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Three face off in Boscobel mayoral primary
Boscobel mayoral candidates

BOSCOBEL – On February 15, Boscobel voters will go to the polls to decide which two of three candidates will appear on the April nonpartisan spring election for mayor of Boscobel. The race is garnering lots of attention after longtime mayor Steve Wetter announced his retirement.

The three candidates who will appear on the February 15 nonpartisan primary ballot are Robin Baumeister, Kurt Hoeper, and Brenda Kalish.

Robin Baumeister

Name: Robin Baumeister

Position Sought: Mayor of Boscobel

Age: 48 years old

City of Residence: City of Boscobel, It’s A Great Day to Be A Bulldog

Family: Two beautifulchildren – Jonathan & Maya, and Ginger the Wonder Dog.

Education: Wauzeka Hornet Graduate

Occupation: Best Job Ever - I get to promote the City of Boscobel as the Boscobel Area Chamber of Commerce Program Coordinator.

Previous Elected Positions Held: President of the Grant County Tourism Council.

What are the top issues facing the City of Boscobel and how would you work to resolve it?

I believe that Community Togetherness is an issue in the City of Boscobel. I have worked with various clubs and organizations throughout my adult life, and I have seen real results when these groups work together towards a goal. I believe that there are many people in this community ready and waiting to be a part of the togetherness; however, there are multiple groups working towards the same goal taking different paths. I want to actively involve the community by being out and asking questions to best determine the path that the City Government should pursue. This is YOUR community, and I am asking for your support so that I can be your voice.

What are other key issues facing the City of Boscobel, and how would you work to resolve them?

Sitting in on various City meetings over the last year, I realize how our current elected officials have input on the growth and development of this City. I believe that not only Boscobel, but society in general is facing issues with lack of employees to fill positions, lack of people able to invest in storefronts, and lack of funding in general. I know that on a larger scale, it is going to take coordination and communication between various organizations to find a solution, and I want to be a part of that for the City of Boscobel. I would like to continue to communicate and provide information between various entities and organizations so that it is transparent and people can gain a better understanding of the challenges that we are overcoming.

What is your community involvement and what would you like to see going forward?

Currently I am the president of the Grant County Tourism Council, I attend Grant County Economic Development meetings. I volunteer with Elderfest, Christmas Eve dinner, FMSC, school, coach youth basketball, chamber events, and helped with the tornado cleanup. I have volunteered with Boscobel Lions Club, Salvation Army, WRTO, Boscobel Summer Rec, Beautification Project, church, local food pantry and the Wauzeka community events. I have worked with the Department of Tourism, Hidden Valleys publication, and Crawford County Tourism. I have attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, America Outdoors Association conference, 7 Rivers Alliance meetings, and the All American Road celebration. I organized the Walk with Walkers that was held in Boscobel. I take pride in helping in the community and I also encourage my kids to volunteer and give back to their community.

I would love to see the citizens, the business community and the school come together to build a community that everyone wants to be part of.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I am excited to be a part of this Beautiful City and am looking forward to overcoming the challenges to see this City grow and prosper. I want to be a positive influence in showing people the good that we are doing and working at developing solutions to the problems we face so that we all can be as good and kind as we can be! I am hoping for your support in this endeavor and to be your voice in building the business community, strengthen the school, and inform the community on the City’s Progress.

I want your input and help in making this City better every day! Help me Be the Change you want to see, visit my Facebook page Robin Baumeister for Mayor or stop in to Timber Lane Coffee on Wednesday, February 9, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., and 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., for a meet and greet with me.

Kurt Hoeper

Name: Kurt Hoeper

Position sought: Mayor

Age: 53

City/town of residence: Boscobel

Family: Wife Kammy Hoeper. I have four children: Damien, Conner, Ava, and Jace Hoeper. Two step children: Mary-Kayt Jones and Logan Jones, both graduates of Boscobel High School.

Education/Training: High School with additional college courses which include: leadership supervisory development. I am an Adjunct Instructor for SWTC and an Instructor for the National Incident Management System.

Occupation: Emergency Management Specialist at Upland Hills Health. I oversee the emergency management of Upland Hills Health Hospital, which includes: six clinics, Home Health, Durable Medical Equipment and Nursing Home.

Previous elected positions held: None

What are the top issues facing this district/municipality and how would you work to resolve it?

I believe that fiscal responsibility should be of more priority for our local government. The government should be able to function and thrive within its budget. I would be an advocate for the taxpayers in this community when considering any government decisions that would use or affect the tax dollars that they contribute.

I think the city government should evaluate projects that are currently in the planning stages and then prioritize those in regards to fiscal responsibility and the return on taxpayers’ investments. I am a strong believer in infrastructure and would prioritize those projects over others.

The vacant storefronts downtown should draw concern from all citizens. Several of our neighboring communities of similar demographic are thriving, and our city government should be doing all they can to bring new business to town. We should be looking at the successful communities’ plans and following their lead.

I would continue to support the unique activities that have been started in the recent years and encourage ideas for additional events that would attract people to the downtown area.

