Former Baileys Harbor Town Clerk/Administrator Doug Smith is challenging incumbent town chair Don Sitte.
DON SITTE: Hi. I’m Don Sitte, your current Town Chairperson. Graduate of Gibraltar School. I’m married to my wonderful wife, Jayne. We have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. I enjoy fishing, walking, horseback riding, skydiving, bird watching, and nature in general. I’m a Navy Veteran. While serving on the Aircraft Carrier USS WASP CVS-18, we picked up 3 spacecrafts, GEMINI 4, 6, and 7.
Doug Smith: Thank you for the opportunity to express my thoughts about my candidacy. As for an introduction, I think most people know that I served as Deputy Clerk (2007-8), Town Clerk (2008-11) and Clerk/Administrator (2011-17) for the Town of Baileys Harbor for approximately 10 years. I obviously am very astute when it comes to open meetings and transparency, which, in my opinion, are two of the most important things at any level of government. I have attended all three years of the University of Wisconsin’s Municipal Clerk’s Academy, plus I have training from the Wisconsin Center for Financial Institutions (Bank Operations Diploma) that I gained when I worked in the banking industry for nine years, which comes in handy when dealing with Town finances. As to your questions, here we go:
Q: What motivated you to run for public office?
DON SITTE: I would like to continue as your Chairperson and finish some projects. I really like working for and donating to our community.
DOUG SMITH: Simple: the citizens of Baileys Harbor. Over the course of the last two years, I have had MANY people motivating me to put my name on the ballot. After much consideration and careful deliberation, I decided to go for it.
Q: Why should voters choose you?
DON SITTE: I love this town and want to preserve its charm, beauty and esthetics.
DOUG SMITH: First and foremost, I think voters should choose me because of my experience in the Town Office. Plus, I know how to keep the Town out of lawsuits, I know proper HR procedure, I have a complete understanding of Open Meeting and Public Records laws, I have experience in finance and accounting and I also have a background in Information Technology.
Q: What skills will you bring to the table?
DON SITTE: Leadership.
DOUG SMITH: I am a great mediator. I can see things from both sides of an argument and I know how to keep discussions civil. Also, see the above response to the last question.
Q: What challenges do you see ahead for the Town of Baileys Harbor?
DON SITTE: Putting sidewalks along EE and F because of safety concerns. Keeping our Marina open according to DNR regulations. Anclam beach and Jetty. Making sure our employees have good wages and benefits including healthcare. We appointed an ad hoc Building Committee for a new or renovated Fire Station.
DOUG SMITH: I think the need for an upgraded Fire Department is first and foremost. I know this will be a difficult discussion, but I trust our current Chief and his officers and staff to give us the best input. Personally, I feel the department should stay in the location it’s at, even if it has to be rebuilt, but I am open to other options, as long as the options have the support of the fire crew. Another challenge I see is employee housing, though that’s more of a county-wide challenge. We can’t continue to give our visitors awesome service if those who serve them can’t afford to live here. Also, from experience, I think there needs to be some discussion about the treatment of town employees.
Q: What opportunities do you see for the town?
DON SITTE: Purchasing property adjacent to our Fire Station at the annual meeting.
DOUG SMITH: We have a very diverse group of people and businesses in Baileys Harbor. Given the right leadership, I think this diversity can make Baileys Harbor the frontrunner in new ideas for a healthy mix of tourism and affordable living.
Q: If you’re an incumbent, what have you specifically done for the town? If you’re a newcomer to the seat, what are your top two goals if elected?
DON SITTE: How can I say? The town board consists of 5 members who have worked well together. We have improved Anclam Park, created Baileys Dog Park, improved our old dump into a Green site, hired a deputy clerk and are keeping our roads updated.
DOUG SMITH: Goal #1: Bring civility back to Town Board meetings.
Goal #2: Bring logic and reason back to Town Board meetings.