Clintonville Mayor Judy Magee is seeking re-election but will face competition from Tricia Rose, who is running a write-in campaign.
The County Post East sent surveys to each candidate, and their responses are listed below.
Please tell us about your background and why you are interested in running for office.
????????????Magee: I was born in Clintonville on Sept. 8, 1946 and have been a resident of Clintonville for 67 years. I am running for re-election for the position of Mayor. I believe that I can continue to make a difference in our City.
I want to be able to see the final product of our Main Street reconstruction. The process began in 2005 and there is light at the end of this tunnel. The replacing of the bridge will begin in 2015 – Main Street will be closed from 10th St to 13th St during phase 1 of the project. Phase 2 will begin in 2017 starting at 12th St going north to Hwy. 156 and Green Tree Rd. There continues to be monthly phone conference calls to make sure that everyone is keeping their part of the project up to date.
Rose: I have a bachelor degree in business from Northern Michigan University. I own both a residential property and a commercial property here in Clintonville, where my husband Greg and I raise four daughters. I am running for mayor because I want to make improvements to our beautiful city, which one day I hope will be theirs. I have been asked by many of the residents here to run and have thought long and hard about it before making my decision. In the end, I opted to run because I love Clintonville and I truly want to call this my forever home and have my daughters return to the area after college. I want to make a positive difference in the community and help improve safety, create a more transparent government, and practice better fiscal responsibility.
Do you plan to help the city recruit potential businesses? If so, how? Do you plan to assist existing businesses in their efforts to grow? If so, how? How do you plan to help attract more residents to the city?
Magee: The City is always looking for new businesses to locate in Clintonville. We have connections through the State of Wisconsin as well as Waupaca County. We are currently assisting several businesses with their expansions through revolving loans, TIF Districts, etc. Just to clear up a misconception with TIF Districts – the money a business receives is paid back through their yearly city taxes.
The United States has become a very mobile society. Most families have two vehicles which makes it easier for them to commute to their jobs. We need to remain positive and willing to assist new businesses and residents in ways that the state laws permit, and create great relationships with our business owners including existing and new businesses that have and show an interest in Clintonville.
Rose: Yes, I do intend to help recruit potential businesses. Being a small business owner myself, I understand the struggles but also the hesitations with bringing a business into a community. I will actively solicit businesses that are not in the community to encourage them to come here and help generate programs and incentives to assist with start-ups.
The existing businesses we have are terrific, and we cannot forget to support them and I would hold regular meetings and keep in constant communication with those business owners to see to their needs.
We need to figure out a way to increase our population and encourage people to move here. Sadly, the city is not growing and it’s too bad because it really is a beautiful community. We should be always communicating with developers and housing groups to come up with different ideas for new housing as well as repairing unkempt properties. We have done a terrific job building our industrial park and bringing in corporations in the past decade, but have not managed to increase the population. We need to come up with creative ways to work on this issue.
Which areas of the city budget do you think should be reduced? Which areas do you think should be increased? How much do you value current city departments and employees? Are there any departments or employees that you’d like to see eliminated? Are there any departments or employees that you’d like to see added or promoted?
Magee: The finance committee of the Council begins the budget process with many meetings in October, November, and December. It is their job to review the budget for each department. This is accomplished by going through line by line to see what can be reduced, eliminated and/or what needs to be increased. I encourage the members of the council who are not on the finance committee to attend as many of the budget meeting as possible and members of the community are also encouraged to attend.
One reason for having so many sub-committees is that they do the ground work for each department and they then present the wishes of the sub-committee to the full council for voting. The council is not rubber stamping items on the agenda. The council believes that the sub-committees have done their due diligence to bring what is necessary for running the City to the council for voting yes or no.
I value all of our city departments and employees. Promotions are made when we have retirements.
Rose: The budget is out-of-line for a city our size. We need to take a closer look at the budget to come up with some better solutions. Wages are a big part of the budget, so we need to take a look at combining duties or eliminating positions, if necessary. Frivolous spending needs to stop.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high), how much progress do you think the city has made in the past three years? What will you do to continue or reverse that trend?
Magee: I believe that Clintonville ranks an 8. I would like to point out some of the positive items occurring in Clintonville, such as: a. Our 2013 property taxes went down. (Many people received refunds from their escrow checks that were based on the 2012 tax bill); b. We had the greatest growth for Net New Construction during 2013 in Waupaca County and much more than most of the rest of the State of Wisconsin. Our growth was 2.94 percent. The website that you can check this out on is: http://www.revenue.wi.gov/equ/nnc.
In 2012 our net increase was 2.63 percent. Clintonville’s Industrial Park is the envy of Waupaca County and most of the State. As a measurable number a community can look at Net New Construction to gauge success. Waupaca County had 0.5 percent with Clintonville 5-6 times higher. Great things are happening in Clintonville and it is my goal to keep going in the direction of additional growth.
Rose: The city has made decent progress, but still has a way to go. I’d say we are at about a 6, but it needs to continue to climb by adding residents to the city. Business growth has been good, but it’s the population that’s killing us.
Why should people elect you?
Magee: I believe that I am one of many persons who can help Clintonville grow. I am very visible in the community. I am retired and that has its advantages for being Mayor. I am available at anytime I am needed for items that come up unexpectedly, i.e. signing different letters, legal papers, documents and contracts. I am available at a moment’s notice by phone, to stop at city hall to visit with constituents, members of the business community, meet with the City Administrator daily to keep myself informed of daily duties, etc.
I also make it a point to pay my respect to the families of Clintonville residents that pass away by attending their loved ones funeral. I have an advantage by having lived in Clintonville all of my life, I know many families.
I attend most of the sub-committee meetings of the Council. I am invited to represent Clintonville at many meetings, serve on several committees and attend functions when various clubs and businesses from Clintonville and the County ask me to attend.
I hope that I have shown during my first two terms that I care very much about my community, its residents, and tax payers. I would be honored to be re-elected by the citizens of Clintonville for a third term.
Rose: I want to be elected because I feel that it is a time for change in Clintonville. The city needs new leadership with fresh, new ideas to bring our city forward. The residents here need to feel that they have someone they can trust, who they can turn to when they need something and who will always protect their best interests.