Both incumbents have served less than the standard three-year term because of some mid-term resignations in 2008. Incumbent Diedre Richard has been on the board since April, and incumbent Peter D. Severson has served for less than two years.
Both incumbents said they see their short terms as a learning period, and now they’re prepared to get things done.
The challengers—Rene’ Bue, Karl Dommershausen and Kristin Hesselbacher—can say they also know a lot about how the 10,000-student school district works.
Incumbent Tim Cullen is not running for re-election.
Here’s more about the candidates:
-- Bue, 48, of 3021 Palmer Drive, is a Janesville native.
“I really just want to be the voice of the students and their families and the teachers. Janesville has a great school district, and I want to be a part of having that continue,” Bue said.
“I have the direct contact with the students and the families and many of the teachers. I think that’s an additional dimension that’s needed on the school board,” Bue said.
-- Dommershausen, 67, of 2419 Plymouth Ave., runs 27 West Appraisals & Estate Services with his wife, Renee.
Dommershausen said the board needs wiser spending options to forestall tax hikes or program cuts. He also thinks the board needs to avoid micromanaging and stick to the important issues, such as reaching a contract settlement with the teachers.
“I don’t want to put down the board; there’s a lot of good people on it, but I’m not sure about the direction it’s been going the past few years,” Dommershausen said.
-- Hesselbacher, 41, of 1210 N. Martin Road, said she wants to preserve programs that serve students because so many students have many different needs. One way to save money, she said, is to build on the efforts of many who volunteer their time in the district.
Hesselbacher is concerned about teacher-contract negotiations and believes some of the working-conditions ideas the teachers union has proposed could be implemented without great cost.
-- Richard, 42, of 2625 W. Highway 14, is co-owner with her husband, Rick, of a management-search and temporary staffing firm.
Richard wants to improve diets and combat obesity through community gardens and family-education efforts, with the help of local businesses.
The district needs to make sure it’s not overburdening the economically stressed community, Richard said. She suggests the district convert to a zero-based budgeting process, in which each spending item is justified, rather than basing each year’s budget on the previous year’s.
-- Severson, 40, of 1817 Wesley Ave., is a business process analyst, which includes computer-support work, for the state court system.
Severson’s No. 1 issue is expulsions. He is on a district committee that has looked at ways to reduce expulsions. One thing that needs to be done is to standardize the process for more consistency, he said.
Severson wants to look at ways the board could save money over the long term, including paying off the multimillion-dollar liability to the Wisconsin Retirement System and considering ways to promote early retirements, through negotiations.
Four residents are running for three open seats on the Janesville City Council.
Incumbent Tom McDonald, 29, of 64 S. Fremont, said he is seeking another term because of unresolved issues concerning jobs and the economy.
McDonald is an attorney with McDonald & Gustafson Attorneys at Law.
The council is creating incentive packages to help local businesses expand and attract new businesses to bring jobs to Janesville, he said.
A second priority is being fiscally prudent.
McDonald was the only council member who voted against approving the 2010 budget. He said it didn’t accomplish his goals of sparing the fund balance to pay for programs and cutting elsewhere to fund new programs.
Incumbent Yuri Rashkin, 34, of 526 Logan St., said he does not have a platform of any specific issues.
“For me, it’s about the process more than any specific goal I’m looking to accomplish,” he said. “I just want to make sure the decision is made in a rational and responsible way and that all sides are heard.”
He considers one of his strengths as listening to people and being open-minded to the ideas of people around him.
“I feel like I’m making a positive difference,” Rashkin said.
Rashkin is a student majoring in mass communications.
Incumbent Kathy Voskuil is seeking a second term because the council has much unfinished business with “a lot irons in the fire.”
Voskuil, 50, of 3417 Amhurst Road, is in pharmaceutical sales.
“It’s been a really tough, challenging year for a lot of people,” she said.
“We need to implement policies that are going to entice future employers. We’ve got to work with existing employers,” she said.
Voskuil wants to build on a poverty initiative she helped spearhead at the council level. She lobbied fellow members to add an add $10,000 on top of $5,000 already in the 2010 budget for a soon-to-be determined project.
Challenger K. Andreah Briarmoon has the same issues she has repeatedly championed.
Briarmoon, 57, of 339 S. Locust, is making her sixth try for a council seat.
A citizen’s advisory committee makes recommendations to the manager to fill committees and commissions as required by the city’s charter ordinance. The council has the final vote of approval. Briarmoon believes the committee should have the last word on recommendations.
