Election Preview: Caledonia Village Board (Trustee No. 3)

Incumbent Kevin Wanggaard will take on challenger Maureen Cramer in Village Board race on April 2.

Incumbent Kevin Wanggaard will take on challenger Maureen Cramer on April 2 for the Trustee No. 3 spot on the Village Board. (Click on link for biographical information on each candidate).

Trustees serve two-year terms and are paid $6,600 per year.

To provide residents with the most information about the election, Patch asked the candidates their views on the key issues facing the village.

Here, in their own words, are the candidates' answers to those questions as well as some posed by Patch.

Why are you running for Village Board? Maureen Cramer 1. I want to preserve the nature of Caledonia, which is the reason most of us live there.
2. I want to be a voice for the people of Caledonia and will promote cooperation, transparency and two-way communication.
3. I believe that commercial growth belongs in commercial areas such as along Douglas Ave and on the Interstate.
Kevin Wanggaard

I have been fortunate to be able to serve the residents of Caledonia over the past ten years. Throughout my terms on the Town and Village Boards, we have been able to balance budgets, maintain and improve services, and hold the line on property taxes. Our future as a Village looks promising and I would like to continue working for the people!

What are your greatest strengths as a candidate, and how would you leverage those strengths to benefit the community?

Maureen Cramer As a salesperson and team leader, my job is to listen to my customers and fellow team members and make decisions and recommendations based on their needs and goals. As a board member, I will seek out public opinion and address/acknowledge the concerns of residents. I will be their voice on the board. Kevin Wanggaard As a current Board member representing the residents of Caledonia, it is my responsibility to do what I believe is in the best interests of the community as a whole, to further our growth and maintain public services while protecting our quality of life and preserving the areas within our borders.
What is the biggest issue facing the village, and how would you address it, if elected? Maureen Cramer Caledonia will have many opportunities for commercial and residential growth. I believe the Land Use Plan that was a cooperative effort between residents and the village for controlled growth needs to be followed. Kevin Wanggaard Bringing water and sewer out to the Interstate along the Hwy K corridor, by considering all options with input from the business community and the community as a whole! What kind of future development would you like to see in Caledonia, and how would you work to attract such development?
Maureen Cramer Planned and controlled development within established parameters. Development should not adversely affect people, their property or our shared natural resources. Kevin Wanggaard Fostering a good business environment within the Village needs to be a primary focus. We must continue working with existing businesses to strenghthen their presence, projecting a positive environment for business startups while maintaining our rural character. This strategy allows us to help businesses retain their current employment levels and when possible allow them to expand. Future development in the village,could be dependent on something as simple as access to water as demonstrated in the Hwy K and I-94 corridors. The Board's vision along with multiple factors through execution of following a process will determine the next step.

Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Sue Schuit: Let me make it very specific. I will illustrate via our own zoning and taxes. If you take former Trustee McCalvy's property, who would be one of the "horse people". Ex 1: On a 26.11 acre parcel, zoned A2, or agricultural,the 2012 property taxes were $3,468.00. Raising horses is not considered agricultural as horses are not livestock, nor a crop. Even if they raise hay. Unless it is for public consumption, the sate does not deem that to be agriculture. Ex 2: The house directly across the street, also a former board Trustee, sits on 1.01 acres of land and is zoned R2s, or residential. The 2012 property taxes were $5,100.00. Both houses have comparable sq. footage. Ex 3: A random Crestview property, sitting on .18 acres, zoned R5, and one would say that the home is below the value of either Ex. 1 or Ex. 2 by $100,000, paid 2012 property taxes of $3,062.00. With 145 times the acreage, and a home worth more than $100,000 less than Ex. 1, the Crestview property owner only pays $400.00 less. These are just examples, but apply across the board when comparing any property zoned Ag to residential.
Edward Willing March 26, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Pretty hard to refute. Good research, Mr Dey. ;)
Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 02:05 PM
As to Ms. Schuit's assumptions, I will attempt to give an explanation from those of us who do not live in horse country. First and foremost, it has more to do with the politics of than the conservancy of the land. For years,I have been a member of the largest wetlands preservation organization; Ducks Unlimited. I am an avid outdoorsman and volunteer many hours in northern Wisconsin. My comments are directed at those that believe that somehow conservation and commercial growth can't coexist in a large community like ours. Those that feel they, and only they, have the right to guide the direction of the village. It is more about for years, policy of the village, including the LUP, was used to advance only their agenda. Setting up large areas of the village where parcels have to be 5 acres or better have kept farmers from selling land even when they were willing to compromise at 3 acres. Blocking even small local type businesses from using or building shops in what they deem sacred areas. The list is long and strenuous, but under the tenure of Susan Greenfield, much was done to prevent ANY type of business from coming to Caledonia. See, most of us have no problem with either the Conservancy or the hobby farms for horse owners. We see that there is a delicate balance between preserving areas of the village and practical growth for ammenities. Both add to the quality of life, and both have a place.
Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 02:12 PM
When I ran for Trustee in 2007, I offered a compromise solution to limiting commercial growth. In Wisconsin, there is a provision for hobby farms that breaks these farms into subsection zoning. In other words, the homes on these properties up to 2 acres can be zoned residential, with the remaining land being zoned agriculture. The village revenues would be greatly enhanced because many ot these homes are very large estates. That would level the tax base because these hobby farms are really residential homes and they would be paying a more proportional part of the taxes. In turn, the village would limit commercial growth to the industrial park, Douglas Ave., Franksville (Hwy K) and the I-94 corridor. They get what they want, and the village gets what it needs. Of course, they scoffed at that.
Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Now let's look at it in revenue for the village. Crestview (south of Six Mile Rd.) sits on 75 acres and has approx. 220 homes. It also contains over 17 acres of set aside green space. Those homes account for $660,000 in total property taxes. That land area would equate to less that (3) McCalvy properties, which would mean that the property taxes they generate is $10,404.
Edward Willing March 26, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Wishes just tried to call me out on the JT site for sending my son to a voucher school. Called me an extremist. Lol Funny, wishes, sounds like your sources are wrong, or maybe you're just making things up. I have several hundred people that can confirm my son goes to OBrown. *thud* That's the sound of your extremist views hitting the ground when hit with facts.
Edward Willing March 26, 2013 at 02:34 PM
I'll have the guts to say I would support this change, Brian. Not to punish anyone, but to treat all citizens fairly. Not only are we essentially subsidizing their property, but considering their past roles in village government it's beyond a conflict of interest, it's flat out cronyism to let it continue. Perhaps we should lower your taxes to $1 for your services as weed commissioner and contracted landscaper? Why would they protest to that? That's about as "agricultural" as it gets, yes?
Edward Willing March 26, 2013 at 02:38 PM
I agree, Brian. They do have their place. My dads family all served in Milwaukee Co Parks for over 40 years, and I happily joined the Parks Commission in Caledonia because I use them regularly and love green space. It's one of the reasons I moved here, But the lUP presumes we stay this way forever. That's just not reality. Farms will be sold, highways will be built. The question is how we manage it. Right not the LUP is faulty and most people agree. 31/32, K and now I-94 should all be added as development corridors and this will preserve the central third of our village as the spacious treasure it is.
