family: My beautiful wife, Sabrina, and I have been married for nearly 32 years. We believe in strong Christian and family values, which we have passed on to our three adult children and one granddaughter, all of whom reside in Lincoln County.
Employment/position: I am currently employed as a government contractor for the US Army. I am also a part-time substitute teacher for Athens School District. I was previously employed as the Executive Director at The Highground Veterans Memorial Park. I am a disabled veteran and retired from the US Army in 2017.
Past/present elected offices: No prior experience as an elected official.
Other memberships/offices: My wife and I are regular attendees at First Baptist Church, Medford, and I am a Life Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW Mar-Lin Post 10203). I am also a member of National Rifle Association (NRA). I am a passionate outdoorsman, hunter, sportsman and ardent supporter of 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms. I previously served as the President of Peyton Panthers Booster Club from 2010 -2015 in Peyton, CO.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: When we relocated to Lincoln County, we immediately realized that this was the place that we wanted to call our “forever home.” We fell in love with the people and the area, and it was apparent to us that this place is special.
Not long after moving, it became apparent that there were several issues not being efficiently managed by County officials. A few examples are the obvious lack of professional career opportunities for our children and grandchildren, the increase in the crime and decrease in public safety, the County’s ever-increasing debt, the wheel tax, and Pine Crest Nursing Home.
The obvious question was, “Why has no one stepped up to hold these elected and appointed officials accountable?” With no apparent answer, I decided at the first available opportunity, and appropriate time, I would do what I have done all my life, fight for what I believe is right and do what needs to be done. I am certain the time is now, and the County Supervisor is that opportunity.
I am running because I believe that our elected and appointed officials MUST be held accountable, be accessible, and do what is best for Lincoln County. This is not happening, and change is needed now!
Our goal must be to positively impact Lincoln County and Central Wisconsin, so our families will be proud to call our County “home” well into the future.
Not being accountable, accessible, nor transparent are some of the more prominent complaints I hear from residents. The residents of Lincoln County deserve better, and I am confident that I am the best choice for Lincoln County and District 12.
If elected, I will utilize my extensive experience as a proven and trusted leader to encourage transparency and communication with residents, the business community, and all levels of local services to achieve what we all know Lincoln County is capable of.
As District 12 County Board Supervisor, I guarantee that no one will work harder to ensure that Lincoln County is the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I will put an emphasis on holding elected and appointed officials accountable, accessible, and be truly transparent with the residents. I will concentrate my efforts on developing innovative ways to increase business opportunities for current and future residents, help ensure the safety of residents by supporting the necessary needs of Law Enforcement, concentrate on reducing taxes, establish a fiscally balanced and more importantly, justifiable budget, safeguard the care and services of veterans, and come to an effective and sustainable resolution to the County’s involvement with Pine Crest, just to name a few.
We all have an opportunity to change direction of Lincoln County in 2022. We can and will create a better future for our children and grandchildren. That opportunity comes in the form of voting at every level.
I am asking for your vote on April 5, 2022.
If would like to contact me, please email me at [email protected] or check out my website at https://sites.google.com/view/weilerforcountyboard/home.
Name: Paul Gilk (Running as a write-in Candidate)
Family: Wife Susanna, children Tobias, Hannah, and Woody
Employer/position: Author, musician
Past/present elected offices: Town of Harding Supervisor, Lincoln County Supervisor
Other memberships/offices: —
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: Some of what I’ll say was spelled out in greater detail in my Foto News letter of Jan. 27, specifically my involvement as a Supervisor with Pine Crest, North Central Health Care, HAVEN and Social Services, T. B. Scott Library, and various countywide referenda. There were accomplishments in all those areas.
But there were (and are) hard fiscal limitations. The tax levy limit is the big one. Right after that is the refusal of the state legislature to index the gas tax. The results of levy limit and frozen gas tax butt up against County employee wage increases (including health insurance costs), the general rise in expenses across the board, and a Highway Department that’s pleaded for what’s called the wheel tax as a way to plug part of its budgetary hole–and fill potholes, grade gravel, and plow snow.
