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Four candidates running for Williams Bay School Board

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Gazette staff
April 1, 2011

Dissecting Williams Bay School District's budget issues could be one of the county's toughest jobs, but there's no shortage of those willing to take a shot at it.


Four candidates will appear on the April 5 ballot, vying for two seats on the school board. Incumbent Jim Pfeil is running for re-election, and board president Peter Miller is not seeking another term.


Challenging for the vacant positions are Lynne Landgraf, Bill Myers and village Trustee Richard Chroust.


The school district is in the midst of a budget crisis with a ballooning $600,000 deficit. A failed referendum asking permission last fall to exceed the state revenue limit forced administrators to consider cuts to staff and services.


The referendum could return to the ballot next year, but the board still is examining other ways to cut the district's budget without harming educational services.


Bios

Jim Pfeil (I)


Age: 42


Address: 5165 Bailey Road, Delavan.


Job: Account manager at Airgas


Education: Bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire, 1990; master's degree from University of Phoenix, 2008.


Community service: Cub Scout cub master and den leader, 2006-11; youth basketball coach, 2009-11.


Elected posts: Incumbent on the Williams Bay School Board


Major campaign issues: "Williams Bay has many critical issues hitting all at once. There are projected budget deficits to address, high school principal search, elementary school facility study and contract negotiations all currently being worked on. Put on top the uncertainty of what the new bargaining laws will mean, and there is a lot to do.


"We need to carefully consider all of these issues within a new long-range plan and decide what we do best and how to focus on the kids moving forward."


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Lynne E. Landgraf


Age: 42


Address: 361 Forest Drive, Williams Bay.


Job: Real estate broker and custom home builder with FairWyn Ltd., Lake Geneva.


Education: Bachelor's degree in merchandising and business administration from UW-Stout.


Community service: Member of the enhancement committee, Williams Bay; Williams Bay Education Foundation Board member; schools volunteer for 13 years; volunteer at Walworth County homeless shelter, Children's World Impact and Girl Scouts of America.


Elected posts: None


Major campaign issues: "The major campaign issues facing us include the budget deficit for 2011-12, our future with the budget repair bill enacted, the hiring (of) a new principal for the high school, the future of the elementary school, as well as a complete long-range plan and improve communications with our community."


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Bill Myers


Age: 55


Address: 514 Woodlawn Drive, Williams Bay.


Job: Finance manager at Kunes Country Auto Group


Education: Bachelor's degree from North Central University in Minneapolis, 1978.


Community service: Recent board member for ATLAS of Walworth County and Agape House.


Elected posts: None


Major campaign issues: "The most important items that need to be on the board's agenda are evaluating every source of funding and every expenditure for the district, creating a plan for the future to optimize resources and the quality of education, and clearly communicating the needs and the plan to the community."


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Richard J. Chroust


Age: 82


Address: 29 N. Cedar Point Drive, Williams Bay.


Job: Retired plant manager


Education: Degree from North Park College


Elected Posts: Trustee on Williams Bay Village Board, 10 years; alderman on Warrenville, Ill., city council, seven years.


Major campaign issues: "I believe more needs to be done in terms of looking for ways to reduce expenses other than programs and in staff. Based on my years of experience as a Williams Bay village trustee, I would urge my fellow school board members and administration to adopt a zero-based budget process so that we can indeed assure ourselves our needs are being met, that unnecessary expenditures aren't continued from year to year, and that we can make realistic projections for future year expenses."



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