Edward Willing March 26, 2013 at 02:40 PM
What's with criticizing antagonism with antagonism? :) I want to reserve the land the conservancy protects. I just don't want to shut down almost any and all future development that comes our way. It can happen in a way that preserves, while leveraging what we have.
Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 02:54 PM
When I was President of the Park Commission, are budget was cut to zero. Not one person from the Conservancy spoke up for funding of our parks, which included a 126 acre nature preserve, Gorney pond, trails, and one of the last preserved lands along Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Chicago. It is only about their agenda, so if I come across as being antagonistic, it is because I can see that it's not about green space, it is about THEIR green space.
Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 02:55 PM
sorry are should be "our".
Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 02:59 PM
As to Cramer's comment of "controlled growth." Who's control? That is a very telling answer... Most of us live here because of nature? Again, a very narrow view.
WIwishes March 26, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Wow...I actually agree with Mr. Dey on something! A fair way to charge property taxes for land would go a long way. (Clarification: I was completely on board for Caledonia to get their own school district, too.) As for the LUP, I haven't read it. Just give me the cliff notes, please. But I am for growth in Caledonia that isn't just for the sake of money for Caledonia. Most of us moved here because of it being less commercial. Less congested. More green. Like I said, if it's really about $70,000 in taxes that could be paid by a Walmart to Caledonia in one year, I wish Caledonia would speak to the residents and understand and respect exactly what we want. Yes, if I "ponied up" an additional $100 in property taxes voluntarily, I'm sure that would go very far (sarcasm intended). But if all the property owners "ponied up" $100 to keep Caledonia viable, that would go quite a bit further.
WIwishes March 26, 2013 at 07:17 PM
@Ed Willing: Brian Dey mentioned that Frontier had made some comments worth reading on another post. I did a search to see what these comments were (oddly, never found any), but I ran into many blogs that you put up. There were some from January 2012 and in one you said something about having the opportunity to send your child to private school through vouchers. There were a lot of comments that I read and I won't dig to find it now, but maybe I will later. So, not to "assume", did your child use a voucher in 2011-2012 school year?
WIwishes March 26, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Ah...here it is. Edward Willing 1:22 am on Sunday, January 22, 2012 Oh, ok. You said it therefore it must be true..... Meanwhile, I'm a hard working single dad who watched my property taxes go down and received the ability to send my son to a private school that outperforms my local public facility. He's working for ME.
Brian Dey March 26, 2013 at 07:30 PM
WIwishes: i'm not sure which comments I made about Mr. Frontier. It may have been his views on vouchers which Frontier and I are worlds apart. I'll do a little digging.
Edward Willing March 27, 2013 at 04:59 AM
Caledonia will get it's own school district. It must... it will happen, and I personally support it very strongly. As the village board would have little to nothing in making it a reality, it would be a personal endeavor of mine. But the survival of Caledonia as a thriving community attracting young families, we must get our own district. My goal as a father, businessman, and hopefully village trustee, would be to make Caledonia a destination for not only business and families to mvoe here, but even students from other districts coming to a better education, and a more affordable one.
Edward Willing March 27, 2013 at 05:04 AM
My son attends OBrown and always has. But where my son goes to school is none of your business, Wishes. This entire issue has nothing to do with the village board race. At all. Not sure how it even fits into this thread, honestly..... But yes, if I had a good option, I might use my newly-recognized right to educate my child as I see fit and send him to a good private school, locally. School choice is a basic parental right, a human right, and it is good for everyone involved, minorities, varied income levels, etc. Competition is a good thing. And not all private schools are for-profit. In fact, few ever make much of one, so the profit motive is beside the point. I want a better education, a safer environment and one that reflects my moral standards. Now, how about we move onto issues germane to the village board race?
Edward Willing March 27, 2013 at 05:05 AM
What exactly does this have to do with the Village Board race? Both me and my opponent are conservative and support this sort of thing.... so you might as well work on evaluating me by body type and eye color, because it has just as much to do with this thread as school choice does.
WIwishes March 27, 2013 at 02:45 PM