I doubt if we’ve done more with less, but we’ve tried (and so far succeeded) to keep the wheels from falling off.
Two projects I’m working on (and there are others, like carbon credits related to the County forest) are historical murals on interior Service Center walls and a housing “summit” exploring low-income housing needs in the county. (The “summit” is scheduled for March 16, 9-3, in the Service Center.)
It frankly takes a lot of patience and persistence to be a County Supervisor. Hotheads get nothing useful done and tend to slow everything to a crawl. At 75, I believe I’ve outgrown my hothead phase and am more into attentiveness and patience and persistence. I don’t think I’ll want to be on the County Board all that much longer, but another term or two seems right.
Alan Bishop is challenging incumbent Calvin Thomas Callahan for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 13.
Name: Alan Joseph Bishop
Family: Widowed. Two daughters, three stepsons, and seven grandchildren.
Employment/position: Retired, 39+ years of federal employment including Postmaster of Tomahawk.
Past/present elected offices: —
Other memberships/offices: Air Force Veteran, life member Disabled American Veterans, member American Legion.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: To work for the people of my district and Lincoln County with emphasis on road and bridge maintenance, broadband access, veterans issues and maintain fiscal responsibility.
Name: Calvin Callahan (Incumbent)
Employment/position: Wisconsin State Representative
Past/present elected offices: Wisconsin State Representative (2021-Present). Lincoln County Supervisor (2018-Present). Town of Wilson Supervisor (2019-2021).
Other memberships/offices: Board Member of North Central Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (2021-Present). National Rifle Association (Life Member). Somo Area ATV Club (2020-Present). Somo Fish and Game Club (2020-Present). The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association (2020-Present). Wisconsin Trappers Association (2017-Present). Wisconsin ATV/UTV Association (2020-Present).
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am running for re-election because we need to continue to build on the economy we have, continue to create new jobs, and continue to create opportunities for the businesses we have now to grow. There should be no reason why your kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren can’t raise their families here at home, in Northern Wisconsin and Lincoln County.
As a current Supervisor on the Lincoln County Board and a former Supervisor for the Town of Wilson, I have the experience and tools as well as the relationships needed to build a better Lincoln County and a Northern Wisconsin that will promote job growth and raising families here, at home.
Keeping our communities safe is one of my top priorities. I will fight to make sure law enforcement has the resources they need to do their jobs and keep us all safe. And they know that. I am the only candidate endorsed by our local Sheriff.
It is time for more opportunities! High-paying new industry jobs should be at the forefront of any economic plan. We live in an environment that should attract small industry and technology firms, but until we can have ample internet access to tie us in with the rest of the world, these companies won’t move here. Bringing Lincoln County up to speed is necessary to the success and prosperity of our local business, attracting new businesses, and the ability to raise a family here in our County.
I will continue to fight for our County and preserve our way of life while promoting a vision to move the County FORWARD! On April 5, I ask for your vote.
Marguerite Lyskawa is challenging incumbent Brian Hafeman for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 14.
Name: Marguerite Lyskawa
Family: I am married to Paul Lyskawa and have two daughters (27 and 17).
Employment/position: I have 20+ years of employment dedicated to the service and tourist industry. I’m a former Tomahawk business owner, and I am currently employed by The Happy Snapper Bar and Grill in a management and service position that I’ve held for over 12 years.
Past/present elected offices: —
Other memberships/offices: : —
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: My motivation to run for office is fueled by my desire to represent the core values of my district by being an engaged and present voice on the County Board.
I am a long-time resident of Lincoln County, and I have lived in my district for over 20 years. I have loved raising both of my children in our friendly and close-knit community, and I have a vested interest in supporting the success of Lincoln County and District 14. It’s apparent to those who have been following the County Board meetings that we need in-person representation and someone who will vote in a fashion that represents the interests and opinions of the residents in this District. I also believe that a County Supervisor should be engaged and in touch with the people living in the District. My goal is to be accessible and transparent. I believe people should know their representative by name and feel comfortable contacting them. I feel strongly that should be a basic goal that’s addressed throughout the term, not just over a few weeks during an election cycle.
