Three candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by Don Sitte, so a primary election will be held Feb. 20 to determine which two candidates will face off in April. The 19th District encompasses Ward 2 of Baileys Harbor and Ward 3 of Liberty Grove. The League of Women Voters of Door County is holding a forum with the three candidates at 10 am Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Liberty Grove Town Hall.
Bob Bultman is a 48-year-old Baileys Harbor resident with a BS in Geoscience, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Kate Lindsley is a 34-year-old Baileys Harbor resident and general manager of a condo property in Ephraim. She also sells real estate for Kellstrom-Ray. She has an Associate degree from Madison Area Technical college and more than a decade of work in the service industry. She has served as vice president of the Ephraim Business Council. “I love living in this incredible community with my husband and our two dogs and cat. Thank you for considering my candidacy; I would be honored to represent my District 19 neighbors,” she said.
Hugh Mulliken, 73, is a U.S. Army veteran, married with two adult children., He has been a year-round resident of Door County since 1971. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a BS in Applied Engineering. He served six terms on the Door County Board of Supervisors and four terms on Liberty Grove town board.
Why do you want to serve on the Door County Board of Supervisors?
Bultman: I am a parent and homeowner, residing in Baileys Harbor for almost 19 years. I was asked to serve. I gave it serious thought and had very encouraging conversations with some current and past county board supervisors to learn more. I have been inspired by positive efforts in local government and am motivated to contribute. I see representing District 19 as an opportunity to deepen my community service.
Lindsley: I am running because it’s important for our community to have a county government that accurately reflects the various demographics living in our area. If elected, I would be the first and only Millennial to serve on the board. I hear a lot of people talk about how we need more young people/families in Door County. I think that starts with folks my age running for office and getting involved with local government.
Mulliken: Prior to submitting my nomination papers, I spoke with the chairperson of the county board to get a feeling of how I might be accepted as a returning board member with 12 years of board experience. I was encouraged to run for office. There are always issues, some small and some big, to address while serving on the county board of supervisors. I have always enjoyed this challenge and feel that my past experience will go a long way towards finding solutions. A seat on the county board presents a lifestyle impact. It is time consuming and most committee meetings are held during normal business hours. I am now retired and have the knowledge, time, schedule, and ability to serve again on the county board.
What skills will you bring to the job?
Bultman: I am active in a variety of areas that connect me with a wide range of people in our community.
I enjoy being a father, Cub Scout leader and soccer coach. I run my own client-based business that provides natural resource management to landowners, and consulting and grant writing services to municipalities. I have been serving Baileys Harbor Fire Department for over 18 years and as a Medical First Responder for 10. I have been the Baileys Harbor Marina Committee Chair for four years. I serve on boards and steering committees of four not-for-profit natural and cultural heritage resource organizations. I serve as an educator for The Clearing Folk School, Road Scholar and Bjorklunden.
I am a fiscal conservative.
Lindsley: I have management skills which include operating within a budget, developing innovative concepts, overseeing staff and a track record of exceeding goals. Consensus building is key. I have a history of providing effective leadership with a focus on total organizational coordination to effectively manage operations. I understand that there is no place for ego in a team setting.
Mulliken: I will bring a host of skills and experience. Of the current county board members, I have worked with all but a very few. I will bring a working knowledge of how the county operates and know many of the county staff members, making communication more efficient and straightforward. This relationship can only be acquired with experience and demonstrated honesty.
Much of the work at the county level is done by committees. If elected, which committees would you like to serve on and why?
Bultman: As we know, the real work of a functional government takes place at the Committee level and those committee assignments are made by the board chairman. I will diligently represent this district and serve where asked. My skill set and experiences make me a valuable asset to committees like Land Conservation, Agriculture and Extension, Parks, Property, Emergency Services and Resource Planning.
I look forward to working with the other supervisors of the county board.
Lindsley: I am open to serving on any committee but my interests would be in Human Services, Economic Development, Airport and Parks, Emergency Services and Land Conservation. Human Services has one of the largest budgets that the board manages and its goal is to enhance human well-being throughout an individual’s lifespan and to help meet the needs of individuals and families while promoting safety and self-sufficiency. I think that investing in preventive & rehabilitative services such as mental health will not only save our community tax dollars, but also ensure that our community stays healthy and safe.
Mulliken: Previously I served on the Airport & Parks, Highway, Land Conservation, Community Programs, Museum & Archives, Resource & Planning, Law Enforcement, Human Services, and Ad Hoc Building; serving as chairperson of the Land Conservation, Resource Planning, and Museum & Archives Committees. If elected, I would like to return to the Resource & Planning, Highway, and Land Conservation Committees.