@Willing: You are the one who brought up my JT comment on HERE! Not me. I responded to YOU bringing up my comment on the JT website. You really are incredible (with the TRUE meaning of that word to take it's full effect, please.) I couldn't care less WHERE your child goes to school...I only asked if you used a voucher as you hinted to in the other comment thread. So, your pompous "none of your business" was out of line. While I have agreed with some of your statements for Caledonia, Willing, your views on tax money being used to pay for vouchers to attend private schools, I do not agree with. Other comments I have run into on other threads made by you that I have read, has led me to form an opinion about you (as have other Patch readers....you wondered how your one comment on a thread led to someone saying you were "condescending".....I agree that on that particular thread, it seemed to come out of nowhere, but probably an opinion on you had been formed by reading many of your other comments on threads). I think it's our civic duty to do research on candidates. We vote for someone who holds similar beliefs to our own, giving extra weight to issues that are of importance to ourselves and, I would argue, rarely will we find someone who has all of our same beliefs. But we also vote for the PERSON. As I stated on the JT comment thread, since you say you and Prott are ideologically almost the same, I think it's safe to say I will vote for Prott over you.
LC20 April 01, 2013 at 06:16 AM
@ T.R. Your comment sounds familiar. This is what Mr. Willing has said here on the Patch, before running for election, relating to the preservation of Caledonia green space or relating to development in Caledonia: Ed Willing: 9:38 pm on Tuesday, September 25, 2012: “If you're so resistent to development and growth in population, perhaps you should move to Raymond. Until they get developed, of course. Then, maybe Yorkville. Oh wait, nevermind...... try the Dakotas. ;)” Ed Willing: 1:05 pm on Sunday, April 3, 2011: “If you want "beautiful fields, rivers' and "essential and pure elements", drive 2 miles to the west. Where development is nearly impossible and there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature.” Ed Willing: 10:22 pm on Wednesday, March 30, 2011: “If you want peace and quiet, move to Raymond. Just sayin... Duane is right: development IS inevitable. A loud minority is not going to avoid the market forces of a silent majority.”
Edward Willing April 01, 2013 at 01:11 PM
LC I stand by my comments. But if you are into cherry picked comments taken out of context, perhaps someone should dig around and do the same to you. ;) my comments were referring to presumption that we shouldn't have any more development than we currently have. I am pro growth, and I haven't changed my stance. But I believe we can do both, development and preservation. Never mind, too that the second comment you dug up was referring to Caledonia. ;) I recognized then and now that parts of Caledonia are not goi and shouldn't be developed. ...and that there already are massive swaths west of 31 where is space is available. Cherry picking quotes and misrepresenting what I'm saying is something made too easy by online media, but nonetheless, it isn't what I said in context. I've said far more on the subject here, on Facebook and on my website. I would encourage you to dig a little deeper, or hey, even take me at my word? Yeah, because I truly value both the space and the capacity for growth. My opponent feels virtually the same, so hopefully I earn your vote as someone willing to speak my mind, AND vote objectively for a village that represents more than two sides to every argument.
Edward Willing April 01, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Wishes, you didn't ask me of I sent my child to a voucher school. You said "I have just learned that Ed Willng DOES" (as tho it makes me unelectable of true....) Nonetheless, it makes me a bad candidate to you. As it is, my statements on school choice are a parental right issue, not a village issue. Also… As village board member I would have nothing to do with school choice or even having a school district. So electing me for this position of seat one has nothing to do with the issue you brought up. Vote for me based on how I feel about village finances, priorities, direction. Village leadership. I currently have a different take than my opponent in several of these areas, and my opinions are frequently independent, not "ideological." As for condescension, you're entitled to your perspective, but I cannot help that my proportionate response to your rumor-feeding and false fact-spreading is perceived by you as condescension. Even my *smiley* emoticons (us to denote a softer delivery, not just snarkiness) bother you... I'm sorry such a common Internet function annoys you so much, but it helps others understand what I mean, since they aren't hearing mu tone or seeing my face. Feel free to meet me for coffee at Mocha Lisa if you care to learn more about the real me. You see, more dedicated than most in researching, but since I've only had an online presence here in caledonia the last several years, it is easier to misjudge a persons character or demeanor,
Edward Willing April 01, 2013 at 02:30 PM
*you seem more....