By taking an active and informed role in the issues and decisions facing our community and engaging with the residents in District 14 to support their interests accurately, I hope to influence positive changes and help ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to have a quality lifestyle and fully enjoy the freedom and beauty of Lincoln County.
Name: Brian Hafeman (Incumbent)
Family: Spouse – Cherie Hafeman (married 39 years); two children; and five grandchildren.
Employment/position: 29-year employee of PCA Tomahawk Mill – Electrical Supervisor
Past/present elected offices: Lincoln County Supervisor District 14 for the past 3 terms (6 years) – Chair of Solid Waste Committee
Other memberships/offices: —
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: As your District 14 County Board Supervisor, I have worked on several Committees and voted on many issues that affect the voters of the District, and the County. Balancing key issues is critically important in the role of a County Board Supervisor. I have done my best to look at both the long and short-term outcomes of all issues affecting Lincoln County residents and the future of Lincoln County. While no one can be certain of the future, especially in the rapidly changing times we live in today, it is important to try to look ahead to see how the decisions you are making today will affect the County in 5-10 years, or even farther into the future. This is not an easy task, but a necessary one. In many of the decisions made concerning a vote, I have reached out to local leaders and officials, including law enforcement officials, the corporation counsel, as well as other elected officials, who, because of their positions, have expertise in a subject at hand. I have also done research on my own to become educated prior to voting. It is the job of a County Board Supervisor to be as knowledgeable as possible on concerns prior to voting.
Each year the Board is presented with a financial report from an outside auditor. We have always had positive audit results. This is in large part due to wise decision making by the Board, but also by the excellent work of our finance department. The Finance Director does a very good job of informing the Board on the status of our finances at each and every meeting. There is a lot of planning that goes on by all involved to come to a balanced budget for the upcoming year. This can be complicated, but we always manage to balance the budget.
Over the past few years, we have welcomed a new Administrative Coordinator and a new Corporation Counsel. Both positions are crucial to a successful and smoothly operating County government. A lot of focus was placed on filling these positions.
I am proud of the work the County Board has done over the past six years. I thank you for your support and ask for your Vote on April 5.
Marty R. Lemke is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 15.
Name: Marty R. Lemke
Family: Wife – Lori
Employment/position: Maintenance Director, River View Health Services, Tomahawk, Wis.
Past/present elected offices: Past member of Tomahawk School Board 1997-2006, three years as Board President; served on CESA Board from 2003-2006
Other memberships/offices: Past member of Tomahawk Lions Club
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I believe that good government representation must start at our local levels. As a Board Member, taxpayers need to know how, what, and where their tax money is being used and that it will be used for what it is designed for. I believe that we must represent all County taxpayers and that their voice needs to be heard. A few issues I would like to address: Our road system in the County. There are many areas of repairs that need to be made. I would also like to make sure our seniors have the help they need to stay in their homes or have the ability to find senior living without long waiting periods.
Sarah Ann Miller is challenging incumbent Michael Loka for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 16.
Name: Sarah Miller
Family: Spouse – Dana, Children – Jacob, Trey and Sadie
Employment/position: Second grade teacher at Tomahawk Elementary School and eighth Grade Volleyball Coach; Small business owner – Fit Factory, Tomahawk (for over 15 years)
Past/present elected offices: —
Other memberships/offices: I attend church at The Well in Tomahawk and currently serve on the Leadership team.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: As a long-time resident of Tomahawk, I am honored to be running for Lincoln County Board Supervisor, District 16. We have a great community, and I think we can all agree we want to continue to see it thrive, prosper, and grow. This is why I have decided to get involved. I was not happy about the County imposing a wheel tax. The wheel tax is supposed to be temporary, but the County Board is considering making it permanent. Why? When I tried to get information from the County Board, it was difficult to find and not clear. We need transparency and accountability in our government, as well as easier access to information. We need to make sure there is fiscal responsibility and all options are explored when making decisions. I believe I can bring new and creative solutions, as well as commonsense leadership to the Board. Thank you for your vote on April 5!
George Brixius is challenging incumbent Kevin Koth for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 17.
