Colfax Village Board candidate: Mark Halpin

COLFAX — Five candidates have filed nomination papers for three positions on the Colfax Village Board for the April 1 election: Mark Halpin (incumbent); Richard Johnson (incumbent); Carey Davis; George Richards; and Jeremy Klukas.

The Colfax Messenger sent out questionnaires to all of the candidates.

Mark Halpin returned the third questionnaire to the Colfax Messenger office.

Halpin is a resident of Cedar Street and has served on the village board for either 16 or 18 years and says he is not sure which is correct.

He is a graduate of Colfax High School and lives with his significant other, Kathy Mitchell.

Halpin is employed as a project supervisor with Indianhead Enterprises out of Menomonie.

Here are Halpin’s answers to the questionnaire:

1. Why have you continued to run as a candidate for the Colfax Village Board? I have lived in Colfax my entire life. I enjoy living in the Village and wanted to become more involved in the operation of the Village. After I served my first term in office, I realized it was not only important to me but was my civic duty. The rest is history.

Several issues within the Village are important to me. I have served as chairman of the Public Safety Committee for several years. During that time, I have worked with fellow committee members and the staff of the Colfax Police Department and the Colfax Rescue Squad to update and improve overall services. I believe the Village is in very capable hands with these departments and the services that they provide the residents of Colfax.

Village Administration was another issue that has interested me. After the death of John Jahr, the Village had to decide to either remain status quo or take the next step and hire an administrator. I was in favor of an Administrator and believe it was the best decision for the Village of Colfax for the present and for the future. I firmly believe that the hiring of an Administrator will help operate the Village as efficiently and responsibly as possible for many years to come and well into the future.

Another area of the Village of which I am interested is our streets. Rising costs for street projects will make decisions more difficult as we move forward. I do believe we are moving in the right direction as a Village Board as far as short term and long range planning.

2. What aspects of your background make you particularly suited for serving on the village board? I have lived in the Village my entire life, as I said. I have learned over the years that the residents of the Village have various questions and concerns. I am and have been more than willing to listen and look for resolutions on their behalf.

3. What issues do you see as being the most important for Colfax and why? One of the issues we have discussed for years is affordable housing. Some of our older residents no longer wish to maintain a house and yard. They are ready to downsize and live where they do not have those concerns and maintenance is the responsibility of someone else. We need to explore our options in this area.

Another issue is our lagoon system. It has been in existence for many years and will need maintenance and monitoring to stay in compliance with DNR regulations. This is an ongoing concern for the Village Board as we research and discuss the best options for the residents of Colfax.

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

I believe the Village is moving in the right direction. It may seem like baby steps to some but we are moving in a positive manner. We have had changes in personnel but I believe the Board and the Employees of the Village will work together to make Colfax a place we can be proud to reside. I look forward to continue serving the residents of Colfax.