Current St. Joseph board member Tom Spaniol will square off against former board member Kevin Adkins for the town chairman post April 7. Spaniol and Adkins are vying for the position now occupied by Dan Gavin, who is not seeking reelection. Spaniol was reelected as First Supervisor last spring. If he wins in April, that seat will be filled after a public posting for candidates and subsequent appointment by the board. The Star-Observer recently sent the candidates a questionnaire asking about their backgrounds and experience, and requesting answers to five questions on local issues and related matters. Answers to the five questions were limited to 750 words total. Here are candidates’ responses:

Tom Spaniol Occupation: First Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph Town resident since: 2002. Government/public service experience: Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph, April 2012-present; Commissioner, Bass Lake Rehabilitation District (BLRD), 2009-2012; Town Board appointee and secretary of the BLRD, 2012-present; Wisconsin Towns Association, 2012-2014; UW Extension/DNR nominee and graduate, Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute, 2014; Town of St. Joseph Public Works Committee, 2012-2014, Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee, 2013-present, St. Croix Bike and Pedestrian Coalition; St. Croix County Sportsman’s Alliance, 2011-present; Storm Water/Wastewater Coalition, 2013-present; Friends of the Wetland Management District, 2012-present; volunteer, Annual Kids Ice Fishing Tournament, Perch Lake; volunteer hockey, baseball and softball coach. Other relevant experience: 32-year career at 3M across multiple disciplines, including sales, marketing, I/T, supply chain and global business analytics. Also Six Sigma and project-management skills and experience.  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"1611666","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","width":"180"}}]] Kevin Adkins Occupation: Business broker associate Town resident since: 1999. Government/public service/other experience: two years as a Town Board supervisor and four years as a member of the town Plan Commission. Chaired both the Finance and River Crossing Committees and represented the town at the St. Croix County Wisconsin Towns Association meetings. As a town supervisor, obtained certifications in road and emergency management procedures. Question #1: Why are you running for Town Chair? Spaniol: I am running for Town Chair because the town needs competent leadership at this critical time. Competent leadership includes extensive knowledge and understanding of all the issues, the ability to understand different points of view, the willingness to listen to all stakeholders, the interpersonal relationships with other governmental and non-governmental bodies, and the ability to guide and lead the town through a complex set of issues. Adkins: Three cornerstones of my candidacy are: wise management of taxpayers’ dollars; maintenance of the peaceful, small-town setting residents highly value; and a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry. Question #2: What do you see as the most important issues facing the Town of St. Joseph over the next two years and beyond? Adkins: The St. Croix River Crossing project has the potential to change the town’s character significantly over the coming years. In order to direct rather than simply react to the opportunities and challenges the new bridge presents, the town needs a fiscally responsible approach to handling the town budget. Complete transparency regarding town government actions that encourages public input into the decision-making processes is also essential. Finally, a professional, thoroughly reviewed, common sense approach to town business practices. Spaniol: The Town of St. Joseph is not facing a few separate issues, but a complex set of interrelated issues. It will take a dedicated effort and competent leadership to successfully manage these. We have made great strides in planning and execution over the last two years. The town Comprehensive Plan, the Natural Resource Inventory Plan and two Lake Management Plans will take considerable effort over the next two years. Simultaneously, we need to continue to implement the plans we have already created and have started to implement. This cannot be done simply by the Town Board or the Plan Commission. The town needs competent, hard-working volunteers on our other town committees to ensure progress toward the achievement of our goals. Committees of respected and knowledgeable individuals will be asked to work tirelessly on these complex issues going forward to ensure all this work is completed on a timely basis. I believe a good leader surrounds himself/herself with capable and competent individuals, all working toward common and appropriate goals. Other issues include protecting our natural resources, groundwater quality and stormwater/wastewater runoff. They are all interrelated. My continued involvement in the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District, being a driving force that successfully helped secure grants for the creation of Lake Management Plans for Bass and Perch Lakes, and the understanding of the federal mandates that we are currently facing, such as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) mandate, is another complex set of issues that I clearly understand. These projects will protect our natural resources for generations to come and improve property values of the town by proper understanding, analysis, planning and leadership on these issues. I have the understanding, skills, and the contacts necessary to move forward on these issues. Finally, there