11 candidates for the Town of New Haven in April 4 election

By LeAnn R. Ralph

TOWN OF NEW HAVEN  —  The ballot for the Town of New Haven in the April election will have 11 candidates all together for clerk, treasurer, town chair and supervisor.

Diane Duerst, the incumbent clerk for the Town of New Haven, is running unopposed on the ballot.

Kim Durland would like to be considered as a write-in candidate for the clerk’s position.

The position of treasurer has two candidates on the ballot. Laura Ulrich is the incumbent treasurer, and she is being challenged by Renee Bartz. 

The incumbent town chair, Marv Prestrud, is being challenged by Doug Enloe, who is on the ballot, and Brian Loida, a registered write-in candidate. 

Candidates on the ballot for supervisor are Don Cormican, incumbent, along with Jeff Carlsrud, Paul Danovsky and Tom Schoonover.

Clerk

Diane Duerst of Boyceville will appear on the April 4 ballot in the Town of New Haven for re-election to the clerk’s position.

Duerst, who has served as the clerk in New Haven since April of 2007, has been married to her husband, Steven Duerst, for 33 years. They have lived in New Haven for more than 25 years and have five grown sons who all graduated from Boyceville High School. Their family also includes two daughters-in-law and two grandsons.

Duerst graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. She has taken classes in paralegal and has attended numerous workshops and training on topics dealing with the duties of a town clerk, including training on many county, state and federal laws and ordinances that apply to the township, with an emphasis on keeping current with new election laws.

Her work experience includes being a legal secretary in Madison for four years; a legal technician for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District Court of Wisconsin for three years; a secretary for the Dunn County Child Support Agency for eight years; and currently as a support specialist for the Dunn County Solid Waste and Recycling Division since December of 2009. From 1988 to 2000, she stayed home to raise her sons as a full-time mom.

As clerk, Duerst said she has attended meetings, taken minutes, processed and organized paperwork, balanced the accounts, paid the bills, wages, employee taxes and retirement dues, has issued burning permits and liquor licenses, managed the town’s website, administered elections, submitted numerous forms for state and county funding and has assisted the board and the public in other ways.

Duerst said she decided to seek re-election because she has enjoyed working as the clerk and would like to continue serving the township.

“I enjoy helping by doing what I can to make sure the town is receiving the best services possible,” she said.

Duerst said if she is re-elected, she plans to do the best job possible for the town and its residents and to “faithfully discharge the duties of clerk according to the Wisconsin statutes. I want to assist the board and townspeople in any way needed. I will continue to keep up to date on my training for issues such as election administration and other duties as needed.”

Kim Durland, 61, would like to be considered as a write-in candidate for clerk in New Haven.

Durland, who was recently widowed, is employed part-time as a library clerk. Her family includes two adult daughters, a son-in-law and two twin toddler granddaughters. 

Durland has worked in public libraries for over 20 years and previously managed the outreach library for the elderly and homebound, Library Books-By-Mail. She has experience in administering a nonprofit program and budget  as well as working with boards, minutes, reports, statistics, news articles, and managing employees and volunteers along with other skills related to library management and working with people. 

Durland says she wants to be considered as a write-in candidate because even though town clerks do not make policy or have a vote, “they’re a crucial member of the town team, and their opinions and advice carry great weight and influence. They’re tasked with keeping the town moving along harmoniously. One of their duties is to record what happens at town meetings. They’re the link between the governing board and the townspeople, so it’s important to keep them apprised of town business by thorough reporting of the issues discussed at meetings. I’d like to improve the communication between the board and the people of the town. I know many of us were surprised when we heard of the events of last year that led up to a big jump in our tax bill.”

The handling of the budget, the levy increase, roads and the disharmony among the current board are important issues facing the New Haven Town Board, she said. 

Durland said if she is elected as clerk, she would “be diligent in getting information from the meetings to the town by writing thorough and in-depth minutes. As most people don’t attend meetings, the minutes are especially important in keeping everyone informed. My plan would be to provide information in the minutes with transparency and openness, warts and all, so there are no surprises when things get complicated … (I would) work hard to do a good job as clerk and all the responsibility that that entails so as to be a good representative of the town and its business as well as a competent and efficient employee. I’d like to invite differing viewpoints and productive discussion on issues, request professional advice and counsel when tough issues arise, publish press releases to the papers alerting townspeople of important issues and asking for their input. My philosophy is to meet in the middle by not being afraid to negotiate or compromise for the betterment of the whole. I think we can all agree on that.” 

