Janesville36.8°

Janesville City Council candidates sound off on the issues

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Gazette Staff
March 30, 2010
The candidates

K. Andreah Briarmoon


Age: 57


Address: 339 S. Locust St.


Education: Bachelor's degree in anthropology from UW-Madison in 1990; associate degree in philosophy and business from UW-Rock County.


Occupation: Real estate broker and property manager, writer, calligraphist, artist.


Community Service: Co-founder of Citizen Association for Rights and Dignity and host for weekly CARD-TV; member of Janesville Art League. Past member of the Rock County Historical Society, League of Women Voters and United Nations Association; formerly served on boards of Community Action Program, Legal Action of Wisconsin and Pro-Se Inc.


Elected Posts: None. This is Briarmoon's sixth attempt at a council seat


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Joe "Hopper" Hoppenjan


Age: 48


Address: 1112 Burbank, Apt. 208


Education: Graduate of Shullsburg High School and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College; has taken additional college courses.


Occupation: Disabled and does handyman jobs. He said he suffered a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident in 1984.


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Tom McDonald


Age: 29


Address: 64 S. Fremont St.


Education: Craig graudate, 1999; bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting in 2002 and 2003 from UW-Whitewater; law degree from Saint Louis University in 2007.


Occupation: Attorney, shareholder/partner at McDonald & Gustafson Law Office


Community Service: Rock County Habitat for Humanity, Janesville Performing Arts Center, GIFTS men's homeless shelter, Knights of Columbus, ECHO, Janesville Noon Rotary.


Elected posts: Janesville City Council, April 2008-present; alcohol license advisory committee, plan commission, Sustainable Janesville Committee, community development authority, transportation committee.


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Yuri Rashkin


Age: 34


Address: 526 Logan St.


Community service: Past president of Janesville Toastmasters, second vice president of Janesville Noon Lions, president of United Arts Alliance, member of UW-Rock Foundation.


Occupation: Musician/TV producer and host


Education: Graduate student at UW-Whitewater in mass communications.


Elected posts: Janesville City Council since April 2008.


Web site: YuriRashkin.com


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Kathy Voskuil


Age: 50


Address: 3417 Amhurst Road


Occupation: Therapeutic specialty representative for Pfizer


Education: Master's degree in audiology


Community Service: Past PTA president and active in school committees; previous chairwoman of the Janesville Plan Commission.


Elected posts: City council member since 2008 and current vice president, council representative on the plan commission and Downtown Development Alliance


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The questions
1. The big issue this year has been the ice arena, and it's a complicated one. The latest proposal is to build a new arena with a mix of private and city money and then cede the ownership to the local hockey club. Several of you have voted against extending the deadline for the private group to raise money. Should the city give the ownership of a public facility to a private group and under what circumstances would you consider such an action? View candidate answers
2. What, if anything, does Janesville need to do differently to attract businesses? View candidate answers

3. Would you expand fees for city services already covered by property taxes, such as the recently proposed emergency response fee for motor vehicle accidents and fires?


If so, which would you consider, and which are off limits? View candidate answers

4. The council will sometime in the future discuss landfill issues. Janesville residents have never paid for their garbage pickup and, in fact, the landfill subsidizes the general fund.


Recently, it was suggested that residents pay for bags over a set amount. Do you support that?


Is it good business sense to seek out contracts to bring out-of-city and out-of-county garbage into the landfill to offset costs for residents? View candidate answers
5. A resident recently suggested that the council take the lead and spend the millions needed to rid the downtown of blight and build an anchor facility. Do you think Janesville should spend more to improve the downtown? View candidate answers

6. Janesville's economic situation is expected to worsen as unemployment pay ends for many workers. The city this year budgeted $15,000 to aid an anti-poverty initiative.


Can and should the city do more? View candidate answers
7. The council for the second year cited poor economic conditions and delayed a seven-year plan to close the gaps in the city's sidewalk system. Would you favor another delay next year or is time to put the plan in motion? View candidate answers

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