LC20 April 01, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Mr. Willing: Each comment is both relevant to the issues of this election. Taken out of context? How? For the sake of example, here is the second comment in full. Ed Willing 9:38 pm on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 No, a few residents that are really loud said no. The rest were overwhelmingly supportive. I don't hear about too many WalMarts killing trout ponds.... responsible development can be made in the village without sacrificing legitimate natural resources. And I'm saying we need more stores on the north side. KMart is a dump and i have to frequently travel to Sturtevant for certain things I cannot buy elsewhere. This development with help the village. It's a very ignorant thing to imply that Caledonia doesn't need shopping. If you're so resistent to development and growth in population, perhaps you should move to Raymond. Until they get developed, of course. Then, maybe Yorkville. Oh wait, nevermind...... try the Dakotas. ;) You speak of the NGBR/4 mi location Walmart. You claim to oppose it now, but the abov comment indicates otherwise. How is anything out of context?
Edward Willing April 01, 2013 at 03:37 PM
This is true, T.R. I would be declaring war, in the minds of some if I said I would change this practice, but it can't be done overnight... yet it must eventually happen. There's a balance in state law that we could pursue, where people still have to pay normal residential taxes on residences, and can claim anything up to perhaps 2 acres as agricultural. The sad reality is that some of these large 100+ acre properties are paying less than $4,000 in taxes. I feel this is not appropriate, and even as a 100% conservative, I believe in FAIR taxation, not progressive taxation. Even if it benefits myself or others. I hope to have a part in changing this!
Edward Willing April 01, 2013 at 03:58 PM
LC, your research is very shoddy. Those statements I made were about Walmart in general. I don't mind a walmart in Caledonia. I just don't want it on 4 mile. At first, I was curious, but almost immediately realized how obnoxious the site is. BTW, I see that comment in my own feed, but not sure why... I wrote it up assuming they meant the 31 location again. I deleted it last fall, after I realized I was wrong about the location. Somehow it's still showing in my comment feed, for dirt-digging eyes like yourself to find. ;) But I assure you, from the beginning I felt that location was wrong, and since then have grown in opposition to state if it were an up or down vote, I'd say no. As for out of context, you took three comments from two different years and put them together, ignoring my other balanced statements that spoke about the importance of preservation, and having both responsible development and dedicated preservation. I serve on the Parks commission in Caledonia because it's important to me to invest in our space, so your attempt to discredit me will fall short. I ask you LC, why did you leave out these other quotes of mine? Ed Willing 9:45 pm on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 "The Conservancy has so much sway because their members are more engaged than the average citizen. I hope I get the opportunity to show up to more. I love our natural landscape, parks and trails. Part of our appeal and character. But we can have both. Time we make that argument"
Frances Martin April 01, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Brian Dey--your comments on real estate taxes, and which properties should pay more tax ignore the most basic related fact-: real estate taxes go to fund schools, police,fire ,weed commissioners, etc. One large parcel, say 20 acres, with a single couple/family inhabiting it uses no more services than one single family home anywhere in the village; that same 20 acres with 15-20 homes uses 15 to 20 times the services. There is a cutoff number somewhere between $250-$300,000 in assessed value-below that, the real estate taxes don't pay for the pro rata share of services; the further above that the assessed value is, the more the higher assessed value property is subsidizing the services provided to the lower value properties. And as for the benefit of big box retail store development, explain why it is that Wind Point has a lower mill rate than Caledonia, but Sturtevant and Mount Pleasant's are higher. Manufacturing, with family supporting wage jobs,is what we need to be be courting. I think we do need a Caledonia school system in order to attract good new business development, but that's a long difficult haul, and I don't see anyone working toward it.
Patrick Flynn April 02, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Thank you Frances Martin. She nails it here.
Brian Dey April 03, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Yes Fran, you nailed it alright. Every single home requires the same amount of services, although i doubt anyone living in Crestview will require police services for rounding up horses that stray like at the McCalvy's a few times. You make my point very clear. If each home requires the same services, then why are those large parcels given a tax break for being agricultural? They do not have livestock or produce crops for human or cattle consumption. Every other home owner in the village is charged a certain mil rate for being in a residential zone. The same should be applied to non-agriculture properties whether they are large acreage or not. Right now, no one is knocking down our doors except Wal Mart. My point is that if we continue the policies of Greenfield and say no out of the gate, that trend will continue. Sorry, but your attitude like I said is to protect your green space, and not that of the village. Or are parks just not appropriate green space? Does the Nature Preserve not meet the Conservancy's high standards? That you Fran, who has always stood up for Conservancy green space, and not our Parks when we lost all our funding, speaks volumes of the hypocrisy of the Conservancy.


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