What, if any, is your experience in public office?
I’ve been very active in all levels of government for over 40 years. On the state level, my participation on the Wisconsin DNR/State Parks Smart Growth Committee, Governor’s Small Business Committee and Wisconsin’s Business Voice Small Business Committee has resulted in two bills that ensure independent, family-owned campgrounds receive the same treatment as other forms of tourism. At the local level, I actively participate in five Madison-area chambers of commerce to encourage small business development in the community.
Why are you running for office?
I believe that our job is to educate the next generation’s work force. It’s vital that we equip them with the skills necessary to compete for tomorrow’s jobs in skilled trades, manufacturing, or jobs requiring a college degree. To address this, we need to make changes to our education system.
What do you bring to the table?
I am a no-nonsense, out-of-the box thinker. I have invested 40 years in the Lodi community as both an educator and a successful businessman. I love a challenge and always find a way to get ‘er done!
What do you feel is the role of local government?
Basically, local government should listen to the needs of students, parents and teachers and be active in providing a safe and healthy work and social environment.
What are your top three priorities or goals?
Basically, I have one goal. Every year I hire a number of students from the community to work at my campground. For many of them, it’s their first job. Over the years, I’ve seen a gradual decline in skills. Frankly, I’m worried. Students need to see a connection between what they are learning in the classroom and the world of work. I want to see our schools bring back shop classes, emphasize writing and speaking, focus on fine arts, debate, drama, etc. Starting as early as Grade 6 we should be discussing career options. It’s our job to help each student pursue his or her best path for success whether this includes college or not.
What, if any, do you feel are obstacles to those goals?
Federal government programs by their nature deliver cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all education programs. Education should be left to communities and the expertise of their many good teachers.