Two village board trustee incumbents and two challengers with past board experience are on the April 7 ballot for the Village of Hortonville spring election.
Incumbents Kelly Schleif and Jeff Schuh are on the ballot, along with challengers Charles Nieuwenhuis and Peter J. Olk. Three seats on the board are open for two-year terms. Olk is also running for Hortonville Municipal Judge. If elected to both, he will have to choose which one to accept.
The four candidates responded to a brief election survey from the Press-Star. Names were drawn from a hat to determine the order of their responses.
What are the three most important issues facing the Village of Hortonville?
Charles Nieuwenhuis: 1. Getting new businesses into town and in the industrial park to create more jobs. 2. Finding a way to increase the number of parking spaces in the village. 3. Keeping spending in the Village at a safe amount.
Kelly Schleif: 1. Hiring a new village administrator, 2. Continued growth of the village. 3. Reduction of Village costs.
Jeff Schuh: 1. Filling the vacant Village Administrator Position is our most pressing current need. 2. Maintain the quality of the services currently provided to the residence of the Village without increasing the burden place on the taxpayers. 3. The highway 15 bypass is going to change the looks and feel of this village.
Peter Olk: Improving the downtown retail area and encourage new business development. Provide a stimulus to bring more business and residential investment to Hortonville.
If elected, what would you do to find a solution to those issues?
Charles Nieuwenhuis: 1. Work with the new Village Administrator to visit with potential businesses that would be interested in coming to Hortonville to do business in a town that is growing has a great location to move goods and a great place to work and raise children. 2. Work with the planning committee to see where we could increase the number of parking spots possibly where some vacant buildings are located. 3. To keep spending at a safe amount means attending the meetings and finding out what the Village needs to grow and take care of the needs of the community.
Kelly Schleif: We have begun the search of a new village administrator and have outlined a process for selection. I would continue to help with the facilitation of the hiring process to ensure that we hire the best available candidate. We have reduced the cost of building permits and continue to solicit business to our TID districts. I am currently the committee chair on evaluating the old library building and Opera House. We are evaluating solutions to help reduce the village long term cost of these buildings.
Jeff Schuh: 1. By being actively involved in the hiring process for the best qualified canidate that fits the needs of the Village. 2. Insure the service are cost effective and effeciently managed, while continuing to promote a business friendly community that draws manufacturers, retailers and consumers. 3. Insure the village needs are represented to the state in a manner that will help expand the village and at the same time promote a trail system along the current highway corridor into the village.
Peter Olk: Work with current business owners to improve and update their building facades. Develop a marketing concept to attract new businesses to make Hortonville a destination.
What, if any ideas do you have for managing the villages limited financial resources?
Charles Nieuwenhuis: The financial resources I think are managed well but each trustee has a vote that can support or vote against any issue. I am not a big spender but the Village has to be maintained and kept solvent at the same time.
Kelly Schleif: We need to continue to attract new businesses, creating added jobs within the Village and generating added revenue. We also need to look at cost reduction of our existing facilities.
Jeff Schuh: Encourage all department to investigate alternative sources of funding.
I believe there are needs and wants for everything, I will continue to question and scrutinize how and where the money is spent with respect to maintaining the current budget.
By promoting growth in the village industrial park, retail plaza and housing developments. This will help increase the tax base allowing the village to conduct business in an effective manner.
Peter Olk: Research grant opportunities and additional ways to generate revenue.
Is there anything in your personal or professional background that will help you if elected to public office?
Charles Nieuwenhuis: I am a Chiropractor in Hortonville since 1985 and I am a certified medical examiner for DOT Physicals and I drive a school bus for Hortonville part time so I have a wide background and meet with many people and I was on the Village Board a few years ago.
Kelly Schleif: Professionally, I am a vice president and project manager of a local construction company. For the past four years, I have used these management skills and construction knowledge to help the Village with projects that we have undertaken and continue to create. Personally, my wife and I have raised two daughters in the Village and have many friends and neighbors that we care deeply about. I want to help make this the best community possible.
Jeff Schuh: I have served on the village board for the past four years. As a board we have made great strides and improved the quality of the village. Professionally I manage a department where I must also maintain a lean balanced budget. Learning from my day-to-day activities help me make the right decisions affecting this village.
Peter Olk: Past State government employment. In addition, I have 35 plus years of business, promotional and marketing experience.
Why should voters elect you?
Charles Nieuwenhuis: I have lived in the Village since 1985 and have raised my family here and would like to see Hortonville grow responsibly with good financial planning. There are opportunities to try and help the town and this is one way to do that. The best way to make a difference is to get involved where the planning starts.
Kelly Schleif: Over the past four years, the current board has managed a successful referendum for a much needed Municipal building and encouraged growth through the expansion of existing businesses which will provide new jobs. We’ve established a strategic plan for the Village and are working with Village businesses to help rejuvenate the downtown. We’ve reduced the cost of building permits to promote growth within the Village. I would like to continue to help my community be a better place to live and a place that all of our residents and businesses are proud to call home.
Jeff Schuh: I have always taken a fair and honest approach to how I represent the residents of Hortonville. I believe my track record shows the needs of the village is my number one priority.
Peter Olk: I am fully committed to make positive changes to improve the quality of life for all of Hortonville’s residents.