Two candidates are looking to oust incumbent Kenneth Monroe for the Walworth County Board in District 10.
Monroe has held the seat since 2012, and he’s looking to secure his third term.
Part-time UW-Parkside professor Steven J. Doelder is trying to capture a spot in the general election.
Also running is Susan Bernstein, a case manager for the Senior Community Service Employment Program in Delavan.
Monroe said he thinks the county’s budget is on the right track, noting that Walworth County should be debt-free in a few months.
Doelder sees a lack of civic engagement in the county, and he wants to prioritize community outreach and input while on the board.
District 10 is the only primary for the Walworth County Board.
The district includes Genoa City and the town and village of Bloomfield.
Q: Why are you running for Walworth County Board?
Bernstein: “To generate a fresh perspective on our issues. As a fiscal conservative, I want to create a new way of viewing our challenges. I want to bring my ideas to the table and be part of the solution.”
Doelder: “One of the things is getting more input from the people. Out of the 11 supervisors of the district, only three of them have any opposition. My district is the only district that has a primary. There’s a lack of civic engagement. I want to make sure that we at least try to open the political process, try to let people know what’s really going on at the county level. I want to try to use social media, for instance. I knock on doors and ask people, ‘Who is your county board supervisor?’ and most people don’t know.”
Monroe: “I enjoy the county board. The county has done a good job. I enjoy being with the group on there and with the people that I represent.”
Q: The opioid epidemic is spreading across Walworth County. How will you approach measures to address it, and what might those measures look like?
Bernstein: “We have to find out how and where these substances are getting to the wrong people. It is imperative that we put pressure on big pharma to stop over-production of these substances.
“We need to explore other methods of dealing with pain, what pain meds will do and what they won’t, and when they stop working, so should the prescriptions. There should be legislation creating a paper trail from doctor to doctor and pharmacy to pharmacy. We need to explore alternative punishments for using and dealing illegal substances.”
Doelder: “It’s symptomatic of people and relationships. We need to make sure we have members of the community out there to help people and give people a feeling of self-worth: jobs and productivity. Looking at the problems instead of the symptoms. Looking at treatment centers, mental health centers. It’s people helping people and how the county can help in that structure.”
Monroe: “First of all, we’re going to have to look at working with the sheriff’s department and working with the state on this problem. It’s not just a problem for Walworth County; it’s a problem for the state.
“It’s just a lot of different departments to work with. Of course, like anything in government, it’s coming up with money to take care of these problems.”
Q: What are some other issues you’d like to tackle in Walworth County?
Bernstein: “Continue the good stewardship for our natural resources. Find alternatives to salt for winter use to help protect our lakes. I specifically will continue my work of advocating for our residents in District 10, showing them how to navigate the system of county benefits that Walworth offers.”
Doelder: “The biggest issue is civic engagement—opening up the board meetings to make it conducive to people that work and investigate why there is this issue with public engagement. Bringing in high-tech businesses to make their homes in Walworth County. Solar and alternative energy and universal broadband. There are still some areas that don’t have high-speed broadband internet.”
Monroe: “One of the biggest issues, and we’ve been tackling it pretty good, is transportation for seniors, handicaps and veterans. We have a transportation committee made up of different groups of people. It has really flourished over the past couple of years. And I’d like to keep that going as much as possible. Another thing is just holding down on the taxes while keeping the services going.”