is the set of issues concerning the maintenance of our current infrastructure and creation of new infrastructure within the town, such as the new bridge or bike and pedestrian trails. I believe studying these issues, having stakeholder input, using best practice methodologies and making intelligent and informed decisions for the long term, rather than cheap, quick fix solutions, is the proper way to address these. I will not sacrifice the health, safety, and welfare of our town residents to save a few bucks or to “pretend” to be fiscally responsible. I believe our snow plowing service has been excellent over the last two years and will continue to require high quality service from our service providers. Question #3: How do you plan to address those issues as Town Chair? Spaniol: I will address these issues through a comprehensive understanding of each issue; utilization of capable committee volunteers, local experts and contacts; and a sense of urgency to move the processes forward. As Town Chair, it will be my responsibility to ensure that we make progress and manage the process of forward movement on the issues by incorporating my project management skills. Adkins: A thorough study and resulting plan to reduce snow plowing costs would be the first item requiring fiscal attention. A competitive bidding process for all substantial town expenditures, whether required or not, is essential. A return to separate town clerk and town treasurer positions would guarantee checks and balances in the day-to-day business operation of the town. Strong collaboration with a qualified town Finance Committee, as well as a cooperative working relationship and perhaps shared responsibilities with surrounding communities, should be a long-range expectation. With regard to transparency in town actions, proper utilization of the town’s website capabilities is a tool currently readily available to the town. I support a complete review and accurate update of town ordinances and resolutions, allowing elected officials and residents alike to proceed on a firm legal foundation as town business is conducted. Fostering a receptive, service attitude toward residents, committee members, volunteers and elected officials as they interact with the town at all levels is a culture I will work diligently to establish. A long-range plan is essential to both the maintenance and addition of infrastructure, as well as assuring that the town embodies the characteristics that residents prefer over time. A 10-year maintenance plan for all infrastructure -- i.e. roads, facilities, machinery -- as well as a funding mechanism that is well understood by officials and residents would be a strong emphasis during my service. Adherence to plans and ordinances in place as future planning is completed would get my utmost attention. I support at least a three-acre-minimum lot size as future development is considered, as well as trail systems, both primary and secondary, that will not require town tax money to plan, design, construct or maintain. Question #4: What makes you the best candidate for the job? Adkins: With more than 30 years of experience as a small business owner maintaining structural and mechanical infrastructure for governmental entities ranging from local municipalities to federal government properties, I gained a firm basis for the decision-making process that is necessary to manage town resources effectively. In addition, my involvement at every level of town government began in 2006 and gives me the overview required to manage all facets of town business from the budget to contracts to infrastructure. Spaniol: My 32 years at 3M through a series of 17 different job responsibilities have prepared me well for this assignment. I have hired, managed, trained and mentored hundreds of individuals in that timeframe. The experience of managing teams and meeting deadlines, within a budget, also adds to my level of competence. Additionally, my experiences include being the town appointee to the Public Works Committee; the Parks, Trails, and Recreation Committee; and the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District. I was a co-author of the Clerk/Treasurer Handbook and Employee Agreement, the Outdoor Recreation Plan, the Sign Replacement and Reflectivity Plan, and a significant contributor to the Pavement Management Plan and the Bike and Pedestrian Trail Plan. My additional work with the Stormwater/Wastewater Coalition, the Wisconsin Towns Association, the Sportsman’s Alliance, the UW Extension Lake Leaders and the St. Croix County Bike and Pedestrian Coalition adds additional experience to my qualifications. Question #5: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you and/or your candidacy for the Town Chair seat? Spaniol: I am retired, have the necessary time to devote to this position, the business and town experience, and the skills to be a competent leader. I do know how to get the job done and get it done right! I respectfully request your vote on April 7th. Adkins: I pledge to the town residents: 1 -- a thorough monthly review of town expenditures to assure proper budget monitoring and curb wasteful spending and 2 -- that I will only vote for expenditures that are on a line item in the town budget, assuring residents that I am spending only what they have authorized. In addition, I intend to pursue, with the cooperation of the entire town board, implementation of professional processes for managing town business and an increased opportunity for resident involvement in the decision-making processes. Most importantly, as chairperson I will maintain an open door and listening ear for residents’ concerns. Communication is very important. Contact me. I will listen.Current