She also believes accessibility to the Zoning Board of Appeals must be improved. The $50 fee to appeal a city decision is too much, she said. Board members should be trained on their responsibilities to protect residents from the abuses of authority and city employees from being pressured by “heavy-handed … supervisors or special interests.”
She wants to elect ward supervisors to two-year terms.
Joseph Hoppenjan, 48, of 1112 Burbank, is running as a write-in candidate. He did not gather the needed signatures and his name will not appear on the ballot. He lists “disabled” as his occupation on his application.
All incumbents are seeking re-election with no challengers:
In the county’s 29 districts, 10 board members face challengers. Voters on Janesville’s northeast side will have a primary election.
District 1: Incumbent Mary Beaver, 340 W. Main St., Evansville, is unopposed.
District 2: Incumbent Alan Sweeney, 11327 N. Casey Road, Edgerton, is unopposed.
District 3: Incumbent Sandra Kraft, 383 E. Samuelson Drive, Edgerton, is unopposed.
District 4: Incumbent Mary Mawhinney, 17 S. Scharine Road, Avalon, is unopposed.
District 5: Incumbent Marv Wopat, 35 W. Maple Lane, Milton, is unopposed.
District 6: Incumbent Eva Arnold, 8344 S. Schroeder Road, Beloit, is unopposed.
District 7: Incumbent Henry Brill, 5542 Maple Lane, Janesville, is challenged by Jack Crook, 6219 Highway 51 South No. 306, Janesville.
District 8: Incumbent Brian Knudson, 14934 W. Dorner Road, Brodhead, is unopposed.
District 9: Incumbent David Diestler, 5832 N. Glenmoor Lane, Janesville, is unopposed.
District 10: Incumbent Louis Peer, 945 West St. Beloit, is unopposed.
District 11: Incumbent Kurt Yankee, 710 Club Lane, Beloit, is unopposed.
District 12: Frank J. Marsden, 1525 Lincoln Ave., Beloit, challenges incumbent Wayne Gustina, 1313 11th St., Beloit.
District 13: Incumbent Anna Marie Johnson, 1353 Wisconsin Ave., Beloit, is unopposed.
District 14: Jennifer Bishop, 2080 Shopiere Road, Beloit, is unopposed.
District 15: Robert Fizzell, 622 Harrison Ave., Beloit, is unopposed.
District 16: Phillip Owens, 726 Hackett St., is unopposed.
District 17: Former board member Marshall Bown, 717 Cleveland St., Beloit, opposes incumbent Betty Jo Bussie, 1942 Fairview Dr., Beloit.
District 18: Incumbent Ronald J. Combs, 106 Glenview Court, Janesville, is unopposed.
District 19: Brent Fox, 2520 N. Parker Drive, Janesville, challenges incumbent James Joiner, 1507 Refset Drive, Janesville.
District 20: Kathy Kelm, 3603 E. Rotamer Road, Janesville, and Wesley K. Davis, 4210 Castlemoor Drive, Janesville, challenge Jane R. Thompson, 4270 N. Polaris Parkway, Janesville.
District 21: Incumbent Terry Thomas, 1425 Clover Lane, Janesville, is unopposed.
District 22: Julie Ann Spangler, 2304 Rutledge Ave., Janesville, challenges incumbent J. Russell Podzilni, 1510 Morningside Drive, No. 7, Janesville.
District 23: Jason Heidenreich, 4437 Rockingham Drive, Janesville, is unopposed. Richard Ott is not seeking re-election.
District 24: Incumbent Richard Bostwick, 61 Harrison St., Janesville, is unopposed.
District 25: David N. Innis, 320 Park Ave., Janesville, challenges incumbent William “Billybob” Grahn, 152 S. Locust St., Janesville.
District 26: David B. Homan, 4222 W. Hanover Road, Janesville, challenges Larry Wiedenfeld, 2025 W. Wall St., Janesville.
District 27: Incumbent Marilyn Jensen, 2022 Riverview Drive, Janesville, is unopposed.
District 28: Incumbent Ivan Collins, 2110 DuPont Drive, Janesville, is unopposed.
District 29: Incumbent Katie Kuznacic, 83 S. Harmony Drive, Janesville, is challenged by Fred Yoss, 317 Clark St., Janesville.
Circuit Court Branch 2: Incumbent Alan Bates is running unopposed.