Tuesday decides spring elections, presidential primaryThis Tuesday, April 3, voters can go to the polls to cast ballots for school, town, city, county, and judge candidates. Clockwise starting top left are candidates for the River Falls City Council: At-large incumbent David Cronk, At-large incumbent Scott Morrissette, District 4 incumbent Robert Hughes, District 4 candidate Christopher Gagne, At-large candidate Eunice Beauchman, and At-large candidate Lauren Evans.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
This Tuesday, April 3, voters can go to the polls to cast ballots for school, town, city, county, and judge candidates.
The still-contested Republican presidential primary between Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul also comes to Wisconsin and River Falls voters April 3. President Barack Obama is running unopposed in the Democratic Wisconsin primary.
Many local and area elections are uncontested. This includes the school board race in River Falls. Incumbents Alan Tuchtenhagen, Mike Miller and Barb Kolpin are running unopposed.
Polls everywhere open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
In the city, here’s where to vote:
- District 1 District 1, at the National Guard Armory, for wards 1-4 in St. Croix County and Ward 5 in Pierce County.
- District 2, at the UWRF University Center, for wards 9, 10 and 11.
- District 3, at Meyer Middle School (north entrance), for wards 6, 7 and 8.
- District 4, at the high school, for wards 12, 13 and 14.
For questions about where to vote, call City Clerk Lu Ann Hecht at 715-426-3408.
City residents can also check by going to www.rfcity.org. Click on City Information, then Voter information. A voting map can be accessed.
Polling place information can also be obtained from Voter Public Access at https://vpa.wi.gov. On this website, check your voter status; polling place location; voting history going back several years; absentee ballot status; and a sample ballot for the next election you vote in.
Town residents vote at their town hall:
- Troy, 654 Glover Road on the west side of Hwy. 35N.
- Kinnickinnic, 1271 County Road J.
- Pleasant Valley, 1630 30th Ave.
- River Falls, W9015 770th Ave. (Randall Road and Hwy. 65).
- Clifton, W11705 County Road FF (near intersection with County Road QQ).
- Martell, W5581 Hwy. 63.
Candidates are running for seats on the City Council as part of the Tuesday, April 3, spring elections.
The Journal asked the four candidates running for at-large council member and the two candidates running for a District 4 council seat to explain their backgrounds and Top Ten priorities
Address: 2137 Rushmore Drive
Bio: Married to Jody for 23 years. Three kids, Emily and Molly, 14, and Sam, 12, all students at Meyer Middle School. Been in the finance industry for 22 years and currently work for Associated Bank. 1987 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in urban planning. Graduated from the Graduate School of Banking program at Madison in 2005.
Member of the City Council and Rotary -- currently the Secretary of the Board --, the President Elect of the River Falls Chamber of Commerce, served on the Pierce County EDC, Historic Preservation Commission, Plan Commission, Design Review Committee, Town of Troy/City of River Falls Boundary Agreement Committee, and The City of River Falls/Utility Commission Task Force.
- 1-3: Be a better husband, father, and person -- There is always room for improvement in these areas.
4. Fiscal responsibility of tax payer dollars -- No one, including my wife and I, like to pay taxes. I have made it a practice to always remember the money I vote to spend is not mine but belongs to the tax payers of River Falls. The City portion of resident’s property tax bill is 24%. Looking for ways to reduce this amount is my #1 priority as an Alderman.
5. Be informed -- I review all the information I am given by city staff and look for my own sources on issues. I try to be as informed as possible when voting by listening to the citizens and research. Ultimately, my vote is based on what is best for the city as a whole.
6. Work with the surrounding Towns (Clifton, Kinnickinnic, River Falls, and Troy) on Boundary Agreements -- Boundary agreements help define the relationship between the town(s) and city. It covers the responsibility for road maintenance and city growth among other things. Good agreements make good neighbors. The Town of Troy and the City of River Falls had discussions in the fall of 2010 and decided that it was not the right time to put an agreement in place. We are finding other ways to work together. I would like to see the city and the towns open discussions to explore boundary agreements.
7. Work with the River Falls Baseball Association to put in place a competition ball park -- The River Falls Baseball Association (RFBA) is working hard to build a competition baseball field. The city and RFBA are currently having discussions about an agreement for a parcel of land in Hoffman East. This has many pluses for the City of River Falls, including tourism and improving what the city has to offer.
8. Review the downtown sign ordinance -- It is time for a review of the downtown sign ordinance. There are good parts of this ordinance and a total restructure may not be necessary but there are changes I would like to explore including size and types.
9. Get healthy -- Another area where there is always room for improvement. Eat healthier and get more exercise.
10. Engage citizens of River Falls in their city government -- We currently have good volunteers for the numerous boards and committees that the city uses to operate. These people have devoted their time and expertise to help the city. Some have been involved for 3 and 4 terms or about 6-8 years. I commend these volunteers and encourage others to consider volunteering their time as well.
Address: 726 S Main St.
