Alderwoman Amy Steenbock will be challenged by Steve Kettenhoben in the Tuesday, April 7 general election for the District 3 seat on Clintonville’s city council.
Steenbock was appointed to the seat after Alderman Jerry Jorgenson resigned in September.
Kettenhoven has previously served on the city council.
To help inform voters where the two candidates stand on the issues concerning Clintonville, the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette asked both candidates a series of questions. The questions and their responses are listed below.
What are the three most important issues facing the city of Clintonville?
Kettenhoven: 1. Create a larger tax base by expanding our business and residential community. 2. Continuing to provide services, like the outdoor swimming pool. 3. Main Street construction.
Steenbock: 1. The hiring of a new city administrator. 2. Balancing the budget. 3. Moving the city forward.
If elected, what would you do to find solutions to those issues?
Kettenhoven: We have seen a number of our local businesses expand, but we need to continue to invite new businesses to our Main Street and industrial park by helping them lay the ground work for a seamless move to Clintonville. A knowledgeable and cooperative city staff and government is a good start. Encouraging expansion and inviting new businesses provides jobs that will create growth in our residential area, which in turn expands our tax base. This allows us to provide our citizens with the services they need and desire. Because the Main Street construction will basically be a three year project, we need to keep the communication lines open with the residents and businesses to provide safe travel for the citizens and downtown customers.
Steenbock: Review, interview, and hire the best candidate for the city administrator. Look for ways to balance the budget without major cuts or major tax increases, and put the past behind and learn from it.
What are your ideas to fix Clintonville’s budget problem?
Kettenhoven: We cannot continue to ask our departments to make cuts because these cuts ultimately cost the taxpayer through a lack of services and programs. Increasing our tax base will help, but we also need to look into every available funding opportunity from all levels including all county, state, and federal programs.
Steenbock: Look into possible grants.
What do you think the city should do with the outdoor swimming pool?
Kettenhoven: The Clintonville outdoor swimming pool has been a staple in our community for a very long time. And just like with any structure, with age comes maintenance. I think having an indoor and outdoor pool provides our citizens with two great choices. However, because the upgrade to the outdoor pool will require a lot of taxpayer dollars, I think the taxpayers should have been given the choice through the referendum that could have been on the spring ballot. Once this facility is gone, we may never see another like it in Clintonville.
Steenbock: At the council meeting that was held at the Community Center, I said that we the council needed to ask the citizens what they thought, that is why we are working on a referendum. Possible grants.
What do you think the city should do with the Rec. Center building?
Kettenhoven: In a lot of ways, the Rec Center is like the pool, an aging facility that needs repairs and also provides services to our community. This building houses our Park & Rec Department and a number of programs that Park & Rec hosts for our citizens. These programs are offered at little or no expense to the public and although they are not money makers for the city, I think they are essential to our youth and adults. Without a Rec Center, we will not be able to offer these programs and I don’t see any available funding in the near future for a new building.
Steenbock: Again we need to ask the citizens of Clintonville, taking in to consideration that it is a historical building and houses the Food Pantry, as to what should be done. Possible grants.
What is it going to take to create harmony between both the council and the citizens of Clintonville?
Why should voters elect you?
Kettenhoven: We need to get back to a city council that is working for the people by working with the people. A council that represents by listening to their constituents. Tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars have gone into investigations that now have to be kept behind closed doors. Harmony requires trust, and I don’t see that under the current council.
Steenbock: Let what happened in the past stay there, learn from it and move on, both the council and the citizens.
Why should voters elect you?
Kettenhoven: Having served seven years on past councils, and numerous committees like Finance, Street, Park & Rec, Pigeon Lake District, Airport, Utilities, and Safety & Ordinance, has given me the experience and knowledge to help our city grow.
I’ve worked through many budgets and I understand that sometimes difficult decisions have to be made in order to do what is best for the community as a whole.
But more importantly, I am also a taxpayer and I know what it’s like to not be heard. My door, my email, and my phone are always open to the citizens of my district, and the entire community, because your voice does matter.
Steenbock: I am here to listen to their ideas, suggestions, and concerns. To be their voice.