Two vie for Menomonee Falls spot on county board
Redistricting created five open seats with no incumbents on the 25-member Waukesha County Board. In Menomonee Falls, Jennifer Grant and Michael Hyland are running. Here are their responses to questions related to their campaign.
Why are you running; what differentiates you from your candidate?
Grant: I'm a fiscal conservative with a background in finance/accounting. I have the analytical and business skills necessary to make the tough decisions that the county will face in the coming years. I am a proven leader and have the endorsements of the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association (www.mftax.org) and Republican State Assemblyman, Dale Kooyenga.
Hyland:Due to redistricting an opening for this position was created. I have a proven record as an elected official with my position on the Hamilton School Board. As a result of this position, I work with six communities that are part of the school district. As a school board and administrative team, we have experienced many positive accomplishments of which I am proud.
Is Waukesha County doing enough with Milwaukee and other counties to promote regional development?
Grant: The Milwaukee 7 initiative has been successful at driving new business to the area. I hope we can continue to grow and develop these relationships for the benefit of all seven counties. Given that Waukesha County has so much to offer, I would like to see us take on a stronger role.
Hyland: I believe Waukesha County has a great reputation of working with other local and county governments to promote economic, job and residential growth and to make our county competitive for future development.
What would you do as county supervisor to promote shared services at the local level to save costs, such as contracting with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department?
Grant: There are many opportunities to reduce costs by contracting with private businesses to provide county services. The area is filled with great businesses with the expertise to provide needed services at a lower cost. As a steward of the taxpayer money, it's the board's responsibility to find the most cost-effective way to provide high-quality service.
Hyland: As a longtime resident, I have seen a few border clashes between towns, cities and villages. If you truly believe in cost savings for local taxpayers, you must put egos aside and look at the benefits of mergers and shared services.
Would you be in favor of spending county tax money to make sure Kohl's keeps its corporate headquarters in Waukesha County?
Grant: Kohl's is th e largest employer in Waukesha County, employing over 5,000 people. In addition, Kohl's has made significant philanthropic investments in the area. I would support investing in the infrastructure necessary to allow Kohl's to expand or relocate within the County.
Hyland: The Village of Menomonee Falls has put together a very competitive package to keep Kohl's corporate headquarters. I am sure they have communicated with Waukesha County leaders about financial assistance. Many of their employees live locally. I want to keep Kohl's, but we all need to know how much it will cost us on a local, county and statewide basis.
In light of cuts from state government, what are your biggest concerns about the Waukesha County budget?
Grant: Waukesha County does have a legacy of prudent fiscal responsibility when compared to other counties in the state. That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't ways for us to reduce costs and lower taxes. The county must not only hold the line on taxes, but make real efforts to lower them - that will be the way to attract new businesses and homeowners to the area.
Hyland: Maintaining the various county services that are provided in the budget. The department leaders and the communities that overlook these various agencies must prioritize where limited funds are appropriated.
Address: N61 W12926 River Heights Court, Menomonee Falls
Number of years living in the district: 20-plus years in county; 15 in Menomonee Falls
Previous offices held: None
Occupation: Human Resources/Benefits Professional at a Milwaukee-area hospital and health system
Education: St. Norbert College, bachelor of business administration-accounting and economics
Organizations: Certified public accountant, certified employee benefits specialist, member, St. James Catholic Church
Family: Husband, Patrick Grant, children: Colin, 8, Emily, 6, Grace, 3, and Megan, 1
Address: 13011 W. Cameron Ave., Butler
Number of years living in the district: 51 as Butler resident
Previous offices held: Hamilton School Board, 21 years
Occupation: Construction equipment manager
Education: St. Agnes grade school, Hamilton High School, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Organizations: Building a Better Butler, WIAA basketball official, National Association of Sports Officials
Family: Wife, Lucy, three adult children, two grandchildren
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