Winker, Weyker vie for County Board seat

By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

A longtime Ozaukee County Board incumbent is facing a challenge from a longtime resident for his seat in District 1 on Tuesday, April 5.
Tom Winker, 66, who has been on the board for 14 years and lived in the district for 41, and Joe Weyker, 58, who has lived in the county nearly his entire life, are vying for the seat.
Winker, who owns and operates a trucking business, said he wants to continue to serve the community in which he has been involved for decades, including memberships in the Melvin Wester American Legion Post 412, the Belgium Lions and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, which he helped found in 1988.
He said Ozaukee County is the lowest-taxed county in the state, and the Town of Belgium, where he has been chairman the past 13 years, is the lowest-taxed municipality in the county.
“I’m very proud of that,” he said.
Winker suggests using American Recovery Plan Act money to address a few county issues.
The county has agreed to contribute some money to Ozaukee Washington Land Trust to purchase the Cedar Gorge property to preserve it, and it is considering giving more.
“I don’t think we should put any more tax dollars in it,” Winker said, adding he would be comfortable using ARPA funds.
He also wants to use $5 million in ARPA funds to help fund a firefighter/paramedic program that gives the county emergency medical services coverage for two and a half years. After that, the expenses could be rolled into a tax.
“I do believe that’s something the Ozaukee County residents are willing to pay for and have an expectation of good ambulance and EMS service,” Winker said.
Winker also wants to use ARPA funds to support the Lasata Senior Living Campus and add a community based residential facility. That should position the facility to be financially stable in the future, he said.
Weyker wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, who served two terms on the County Board after retiring from his highway commissioner job. Weyker regretted not entering the military like his father and brother, and wants to find a way to serve his community.
“I thought it’s good to give back a little bit,” he said.
Weyker, a regional sales manager for an animal feed fortifier, said he needs more information on Cedar Gorge and the paramedic plan.
His priority is water quality, something he has dealt with in various capacities for many years.
“Keeping things out of the water is important. Ground water is one of the biggest assets of the county,” he said.
Products to reduce pollution from farms are available that don’t require county money, Weyker said, using the Melichar Broad Acres as an example.
Keeping the county rural is also a priority.
“A lot of the county is zoned agricultural and it’s a dying business,” Weyker said. “There’s no more land created, and we feed the world. Agriculture is important from the Ozaukee County perspective.”

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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