Name: Kevin Koth (Incumbent)
Family: Three daughters and six grandchildren
Employment/position: Retired for 2 ½ years from Packaging Corporation of America Tomahawk Mill
Past/present elected offices:
– Lincoln County District 17 Supervisor 2014-Present
– Lincoln County Board Chairperson 2020-Present
– Administration and Legislation Committee Chairperson 2020-Present
– Law Enforcement, Medical Services, Judicial, & Emergency Management Committee 2020-Present
– Oversees all of the County Committees 2020-Present
– ARPA Committee Member 2021-Present
– Lincoln County Highway Committee Secretary 2014 – 2020
– Lincoln County Forestry Committee Member 2014 – 2020
– Lincoln County Railroad Committee Member 2014 – 2020
– Wisconsin County Highway Association Chairperson 2020-Present
– Wisconsin County Highway Association Executive Board 2020-Present
– Town of Bradley Chairperson 2009-Present
– Town of Bradley Supervisor 2002–2008
– Wisconsin Towns Association Executive Board 2003-Present
– Lincoln County Unit Chapter Chairperson of the Wisconsin Towns Association 2003-Present
– Tomahawk Lions Club President 2014–2018 and 2020-Present
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: Presently I’m the Chairperson for the Town of Bradley and Lincoln County Board Supervisor and County Board Chairperson since 2020; I believe that I have done a respectable job representing my Town and County residents. In my seven years on the Lincoln County Board as Supervisor and currently Chairperson, I have always had an open door policy and have listened to my constituents before making my decisions or recommendations pertaining to County issues, and I will continue that policy if I’m re-elected to the Lincoln County Board.
With the current State budget, County budgets will be challenged for the next few years pertaining to the services that they provide. With the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), we will decide how those funds will be distributed that will benefit Lincoln County and other County programs.
The county’s road infrastructure is one of my top priorities, and with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) grant program, for the next five years it will help maintain our 275 miles of roads as needed. However, we still have to do more chip sealing which is only a band-aid. This helps us stay on our yearly road schedule, so that the County can maintain more miles of roads per year.
High speed internet is another priority of mine, and we just formed a Broadband Committee for Lincoln County. The State and Federal Governments have been putting more grant money into our state for the next few years to try and get more people high speed internet. This would attract businesses, benefit our children for educational purposes, individuals can work from their homes, and also its huge for tourism; stats show that people will stay longer if they have access too high speed internet, which will bring more money into the County.
The last priority of mine is to try and provide all of the other services that we currently provide to the individuals of Lincoln County, and we will do that within the restraints that we are under from the state.
I look forward to your support in the upcoming election which will be held on Tuesday, April 5.
Kenneth L. Wickham is challenging incumbent Patricia Voermans for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 18.
Name: Kenneth (Ken) Wickham
Family: Married for 43 years; three adult children and seven grandchildren
– 2000 to 2022: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. In my final assignment as Director for the North Central Region, I led 130 staff and managed over $100 million annually for highway design, construction, maintenance, and operations.
– 1976 to 1999: U.S. Navy. Retired as a Lieutenant Commander after 10 years enlisted and over 12 years commissioned service. Excelled in positions that demanded the highest levels of leadership, responsibility, and authority with significant consequence of decisions. Commanded organizations in the U.S. and overseas and made extended deployments aboard combatant ships.
Past/present elected offices: I have never sought or served in an elected office or position.
Other memberships/offices: Member of: Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Rhinelander (1999-Present); Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association (1992-Present); and National Rifle Association (2006-Present)
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: In recent weeks, I’ve knocked on nearly 700 doors to talk with, and more importantly listen to, the residents of District 18. I heard repeatedly that: Lincoln County taxes are too high, County spending is out of control, internet connectivity and performance are insufficient, and elected officials in general place their own politics and partisanship above the interests of those they were elected to represent.
These conversations confirmed my belief that it’s time for new and strong leadership, vision, and cooperation to provide common sense, fiscally responsible, and non-bureaucratic government that works for Lincoln County.