St. Joseph board member Tom Spaniol will square off against former board member Kevin Adkins for the town chairman post April 7. Spaniol and Adkins are vying for the position now occupied by Dan Gavin, who is not seeking reelection. Spaniol was reelected as First Supervisor last spring. If he wins in April, that seat will be filled after a public posting for candidates and subsequent appointment by the board. The Star-Observer recently sent the candidates a questionnaire asking about their backgrounds and experience, and requesting answers to five questions on local issues and related matters. Answers to the five questions were limited to 750 words total. Here are candidates’ responses: [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"1611680","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","width":"180"}}]] Tom Spaniol Occupation: First Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph Town resident since: 2002. Government/public service experience: Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph, April 2012-present; Commissioner, Bass Lake Rehabilitation District (BLRD), 2009-2012; Town Board appointee and secretary of the BLRD, 2012-present; Wisconsin Towns Association, 2012-2014; UW Extension/DNR nominee and graduate, Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute, 2014; Town of St. Joseph Public Works Committee, 2012-2014, Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee, 2013-present, St. Croix Bike and Pedestrian Coalition; St. Croix County Sportsman’s Alliance, 2011-present; Storm Water/Wastewater Coalition, 2013-present; Friends of the Wetland Management District, 2012-present; volunteer, Annual Kids Ice Fishing Tournament, Perch Lake; volunteer hockey, baseball and softball coach. Other relevant experience: 32-year career at 3M across multiple disciplines, including sales, marketing, I/T, supply chain and global business analytics. Also Six Sigma and project-management skills and experience.  

Kevin Adkins Occupation: Business broker associate Town resident since: 1999. Government/public service/other experience: two years as a Town Board supervisor and four years as a member of the town Plan Commission. Chaired both the Finance and River Crossing Committees and represented the town at the St. Croix County Wisconsin Towns Association meetings. As a town supervisor, obtained certifications in road and emergency management procedures. Question #1: Why are you running for Town Chair? Spaniol: I am running for Town Chair because the town needs competent leadership at this critical time. Competent leadership includes extensive knowledge and understanding of all the issues, the ability to understand different points of view, the willingness to listen to all stakeholders, the interpersonal relationships with other governmental and non-governmental bodies, and the ability to guide and lead the town through a complex set of issues. Adkins: Three cornerstones of my candidacy are: wise management of taxpayers’ dollars; maintenance of the peaceful, small-town setting residents highly value; and a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry. Question #2: What do you see as the most important issues facing the Town of St. Joseph over the next two years and beyond? Adkins: The St. Croix River Crossing project has the potential to change the town’s character significantly over the coming years. In order to direct rather than simply react to the opportunities and challenges the new bridge presents, the town needs a fiscally responsible approach to handling the town budget. Complete transparency regarding town government actions that encourages public input into the decision-making processes is also essential. Finally, a professional, thoroughly reviewed, common sense approach to town business practices. Spaniol: The Town of St. Joseph is not facing a few separate issues, but a complex set of interrelated issues. It will take a dedicated effort and competent leadership to successfully manage these. We have made great strides in planning and execution over the last two years. The town Comprehensive Plan, the Natural Resource Inventory Plan and two Lake Management Plans will take considerable effort over the next two years. Simultaneously, we need to continue to implement the plans we have already created and have started to implement. This cannot be done simply by the Town Board or the Plan Commission. The town needs competent, hard-working volunteers on our other town committees to ensure progress toward the achievement of our goals. Committees of respected and knowledgeable individuals will be asked to work tirelessly on these complex issues going forward to ensure all this work is completed on a timely basis. I believe a good leader surrounds himself/herself with capable and competent individuals, all working toward common and appropriate goals. Other issues include protecting our natural resources, groundwater quality and stormwater/wastewater runoff. They are all interrelated. My continued involvement in the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District, being a driving force that successfully helped secure grants for the creation of Lake Management Plans for Bass and Perch Lakes, and the understanding of the federal mandates that we are currently facing, such as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) mandate, is another complex set of issues that I clearly understand. These projects will protect our natural resources for generations to come and improve property values of the town by proper understanding, analysis, planning and leadership on these issues. I have the understanding, skills, and the contacts necessary to move forward on these issues. Finally, there