What are other key issues

facing the district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?

I believe there is a lack of single-family housing in our community; addressing this issue should be a top priority for the local government. The goal would be to implement programs to attract families to move to Boscobel. If we have to find a way to incentivize building single family housing in the city, we should be doing it.

Quality jobs and strong schools are why people move to cities. Attracting families and employers should be a priority for our city government. To promote this, we need to encourage employers in the city to provide jobs with sufficient wages and job security. We should continue to work with school officials and to develop a realistic and viable long-term plan to ensure strong schools. I would encourage and push this issue forward if I were elected as your Mayor.

What is your community involvement and what would you like to see going forward?

I know and value the importance of community involvement in a small community. I have been involved with many Fire and EMS agencies in the communities that I have resided in for over 30 years. I have been a member of the Boscobel Fire Department for over 10 years. I have been taking on an increasing amount of responsibility within this organization, including coordinating the 4th of July parade. I was proud of the community’s response to the August 7th tornado; it just reinforced that importance of community involvement. I spoke about this issue when I was interviewed by a Madison television station during the clean-up efforts.

I would encourage people to become more involved with the current organizations that we have in Boscobel. I would also speak to growing community leaders in our area, and look at what we can take from what they are doing to better our community. I would support expanding local events, and work with the organizers to expand the events if and when possible. I would also continue to support the summer rec activities. Organized sports teach teamwork and build lasting friendships with our youth.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I feel that I am the best fit for this position as Mayor of Boscobel because of my leadership experience and dedication to the progress of this community. My 22 years with the Department of Corrections and over 30 years in Fire/EMS have given me leadership experience beyond compare. I also have strengths in budgeting, labor issues, and problemsolving skills. To progress the community, I will bring fresh ideas partnered with the values of fiscal responsibility to the city government. I am a direct and open communicator, who is open to new ideas. I am team-oriented and want to work together to make Boscobel a better place.

I am a family-oriented father and recognize the needs for families in our community which include: quality schools, parks, and activities in our city.

I am always willing to consider and collaborate on new ideas. Since I have started talking to citizens of Boscobel, I have learned a lot about the city. I have heard their passion for a change in the direction of progress for the city’s future. I will bring those concerns and passion with me if I were to be elected as your Mayor.

I believe that there are financially difficult times ahead of us in this country. I will be a strong, fiscally-conservative representative in your local government.

Brenda Kalish

Name: Brenda L. Kalish

Position sought: Mayor of Boscobel

Age: 56

City/town of residence: Boscobel

Family: Married to Terry Kalish (Terry’s Tire and Tow); son, Gregory McConkey (Total Tech); daughter-in-law, Crystal McConkey (SWCAP Head Start); three grandchildren, Christopher (13), Alexander (12), and Amelia (10)….all live in Boscobel.

Education: Graduated Ithaca High School in 1983. Went to SWTC for a Medical Assistant degree and then again for a Medical Transcriptionist degree which would have been a full two-year course, but I finished both degrees in one-and-one-half years.

Occupation: I have been working with people filling out different applications for any sort of assistance they may need such as fuel and housing assistance, health care information, and other medical assistance information they may need. I also do bookwork for my husband’s business so my time is flexible and would be able to be in the office more for citizens to come in and talk with me.

Previous elected positions held: I have been on Boscobel City Council for 13 years as the alderman for Ward 3. Additionally, I have served on various other committees within the city.

What are the top issues facing this district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve it?

There are several issues facing our community that I would like to help resolve. One issue is that we need more businesses in town including factories to bring more people to our community to help it thrive and be able to shop locally. I have several ideas I would like to proceed with to bring some other types of businesses to our beautiful city, and I am working on some of those currently.

What are other key issues facing the district/municipality, and how would you work to resolve them:

One issue that I would strive to improve would be how to better communicate with the citizens of Boscobel regarding their concerns and other problems they may have. As alderman, I have received calls from people who are not in my ward, telling me of concerns they have and what to do to resolve them. I attempt to get them answers and will respond back to them with the information I have found out for them to hopefully solve their issues.

With more current usage of the library, they are wanting to expand the library because they want to keep the looks of the current historic building, and we are in need of expansion.

Another issue that has been brought to my attention is our schools. People are concerned about the condition our schools are currently in and either want to upgrade the existing school or build a new school which would have to go on a referendum to be voted on by the citizens.

What is your community involvement, and what would you like to see going forward?

I have been involved with the community for 13 years as an alderman. I have attended many community meetings regarding different issues and presentations. I would also like to see if there is a possible way to help decrease the chances of our city getting flooding again with some sort of resolution for drainage.

Why are you the best candidate for this office:

I feel I am the best candidate for Mayor of Boscobel because I have the knowledge of all areas after being on City Council for 13 years. Also, I have been a resident of Boscobel for 28 years so I have seen the changes, good and bad, that have happened here in our city. I am willing to listen to both sides of any story before coming to any conclusions. It may be a downfall, but I am a bit OCD when it comes to starting and finishing a project that I have set my mind to. The sooner it gets done, the better.