COLFAX — All together, six candidates for three positions were nominated at the caucus for the Town of Howard on January 24 to appear on the ballot in the April 7 election.
Vernon J. Schindler, incumbent, was nominated for chair of the town board, and Jeff Bennesch also was nominated for chair.
Incumbent supervisors Tom Zwiefelhofer and Dennis Dvorcek were nominated, along with Christian Rushmann and Todd Wanish.
Wanish, 41, is a resident of 40th Street in the Town of Howard. He and his wife, Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, have been married for 12.5 years. He has a daughter, Brandi, 20, and a son, Will, 11, who attends fifth grade in the Colfax School District.
Due to a work accident in 2005, Wanish is no longer employed.
The Colfax Messenger sent out questionnaires to the candidates.
Here are Wanish’s answers to the questions.
• Where have you lived other than the Town of Howard (if anywhere else)?
I grew up in the Village of Cadott. After high school, I farmed in the Town of Arthur, north of Cadott, for about seven years. I moved to the Town of Howard in 2000 and have lived in the township since that time.
• What is your educational background?
I attended elementary school at St. Joseph Catholic School in Cadott and graduated from Cadott High School in 1993.
• Why did you decide to run for the Howard Town Board?
I am excited about the potential opportunity to serve on the Howard Town Board. I’ve attended many town meetings and I’m concerned about the use of our tax dollars, road maintenance, and equipment challenges.
• What about your background makes you particularly suited to serve on the town board?
I was raised with strong values and enjoy talking with people to understand their goals, issues, and concerns within the township. If elected, I will continue to be very approachable regarding these matters.
• What do you believe to be the biggest challenges or issues for the Town of Howard?
There are many issues facing the Town of Howard. I believe the biggest issues are our road conditions, land use, and property taxes. If elected, I would like to ensure that our tax dollars are going to good use and are being allocated appropriately. If township residents or board members would like to purchase equipment or other resources, my goal would be to review all sides of the issues and make sure money is being used wisely.
In addition, it is important that the town board addresses landowners retaining their land rights. With the sand mines coming into the area, it is also vital that we have plans in place to protect our residents, water and air quality, and natural resources. Our roads also need major improvements in many cases.
• What ideas do you have for increasing revenue or decreasing spending?
Because of the increased tax base with the incoming and current sand mines, I think it would be worthwhile to develop a fund that could be used specifically for roads and needed equipment in the future. Another idea is to implement a property tax freeze within the township — we could then make up the difference because of the increased tax base from the mines.
• Why are you the best candidate for a seat on the Howard Town Board?
If the voters want a candidate that stands for land owners’ rights and believes that property taxes should be kept reasonable, then I am the right candidate. We can’t afford anymore 16% tax increases and I believe that it is time for changes on the board; we should encourage the next generation to become involved.
• Other comments?
I would like to encourage everyone to get out and vote.