Incumbent Clerk Rena LaLuzerne did not respond to the questions.
Beth Hanson: I am Beth Hanson, candidate for town clerk. I have lived in the Town of Union for over 50 years, my husband and I purchased my family farm where I grew up. I am the daughter of Lloyd & Elaine Guilette, married to Phil Hanson for 31 years, and we have three adult daughters and one granddaughter. Allison and Nicole are registered nurses and Bailey is attending UW-Oshkosh, pursuing a degree in nursing. I have a deep commitment to our community. I am or have been involved with various local organizations, including the Southern Door Athletic Booster Club, Southern Door volleyball coach for 13 years, a volleyball referee, working haunted mansion activities, volunteering for Belgian Days, Lector at St Francis & St. Mary Parish, and I work the parish picnic and fish fry. I have been employed for the County of Door Soil & Water Conservation Department for 31+ years as the administrative assistant.
How does your background benefit Union in the role of town clerk?
BH: As administrative assistant with the Door County SWCD, I currently complete many of the duties of a town clerk. My responsibilities include clerk of County committee meetings, including preparation of agendas and recording of minutes, assist in administering the department budget of close to $1 million. Of the various organizations I have volunteered for, I typically held the role of secretary. I believe my current employment, raising a family, and performing volunteer activities have elevated my time management skills, communications skills and organizational skills.
What are the most important duties for the town clerk, and how do you see that changing in the future?
BH: I believe the most important duties of the Town Clerk include recording, preserving and overseeing town documents and legal records, working cooperatively with the town treasurer to maintain a complete record of finances, coordinating and managing elections, including election security. With the changes in technology, I see more documents becoming digitized to improve access to the community by having them available on the town’s website. This would include all ordinances, meeting packets and improving the organization of the archived minutes for the town and fire department.
Is it important for the town clerk to have regular office hours for the community? If so, what would these be for you?
BH: Currently our town clerk does not have set hours, but makes herself available by appointment; this is the same with most town clerks in southern Door County. Typically the only need for available hours would be during election time where in-person absentee voting could be requested by appointment. I would continue to follow this practice unless it is found that specific set hours would be beneficial to the town. If this change would take place, those hours would be published on the town’s website.
Why do you think you are the best person for the position of town clerk?
BH: I feel the experience I have gained through county government activities, the knowledge I have of advancing technology, the ability to search for answers to questions will prove beneficial for our township. I would like to bring fresh ideas to the community. I plan to seek out training opportunities to improve my transition into the position and hope to enhance the image of town government.
The town clerk is often the first line of communication for the community. Are you comfortable in that role? Even if it’s bad news you must share?
In my current employment I am the first line of communication for the department and would be comfortable communicating town business. I understand the role of the Clerk is to be neutral, but will also listen to the concerns of the constituent and work to help them understand the position of the board.