I want to continue to serve and make a positive difference as I’ve done for my entire adult life. If elected, I’ll utilize my skills and experience to:
- Work to develop short- and long-term plans and priorities to move Lincoln County forward, guide budgeting, lower taxes, and decrease bureaucracy. Future County spending and initiatives should fit into the plan and not incur irresponsible long-term costs for County taxpayers.
- Push to eliminate the wheel tax which cost vehicle owners in Lincoln County more than $500,000 annually since it was implemented in 2018. When voters rejected last April’s referendum that asked for $700,000 per year for five years, the Board ignored their constituents and voted to extend the wheel tax through 2022. Some even suggested raising the tax to $25 per vehicle to get the $700,000 that voters disallowed. No means no and this must stop.
- Call for an impartial, objective, thorough, and transparent review of the County-owned Pinecrest Nursing Home to determine why the facility operates at a loss of over $1 million per year. The facts and recommendations must be presented to the public, and our citizens need to have a say in the course forward.
- Pursue options and funding to bring high-speed internet to all areas of Lincoln County. Reliable, fast, and affordable connectivity is essential for businesses, economic growth, education, commerce, medicine, recreation, and practically every other aspect of our lives. After years of inaction, the County Board finally formed a Broadband Internet Committee in February 2022.
- Facilitate stewardship, cooperation, accountability, and transparency on the County Board, including explaining “the what and why” behind my own and Board proposals, actions, and decisions. An immediate step should be to live cast County Board meetings and also post the videos online so that citizens can observe the workings of the Board and how their own County Supervisor represents them.
- Restore trust and confidence in government. I’ll continually reach out to the residents of District 18 for feedback and direction to ensure that I represent their needs and priorities.
Finally, I’ll always honor the oath that I first swore 45 years ago to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. I’ll fight any effort to concede to any person, institution, or other level of government, the County Board’s responsibility to protect the rights of our citizens. I refuse under any circumstance to negotiate the liberties and freedoms guaranteed by our constitution.
Name: Patricia Voermans (Incumbent)
Family: I have a wonderful family – two children, six grandchildren, and one great grandson.
Employment/Position: Retired Nurse Practitioner
Past/present elected offices: 2016-Present Lincoln County Board Supervisor, District 18; 2021-Present Regional Broadband Committee member. Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation
Other memberships/offices: 2010-Present: St. Augustine’s Church; 2015-Present: Pickeral Lake District Advisory Board; 2013-2020: Treehaven Advisory Committee; 2011–2013: American Nurses Association (ANA) representative to the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) Board of Directors; and 1980-Present: American Nurses Association.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: During the last six years on the County Board, I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects that maintain services and balance budgets. This past year I’ve been working to improve access to quality broadband in Lincoln County. With my initiative and leadership, our County Board has approved the creation of a Broadband Committee. We are actively pursuing methods to identify areas that need improvement. Internet connectivity emerged as an indispensable need in the last two years. Many of us were forced to rapidly switch to and rely on a virtual world to carry out work, schooling, business, clinic visits. etc. The remote worker is now common. Yet, 34% of our residents are either unserved or underserved. Quality high speed internet is essential for a successful economic future, as well. Businesses and financial transactions and many personal functions are becoming increasingly electronic. Additionally, with a decrease in Lincoln County population of primarily young people, it is important to note that studies have shown young people tend to remain in rural areas with quality internet. Federal and State have allocated funds for broadband expansion and other infrastructure projects such as highways. In order to capture the dollars, specific criteria must be met. To apply for broadband funds we will need to obtain reliable data countywide which is an immediate priority as a first step. Broadband planning will be a long-term process and require experts, funding, and community support. If re-elected, I will continue to work diligently to make our County initiative successful.
A strict tax levy limit imposed by the State combined with rising program costs and unchanged mandates pose enormous challenges for service delivery and balancing budgets. Counties, as an arm of the State government, are required to administer State-mandated services such as public health, child welfare, behavioral health services, and juvenile corrections. These services are important to protect our community; however, State aids continue to decrease and costs of services keep increasing. In 1987 State aid to counties for mandated programs was 46%. In 2019 State aid to counties accounted for 26% of County revenues. As a member of the Social Services and Public Health Committees, we’ve made decisions to make this work by implementing efficiencies in service delivery and staffing to reduce costs. This isn’t sustainable and, if not addressed either through changing mandates or increasing funding, taxes will be affected.
