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Northern Crawford County spring election lineup

NORTH CRAWFORD COUNTY - Crawford County voters will vote in multiple electoral contests on Tuesday, April 3.

State Supreme Court

Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock will oppose Rebecca Dallet, a judge for the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in Wisconsin. Screnock was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar in 2006, and since has worked on many complex cases, including defending Act 10. In 2015, Judge Screnock was appointed by Governor Walker to a seat on the Sauk County Circuit Court, located in Baraboo.  Dallet was first elected to her Circuit Court position in 2008 and was re-elected in 2014 for a term that will expire in 2020.

Statewide referendum

Question: Elimination of state treasurer. Shall sections 1 and 3 of article VI and sections 7 and 8 of article X of the constitution be amended, and section 17 of article XIV of the constitution be created, to eliminate the office of state treasurer from the constitution and to replace the state treasurer with the lieutenant governor as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands?

Voters will be able to vote either yes or no.

School Boards

Spring election voters in the North Crawford and Seneca school districts will be able to vote in elections for members of their district’s school boards. Three candidates, Judy Powell, Jesse Swenson, and James Dworschack are running for the three open positions in the North Crawford School Board election.

In the Seneca School Board election there are no declared candidates whose names will appear on the ballot, so voters will select two write-in candidates for the two open positions. There are two write-in candidates who have filed paperwork and who will serve if elected. Those two are Tyler Aspenson and Charles Clark.

County Board

All Supervisors on the Crawford County Board are up for re-election on Tuesday, April 3. All incumbents are running unopposed for their positions, except in District 3, where Kersten Rocksvold who represents Prairie du Chien’s 3rd Ward has filed papers of non-candidacy.

Village Boards

In the upcoming spring election on Tuesday, April 3, the Villages of Gays Mills, and Soldiers Grove will have elections for their village boards on the ballot.

Village of Gays Mills

The Village of Gays Mills will elect three trustees who will all serve two-year terms.

John Johnson

John Johnson, life-long resident of Gays Mills and retired journeyman lineman, has served the community for many years on the Village Board. Johnson’s name will appear on the ballot, but he is asking that people write in Lee Ruegg rather than vote for him.

Johnson stated that the main issue he sees for the village board is to avoid foolish spending, and concentrate on attracting new businesses and residents to the village.

Lee Ruegg

Lee Ruegg has lived in the North Crawford area for the last 27 years, and lived through numerous floods during that time. She works at The Marketplace in Gays Mills.

“There’s been a lot of change in Gays Mills since the 2007-2008 floods, and it’s been hard for some of the residents who have been here their whole lives to take,” Ruegg said. “If elected to the board, I want to work to bring together the old part of town with the new part, streamline things, and ensure that there is just one town – OUR town.”

Ruegg stated that she thinks communication around proposed changes could be handled better, and wants to ensure that all residents have a voice in the decision-making process.

“We also need people to be more engaged with issues in the Village,” Ruegg said. “People need to pick up the newspaper, talk to their neighbors – we need more leaders and less followers.”

Ruegg’s says that if elected, she will take the time to get a feel for the board and what is going on. However, Ruegg emphasized that her priorities will be to ensure that any development that happens in the village is not frivolous, will pay for itself, and will be aimed at attracting businesses and residents to Gays Mills.

Albert Ziegel

Albert Ziegel is an incumbent trustee on the Village Board, having served since 2008. He has run a bakery in Gays Mills since 1991, and his four children all graduated from North Crawford High School.

Ziegel has been involved with many committees on the board, and was involved in the decisions about how to rebuild the village following the 2007 and 2008 floods.

“If elected again, it will be an honor to continue to serve the residents of the Village,” Ziegel said. “I always told my kids that rather than just complaining, the best way to work for a positive outcome is to step up and become involved.”

Ziegel stated that he wants to work to “bring more festivity” to the village, continuing to improve Apple Festival, but also attracting other events which will help to improve the village’s economy. Otherwise, he thinks that things are going fairly well in the village and doesn’t see any huge issues currently.

Aaron Fortney

Aaron Fortney is an incumbent of the Village Board, who also serves on the North Crawford School Board. Forney works at Sunrise Orchard, and part-time as a rural postal carrier for the Gays Mills Post Office. Fortney is a graduate of North Crawford High School, and has also served on the Franklin Church Council, as secretary of the Gays Mills Fire Department, and is active with the Gays Mills Lions Club.

Village of Soldiers Grove

The Village of Soldiers Grove will elect three trustees, who will all serve two-year terms.

Harrison Heilman

Harrison Heilman is a new candidate for the position of trustee on the Soldiers Grove Village Board. Heilman resides in the village, and works in a sales position with Star Valley Flowers, and also in the Justice Sanctions Department in La Crosse County.

“I always knew that I wanted to run for public office,” Heilman said. “My Mom was involved in politics, and she instilled a strong sense of civic duty in me.”

Heilman thinks his background in sales has given him the kind of outgoing personality that will allow him to engage with village residents, listen to their concerns, and get to the root of any problems that may arise.

Although Heilman grew up just outside of Chicago, he says that time spent in the Peace Corps when he was younger gave him an appreciation for the rural, small town lifestyle. He says it is “more rooted and less stressful” than life in a more urban environment.

Roy Davidson

Roy Davidson is an incumbent that has served “four or five terms” on the Village Board, and says his motivations for running again are “about the same now as they’ve always been.”

“If I can help the village, then I’ll continue to run and to serve,” Davidson said.

Davidson seemed cautiously optimistic about the new meat locker business proposed for the old Swiss Valley cheese plant in the village.

“I think it sounds like a good idea,” Davidson said. “The sewer should be able to handle it, and it will fill a need in our community for people to have smaller lots of animals butchered now that the lockers in Gays Mills and Eastman are no longer available.”

Davidson says that he also wants to see the board come together around a good site for a storage locker business, but isn’t sure that locating it in the parking lot of the current business district is the right way to go.

Shayne Chapman

Shayne Chapman is an incumbent on the Soldiers Grove Village Board, who has served for “12-14 years.” Employed by the Crawford County Transportation Department, Chapman serves the village not only by participating in governance on the board, but has also lent his experience and labor to helping to fix roads, and other problems in the village.

“The board does the best we can for the village,” Chapman said. “Sometimes it’s hard with money being so tight and so many residents living on fixed incomes – we just try to keep it all on an even keel.”

Chapman thinks that both of the new businesses proposed for the village – a meat locker in the old Swiss Valley plant, and a storage locker business – have good potential. He also pointed to the location of the Driftless Brewery in the village as “being good for the village.”

Chapman said that he is happy to see Harrison Heilman running for the board, and down the road would like to see other new faces as well.