Dickmann points to village advances; opponent says change is overdue
Barb Dickmann has been Saukville’s village president since 2003. During that time, it would be fair to say she embraced the role of being the face of the village.
Michael Rintelman is challenging Dickmann for the village president’s post on the Tuesday, April 5, ballot, contending a new face is needed.
Rintelman said he has deliberately stayed away from village meetings since declaring himself a candidate.
“Sometimes it is better to start fresh and not to be tainted by the process,” he said.
Dickmann takes pride in the advances the village has made on her watch and looks forward to tackling the challenges of meeting the new approach to local government spawned by the election of Gov. Scott Walker.
“We will continue to analyze all expenditures and test their worthiness. We will continue to scrutinize all employment positions to evaluate for greater efficiency,” she said.
Dickmann said a continued emphasis will be placed on partnering with neighboring communities.
Rintelman said a tighter financial fist is needed.
“Based on the limited information that I have received, I think that the village will need to focus on essential services and become more efficient in the delivery of those services, like many families in the community have been forced to do in the past couple of years,” he said.
“An important part of this is to be better connected to the taxpayer and make decisions based upon how they will impact them directly. The village has to work closely with the governor to address the impact of unfunded mandates on the village.”
However, Rintelman said, he supports “aggressively implementing” the provisions of Walker’s budget-repair law.
Dickmann said the greatest challenge ahead for the village is to kick-start the local economy.
“I’d love to see and continue to seek the development of a new subdivision in Saukville which will broaden our residential base and could lessen the tax burden on existing residents,” she said.
Dickmann said village officials will go on a business-retention tour of the community this spring, making sure that the needs of local employers are being addressed.
“I believe we need to continue to explore additional ways in which to grow Saukville and maintain services. If not maintain, then reduce services based on taxpayers’ wishes and available funding,” she said.
Dickmann said village officials are already planning a realtor open house, showcasing potential development sites in the community. She also earmarked the land immediately east of I-43 as the ideal corridor for new commercial construction.
Rintelman said the greatest challenge for the village is reconnecting with “the needs and desires of taxpayers.”
He said the village needs to manage labor costs and place an emphasis on efficiency.
“In lean times, every program and procedure needs to be evaluated and to be scrutinized as to its effectiveness, importance and its impact on taxpayers,” Rintelman said.
Dickmann said the loss of state funding for recycling should not hurt the village too much because it only receives a nominal amount of aid.
“We do have a couple of years left on our contract with Veolia, but will still ask for taxpayer input as to how to go about recycling in Saukville without it being overly burdensome on any one person or group,” she said.
Rintelman said recycling may become a victim of the financial squeeze.
“If funding for the program is cut, then the program should be ended. We cannot afford to put more costs on the taxpayer,” he said.
Dickmann said broad experience in village government is what sets her apart from her opponent.
“I believe I have a proven track record in Saukville which is positive in nature. In addition, since I have been president of Saukville, we have upgraded our Moody’s Investors Bond Rating due to sound fiscal practices … some of which I learned from my years at Port
Washington State Bank,” she said.
Rintelman said he would bring a push toward accountability if elected.
“I believe that government needs to be responsive to its investors, the taxpayers,” he said. “I believe this has been lacking in the day-to-day activities and planning of the village.”
Rintelman said he would promote the use of technology to keep connected to constituents.
“I also bring a new perspective and have little concern for how things have been done, but will evaluate and determine what can be done if we creatively and purposefully assess the needs and desires of our constituents,” he said.
Incumbent village trustees Mike Krocka, Joe Caban and Dave Maglio are unopposed in their bids for re-election.