Door County Election News: Sturgeon Bay’s Abeyta Launches Last-second Challenge to Olson for City Council

Chris Olson

Chris Olson

Age: 36

Education: Greenfield High School, Greenfield, Wisconsin; B.S. Natural Resource Management – emphasis in Land Use Planning from UW-Stevens Point

Occupation: Door County Assistant Sanitarian (1994 – present)

Community Involvement: Middle School and High School Girl’s volleyball coach (10+ yrs); Wisconsin County Code Administrators – POWTS Code Council representative; Wisconsin On-Site Water Recycling Organization

What perspective and skills do you bring to the council? I care about the community; this is my home. For years I’ve watched and attended meetings and believe it’s time for me to get involved. There’s a lot of momentum in Sturgeon Bay right now, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I moved here 14 years ago after graduating from college. I really liked Sturgeon Bay and invested myself here: buying a house, coaching at the local schools, meeting my neighbors. I am comfortable with and have experience working with the general public on a community and statewide level. My educational background is very helpful, and I hope that my youth and enthusiasm provides a fresh and energetic perspective.

I’ve been committed to this campaign from the start. I made this decision independently without special interest or requests from members of the community. I have the time and energy to commit to researching and becoming informed on the issues and I will listen to my constituents.

What priorities do you think need to be addressed by the council? Land use, fiscal responsibility, and maintaining our small town character are important to me. Egg Harbor Road, the Peterson Pool property, Third Ave, and the bridge corridors – to name a few, are all current issues. I want storm water managed to protect the bay, more green space created for public use, and the enhancing of existing commercial districts so that we don’t fragment the community. These are all complex issues that will take discussion, negotiation, and compromise with constituents and community leaders. This is not an overnight task; I understand this.

I hope to see our city government encourage fiscal responsibility by prioritizing our expenses. People manage their priorities with a budget and so should the city. I believe in a pragmatic approach to government that takes into account a vision for improving the quality of life in our city. While maintaining an emphasis on sustainability, I’m confident that I will be flexible and open-minded concerning all sides of an issue.

James Abeyta

Age: 45

Education: Thornton High School, Denver, CO; B.S. in accounting from Metropolitan State College, Denver; MBA, University of Phoenix

Occupation: Chief Financial Officer, Wiretech Fabricators

Community involvement: Family activities; church activities and events

What skills and perspective do you bring to the council? A lot of my skills tie into what we do in city government. I have a strong sense of commitment, confidence, enthusiasm, and the common sense essential for good decisions and action.

What priorities do you think need to be addressed by the city council? One of the issues in public office is turnover. There’s a steep learning curve and I’ve learned a lot in my time on the board. I have experience working with the community, city staff, and my fellow councilmen.

Why have you chosen to run as a write-in after initially deciding not to? I had professional and personal reasons for not running, but an increasing number of friends, peers, constituents and business owners have expressed their concerns to me about leadership and financial direction of our city and have asked me to reconsider.