Janesville22.5°

Who will advance out of District 10 primary?

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Mike Heine
February 16, 2008

Two incumbents and a newcomer square off in District 10, the southeastern most district covering Bloomfield, Genoa City, Pell Lake and most of Linn Township.


Randy A, Hawkins


Age: 38.


Address: W1058 Evergreen Road, Pell Lake.


Job: Operations manager for Southern Lakes Publishers.


Education: Supervisory management course work at Gateway Technical College; graduated from Kenosha Tremper High School.


Community service: Volunteers with S.M.I.L.E.S. and Friends of Lakeland School.


Elected posts: Walworth County supervisor 2004-present.


Q: What is the biggest issue facing the county board today?


A: “The employee benefit costs and economic development.”


For economic development, “I think we need to be more responsible and accountable and not automatically put them into the budget every year,” he said, referring the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance receiving county funding. “The past several years, WCEDA has received funding through the county board, and it hasn’t been based on any accountability.”


The county needs to stay the course with measures taken to reduce employee benefit costs, Hawkins said.


Q: Should Walworth County continue offering non-mandated services such as a school for children with disabilities, a nursing home, county zoning, etc.? Why or why not?


A: “The towns of Linn and Bloomfield have taken issue with county zoning. I think that (county zoning) is something that needs to be revisited. If we’re not completely out of it, is there some way that the department can be trimmed down … If there are things we can reduce, streamline or improve upon, I’d definitely like to see that.”


Hawkins supports the health care center and Lakeland School.


Q: What are some ways Walworth County can manage the burden on taxpayers?


A: “Some of the things are already done with the health care program. Going from different tiers to the one-tier program is huge.”


Continuing to find ways to reduce employee benefit costs, or have employees take on more costs themselves, is key, he said.


Elizabeth Lyons


Age: 47.


Address: 323 Southeastern Court, Genoa City.


Job: Artist /sculptor. Self-employed owner Written in Stone (her art business).


Education: Graduated from Glenbrook South, in Glenview, Ill.


Community service: Founder of the Nippersink Trail Project; Safe Routes to School grant writer.


Elected posts: None.


Q: What is the biggest issue facing the county board today?


A: Walworth County needs to retain and enhance its character, not destroy it, Lyons said.


She suggested finding ways to further promote the attractions of Walworth County, including its agriculture and natural resources.


Also, protecting the county’s water resources, above and below ground, is imperative, as is developing an appropriate Smart Growth plan, she said.


Q: Should Walworth County continue offering non-mandated services such as a school for children with disabilities, a nursing home, county zoning, etc.? Why or why not?


A: Ultimately, the services save tax dollars because they are consolidated, Lyons said.


“It’s a lot easier to protect our aquifers if we’re under one roof and working together, like they are with Smart Growth. If I would want to retain the character of this county, I’d rather work under one jurisdiction than many different ones,” she said of countywide zoning.


Q: What are some ways Walworth County can manage the burden on taxpayers?


A: Promoting tourism can bring in more dollars to offset property taxes, Lyons said.


She recommended expanding the county’s trail systems to give residents and tourists more options. Developing public programs to encourage better health and use of such trails, whether for walking, biking, skiing or horseback riding, would be beneficial, she said.


Pauline Parker


Age: 61.


Address: 613 Franklin St., Genoa City.


Job: Owns Parker’s Service.


Education: Graduated from Marian Central in Woodstock, Ill.


Community service: Helps her family run the Genoa City Days mud bogs.


Elected posts: Walworth County supervisor 1994-present; Genoa City trustee (one term early 1990s).


Q: What is the biggest issue facing the county board today?


A: “Controlling growth while trying to bring in new businesses to help the tax base.”


“The public wants a very high amount of service, but they don’t understand that for that amount of service, it costs X amount in taxes. If you have to cut taxes, you have to cut services somewhere or lay people off.”


It’s tough because staff is thin already and services still are in demand, she said.


Q: Should Walworth County continue offering non-mandated services such as a school for children with disabilities, a nursing home, county zoning, etc.? Why or why not?


A: “I believe if we do what the constituents want, we need to keep them all. The biggest thing I hear is we need the nursing home. The one complaint I hear about is that we cut the size of the beds we had. There are a great number of people who believe that this is a necessity and that we are lucky to have it.”


She will support the services as long as they continue to have support in the county.


Q: What are some ways Walworth County can manage the burden on taxpayers?


A: “I would be open to any suggestions that anyone had because I think we are just about at the end of the line for where we can cut without cutting into services themselves.”



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