Larry Nelson has extensive experience representing the city of Waukesha and the county over the years, but he hasn't governed them simultaneously.
His opponent in next month's county board race is trying to accomplish that feat.
Daniel Manion is looking to unseat Nelson as the District 18 county board supervisor and become the second county board supervisor — Kathleen Cummings is the other — to hold both a Waukesha aldermanic seat as well as a county board seat at the same time.
Manion has represented the city's seventh district since late 2013.
Nelson, the former Waukesha mayor, and Manion offer voters a different perspective. While the position is nonpartisan, the 61-year-old Nelson is an identified Democrat, while the 39-year-old Manion said he offers voters "a conservative choice."
Voters in the county's 18th district will choose between the veteran Nelson and newcomer Manion during the April 5 general election. The district includes primarily the southern and southwestern parts of the city of Waukesha, but also a small section in the central city (Wards 14, 16-17, 24-25 and 30-31). 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?
Nelson: I have the experience and leadership that gets results. As vice chairman of the finance committee, I voted for budgets that have kept Waukesha with the lowest property tax rate among counties without a sales tax in Wisconsin. I voted for the Employee Wellness Center, which will save taxpayers $7 million over five years, the West Bypass, as well as the Bridges Library System and Joint Recycling Facility, which will also save taxpayers money.
Manion: I am running for the county board to give the voters a choice — more importantly, a conservative choice — in this election. I believe in the principles of holding the line on taxes and limiting the expansion of government. I believe the majority of constituents in District 18 share in these beliefs.
If the Waukesha County Museum shows it is financially stable in the coming years, would you support the Waukesha County Board providing funds to the museum again?
Nelson: I previously voted for money to the museum and spoke at Landmarks Commission in favor of the current proposal to save what I believe is the most historically significant building in the county. As mayor, I strongly pushed for and personally donated to make the Les Paul exhibit a reality, which has the potential to increase tourism. I would definitely consider voting for funds, depending on their business plan and financial stability after the renovations.
Manion: As elected officials, I believe one of the most important responsibilities we have is being good stewards of the taxpayers' money. I did agree with the board's decision to remove support for the museum from the county budget. I do not rule out the possibility of the county providing limited financial support to the museum in the future, but I would absolutely oppose returning to an annual subsidy.
The Waukesha Common council is worried a developer could develop on the historic Moor Downs Golf Course. Would you deny a developer from building on the course or deny any type of sale of the course should one ever come about?
Nelson: When I was the alderman on the Landmarks Commission, I strongly supported the proposal that saved the course for the last 12 years. As supervisor, I voted against the demolition of the landmark Moor Downs building, which would have saved taxpayers $2 million and I believe with senior housing there, it could have helped the course. I would be skeptical of anything that would destroy the course that I believe is a historic gem.
Manion: As a member of the Waukesha Common Council, I supported the unanimous resolution to keep the golf course in its current condition and not use it for future development. I'm not a golfer myself, but the residents have expressed that the course is a unique asset in the city, and they have been clear in their desire to preserve this historic landmark.
Larry Nelson (inc.)
Address: 201 N. Prairie Ave., Waukesha
Years in district: 22
Occupation: Waukesha County Board supervisor; retired language arts teacher at Butler Middle School
Education: Bachelor's degree in English and secondary education, University of Wisconsin; master's degree in English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Political History: Waukesha alderman (2000-06); Waukesha mayor (2006-10); Waukesha County Board supervisor (2012-present). Served on many committees as a county supervisor, including finance, human resources, Waukesha County Judiciary and Law Enforcement, Bridges Library System board of trustees, Community Development Block Grant board of directors, Wisconsin Counties Association Health and Human Services Steering Committee, National Association of Counties Community, Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee
Community Involvement: Waukesha County Drug Free Communities Coalition, co-chairman; Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum member; Friends of the Women's Center; Friends of the Waukesha Public Library board of directors; Waukesha Citizens Police Academy Association member; Waukesha Youth Collaborative member; Waukesha Civic Theatre board of directors; Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace board of directors; Waukesha Reads Steering Committee; Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books Program Committee; Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin board of directors; National Trust for Historic Preservation member; Waukesha Library Public Art Committee.
Family: Wife, Dawn Borowski
Phone: (262) 542-4767
Address: 1911A Mallard Pointe Circle, Waukesha
Years in district: 121/2
Occupation: Information technology professional
Education: Double majored in computer science and communication/journalism, Carroll University
Political History: Waukesha alderman since November 2013
Community Involvement: N/A