Good Government Council: Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors District 29 Questioinnaire
When: Tuesday, April 5th, 2022; polls open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Find your voting location at myvote.wi. All absentee ballots must be requested by March 31st, 2022 and turned in no later than 8:00 p.m. on April 5th either by mail or dropped off in-person. In-Person absentee voting will start Tuesday, March 22nd and end Friday, April 1st. You can vote early Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you plan to vote by mail, voters are strongly encouraged to mail their ballots as soon as possible to ensure their ballot is received by the deadline.
What it's about: The County Board has 29 members, with each member representing around 3,645 people. Each member represents one of the 29 districts and serves a two year term. All 29 seats are up for election this spring. The candidates for District 29 include:
- Missy Christopherson (Incumbent)
- Josh Stanley
Who can vote: The election is open to all eligible voters who reside in District 29. Click here to find your district.
Where you vote and who is on your ballot:
- Go to myvote.wi.gov
- Enter your voting address to learn which races are on your ballot and where you vote.
Why this questionnaire: The Good Government Council (GGC) is a committee of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce dedicated to encouraging voter participation and providing members of the business community with non-biased information about candidates’ positions on important issues. Although the Chamber is active in policy issues, it is non-partisan and does not endorse political candidates.
1.) What are your background and qualifications for this position, and what value will you bring to the County Board personally?
Missy Christopherson: This would be my second term on Eau Claire County Board. I have served in 4 committees during my first term which has given me an opportunity to work with a variety of staff and board members. I have a strong connection with the community. I want to continue to support the uniqueness of Eau Claire as it continues to grow.
Josh Stanley: I’m a former firefighter, and during my time in the fire service I had the opportunity to get involved in different aspects of budgeting on city and county levels. I currently own a small business and also have prior experience as a restaurant manager. With my experience in business and budgeting in the public and private sector, I plan to bring fiscal responsibility, transparency, accountability, and support for economic growth.
2.) With a strong local economy and low unemployment, many employers report difficulty in filling positions. What is the role of Eau Claire County in attracting more people to the community, and ensuring that the County is an attractive place to live and work?
Missy Christopherson: Eau Claire County is looking at its wage metrics to remain a competitive employer. Eau Claire has a richness in its arts and natural beauty. We need to continue to protect the environment and support the arts. We also need to continue to engage our partners to retain and attract graduates.
Josh Stanley: We need to make sure we are putting laws or policies in place that contribute to people getting out in the workforce and seeing the value they can bring to their communities by working and better not only themselves, but those around them as well. Lower property tax is another great way to attract new people to our county.
3.) The Chippewa Valley Housing Task Force found that the community is experiencing housing supply challenges at all income levels and housing types. What should the County’s role be in expanding housing supply within areas of its jurisdiction?
Missy Christopherson: We need to look at opportunities to build truly affordable housing. I think some of the recent developments are only affordable to middle class. We also need to work with partners to remodel current buildings to ensure they are safe and healthy homes to live in. We have an opportunity with ARPA funds to invest in the need.
Josh Stanley: I believe that our role is limited based on us not being able to control supply chain issues. We need to be careful as a county in how we invest our time and tax dollars. I would say we focus on managing our taxpayer dollars to the best of our ability.
4.) The County is in the process of determining how to spend over $20 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Over $4 million has already been committed to broadband and to assistance for non-profits and small businesses. What are your thoughts on the priorities for the deployment of the remaining $15 million of funds?
Missy Christopherson: I think that we need to spend the majority of what remains in three areas; the environment by looking at water quality issues and climate neutrality goals, the arts by building businesses back up that suffered great losses during the isolation of the pandemic, and housing by looking at how we can get homeless off the streets and families into adequate housing.
Josh Stanley: We need to give back to our property owners first and foremost who’ve had to make ends meet over these past couple of years, secondly use it to bring new companies to our county, and lastly if possible pay down our current debt so future generations are not burdened with it.
5.) If elected, what will be your top three priorities in your term as a County Board Member?
Missy Christopherson: Reaching our Carbon Neutrality goals. Clean water initiatives. Working with our youth while they learn leadership skills during their participation with the Eau Claire County Fair.
Josh Stanley: First, I’d like to see us cap or eliminate property taxes for those who are 65 and older living on a limited income. Secondly, I’d like to see us reduce our debt as a county. We are currently around 35% and the cap was supposed to be at 30%. So we have some problems that need to be dealt with there. Lastly, I’d like to see us do more to help create economic growth in our great county
Posted by Danya Morman, Governmental Affairs Intern