Door County Election: Olson and Ryan Battle for County Board District 3 Again

Bob Ryan

Bob Ryan

Age: 54

Education: Bachelor of Science

Occupation:Painting contractor

Community Involvement: County Board Supervisor, District 3, (2002-present); Clay Banks Town Supervisor (1995-2003); Co-facilitator, Alternatives to Violence Program; Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary; Henry S. Baird Masonic Lodge; Sustain Door; Coordinated Community Response Team; Door County Historical Society

What perspective and skills do you bring to the county board? For many years I have been involved with groups concerned about our natural features, sustainable growth, economic development, human services, and our justice system. This interest and exposure helps me see many sides of the issues the county board makes decisions about and enables me to ask important questions about the particulars.

What priorities should the county board address? Three top priorities of the county board should be the protection of the quality of surface and ground water, keeping property taxes reasonable, and preserving our rural environment.

The situation at the Log Den restaurant once again alerts us to the vulnerability of our ground water. State statute COMM 83 puts limits on what the county can require of sanitary systems, and the board needs to work with the state to have more effective requirements for our particular geology.

The county budget has been one of the toughest things I’ve had to work on in my time on the board. The yearly increases in health care and energy costs and union wages have made it difficult, but we kept the year-to-year increases between 1.53 – 2.54 percent from 2004 – 2007. One way we did this was by postponing some roadwork. You can only do that for so long and 2008 is a catch-up year. My property tax bill for 2008 is $4,474.74 so you can be sure I’m motivated to keep the budget in check!

One of the reasons I chose to move here 15 years ago was our rural environment. We need to make every effort to enable our farmers to make a living from their investment in the land. They have property rights that allow them to do this as long as there are no legitimate threats to public health and safety.

Patrick Olson

Age:  55

Education:  Southern Door High School

Occupation:  Fourth generation farmer in Clay Banks

Community Involvement:  First term Clay Banks Town Supervisor; Forrestville softball umpire

What skills and perspective do you bring to the county board? As a fourth-generation farmer working 800 acres I have a lot of expertise in agriculture and land management with deep roots in the community.

What priorities does the county board need to address?

The budget is the big issue. We had a 12.8 percent increase this year. The board did not do their job and failed to be financially responsible. My main objective is to work to lower the budget. There are too many county employees running around not doing anything. I feel the soil and water department could be cut by one or two employees. The way land issues are handled needs to be addressed.