Treasurer 

An e-mail containing a candidate questionnaire sent to incumbent town treasurer Laura Ulrich on March 16 and again on March 24 did not receive a reply.

Renee Bartz, 54, of Downing, will appear on the April 4 ballot as a candidate for treasurer in the Town of New Haven.

She is married to her husband, Mark, and they have five children; Jason, Justin (wife Kate), Stewart (wife Emma), Tessa and Emily.

She has operated a dairy farm alongside her husband for 32 years, and 13 years ago she opened Bolen Vale Cheese, which is attached to their home one mile west of Connorsville.

“When I opened the cheese store, I saw it as a way to serve the community. I sell a full line of baking supplies, spices, meat products, local syrup and honey, along with a full line of dairy products. Being town treasurer will be another way I can serve the community,” Bartz said.

Bartz, a lifelong member of the community, said she has more than 32 years of experience managing farm records and 13 years of experience being the sole owner and manager of the retail store.

“By being raised and living in this area for this long has made getting to know my fellow community members an easy task. With my business here on the main highway, it allows the public easy access to meeting with the treasurer,” she said.

The Bartz’s son, Stewart, bought the cows from them two years ago.

“This has lessened the farm record keeping considerably, allowing me more time to take on added responsibilities. I have always enjoyed doing paperwork and have held several ‘treasurer positions’ with different clubs I have been involved with. With my past experience keeping excellent records, I feel I can be an asset to the town of New Haven as their treasurer. With my business being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, it makes it very convenient to attend board meetings and gives me the time needed to attend to banking business,” Bartz said.

“If elected, I will be a trustworthy and efficient treasurer for the town of New Haven,” she said. 

Town chair

Doug Enloe will appear on the ballot April 4 as a challenger for the town chair position. 

Enloe, 70, is a retired agriculture teacher. He taught in Boyceville for 15 years and Stanley-Boyd for 19 years. He has two grown sons and five grandsons.

Enloe has owned 160 acres in New Haven since 1978 and retired to the township in 2002. He has experience with serving with several organizations and on a variety of committees.

He said he decided to run for the town chair position because several people had asked if he would run in the election.

The biggest challenges facing the New Haven Town Board are roads, and in particular one expensive town road that now still needs to be paid for, the lack of county zoning, the town budget, and sand mines to the north, Enloe said.

The Town of New Haven opted into county zoning several years ago but then turned around and opted out of county zoning again almost right away, he noted.

If elected as town chair, Enloe says he hopes to work with the town board on figuring out a way to pay for the road that ended up “costing more than it should have,” as well as ways to figure out how to continue paying for road maintenance and establishing a sustainable budget.

Re-instating of county zoning also would be one of Enloe’s priorities as town chair.

“We should be under zoning. We are wide open with no zoning,” he said, noting that the Town of Forest in St. Croix County to the west of New Haven also does not have county zoning.

“I will try to do the best job I can if I get in there. Most townships having zoning. We have sand mines all around us. We don’t know what will happen in the future,” Enloe said.

One of the issues facing residents in New Haven is a 20 percent increase in taxes attributed to the road project, he said.

The town board held an informational meeting about the cost of the road, and board members were willing to explain and answer questions, but as with many issues, residents did not pay much attention to the meeting notices and the meeting was poorly attended, Enloe said.

“Somehow, we’re going to have to figure out how to get by with less taxes (being collected),” he said.

Brian J. Loida, age 56, of Downing, has registered as a write-in candidate for the town chair position in the Town of New Haven. He is a graduate of Boyceville High School and has been married for 30 years to wife, Kristine. They have two children, Brian and Bethany.

Loida works as an Operator 2 in highway maintenance. 

He said he decided to run as a write-in candidate for town chair, “because I want to make a difference in my community.”

The biggest issue facing the Town of New Haven, “is limited revenue and budgeting of revenue for public safety,” Loida said. 

