Editor’s note: Candidate Dave Engelbert did not respond to the questions sent to him, but his rival for the supervisory seat being vacated by Mark Feuerstein did. His answers follow.
Education: Premontre HS Green Bay. Continuing Education- Marketing, Accounting and Business.
Occupation: President and Owner, Bur Wholesale Company. 29 years.
Relevant Experience or Civic Involvement: Current Town of Union Supervisor 9 years, Current Brussels, Union Gardner Fire Department Director and Treasurer. Served on Beverage Association Committees, and on the Boards of Privately held Corporations.
What is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you address it?
Door County is a beautiful county with the most shoreline miles in Wisconsin. The county has a modern new highway system, excellent rated schools, a modern law enforcement infrastructure, and close-knit, tranquil communities.
The challenges Door Residents are confronting include the aging of the population, (second oldest in Wisconsin); the consistent high unemployment of its work force, currently 9.7 percent as of 12/31/13 (sixth highest in Wisconsin); a declining population caused by lack of job opportunities and the higher than average county tax rate per resident. I encourage taxpayers to compare Door County government’s taxation and spending with other efficiently managed County’s in Wisconsin.
If the board were forced to make budget cuts, what would be the first thing to go?
Door County’s tax levy has increased by almost 300 percent since 1994. Inflation or cost of living index is up only 58 percent in the same time period. In 1994 the county tax levy was $8,005,227; in 2014 the county tax levy revenues swelled to $26,714,468. In this time frame the county government spending per resident has almost tripled.
Most of our challenges are self-induced by a tax-and-spend county government that time and again fails to recognize that every dollar they tax is a dollar they take from the people they were elected to serve.
What do you see as the board’s duty to the residents and businesses in the county?
It’s all about quality of life for its residents
Local government’s role is to provide an efficient transportation system, a safe, secure community. Excellent emergency services, help for the disadvantaged, a positive commerce environment, recreation opportunities and an affordable place to live. Door County government’s focus should be to promote a great location to visit and also to reside.
I firmly believe that Southern Door residents can manage their own hard-earned money much better than any local government. They have to do it every day in their personal lives. Lower taxes lead to less stress, and a more enjoyable, comfortable lifestyle.