Bio: Husband Thomas, three children, Katie 26, Marilyn, 16 and Thomas, 14. Own Two Bears Painting. Seeking an English degree through UWRF. Family immigrated to the United States in 1964 from England; my father was a WWII, Korean and Vietnam era veteran, (27 years combined service). Born at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona in a quonset hut. Since moving from Montana in the fall of 1999, giving back to the community that has nurtured our family is important to me. Been active in the local schools through volunteer work, helping Habitat for Humanity, and donating time and resources to paint the house of a needy individual here in town, my husband and I also have held fundraisers to help elderly people on various Native American Indian Reservations throughout the country with propane during the depths of winter. I enjoy gardening, reading, attending local musical events, and I am an avid supporter of local arts.
- 1. Promote our town -- Our town has many assets that we could use to promote River Falls as a destination rather than another little town on the way to larger towns. If elected to represent the City of River Falls, these assets are what I am interested in developing. I believe that it is highly important to have adequate representation on the council by local business owners, specifically someone that will vote with the best interests of River Falls' residents and the local business community. Right now we need the integration of fresh blood, new ideas and a vision of prosperity for our community.
2. Thriving business district -- As a local business owner I believe that it is vital to have a thriving downtown and a business district, but not at the expense of local property owners or small businesses struggling to maintain a business in a harsh economy.
3.Harness local assets -- We need to become a destination! River Falls has a scenic and desirable setting within reach of large cities and by harnessing local assets to create jobs for local residents these jobs by definition cannot be out sourced -- by becoming and maintaining a destination worthy site we also draw in people along the way including their tourist dollars.
4. Promote tourism -- Creation of festivals and special events that use our local assets as a means of drawing in tourist dollars to our local economy, this should include conferences jointly held between the city and the university, we have many local artists, writers, and musicians this is an asset that we can actively brand and market as a local asset.
5. New partnerships -- Encourage economic development by creating new partnerships between the UWRF campus, high schools, (apprentice programs etc.), new entrepreneur’s and existing successful entrepreneur’s alliances -- harness that existing wisdom and expand on it.
6. Host Workshops and Conferences -- Both of these will attract investors and new ideas locally.
7. Encouraging local businesses -- Businesses that are successful to reinvest in new local companies, to help with their overall survival rates.
8. Encourage volunteerism -- Spread the word about River Falls as a destination and actively encourage the spirit of volunteerism within the community!
9. Property tax reductions -- Why not try lowering property taxes incrementally for home owners/business owners that maintain their property. The way the system is set up now penalizes the good citizen for maintaining their property or properties, why not work the system the other way around?
10. Fiscal responsibility -- I would like to ensure that your tax monies are being spent wisely, and will vote against tax increases that impact our fellow citizens, far too many of my clients and neighbors are struggling under the current economic situation and do not need nor want unjustified spending and tax increases. I for one will be voting with this in mind if I am elected!
Address: 843 Leroy Lane
Bio: I'm a retired teacher, with a bachelors and master’s degree in education. You've known me as a teacher, a coach, a golf instructor, a community theatre actor, a four term city council member as well as a number of other activities in the community. (I taught full time for 32 years and 10 years as a sub. During that time I taught 5th-8th grade, each was my favorite.)
- 1. Keep the city’s budget balanced.
2. Finish the Cascade avenue project.
3. Put in the Radio Road interchange.
4. Work to keep River Falls as an environmental leader in the nation.
5. Develop new business/ industrial parks within the city.
6. Develop cooperative boundary agreement with the townships surrounding River Falls.
7. Develop the area around Lake George.
8. Develop a plan to entice new retail business to River Falls.
9. Encourage local people to get involved with city government.
10. Get re-elected as your At Large Council representative.
Bio: Marketing communications major at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Worked closely with non-partisan organizations like Students for a Fair Wisconsin and the Midwest Permacultural Institute to find my purpose in society as an artistic entrepreneur. I grew up in north Minneapolis with my three brothers and single-mother. My interests include: the outdoors, sustainable agriculture, and the arts. River Falls is a place where an interdisciplinary life can prosper.
- 1 To be an intermediary between UWRF and the city of River Falls
2. Looking into the reduction of property tax by utilizing integration of our local institutions
3. Provide representation for women, students (K-College) people of color, and other minorities in the city of River Falls
4. Build our small businesses
5. Integrate the dialectical perspective to the way decisions are made
6. Integration of place-based learning into our educational facilities
7. Grasp knowledge of how to develop a successful community
8. Serve taxpayers by providing opportunities to better our community
9. Increase access to healthier living integrating recreational activities in community programs and local CSAs
10. Laugh More
Address: 249 Foster St.
Hughes did not provide any biographical information and gave a very limited reply about priorities.
Priorities should really be concentrated to just a few things because you are working with six other alderpersons, a mayor, staff/administration, and many board and commission members each with their own priorities and goals.
- 1. Cut taxes or stop tax increases.
2. Refocus on sustainability.
This District 4 council candidate, who is challenging incumbent Hughes, did not provide a response to the Journal’s inquiry.
Last week’s Journal featured front-page stories of Don Richards’ bid to retain the mayor’s job. Another front-page story explained what challenger Dan Toland wants to do to claim the job for himself. See that story in the news section of this web site.