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Colfax Village Board candidate: Susan Olson

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  The ballot for the April 2 election for Colfax Village Board lists five candidates for village trustee and two candidates for village president.

Here is the profile for incumbent Susan Olson, who is running for another term as village trustee.

Olson, the secondary library media specialist for the Colfax School District, is married to Richard Olson. “We have four adult children (three of them graduated from Colfax High School) and six wonderful grandchildren (three of them attend school here in Colfax), ages one year to 13 years old. Our ‘kids’ live in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky; Omaha, Nebraska; Eau Claire and here in Colfax. I have lived in the Colfax area for over 30 years and in the village for over 20 years.”

1. As an incumbent, how long have you served on the Colfax Village Board?

I have served on the village board for about three-and-a-half years and was appointed to the board. My main concerns were what I considered to be high property taxes and not getting answers to questions I had about items the Board was handling.

2. What aspects of your background make you particularly suited for serving on the village board?

Prior to becoming a certified teacher, I worked as a program developer and grant writer for non-profit organizations in Illinois and Wisconsin. Those jobs were not very “family friendly” which is why I went back to school (at age 37) to become a teacher-librarian. I was the Engineering Librarian at Cray Research in Chippewa and the teacher-librarian at CESA No. 10, also in Chippewa, before working here.

3. What issues do you see as being the most important for Colfax?

Since being on the Board, I’ve learned how unbelievably expensive it is to do almost anything in the village, whether it is fixing a block or two of crumbling street, painting the water tower, getting machinery repaired, etc. I was shocked that rates for the water and sewer service had to increase greatly so we would not operate at a loss. I’m also surprised by the mandates from the State of Wisconsin without any increased revenue to pay for these, such as the phosphorus issue for our lagoon.

4. What issues to do you hope to bring to the Colfax Village Board or what issues would you like to see addressed by the village board?

I have two main goals: to remain available to discuss issues with residents, answer their questions, or provide them with information. I truly believe the more citizens know about our local government, the better the Board’s decisions will be. My second goal is to continue questioning why the State of Wisconsin can continue with unfunded mandates for communities the size of Colfax.