is the set of issues concerning the maintenance of our current infrastructure and creation of new infrastructure within the town, such as the new bridge or bike and pedestrian trails. I believe studying these issues, having stakeholder input, using best practice methodologies and making intelligent and informed decisions for the long term, rather than cheap, quick fix solutions, is the proper way to address these. I will not sacrifice the health, safety, and welfare of our town residents to save a few bucks or to “pretend” to be fiscally responsible. I believe our snow plowing service has been excellent over the last two years and will continue to require high quality service from our service providers. Question #3: How do you plan to address those issues as Town Chair? Spaniol: I will address these issues through a comprehensive understanding of each issue; utilization of capable committee volunteers, local experts and contacts; and a sense of urgency to move the processes forward. As Town Chair, it will be my responsibility to ensure that we make progress and manage the process of forward movement on the issues by incorporating my project management skills. Adkins: A thorough study and resulting plan to reduce snow plowing costs would be the first item requiring fiscal attention. A competitive bidding process for all substantial town expenditures, whether required or not, is essential. A return to separate town clerk and town treasurer positions would guarantee checks and balances in the day-to-day business operation of the town. Strong collaboration with a qualified town Finance Committee, as well as a cooperative working relationship and perhaps shared responsibilities with surrounding communities, should be a long-range expectation. With regard to transparency in town actions, proper utilization of the town’s website capabilities is a tool currently readily available to the town. I support a complete review and accurate update of town ordinances and resolutions, allowing elected officials and residents alike to proceed on a firm legal foundation as town business is conducted. Fostering a receptive, service attitude toward residents, committee members, volunteers and elected officials as they interact with the town at all levels is a culture I will work diligently to establish. A long-range plan is essential to both the maintenance and addition of infrastructure, as well as assuring that the town embodies the characteristics that residents prefer over time. A 10-year maintenance plan for all infrastructure -- i.e. roads, facilities, machinery -- as well as a funding mechanism that is well understood by officials and residents would be a strong emphasis during my service. Adherence to plans and ordinances in place as future planning is completed would get my utmost attention. I support at least a three-acre-minimum lot size as future development is considered, as well as trail systems, both primary and secondary, that will not require town tax money to plan, design, construct or maintain. Question #4: What makes you the best candidate for the job? Adkins: With more than 30 years of experience as a small business owner maintaining structural and mechanical infrastructure for governmental entities ranging from local municipalities to federal government properties, I gained a firm basis for the decision-making process that is necessary to manage town resources effectively. In addition, my involvement at every level of town government began in 2006 and gives me the overview required to manage all facets of town business from the budget to contracts to infrastructure. Spaniol: My 32 years at 3M through a series of 17 different job responsibilities have prepared me well for this assignment. I have hired, managed, trained and mentored hundreds of individuals in that timeframe. The experience of managing teams and meeting deadlines, within a budget, also adds to my level of competence. Additionally, my experiences include being the town appointee to the Public Works Committee; the Parks, Trails, and Recreation Committee; and the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District. I was a co-author of the Clerk/Treasurer Handbook and Employee Agreement, the Outdoor Recreation Plan, the Sign Replacement and Reflectivity Plan, and a significant contributor to the Pavement Management Plan and the Bike and Pedestrian Trail Plan. My additional work with the Stormwater/Wastewater Coalition, the Wisconsin Towns Association, the Sportsman’s Alliance, the UW Extension Lake Leaders and the St. Croix County Bike and Pedestrian Coalition adds additional experience to my qualifications. Question #5: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you and/or your candidacy for the Town Chair seat? Spaniol: I am retired, have the necessary time to devote to this position, the business and town experience, and the skills to be a competent leader. I do know how to get the job done and get it done right! I respectfully request your vote on April 7th. Adkins: I pledge to the town residents: 1 -- a thorough monthly review of town expenditures to assure proper budget monitoring and curb wasteful spending and 2 -- that I will only vote for expenditures that are on a line item in the town budget, assuring residents that I am spending only what they have authorized. In addition, I intend to pursue, with the cooperation of the entire town board, implementation of professional processes for managing town business and an increased opportunity for resident involvement in the decision-making processes. Most importantly, as chairperson I will maintain an open door and listening ear for residents’ concerns. Communication is very important. Contact me. I will listen.Current St. Joseph board member Tom Spaniol will square off against former board member Kevin Adkins for the town chairman post April 7.Spaniol and Adkins are vying for the position now occupied by Dan Gavin, who is not seeking reelection.Spaniol was reelected as First Supervisor last spring. If he wins in April, that seat will be filled after a public posting for candidates and subsequent appointment by the board.The Star-Observer recently sent the candidates a questionnaire asking about their backgrounds and experience, and requesting answers to five questions on local issues and related matters. Answers to the five questions were limited to 750 words total. Here are candidates’ responses:

