Spring Election Preview

Incumbent trustees Jane Olson and Sue Sherman are challenged by former village president Paul Burton.

Jane E. Olson

3063 Anderson Lane, Ephraim


Family: Widowed in October of 2002 (Howard L. Olson)

Age: 64

Jane Olson

Education: BS Degree with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Science (1967); MS Degree in Computer Education from Lesley College, Cambridge, MA (1990)

Occupation: After teaching for 34 years, I retired from teaching in 2000. However, I have been able to continue to use my teaching skills by tutoring elementary and learning-disabled students after school and during the summer.

Previous Elected Office (if any): One term on the Ephraim Board of Trustees. Over 34 years of teaching, I was elected for more than 30 years to serve on governing boards and/or on the 11-member negotiation team for our 300-member teachers’ association.

Relevant Experience/ Civic involvement: Village of Ephraim Board of Trustees (2007 – present); Ephraim Library Committee and Physical Facilities and Utilities Committee; Community Protection Committee; attend the Tuesday morning maintenance staff meetings; and attend the Door County Library Board monthly meeting (past three years).

Since moving to Ephraim in June of 2000, I have served as a classroom volunteer at Gibraltar School for five years; taught Sunday school for eight years; volunteered as a worker/presenter for the Ephraim Foundation’s Kids Day for three or four years; helped with the Sister Bay Baptist Church’s International Student-Workers’ English as a Second Language Class for three years; “adopted” nine international student-workers during the past four summers and helped many others; and for the past two years I’ve been a volunteer worker with the Loaves and Fishes program in Northern Door County.

Why are you the best choice for village trustee?

I have no hidden agenda and I’ll make my decisions free from the pressures of family and business ties. I promise that I will continue to study the issues, continue to attend the 9 – 10 meetings a month that I attend now, and continue to hear all sides of an issue before making my decision on how to vote. I am honored to work for you and my community and hope you will allow me to continue working toward the goal of making Ephraim the best it can be and keep its reputation as the “pearl of the peninsula.”

What is the number one issue facing the village and what is your position on it?

Ephraim’s past and future must be blended together very carefully. Placing too much emphasis on either could potentially destroy the work of many past boards and committees. This is why it is imperative that the board be presented with a very well developed, comprehensive Smart Growth Plan. Without a plan for the future this village stands a very good chance of losing its identity. Many villages and towns in Northern Door County are already using their Smart Growth Plans as a guide for making wise decisions to enhance the future of their communities. The Village of Ephraim is still waiting for its Smart Growth Plan to be completed. This project must be moved to the top of the priority list.

What perspective and skills do you bring to the board?

I am a strong believer in open and honest government. I believe that all village taxpayers, voters and non-voters, deserve to be heard and treated equally.

I willingly devote the time needed to attend meetings that will help me understand both sides of an issue. I listen to each presentation with an open mind and judge it on its own merits. I am free of family or business ties that might influence decisions that I must make. As I cast my votes, I keep in mind my promise that I’d protect the integrity of Ephraim and its history, protect Ephraim’s natural resources and environment, spend taxpayers’ dollars wisely, and find an acceptable balance between the needs of the village and the village businesses.

Also, I believe that it is important that the board take time to evaluate how we handle the village’s business. The board needs to fix what is broken, keep what is working, and always be looking for ways to improve our services and become more efficient.

What other issue or issues are a high priority for the village in the term ahead?

There are many wonderful non-profit and special interest groups in Ephraim that frequently make requests of the Board of Trustees. We must listen carefully to their requests and help them when possible. However we must also be careful that, in our eagerness to be helpful, we do not overly burden the taxpayers of this community.

Keeping our beach and drinking water safe for our residents and visitors must be a top priority. We need to be certain that as a Board we do nothing that will harm the quality of our water and do everything that we can to improve it. Therefore it is very important that we spend the dollars necessary to improve our beach to keep it safe for those who use it. Also we must keep our drinking water safe. This can be done by continuing to maintain or improve our wastewater treatment plant, and by expanding it if needed. Also the Board needs to be pro-active and not re-active by creating and/or revising water and environmental ordinances whenever and wherever needed.

As a village we must look for ways to encourage young singles, couples and families to move to Ephraim. They will be the future leaders, future business owners and workers, and future fire fighters of Ephraim. We need their vitality and fresh ideas for our village to continue providing the level of services we now enjoy. Controlled and well-planned growth is essential to Ephraim’s future. We need to find new and creative ways to provide affordable housing and good jobs to draw new residents and businesses to Ephraim, and to encourage our locally educated students to stay here or return home to live and work.

