Duane Paulson and Jaron Mosier, candidates for the District 17 county board seat, have different views on how the Waukesha County Museum should be funded.
Before the museum unveiled a plan last year that includes selling the buildings to a local developer in an attempt to rid itself of the property's financial burdens, Paulson looked at putting additional county resources into the historic structure a few years ago.
However, his request was denied and soon the county stopped providing the museum with additional money.
Mosier says the county made a wise decision in eliminating taxpayer funding to the museum, the one-time Waukesha County Courthouse.
Paulson, the incumbent, and Mosier, the challenger, will square off April 5 for the county board seat that includes the central, western and northwest parts of the city of Waukesha (Wards 5, 11, 15, 26-27, 32-34 and 37-38). To see the boundaries of this district go online at bit.ly/countyboardmap.
Board seats are two-year terms. The annual salary for supervisors is $9,536.
Waukesha Now asked each candidate three questions leading up to the election. Candidates were asked to limit responses to 75 words. In some cases, answers were edited for length.
Why should you be elected to the county board?
Paulson: I have assisted constituents to navigate their needs with regard to mental health, aging, disabilities, tracking down people that were owed money by the county, and, yes, even jail issues. People in need of these services generally just need some direction, and it has been rewarding to provide that. Using good business practices, we have kept Waukesha County the lowest taxed county in the state and a AAA bond rating.
Mosier: I am running for the county board because I believe in lower taxes and smaller government. Residents of the 17th District tell me that their No. 1 concern is property taxes. The only way to responsibly lower property taxes is to be disciplined in spending taxpayers' money. And that's the important thing to remember: The money spent by the county is taxpayers' money, not the county's.
If the museum shows it is financially stable in the coming years, would you support the Waukesha County Board providing funds to the Waukesha County Museum again?
Paulson: My record on this is very clear. I have proposed additional money for the museum and was not successful. I think it is important to maintain this building. It is an architectural gem that represents Waukesha's past.
Mosier: The museum needs to rely upon the support of individuals and local businesses. I encourage residents of the county to support the museum by becoming supporting members, as I recently did. County government shouldn't send taxpayers' hard-earned money to the museum. The county needs to limit its spending to fulfilling its core responsibilities, like ensuring that county roads are cleared of snow in the winter and guaranteeing the sheriff's department has sufficient staffing and equipment.
As a county supervisor, how would you encourage development and business growth in your district and throughout the county?
Paulson: The largest job loss in my district was General Electric. Replacing GE with a business is highly unlikely. We have the loan program for up to $50,000. Interest in locating or expanding a business usually goes through the county executive. A supervisor has to be ready to find out what each potential business needs are and be prepared to assist when possible.
Mosier: I support (County Executive Paul) Farrow's proposal to designate an organization to facilitate expansion of existing county businesses and relocation of business from outside the county. Outreach to growing businesses is a vital part of encouraging development within the county. The county can further improve the local business climate by limiting government spending and taxation. Businesses will come to and stay in Waukesha County if their owners and employees get to keep more of their own hard-earned wages.
Duane Paulson (inc.)
Address: 1121 Summit Ave., Waukesha
Years in Community: 46
Occupation: Retired firefighter, city of Waukesha
Education: Catholic Memorial High School, bachelor's degree in business administration, Spencerian College in Milwaukee
Political History: Waukesha County Board supervisor, 18 years; Waukesha alderman, three years
Community Involvement: Former Parks and Recreation soccer coach, Labor Division chairman for United Way, previously served on the board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness
Family: Wife Carol, son Michael (deceased), daughter Vickie and two grandchildren
Phone: (262) 542-4174
Address: 221 S. Hine Ave., Waukesha
Years in district: 10
Occupation: Attorney, litigation and municipal law
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, Maranatha Baptist University (Watertown); Juris Doctor, Marquette University Law School
Political History: Member of the Republican Party of Waukesha County, National Rifle Association member, Federalist Society (association of conservative attorneys) member and Waukesha County Taxpayers Association member
Community Involvement: Hearing Loss Association (Wisconsin Chapter), past president; St. Michael's Anglican Church member, tutor for adults learning English as a second language
Family: Married with three children