Tom SpaniolOccupation: First Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph Town resident since: 2002. Government/public service experience: Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph, April 2012-present; Commissioner, Bass Lake Rehabilitation District (BLRD), 2009-2012; Town Board appointee and secretary of the BLRD, 2012-present; Wisconsin Towns Association, 2012-2014; UW Extension/DNR nominee and graduate, Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute, 2014; Town of St. Joseph Public Works Committee, 2012-2014, Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee, 2013-present, St. Croix Bike and Pedestrian Coalition; St. Croix County Sportsman’s Alliance, 2011-present; Storm Water/Wastewater Coalition, 2013-present; Friends of the Wetland Management District, 2012-present; volunteer, Annual Kids Ice Fishing Tournament, Perch Lake; volunteer hockey, baseball and softball coach. Other relevant experience: 32-year career at 3M across multiple disciplines, including sales, marketing, I/T, supply chain and global business analytics. Also Six Sigma and project-management skills and experience. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"1611666","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","width":"180"}}]]Kevin AdkinsOccupation: Business broker associate Town resident since: 1999. Government/public service/other experience: two years as a Town Board supervisor and four years as a member of the town Plan Commission. Chaired both the Finance and River Crossing Committees and represented the town at the St. Croix County Wisconsin Towns Association meetings. As a town supervisor, obtained certifications in road and emergency management procedures.Question #1: Why are you running for Town Chair?Spaniol: I am running for Town Chair because the town needs competent leadership at this critical time. Competent leadership includes extensive knowledge and understanding of all the issues, the ability to understand different points of view, the willingness to listen to all stakeholders, the interpersonal relationships with other governmental and non-governmental bodies, and the ability to guide and lead the town through a complex set of issues. Adkins: Three cornerstones of my candidacy are: wise management of taxpayers’ dollars; maintenance of the peaceful, small-town setting residents highly value; and a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry. Question #2: What do you see as the most important issues facing the Town of St. Joseph over the next two years and beyond?Adkins: The St. Croix River Crossing project has the potential to change the town’s character significantly over the coming years. In order to direct rather than simply react to the opportunities and challenges the new bridge presents, the town needs a fiscally responsible approach to handling the town budget. Complete transparency regarding town government actions that encourages public input into the decision-making processes is also essential. Finally, a professional, thoroughly reviewed, common sense approach to town business practices. Spaniol: The Town of St. Joseph is not facing a few separate issues, but a complex set of interrelated issues. It will take a dedicated effort and competent leadership to successfully manage these. We have made great strides in planning and execution over the last two years. The town Comprehensive Plan, the Natural Resource Inventory Plan and two Lake Management Plans will take considerable effort over the next two years. Simultaneously, we need to continue to implement the plans we have already created and have started to implement. This cannot be done simply by the Town Board or the Plan Commission. The town needs competent, hard-working volunteers on our other town committees to ensure progress toward the achievement of our goals. Committees of respected and knowledgeable individuals will be asked to work tirelessly on these complex issues going forward to ensure all this work is completed on a timely basis. I believe a good leader surrounds himself/herself with capable and competent individuals, all working toward common and appropriate goals.Other issues include protecting our natural resources, groundwater quality and stormwater/wastewater runoff. They are all interrelated. My continued involvement in the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District, being a driving force that successfully helped secure grants for the creation of Lake Management Plans for Bass and Perch Lakes, and the understanding of the federal mandates that we are currently facing, such as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) mandate, is another complex set of issues that I clearly understand. These projects will protect our natural resources for generations to come and improve property values of the town by proper understanding, analysis, planning and leadership on these issues. I have the understanding, skills, and the contacts necessary to move forward on these issues.Finally, there is the set