Susan (Sue) Sherman

10013 Poplar Street, Ephraim


Age: 55

Education: Wauwatosa East High School and School of Hard Knocks

Occupation: Owner/Innkeeper, Village Green Lodge in Ephraim since 1996

Previous Elected Office: Trustee Village of Ephraim (2005 – present)

Relevant Experience/Civic involvement:

Security Bank, Milwaukee (1976 – 1996), Assistant Vice President, Regional Manager for ten branches (1986 – 1996);

Ephraim Business Council (1996 – 2007), serving in various positions, including president and treasurer;

Door County Visitor Bureau Board of Directors (2006 – present); Ephraim Village Trustee, chairman of the Physical Facilities committee, member of Village Appeals committee

Why are you the best choice for village trustee?

I have more than 30 years of practical experience working in customer service, human resources and management, including the past 13 years as owner/innkeeper of the Village Green Lodge in Ephraim. I am open minded and committed to the responsibilities required of the trustee position. I live by a high standard of personal ethics. I will always look at all sides of every issue to make prudent decisions that are in the best interest of the residents and local economy. I have been encouraged to run for office by the previous and current village presidents and many residents.

What is the number one issue facing the village and what is your position on it?

We need to embrace the fact that tourism is our number one industry. It is our responsibility to guarantee that there is a balance between economic growth, maintaining the history of our Village, proper planning for the future and preserving the fragile waterfront and environment. We have to be mindful of our aging population, while providing opportunities for younger families to live and prosper in our village. We must also keep and attract businesses and services without detracting from the reasons people want to live and retire here.

What perspective and skills do you bring to the village?

As a resident and business owner in Ephraim, I do look at all sides of every issue in an open and objective manner. I strongly believe that if you wish to have a voice in your community, you have to be actively involved in all aspects of that community.

I am a people person, a team player, conservative yet progressive, and always optimistic. I take great pride in being a responsible resident and supportive corporate partner in the community in which I live.

What other issue or issues are a high priority for the village in the term ahead?

The Village’s Smart Growth Plan continues to be a priority as we move forward.

It is also important to continue to work together with the community to utilize the room tax funds in a prudent and practical manner, which will be supportive of our small businesses while supporting the interests of all residents.

Paul Burton

9962 S. Dane St. – PO Box 250, Ephraim


Paul Burton

Family: Wife Francis and two children

Education: BS, Western Carolina University; MS, University of Miami (FL); Ph.D., University of North Carolina, postdoctoral fellow at University of Wisconsin Medical School

Occupation: Retired professor of biological sciences; now I consider myself a writer and photographer.

Previous Elected Office: 10 years as Ephraim Village Trustee, six as president

Relevant Experience/ Civic Involvement: Elder of Moravian Church; past Ephraim President and Trustee; past president of the Door Community Auditorium; president of the Ephraim Foundation; The Clearing board of directors; committee member for The Ridges Sanctuary.

Why are you the best choice for Ephraim trustee?

I have wisdom that only comes with age and experience, and I have a proven record for leadership, integrity, and willingness to compromise. Whether I am the “best choice” may depend on who you ask.

What issues are high priorities for the Village of Ephraim? Completion of our Smart Growth Plan. We need to seriously and methodically plan for the future. Also, we need to make decisions that serve the entire community, not just a few noisy and self-serving taxpayers. Finally, we need to ensure that we have an open government without “behind the scenes” lobbying.

What perspective and skills do you bring to the board?

I assure you that my agenda is to make informed decisions without regard to pressure from vocal minorities. I’ll listen, of course, but my decisions will be based on what’s best for Ephraim.

I have served this community to the best of my abilities for 10 years, four years as a trustee and six years as president. I’m proud of my record. Now I ask you to give me another opportunity. I wouldn’t be running unless I felt I had something to give in terms of history, problem solving, and planning for the future.

I’m a team player. I’m running to join with four other board members in trying to make wise decisions about Ephraim’s future. I’m not running to seek control. I’m running to represent each and every taxpayer of Ephraim.

One of my qualities, learned over many years of working with others, is a willingness to change my position after listening to other views based on reason and logic. But I will take strong positions if I feel they are in the overall best interests of the village.

Here’s a summary of what I stand for:

• Open government with no hidden agendas and behind the scenes lobbying

• Teamwork

• Thoughtfulness in developing and applying ordinance provisions

• Planning for the future

• Making the Village a major tourist destination and fostering small business

• Preserving our historic buildings, sites, and traditions

• Being mindful of the impact of our decision on the community as a whole