I also serve on the North Central Health Care Board which provides our behavioral and mental healthcare through a Tri-County Agreement with Langlade, Marathon, and Lincoln Counties. Services and revenues were negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic and administrative turnover. We made improvements to the oversight process and accountability to improve services.
Other work in my Supervisor role includes Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, Judicial, and Public Health Committees. The work is interesting, I’ve worked hard, and I would like to continue for another term.
Matthew Webb is challenging incumbent Julie L. Allen for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 19.
Name: Matthew Webb
Family: My wife’s name is Megan, and we have four children: Morgan, Merlin, Magnus, and Minerva.
Employment/position: I am retired from the US Military.
Past/present elected offices: None
– Member of Trinity Lutheran Church Merrill, Wisconsin
– Commissioned United States Army (USA) Signal Corps (communications) Officer 2010-2018
– Charter member of UW Whitewater Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society
– Enlisted machinist/welder United States Air Force (USAF) 1997-2009
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek:
– First, I want to ensure that Lincoln County is a welcoming place for my children when they grow up.
– Second, I have served all my life and want to continue to serve and give back to the community.
– Lastly, I wanted to bring balance back to the County Board by drawing from my experiences from around the world.
Name: Julie L. Allen (Incumbent)
Family: Husband – Wayne Allen
Employment/position: Computer Programmer/Analyst with Oneida County
Past/present elected offices: Town of King Treasurer 1997-Present
Other memberships/offices: —
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am honored to be your representative in Lincoln County for eight years. I currently serve on the Finance Committee, Administrative and Legislative Committee, and the Land Services Committee. I review the meeting packets and ask questions to staff prior to the meetings so I am prepared to make well-educated decisions. I am well respected by both Supervisors and County staff.
I bring county knowledge and experience with my employment at Oneida County Information Technology Services (IT) where I maintain and support County applications for Land Records, Zoning, County Treasurer, Finance, Highway, Solid Waste, Forestry, and Law Enforcement. My service to the Town of King for over 25 years as Treasurer brings in more public engaged experience and verification of trustworthiness with the public.
I am always available to the citizens, diligently working with you on resolving your concerns, as my history speaks for itself. I believe County decisions should be made in an open, financially sound manner.
County-wide broadband access for Lincoln County is a major priority. I am currently serving on the newly-formed Broadband Committee where my IT knowledge and skills will be invaluable. Availability to Countywide broadband has now become a necessity, as many of us now rely on virtual and remote access for our schooling, work, and health care needs. I am excited and dedicated to successfully deliver Countywide broadband to all of Lincoln County. It is not that easy to just tap into all the Broadband monies available in our state budget. The process involves applying for grants in conjunction with an internet service provider (ISP). Our first steps will be to gather information on what areas are unserved and underserved. This information will be gathered by all County residents and land owners by participating in a speed test. The speed test link will be available on the Lincoln County Website by the end of March. Please help us by spreading the word and participating in the speed test.
Our biggest challenge is successfully crafting and passing a balanced budget. We have been functioning under a 15-year tax levy freeze and decreasing state aids. Less revenue, increasing prices has created bare bones staff and bare bones state and federal mandated services, frequently unfunded. Lincoln County has done a great job operating within these very tight constraints to deliver quality services. As prices increase, the County Board will be faced with cutting services, tough decisions. These decisions must come from experienced and educated Board members.
I believe in and practice open government, and if I am re-elected, I will pursue public availability to recorded meetings.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent you and work for you. I enjoy engaging in the community to listen to your concerns and work to solve your issues. Can I count on your vote April 5?
Angela Marie Cummings is challenging incumbent Dora Gorski for the position of Supervisor of Lincoln County District 20.
Name: Angela Cummings
Family: I am happily married to Eugene Cummings, and we have four grown children – Jerry, Kyle, Sheila, and Kimberly. Another son, Bobby, died at age 17. We have one grandchild, Daniel, born Feb. 6.
