First-time candidate a shoo-in for trustee seat in Tuesday election
There are three candidates on Tuesday’s ballot for three seats on the Saukville Village Board, but the election will bring a new face to one of those trustee seats.
Trustees decided not to fill the post held by Jen Schoenfeldt, who resigned late last summer when she moved out of the village.
That leaves two incumbents and a newcomer vying for the three vacancies on the board.
Incumbents are Robert Hamann and Daniel Sauer will be joined by first-time candidate Michael Gielow on the ballot.
Gielow, 35, 110 W. Friendship La., has been a member of the village’s Community Development Authority for the past three years.
“I am seeking office because I have seen the open call for a trustee since Jen Schoenfeldt moved. I have been on the CDA for a few years, and really enjoy it and thought this would be a natural progression,” Gielow said.
“I think I represent a growing number of residents in the village, being a younger person with a family. I believe I can bring a fresh set of eyes and ideas to the village, and my business experience will help me and the village over the long term.”
He brings an awareness of the challenging times all state municipalities are facing.
“I think the village will have to continue to scrutinize every aspect of money being spent, as well as consistently comparing it to revenue coming in,” Gielow said.
He said he supports the Community Development Authority’s recent move to bring in an outside consultant to improve the marketing of commercial real estate.
“Focusing on commercial development will, in the long run, increase the amount of tax revenue coming into the village, and further increase the possibility for residential development,” Gielow said.
Hamann, 71, 644 W. Briarknoll Ct., was first elected as a trustee in 2003.
“I am running for re-election because I enjoy the opportunity to serve the residents of the village, and being retired I have plenty of time to do that,” he said.
Hamann said his tenure on the board has provided perspective and insight into the operation of municipal government.
He played a key role in overseeing the construction of the new police station.
With that building completed, Hamann said there are still plenty of challenges ahead for the community.
“The biggest challenge facing the village is how to provide the services the residents want and still hold the line on property taxes. This is very challenging, as other sources of village revenue such as Wisconsin shared revenue, interest income, building permits, etc., are down significantly from previous years and may stay low for the near future,” Hamann said.
He said negotiating new contracts with the village’s two collective bargaining units under the state’s altered labor climate will be another key challenge.
“Finally, I hope that the village can attract new businesses and additional residential development to increase our tax base,” Hamann said.
Sauer, 31, 697 W. Dekora St., has served two terms on the Village Board. He is a financial analyst with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Sauer said he feels he brings “a common sense, solid conservative voice” to the Village Board.
“I bring real-world financial experience to the board that allows me to look at issues from an analytical perspective, rather than basing decision simply on what may be politically popular,” he said.
“What allows me to stand out for others is the financial knowledge I bring to the table. In my career, I look at business investments both logically and methodically. I use these skills and offer the same approach when looking at the issues brought before the board.”
He said that fact-based approach has served him well on the board.
“I believe it is the role of the Village Board to make responsible, cost-effective decisions on behalf of our constituents. I also feel that the residents of Saukville do not want the typical political rhetoric that has become so pervasive lately,” Sauer said.