Of the 17 Grant County Board districts, only District 17 has a race.
Sup. Vince Loeffeholz, who has been on the county board for 12 years, is opposed by Dan Timmerman, who has served on the Kieler Sanitary Commission.
Loeffelholz is a farmer. Timmerman owns Timmerman Consulting.
“I have 12 years experience, I have a knowledgeable well-rounded background and have served on a wide range of committees such as Land Conservation, Ag/Extension/Fair, Orchard Manor, Administration, Public Property and Law Enforcement,” said Loeffelholz.
“Except for my active duty in the Army National Guard in Fort Lewis Washington and two years with Deere & Co in Moline, Ill., I am a lifelong resident of Grant County,” said Timmerman. “I have been involved with the Kieler Community as a volunteer member and leader in many of the community’s organizations. With my past and current experiences, I feel I have much to offer the Grant County Board of Supervisors.”
Loeffelholz feels the most important issue in the election is “the budget, keeping current services in place, and [the] lean government initiative.”
“I am concerned about how we spend the taxpayers’ money; I questioned what can I do about that,” said Timmerman. “My feeling is that we must look at the local level before we can affect what is going on at the federal level: how are we spending the taxpayers’ money; where is there waste; what federal and state grants do we receive; why do we receive them; how are funds distributed; are the grants necessary — basically how is the taxpayer’s money being spent.”
The two have different approaches on the services the county provides.
“No services or employees have been cut and should not be cut,” said Loeffehol. “I feel I represent the people of the county appropriately, from the youth to the elderly, roads to environmental protection, education to emergencies. The services are essential and important to the citizens of Grant County. We work closely with department heads to have, and to keep a balanced budget. “
In contrast, said Timmerman, “Reductions could take place by eliminating overlap and duplicity. This would also reduce and/or eliminate overtime.” He added that many projects funded by federal or state grants, he would “turn those over to private charities. It has been my experience that a private charity does a much better job of getting the funds to the people that need and deserve the funds than do government agencies. Government programs are well intentioned, but many times result in abuse and fraud.
“I would look at what current practices involve multiple county agencies’ interaction that result in work direction that result in overtime pay. When opportunities arise that can allow the use of inmates on a ‘Work Release Program’ for the type of work currently being performed by county employees.”
Loeffelholz and Timmerman gave similar answers on the question of consolidating programs, either within the county or among counties.
“We already have the Southwest Community Action Program, Unified, Aging and Disability Resource Center and UW–Extension regionally consolidated,” said Loeffelholz. “I feel this is a cost savings to the county and a way of utilizing better resources. We have a combined Planning, Zoning and Sanitation with Land Conservation, and I feel this should be maintained locally to have a better control of our county’s natural resources.”
“I would like to see consolidation and partnership in every feasible area,” said Timmerman. “Departmental ‘empire building’ must be stopped. That said, we are not Madison or Milwaukee and we should not be affected by their persuasion. Our consolidation should only be with like-minded rural counties.”
One issue the board is facing is what to do with several county buildings, including the courthouse, the Orchard Manor 1952 building, and the Law Enforcement Center.
“Currently, there is an RFP (request for proposal) out on the courthouse to preserve and restore this historic landmark,” said Loeffelholz. “Hopefully, when this project is decided, the board will then be able to look at other facilities and develop a plan. I feel we need to look at one project at a time.”
“I am ‘Old School’ in that I believe you don’t buy what you can’t pay for,” said Timmerman. “I also believe you ‘do it right the first time’ with a long range plan for the future. Don’t spend money on ‘patch jobs’ that need rework in a year or two. I would agree with the approach of prioritizing one project at a time and paying it off with existing funds. In time, I would consider if there are any current underutilized county buildings or vacant buildings in the community that could satisfy the needs. These ideas are to give the taxpayer their best bang for the buck.”
Neither Loeffelholz nor Timmerman would commit to supporting County Board chair Larry Wolf for reelection, or any candidate to replace Wolf.
“I will wait to see who will be running for the seat, and support the best qualified person, said Loeffelholz. “I will look for honesty, knowledge, fairness and leadership in deciding on the person I will vote for.”
Timmerman said his vote for board chair would be based on “Clarity of thought on the issues, transparency, and honesty.”