Candidate for Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson held a public meeting at Midtown Pub and Grill Monday evening. One of his main focuses was to save the legislation he wrote five years ago for Family Care, a program designed to keep the elderly and disabled in their own homes at a significant cost savings to taxpayers.
Nelson was asked questions about his past experience, to which he answered, “As majority leader in the assembly, I was challenged with 250-300 pieces of legislation that had to be passed, while working with not only my own party but with politicians across the board. I believe that general experience can be applied with any of the 1200 county employees I will work with. I am up for the challenge.”
He said that worker morale is a big concern for him and will be a priority. “State and other public workers have a direct impact on people everywhere. People don’t go into public service to make a lot of money. They go in to make their community a better place to live. It will surely be a challenge to boost morale over the next few years.”
Another question brought up the importance of technical schools, asking how we get through to legislation that technical schools are a vital part of business development and growth. Nelson answered, “If you want change to occur during an economic downturn, we need skilled workers who can fill positions. Cutting back on technical colleges is foolish. This is key to our economic solution. We should not shortplay the role that workforce development can do.”
Nelson is concerned with how the state budget will affect us locally. From a county executive level, there hasn’t been a spokesperson in Madison. County executive seats are open in Dane, Milwaukee, Racine, Brown, and Outagamie counties.
“We have a three month window to focus on lobbying to have a state budget that is locally controlled,” said Nelson. “Corrective legislation is unlikely after that.” He asked that people take part in their lobbying efforts and could contact him at nelsonforcountyexecutive.com.
Nelson has been on a four-month journey throughout Outagamie County that includes the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New London, town board meetings in Dale and Hortonville, to area diners in the morning, to Friday fish frys in Hortonville, and knocking on over 10,000 doors in the past three months alone.