Larry Timm & John vanAmerongen

District 3 Supervisor Candidates answer questionnaires

The Waushara Argus sent a questionnaire to the Waushara County Board of Supervisors candidates in the contested district races prior to the election on April 3. The candidates’ answers to each of the questions have been printed in full. Below are the responses for the candidates vying for District 3, which includes Town of Bloomfield, Wards I and II, Town of Leon, Wards III, and Town of Saxeville, Ward I.  

Larry Timm

District 3

(Incumbent)

    What prompted you to be on the ballot for supervisor of your district?

    Over the years I have dedicated myself to serving the public in a fair and honest manner whether it was as a church leader, teacher, Realtor, assessor, or as an elected official. I would like to continue to serve as a representative of District 3 as long as I am able.

    What changes in the county, if any, do you believe need to be addressed by Waushara County Board of Supervisors?

    I believe most of the people working for Waushara County are doing an excellent job and I would like to maintain the status quo rather than make a lot of costly changes. I am proud to say that Waushara County has been near the bottom of the list of Wisconsin counties without a tax increase in the last few years. Let’s keep it that way!

    What are your views about opening Waushara County roads to ATV/UTV traffic?

    During the January county board meeting I made the motion to amend the resolution to allow ATV/UTV use on certain county highways and add the requirement that all operators of ATV/UTV on county highways must have a valid driver’s license. At the time I did not know if the resolution would pass or not but I certainly did not want it to pass in the original form giving children as young as 12 years old and those who do not qualify for a driver’s license permission to operate vehicles on county highways. This is especially true in summer when Waushara County’s population more than doubles.

    The amendment passed unanimously but the amended resolution did not. Safety is still my main concern. Many of our summer visitors are from southern Wisconsin where ATV’s are less common and coming upon one could easily surprise them or anyone else causing a potential accident.                                                                                                        

    My second concern is that even the manufacturers state very clearly that they are not designed for highway use and they are not equipped with warning and safety devices needed for highway use.

    I have received many more letters objecting to the ATV resolution than letters of support so it seems the public is more opposed than in favor. Finally, I have been to many town board meetings in and out of Waushara County where this topic was discussed.  I was disgusted by some of the proponents’ bullying and threatening remarks to board members if they did not get their way.

    With the Fox Valley Technical College breaking ground on a new regional center in Wautoma, how do you believe this will be beneficial to the county?

    I think the proposed new Fox Valley Technical College building to be built in Wautoma is great news and long overdue. I’m sure it will be of tremendous value to our local students as well as our local manufacturers.

    What are your feelings on the board approving to provide an investment of $25,000, which is $5,000 a year over five years, to help fund the Fox Valley Technical College Regional Center?

    I do not think Waushara County should have donated county tax dollars to Fox Valley to help pay for it. So far as I know the decision to build was not contingent on county money. Fox Valley already levies taxes on me and other Waushara County property owners that are in the Fox Valley District. Why should Fox Valley and Waushara County both be taxing me for it?

    If one of our local high schools put up a new more modern classroom building I do not think Waushara County should hand them a pile of money on a silver platter to help pay for it even if it would be good for the county, bring people here, create better trained graduates, or whatever. It is great when private businesses donate money to community projects such as this as it will hopefully benefit them directly but the county should not be giving away our hard-earned tax dollars no matter how worthy the cause.

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John vanAmerongen

District 3

    What prompted you to be on the ballot for supervisor of your district?

    The Board of Supervisors serves as the legislative branch of county government. For the past two terms, I have been Chairman of Saxeville Township. I am responsible for keeping roads maintained and helping to plan for future costs and upgrades, reporting to Madison on road conditions and maintenance, as well as creating appropriate budgets, to name a few responsibilities. That position, while sounding quite benign, is often emotionally charged, as in, “Where is the plow!” 

    Maintaining an even keel when dealing with an unhappy constituent, as well as working with other county and state officials in planning for the future, has been a valuable experience. It has inspired me to become more involved in the county and ask for your vote as County Supervisor. Being of service is not only rewarding but allows me to use my problem-solving skills to help meet the needs and requirements of the community.

    What do you believe you will bring to the Waushara County Board of Supervisors?

    I have become aware that a level-headed, unbiased and clear-thinking individual is needed in this position. I have the skillset to keep an open mind when discussing the problems and concerns of the community. I enjoy “taking the pulse” of my fellow citizens concerns and working towards mutually beneficial and fair solutions to problems that arise. My personal responsibility in this position is to bring the concerns of the people to the board and act as a voice on their behalf.

    What changes in the county, if any, do you believe need to be addressed by Waushara County Board of Supervisors?

    First of all, I would be open to reviewing all of the current issues, policies and ordinances on the table. Background information is important in moving ahead in a proactive manner. As Chairman of Saxeville, it has become increasingly obvious that our infrastructure is in a steady decline. The state currently carries a $1 Billion deficit for transportation. 

    Revenue sharing from state and federal sources is basically non-existent. Problems need to be addressed in advance and a plan in place before that day when a fire truck cannot cross the bridge that leads to your home because of repair issues that should have been resolved. 

    What are your views about opening Waushara County Roads to ATV/UTV traffic. (Please explain in detail the reasons why you may be for or against this issue.)

    The recent Board vote in January was 6 to 5 against this proposal, however, for the record, I am keeping an open mind on this issue and here are my questions: 

    • How would ATV/UTV’s safely share the county roads with much larger and more powerful vehicles, including farm and rescue? 

    • The Sherriff and Highway Commissioner both have safety concerns. How would we as a community work together to address these?

    • How do we make it safe for 12-16 year olds? This age bracket would be allowed to operate these vehicles without a license on county roads.

    • How do we reconcile the information that manufacturers of these vehicles clearly state that they are for Off-Road use only? 

    • How would we address road worthy tires, turn signals and seatbelt (none currently are installed) issues? 

    • What are the liability issues for the county? 

    On the other side, I acknowledge:

    • They are great recreational vehicles.

    • Patrolling, farming, and other agricultural activities benefit greatly from ATV’s and their tough, versatile and rugged abilities.

    • Versatility to handle terrains of all kinds.

    • Rescue in areas where a traditional vehicle may not have access.

    With Fox Valley Technical College breaking ground on a new regional center in Wautoma, how do you believe this will be beneficial to the county?

    I believe in that old saying that “knowledge is power.” Education is a bootstrap that anyone can grab to make their lives better. My son is currently a student at Fox Valley Technical College; I, myself, received my Fire Fighter Certification for the Saxeville Springwater Fire Department through FVTC and I continue to take classes there.

    Our need for keeping our young people here and investing their education into our community would be well served by this new and expanded center. Think of it as a business; It brings people in to the area where they shop, buy gas, eat at local restaurants, and many other business outlets while here attending classes. It is an opportunity knocking and I am all for answering the door.

    What are your feelings on the board approving to provide an investment of $25,000, which is $5,000 dollars a year over 5 years, to help fund the Fox Valley Technical College Regional Center?

    The traditional four-year college experience isn’t for everyone. Some students are not sure of what they want to study while others are looking for a more affordable education. By expanding the school’s offerings, we provide a wider range of possibilities, so yes, I firmly believe that $5,000 per year for five years is money well spent. 

    Investing in our future, our citizens and our community is never a bad deal. Taking the math a bit further, $5,000 per year is only $416 per month. Who wouldn’t choose to invest that in education and our children’s future?