If elected as town chair, Loida said, “I would like to improve the conditions of the roads, and to advocate for the townspeople and have their voices be heard and to be able to share more information regarding projects and costs.”

Marv Prestrud, 64, of Prairie Farm, is the incumbent town chair and will appear on the ballot for the town chair position April 4. 

Prestrud, a dairy farmer, is married to his wife, Mary, and they have five children and 14 grandchildren.

He is a high school graduate and has taken some college classes. He is a graduate of Leadership Wisconsin, also known as the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program. 

Prestrud said he decided to run for the town board again because he believes it is important to be involved at the civic level.

“I am at a point in life where I am able to give back to our community. I live in a really great community with a lot of really good people. People who want to continue to live and work in a good place that is safe and beautiful,” he said.

One of the most important challenges facing the New Haven Town Board is the budget, Prestrud said.

“The new board for the Town of New Haven is going to have to make some important decisions on the budget. They will have to decide where and how much money will go toward road projects. Decisions will have to be made on loan payments as to whether they will be accelerated. We need to continue to have good ambulance and fire protection services,” he said. 

If Prestrud is re-elected as town chair, he hopes to bring the town board together on budget issues.

“I hope that I can be part of bringing the board together to work out a good budget. I would like to be able to lead the township in good services for roads, ambulance service and fire protection. I hope for New Haven Township to be a great place to live, and I hope to be a part of leading toward that,” Prestrud said. 

Supervisors 

Jeff Carlsrud, 58, of Prairie Farm, will be on the ballot for a supervisor position in the Town of New Haven. His family includes wife, Sue, and three adult children and nine grandchildren.

Carlsrud, who graduated from Boyceville High School, has worked as dairy farmer for 40 years.

He decided to run for the town board because “I was asked if I would consider to run, and I accepted.”

The biggest issue facing the Town of New Haven, in Carlsrud’s view, is the budget and having enough funds to run the township.

If he is elected to a supervisor position, Carlsrud says he hopes to accomplish “getting to know more of our people and try to make sure the people are knowledgeable as to how the township operates and what the needs of the township are.”

Donald Cormican is an incumbent supervisor on the New Haven Town Board who will appear on the April 4 ballot.

Cormican, 64, graduated from Boyceville High School, is a crop and beef farmer, and is married to his wife, Pam. They have  three married children: Holly (Nat); Andy (Kaitlin); and Tony (Tara); and six grandchildren.

Cormican said he decided to run for re-election to the New Haven Town Board because “I care about our community and the direction of our township.”

The biggest challenge facing the Town of New Haven is the condition of the roads and the funding for the roads.

If Cormican is re-elected to the town board, “I would continue working to maintain and improving our town roads and would handle township business in a conscientious manner.”

Paul Danovksy, 58, Downing, is on the ballot for supervisor in the Town of New Haven. His family includes wife, Peggy; children Tracy and Joel; and grandchild Jared.

Danovksy, a native of Boyceville who graduated from Boyceville High School, worked as a plant manager in the dairy industry for 25 years for Dairy Farmers of America in Chili, Wis., and for Swiss Valley Farms in Spring Valley, Minn. He is currently driving a school bus for Boyceville schools.

Danvosky says he decided to run for the town board because he believes his past experience will mean he can “be a help to the township.”

The most important issue facing the town board is roads. 

“The town’s main focus is maintaining roads and controlling the costs of doing so,” he said.

Regarding what he hopes to accomplish if he is elected to the town board, Danovsky said, “in the past five years, the taxes in New Haven Township have increased greatly. I hope there is something I could do to reverse this trend.”

Tom Schoonover, 59, of Boyceville, will be on the ballot April 4 as a candidate for town supervisor in the Town of New Haven. 

Schoonover, a farmer in the area and a graduate of Boyceville High School, earned an associate degree in agriculture from the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. He has been married to his wife, Kim, for 37 years. They have two children, Andrew and Tyler, and two grandchildren.

Schoonover said he decided to accept the nomination for a supervisor position on the town board because there was a position that would become vacant and because he was asked to run.

The most important issues facing the Town of New Haven are taxes and the spending of taxpayer money along with roads and road maintenance, he said.