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Five face off for three seats on Darien Village Board

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Catherine W. Idzerda
March 27, 2013

— Five people are running for three seats on the Darien Village Board.

Incumbents Cheryl Kaufenberg, Ken Truckey and Kurt Zipp face newcomers, Molly Baars-Larson and Robert Krueger.

Krueger and Baars-Larson serve on the Darien EMS and Rescue.

Molly Baars-Larson

Age: 26

Address: 217 Kathy Lane, Darien.

Job: Substitute teaching, previously a student affairs professional at George Williams College, Williams Bay.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in sociology, UW-Oshkosh; master’s degree in education, UW-Oshkosh; EMT certification from Gateway Technical College.

Community service: EMT for Darien EMS and Rescue; volunteer for Family Connections, National Night Out, Fontana Community Church and Relay for Life.

Elected posts: Vice-president for Student Life Honors program, UW-Oshkosh, and Woman’s Advocacy Council Director at UW-Oshkosh.

Major campaign issues: Baars-Larson said her primary reason for running was “fiscal responsibility.”

“We need to use our time, money and resources for the best impact in our community,” Baars-Larson said.

She said she’s been active in the community since moving to Darien and enjoys the small-town life.

“One thing is that I would really like us to keep our identity,” Baars-Larson said. “There’s a lot of pride in Darien.”

She’s concerned that the parks and recreation agreement with the city of Delavan and town of Darien will end up costing local residents more.

Baars-Larson also feels there should be more communication between the board and residents.

“I would love to see more information about what’s going on at village hall,” Baars-Larson said. “Information should be available continuously.”

Ken Truckey (I)

Age: 45

Address: 212 Washington St., Darien.

Job: Lineman for the city of Elkhorn, retired from the U.S. Navy in 2009 after a 24-year career.

Education: Earned his Wisconsin State Masters Electricians License in 1987; finished a four-year lineman apprenticeship in 2011. Holds a vocational electrician and electrical power distribution diploma.

Community service: Corn Fest volunteer; commander of the Wilkins-Kelly American Legion Post 450 in Darien.

Elected posts: Appointed to the Darien Village Board in April 2010; elected in 2011.

Major campaign issues: Truckey thinks the village has made progress in several areas.

The board of trustees has also held the line on taxes, he said. Last year, for example, the increase was less than 1 percent.

“Under state statues, we could have raised them,” Truckey said. “But we’ve worked with people and kept them real low while maintaining the integrity of things.”

The board has worked on cleaning up the downtown area and is considering ways to fund a new Village Hall.

The village shares fire and EMS services with the town of Darien and is considering where and when to build a new fire station.

His major campaign issue?

“Taking care of business and moving forward,” Truckey said.

Cheryl Kaufenberg (I)

Age: 66

Address: 209 W. Washington St., Darien.

Job: Retired high school teacher and technical college business teacher. Works as a substitute teacher in the Delavan-Darien School District.

Education: Graduated from Janesville Craig High School in 1964; bachelor’s degree in education with emphasis on business from UW-Whitewater; master’s degree in teaching with an emphasis in business in 1972 from UW-Whitewater.

Community service: Member of the Walworth County Arts Council; active with the American Field Service student exchange program; member of the board of directors for the Women’s Leadership Institute through Concordia University; participant in the local American Cancer Society Notes to Neighbors campaign; Corn Fest volunteer.

Elected posts: Elected to the Darien Village Board in 2009.

Major campaign issues: “We need to focus on keeping the village moving forwards,” Kaufenberg said.

In the next few years, Darien will be considering a new fire station with the town of Darien and a new Village Hall, Kaufenberg said.

Kaufenberg and other village officials want to promote the new parks and recreation agreement with the city of Delavan.

Robert W. Krueger

Age: 27

Address: 223 W. Madison St., Darien.

Job: Formerly a police officer in Darien recently returned to school to attend Blackhawk Technical College police academy. He also drives school bus.

Education: One semester short of an associate degree in criminal justice, graduate of Big Foot High School.

Community service: EMS chief for Darien Rescue; volunteer for the Darien Community Club.

Elected posts: None.

Major campaign issues: Krueger said he was motivated to run by his desire to see taxpayer dollars spent wisely.

He’d like to see Darien get attention for its positive qualities, rather than just the negative ones.

Krueger said that it’s good for municipalities to work together, as long as they don’t lose their individual identities.

“I don’t want to see us become and little Delavan,” Krueger said. “I like our small-town feel.”

He stressed that it is important to listen to residents.

Kurt Zipp (I)

Age: 56

Address: 120 E. Beloit St., Darien.

Job: Financial adviser and business owner.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California Coast University in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1988.

Community service: Volunteered for 22 years with the Delavan Soccer Club; mentor for Delavan-Darien High School robotics team, helping develop a Interact Rotary Club for high school.

Elected posts: Darien Village Board for 12 years.

Major campaign issues: “We have two major programs going on,” Zipp said.

One is the new Village Hall and police department. The village contracts with the city of Delavan for police services, but the officers work out of Darien. In addition, the village has its own municipal court, and a secretary staffs the police department during the day.

In addition, the village is trying to build a fire station.

“We have been saying that we want to do these things for the past 10 years,” Zipp said. “Now, we need to figure out how to fund them.”

Zipp pointed out that that the village board hasn’t increased taxes significantly in the past several years—any increases have been less than 1 percent.



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