Employment/position: I was formerly employed by both the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service. I am now retired after 36 years of service. During my tenure I received many awards, served on countless committees, worked across division lines, worked on training teams, developed new procedures, worked closely with the legal department, worked on new legislation, and interacted with taxpayers always showing respect and compassion. I was able to research very complex issues and work with a lot of diverse groups. These are the skills I will be bringing to the Board.
Past/present elected offices: None
Other memberships/offices: I am very active in my church and have been for years including serving on the Parish Council and teaching Sunday School. I have delivered Meals on Wheels. I participate in the Joseph Project. I have volunteered a great number of hours at Stable Hands equine horse therapy center. I volunteer at Newman Catholic High School by assisting in the office, and at athletic events and booster clubs. I volunteered at St. John’s Lutheran School in various functions for Mother’s Club, athletics, and field trips. I participate in an annual drive, Christmas for Heroes, where boxes are made and shipped to our active military serving overseas.
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I reside on a hobby farm in Gleason and have lived in Lincoln County for 19 years.
I am running for County Board Supervisor to bring transparency and accountability to the board. I also would like to see a better working relationship between Supervisors. I am diligent and have a strong work ethic. I have traditional values and will work to enhance the lives of all the citizens in my district.
I would like to see a long-term vision and a plan for moving Lincoln County forward. I would like to do this by being fiscally responsible and bringing fresh, new ideas to the discussion. I also would like to include more public input. I can meet deadlines. I pledge to review and research all items placed before me.
I love spending time with my family, horseback riding, baking, and reading. Our animals include two horses, two goats, nine chickens, a dog, and a cat.
I would be honored and humbled to serve as your County Board Supervisor. I respectfully request your vote on April 5, 2022.
Name: Dora Victoria Gorski (Incumbent)
Family: Husband – Kennan Purdy, 4 Daughters in Wausau and California, 13 Grandchildren, 13 Great-Grandchildren.
Employment/position: Most recent: Retired Social Worker, Prior employment: Computer Systems Manager
Past/present elected offices:
– Chair Social Services Committee April 2010-Present
– Vice Chair Board of Health April 2010-Present
– Vice Chair Aging & Disabilities Resource Center April 2010-Present
Other memberships/offices: Gleason Area Lions Club 2010-Present; VFW Women’s Auxiliary 2000-Present
Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: I am a retired Social Worker with experience creating problem-solving task forces in many of the counties the northern half of the state. I want to continue that work to improve the lives of the people living here. Now I have the time to dedicate to solving issues in Lincoln County.
While employed, I focused on the health and safety of children and educating parents regarding child rearing and reducing suicide. As a Supervisor, I am also invested in the following:
The continuation of the existence of Pine Crest Nursing Home. We have a moral responsibility to provide for the needs of the elderly and disabled. We cannot rely on private for-profit businesses to provide the standard of care that our loved ones need. At this time, Pine Crest is not financial sound, and I feel compelled to do what I can to turn this around.
We have some incredible employees serving Lincoln County, but we cannot afford to pay them competitive wages. As dedicated staff are retiring, it is more and more difficult to attract applicants to fill open positions at the Sheriff’s Department, hire social workers, find nurses and CNAs for Pine Crest and Public Health. Highway Department workers are underpaid. Somehow our pay rates must be increased.
Obviously, this boils down to finding increased revenue without burdening Lincoln County residents with higher taxes. I believe the State must release more of its excess revenue to the County.
Our roads and highways and bridges in the County are long past the point that they should be renovated, but there just isn’t the revenue to complete the necessary projects. The Highway Department is constantly patching what they need to rebuild. If the State would relegate gas tax funds to the County, a lot more work could be done. Instead, the State spent $70 million building roads for Foxcom. I am a member of a new Broadband Committee which is analyzing the existing services (or lack) in this County, then applying for grants, and improving service in neglected areas of the County.
Incumbent Eugene Simon is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 21.
Greg Hartwig is running unopposed in Lincoln County District 22.