Eight candidates for four seats on the Sturgeon Bay Common Council answered questions during a Door County League of Women Voters candidate forum on Feb. 28. They included seven newcomers and one incumbent, Laurel Hauser, who represents the 7th District.
With so many candidates, there was time for just five questions:
1. What would be the best development for the westside waterfront?
2. What to do about the granary?
3. How to improve communication with constituents?
4. What to do about aging streets?
5. How to reverse the shrinking population trend in the city?
The candidates are:
District 1: Sturgeon Bay natives Helen Bacon and Dawn Goodban. Bacon stressed her background in health care and her community involvement, which includes serving on the Door County Board of Supervisors and the Door County Economic Development Corporation’s board. Goodban said she decided to get involved in politics to bring a fresh perspective to the council and to make the city a viable place to live for young and old. This seat opened when current alderwoman Kelly Catarozoli decided not to run again.
District 3: Attorney Sean Linnan and Dan Williams, retired director of Door County emergency services, are competing for the seat currently held by David Ward, who is running for mayor. Linnan described himself as one of the many Sturgeon Bay natives who couldn’t wait to leave “because it didn’t feel like Sturgeon Bay offered us anything,” but he now realizes “there’s really not a better place than this.” He said both his most conservative friend and his most liberal friend asked him to run for the office to use his skills at mediation on the common council. Williams stressed his extensive background in emergency services, which includes serving as chief of EMS for the state of Wisconsin from Nov. 2003 to March 2007, work that he said included consensus building and big-number budget management.
District 5: This seat opened when Barbara Allmann decided not to run for a second term. The contest is between well-being coach and hairstylist Sarah Evenson and retired city firefighter Gary Nault. Evenson said her focus is on community well-being, and she would use those skills to help heal the city and bring it together as a community. Nault said he has lived most of his life in District 5 and was involved in city government during his 31 years on the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, from which he retired as a lieutenant in 2005. He has served on the city’s Harbor Commission since 2003 and has been its chair since 2005. He said he decided to run because “there seems to be some districts that are not being listened to and votes being made that don’t represent the people.”
District 7: Incumbent Laurel Hauser, managing editor of the Washington Island Observer, said she is proud of her accomplishments during the past two years on the council and pointed out that despite the air of negativity that other candidates said hangs over the council, a lot of good work has been done. Kirsten McFarlin-Reeths introduced herself as a blue-collar worker who has been at Hatco for 25 years, an EMT and a certified law-enforcement officer with the Door County Sheriff’s Department.
To see and hear the candidates answer the five questions and present themselves, watch the forum on Sturgeon Bay Public Access, sbtv.viebit.com.