LOOKING BACK; THINKING AHEAD
I love history. Everytime I have a relationship with a community, I research it’s roots. Growing up in Bay View, WI as a child, I learned all about it’s history as a separate town, and eventually an annexed ward of Milwaukee. I learned about the farming history of Oak Creek when I lived there as well. When I worked for a brownfields re-developer as a real estate project manager, I learned the rich history of Kaukauna, one of our brownfields project communities. It was one of the first trading posts in North America in the 1500’s, and the first major settlement in Wisconsin.
So, when I bought my own single-family residence and moved to Caledonia in 2008, I followed suit and studied up on it’s history. Rich with French and Bohemian history, it has a unique place between two storied Lake Michigan cities, and it has more historical inspiration than some of our larger suburban neighbors, Oak Creek and Mounth Pleasant.
WE ARE UNIQUE
With nearly 25,000 residents, Caledonia is a recently-incorporated village that shares both dense residential- and spacious farm-land with long spans of untouched riversides and a park system that rivals some larger cities. When in Caledonia, you are never more than 5 minutes from some space to scope a bike trail, play some baseball, go for a walk or even ride a horse. We have generational businesses that we proudly call our own, and have a healthy reputation for a growing community that still retains some of that old-fashioned dairyland character.
I chose to move, and I continue to raise my son here because the community is safe, relatively quiet, has room to grow, and has many of the little things that make for a great community while not being too far from the big city. Also, the lowest taxes around doesn’t hurt! Riley plays in the Caledonia Pee-Wee Baseball league, and attends Olympia Brown Elementary. I have run a small sales-training and marketing company for years, and have now moved into corporate marketing consultation. I write for the local Caledonia Patch, and help run a small educational non-profit. My experiences have brought me an understanding for cautious development and civic responsibility. The more a community grows, the more complex its decisions become. I believe I am qualified to hear and address the needs of a community like my own. I love Caledonia for all the elements I mentioned and many more. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to run for Trustee of the Caledonia Village Board in April, 2013.
SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY
A national leader once said “All politics is local.” The true power behind our culture and way of life is our local government, and I believe that to my core. No president, congress, governor or state legislature can match the power of neighbors making the most practical of all decisions on a weekly, or even daily basis.
Local politics is often motivated by one of a few things. Some just love to be involved, others have higher aspirations and need a training ground. Still others rally around a single issue and run to fill a seat to push – or stop – an idea they do or don’t agree with. Then there are those who consider it to be the most important duty of all: simple, civic responsibility. I have no aspirations for higher office, and I don’t believe single-issue candidates are any better than single-issue voters. So I enter this race, not as an advocate for a pre-determined cause, but to help set an example to my son, and hopefully others, of someone who has a lot of opinions, then backs it up where it counts: being involved.
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN US AND OURSELVES
No candidate should ever base their civic commitment upon the narrow viewpoint of one group or another. Whether it be transportation issues, development plans, union-negotiations or civil services, people usually fall fairly evenly on both sides of the issues. I am running for the purpose of representing the entire village, and balancing its needs against its wants. I believe there are four principles to sound government at the local level:
- Listen and acknowledge all perspectives; there is genuine truth on both sides.
- Civic government exists to address practical matters, but should do so with vision.
- LOCAL government, above any other, is to be the guardian of the common good.
- The best “government” is that which allows everyone to do so themselves.
As times change, so do the needs of a community. But the foundation doesn’t need to. I believe that the treasures that made Caledonia a destination for me and so many other families needs to be both protected and leveraged, too. We have so much potential as a community, and I really want to be a part of it… as a father and a business-owner; as a church-going, park-loving, beach-walking, meat-eating, gun-shooting, baseball-obsessed taxpayer that intends on seeing Caledonia be a place my children would also want to raise their families.
I ask you for your vote, and once elected, I ask that you continue participating on a regular basis, so that the 25,000 self-governing residents of Caledonia can collectively have a government they both respect and approve of. But, most importantly, want to be a part of.