of issues concerning the maintenance of our current infrastructure and creation of new infrastructure within the town, such as the new bridge or bike and pedestrian trails. I believe studying these issues, having stakeholder input, using best practice methodologies and making intelligent and informed decisions for the long term, rather than cheap, quick fix solutions, is the proper way to address these. I will not sacrifice the health, safety, and welfare of our town residents to save a few bucks or to “pretend” to be fiscally responsible. I believe our snow plowing service has been excellent over the last two years and will continue to require high quality service from our service providers. Question #3: How do you plan to address those issues as Town Chair?Spaniol: I will address these issues through a comprehensive understanding of each issue; utilization of capable committee volunteers, local experts and contacts; and a sense of urgency to move the processes forward. As Town Chair, it will be my responsibility to ensure that we make progress and manage the process of forward movement on the issues by incorporating my project management skills. Adkins: A thorough study and resulting plan to reduce snow plowing costs would be the first item requiring fiscal attention. A competitive bidding process for all substantial town expenditures, whether required or not, is essential. A return to separate town clerk and town treasurer positions would guarantee checks and balances in the day-to-day business operation of the town. Strong collaboration with a qualified town Finance Committee, as well as a cooperative working relationship and perhaps shared responsibilities with surrounding communities, should be a long-range expectation.With regard to transparency in town actions, proper utilization of the town’s website capabilities is a tool currently readily available to the town. I support a complete review and accurate update of town ordinances and resolutions, allowing elected officials and residents alike to proceed on a firm legal foundation as town business is conducted. Fostering a receptive, service attitude toward residents, committee members, volunteers and elected officials as they interact with the town at all levels is a culture I will work diligently to establish.A long-range plan is essential to both the maintenance and addition of infrastructure, as well as assuring that the town embodies the characteristics that residents prefer over time. A 10-year maintenance plan for all infrastructure -- i.e. roads, facilities, machinery -- as well as a funding mechanism that is well understood by officials and residents would be a strong emphasis during my service. Adherence to plans and ordinances in place as future planning is completed would get my utmost attention. I support at least a three-acre-minimum lot size as future development is considered, as well as trail systems, both primary and secondary, that will not require town tax money to plan, design, construct or maintain. Question #4: What makes you the best candidate for the job?Adkins: With more than 30 years of experience as a small business owner maintaining structural and mechanical infrastructure for governmental entities ranging from local municipalities to federal government properties, I gained a firm basis for the decision-making process that is necessary to manage town resources effectively. In addition, my involvement at every level of town government began in 2006 and gives me the overview required to manage all facets of town business from the budget to contracts to infrastructure. Spaniol: My 32 years at 3M through a series of 17 different job responsibilities have prepared me well for this assignment. I have hired, managed, trained and mentored hundreds of individuals in that timeframe. The experience of managing teams and meeting deadlines, within a budget, also adds to my level of competence.Additionally, my experiences include being the town appointee to the Public Works Committee; the Parks, Trails, and Recreation Committee; and the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District. I was a co-author of the Clerk/Treasurer Handbook and Employee Agreement, the Outdoor Recreation Plan, the Sign Replacement and Reflectivity Plan, and a significant contributor to the Pavement Management Plan and the Bike and Pedestrian Trail Plan. My additional work with the Stormwater/Wastewater Coalition, the Wisconsin Towns Association, the Sportsman’s Alliance, the UW Extension Lake Leaders and the St. Croix County Bike and Pedestrian Coalition adds additional experience to my qualifications. Question #5: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you and/or your candidacy for the Town Chair seat? Spaniol: I am retired, have the necessary time to devote to this position, the business and town experience, and the skills to be a competent leader. I do know how to get the job done and get it done right! I respectfully request your vote on April 7th. Adkins: I pledge to the town residents: 1 -- a thorough monthly review of town expenditures to assure proper budget monitoring and curb wasteful spending and 2 -- that I will only vote for expenditures that are on a line item in the town budget, assuring residents that I am spending only what they have authorized. In addition, I intend to pursue, with the cooperation of the entire town board, implementation of professional processes for managing town business and an increased opportunity for resident involvement in the decision-making processes. Most importantly, as chairperson I will maintain an open door and listening ear for residents’ concerns. Communication is very important. Contact me. I will listen.Current St. Joseph