What major issues facing Door County would you like to see the county board take a leading role in, and what would that role be?
Bultman: We are best served by a long view of the future, which leads to wise use of precious tax dollars.
Maintaining a vibrant and diverse local economy, finding more ways to help ensure local kids will return and embrace the community they grew up in.
The level of poverty in our county is really unconscionable. It’s a hidden problem. Making sure all members of our community are aware of and have access to skills training is a constant obligation.
We are surrounded by water – 20 percent of all the surface fresh water on the entire planet. We have a responsibility to make stewardship of our surface and ground water a high priority. We thrive when we bank on our assets. We All Live on the Water.
Lindsley: We have a labor shortage in our area and a major driver in this problem is a lack of affordable housing. This problem affects folks of all ages, but young people in particular. We need to step out of the government center and talk to local business owners in every industry, as well as residents, and come up with a vision to solve this problem. Wages and year-round jobs should be a part of this discussion.
Mulliken: I spoke recently with Ken Pabich, the county administrator, to get a feeling for the issues facing Door County. Foremost, the major issue continues to be the county budget as impacted by the state-imposed levy limits. Door County has made significant changes to accommodate budget limits. As an example, the hiring of new employees to replace current employees as they leave our employ has been limited. The Airport and Parks Department was disbanded, giving responsibility for the airport to the Highway Department and responsibility for our county parks to the Building and Grounds Department.
The county has little control of some expenses such as insurance premiums, diesel fuel, natural gas and medical expenses. Changes in this type of expense necessitate an equal change in other areas of the budget. All of these changes impact our ability to provide good county services and our ability to maintain county roads.
If elected, you would serve during the next Door-Kewaunee Legislative Days. What legislative priorities would you like to see brought to Madison?
Bultman: I have attended Legislative Lobby Days twice as a citizen, as we all can. I recommend it. It is an awesome exercise in democracy. As I did then, I would like to bring to Madison my values and the spirit of partnership. Legislative Days won’t happen for over a year from now. So it’s a bit hard to predict what the pressing issues will be. That said, we have some persistent themes that we need be vigilant of:
- As I mentioned already, poverty in our County and water issues loom large.
- There is one area of concern on our peninsula that needs attention beyond what just the county board can manage. In spite of all the wonderful work that has been done to preserve many aspects of our extensive maritime heritage, we are still falling short of what is needed to preserve and share some of our more remote cultural resources with the public.
The bluffs and islands in Death’s Door as well as along the whole chain of the Grand Traverse Islands up to the Garden Peninsula contain Native American cliff paintings and crumbling lighthouse structures. These special areas are kind of lost in “no-man’s-land” out in the lake between the state boundaries. The natural and cultural resources of these bluffs and islands are hidden gems of the Niagara Escarpment Corridor. We need to help focus more state and federal attention to investigate these crumbling structures and these important pieces of our fading maritime history. This is an opportunity to encourage visitation from local residents and visitors alike, further enhancing our tourist economy.
Lindsley: 1. Water quality as it relates to agriculture and waste management.
- Attracting working families to rural Wisconsin: affordable housing, year-round jobs that pay a living wage, rural broadband.
Mulliken: On two previous occasions I participated in Legislative Days. Door and Kewaunee counties are effective in making their concerns known. As in the past, we should encourage the state to be proactive in keeping our ground water uncompromised. Recent legislation limiting manure spreading to deeper soils is a great first step. The State of Wisconsin has been known to implement new programs for the counties to administer, yet often fails to provide the long-term funding to administer these new programs. We need to once again voice our opposition to this practice.
Anything else you want District 19 voters to know before voting in the Feb. 20 Primary?
Bultman: I am very proud to be a resident of District 19. We are the only district in the county this election cycle that had three people stepping up to serve on county board. Kudos to Kate and Hugh for standing tall!
When I step out of my door, I am reminded every day that I basically live in National Geographic. I am grateful to share this beautiful place with my family. I have expertise to contribute and the drive to help make our county the best it can be.
Lindsley: I by no means know it all but I’m willing to offer my time, learn about topics I’m unfamiliar with, and listen to what’s important to voters in my district. We are a community and I value conversations with my neighbors. My door is always open! Thank you for supporting the next generation of leadership in Door County by voting for me on Feb. 20.
Mulliken: Currently I serve on the Sister Bay & Liberty Grove Fire Board, providing an insight of our EMS. For 12 years, four years as president, I represented Door County at the Wisconsin Land + Water Association, a statewide association promoting the preservation of our natural resources. In closing I would again like to say that I will represent well the people of the 19th district and ask for your support at the polls.