board member Tom Spaniol will square off against former board member Kevin Adkins for the town chairman post April 7.Spaniol and Adkins are vying for the position now occupied by Dan Gavin, who is not seeking reelection.Spaniol was reelected as First Supervisor last spring. If he wins in April, that seat will be filled after a public posting for candidates and subsequent appointment by the board.The Star-Observer recently sent the candidates a questionnaire asking about their backgrounds and experience, and requesting answers to five questions on local issues and related matters. Answers to the five questions were limited to 750 words total. Here are candidates’ responses:[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_preview","fid":"1611680","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"180","title":"","width":"180"}}]]Tom SpaniolOccupation: First Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph Town resident since: 2002. Government/public service experience: Supervisor, Town of St. Joseph, April 2012-present; Commissioner, Bass Lake Rehabilitation District (BLRD), 2009-2012; Town Board appointee and secretary of the BLRD, 2012-present; Wisconsin Towns Association, 2012-2014; UW Extension/DNR nominee and graduate, Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute, 2014; Town of St. Joseph Public Works Committee, 2012-2014, Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee, 2013-present, St. Croix Bike and Pedestrian Coalition; St. Croix County Sportsman’s Alliance, 2011-present; Storm Water/Wastewater Coalition, 2013-present; Friends of the Wetland Management District, 2012-present; volunteer, Annual Kids Ice Fishing Tournament, Perch Lake; volunteer hockey, baseball and softball coach. Other relevant experience: 32-year career at 3M across multiple disciplines, including sales, marketing, I/T, supply chain and global business analytics. Also Six Sigma and project-management skills and experience. 

Kevin AdkinsOccupation: Business broker associate Town resident since: 1999. Government/public service/other experience: two years as a Town Board supervisor and four years as a member of the town Plan Commission. Chaired both the Finance and River Crossing Committees and represented the town at the St. Croix County Wisconsin Towns Association meetings. As a town supervisor, obtained certifications in road and emergency management procedures.Question #1: Why are you running for Town Chair?Spaniol: I am running for Town Chair because the town needs competent leadership at this critical time. Competent leadership includes extensive knowledge and understanding of all the issues, the ability to understand different points of view, the willingness to listen to all stakeholders, the interpersonal relationships with other governmental and non-governmental bodies, and the ability to guide and lead the town through a complex set of issues. Adkins: Three cornerstones of my candidacy are: wise management of taxpayers’ dollars; maintenance of the peaceful, small-town setting residents highly value; and a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry. Question #2: What do you see as the most important issues facing the Town of St. Joseph over the next two years and beyond?Adkins: The St. Croix River Crossing project has the potential to change the town’s character significantly over the coming years. In order to direct rather than simply react to the opportunities and challenges the new bridge presents, the town needs a fiscally responsible approach to handling the town budget. Complete transparency regarding town government actions that encourages public input into the decision-making processes is also essential. Finally, a professional, thoroughly reviewed, common sense approach to town business practices. Spaniol: The Town of St. Joseph is not facing a few separate issues, but a complex set of interrelated issues. It will take a dedicated effort and competent leadership to successfully manage these. We have made great strides in planning and execution over the last two years. The town Comprehensive Plan, the Natural Resource Inventory Plan and two Lake Management Plans will take considerable effort over the next two years. Simultaneously, we need to continue to implement the plans we have already created and have started to implement. This cannot be done simply by the Town Board or the Plan Commission. The town needs competent, hard-working volunteers on our other town committees to ensure progress toward the achievement of our goals. Committees of respected and knowledgeable individuals will be asked to work tirelessly on these complex issues going forward to ensure all this work is completed on a timely basis. I believe a good leader surrounds himself/herself with capable and competent individuals, all working toward common and appropriate goals.Other issues include protecting our natural resources, groundwater quality and stormwater/wastewater runoff. They are all interrelated. My continued involvement in the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District, being a driving force that successfully helped secure grants for the creation of Lake Management Plans for Bass and Perch Lakes, and the understanding of the federal mandates that we are currently facing, such as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) mandate, is another complex set of issues that I clearly understand. These projects will protect our natural resources for generations to come and improve property values of the town by proper understanding, analysis, planning and leadership on these issues. I have the understanding, skills, and the contacts necessary to move forward on these issues.Finally, there is the set of issues concerning the maintenance of our current infrastructure and creation of new infrastructure within the town, such as the new bridge or bike and pedestrian trails. I believe studying these issues, having stakeholder input, using best practice methodologies and making intelligent and informed decisions for the long term, rather than cheap, quick fix solutions, is the proper way to address these. I will not sacrifice the health, safety, and welfare of our town residents to save a few bucks or to “pretend” to be fiscally responsible. I believe our snow plowing service has been excellent over the last two years and will continue to require high quality service from our service providers. Question #3: How do you plan to address those issues as Town Chair?Spaniol: I will address these issues through a comprehensive understanding of each issue; utilization of capable committee volunteers, local experts and contacts; and a sense of urgency to move the processes forward. As Town Chair, it will be my responsibility to ensure that we make progress and manage the process of forward movement on the issues by incorporating my project management skills. Adkins: A thorough study and resulting plan to reduce snow plowing costs would be the first item requiring fiscal attention. A competitive bidding process for all substantial town expenditures, whether required or not, is essential. A return to separate town clerk and town treasurer positions would guarantee checks and balances in the day-to-day business operation of the town. Strong collaboration with a qualified town Finance Committee, as well as a cooperative working relationship and perhaps shared responsibilities with surrounding communities, should be a long-range expectation.With regard to transparency in town actions, proper utilization of the town’s website capabilities is a tool currently readily available to the town. I support a complete review and accurate update of town ordinances and resolutions, allowing elected officials and residents alike to proceed on a firm legal foundation as town business is conducted. Fostering a receptive, service attitude toward residents, committee members, volunteers and elected officials as they interact with the town at all levels is a culture I will work diligently to establish.A long-range plan is essential to both the maintenance and addition of infrastructure, as well as assuring that the town embodies the characteristics that residents prefer over time. A 10-year maintenance plan for all infrastructure -- i.e. roads, facilities, machinery -- as well as a funding mechanism that is well understood by officials and residents would be a strong emphasis during my service. Adherence to plans and ordinances in place as future planning is completed would get my utmost attention. I support at least a three-acre-minimum lot size as future development is considered, as well as trail systems, both primary and secondary, that will not require town tax money to plan, design, construct or maintain. Question #4: What makes you the best candidate for the job?Adkins: With more than 30 years of experience as a small business owner maintaining structural and mechanical infrastructure for governmental entities ranging from local municipalities to federal government properties, I gained a firm basis for the decision-making process that is necessary to manage town resources effectively. In addition, my involvement at every level of town government began in 2006 and gives me the overview required to manage all facets of town business from the budget to contracts to infrastructure. Spaniol: My 32 years at 3M through a series of 17 different job responsibilities have prepared me well for this assignment. I have hired, managed, trained and mentored hundreds of individuals in that timeframe. The experience of managing teams and meeting deadlines, within a budget, also adds to my level of competence.Additionally, my experiences include being the town appointee to the Public Works Committee; the Parks, Trails, and Recreation Committee; and the Bass Lake Rehabilitation District. I was a co-author of the Clerk/Treasurer Handbook and Employee Agreement, the Outdoor Recreation Plan, the Sign Replacement and Reflectivity Plan, and a significant contributor to the Pavement Management Plan and the Bike and Pedestrian Trail Plan. My additional work with the Stormwater/Wastewater Coalition, the Wisconsin Towns Association, the Sportsman’s Alliance, the UW Extension Lake Leaders and the St. Croix County Bike and Pedestrian Coalition adds additional experience to my qualifications. Question #5: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you and/or your candidacy for the Town Chair seat? Spaniol: I am retired, have the necessary time to devote to this position, the business and town experience, and the skills to be a competent leader. I do know how to get the job done and get it done right! I respectfully request your vote on April 7th. Adkins: I pledge to the town residents: 1 -- a thorough monthly review of town expenditures to assure proper budget monitoring and curb wasteful spending and 2 -- that I will only vote for expenditures that are on a line item in the town budget, assuring residents that I am spending only what they have authorized. In addition, I intend to pursue, with the cooperation of the entire town board, implementation of professional processes for managing town business and an increased opportunity for resident involvement in the decision-making processes. Most importantly, as chairperson I will maintain an open door and listening ear for residents’ concerns. Communication is very important. Contact me. I will listen.

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