By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

While Village Board President Scott Seager is unopposed in the spring election, three village trustee seat are on the ballot. Four candidates are facing off for the two, two-year term trustee seats – incumbents Mary Hubbard Nugent and John Alexander and newcomers Joe Wisniewski and Molly McCormack Moody.

There is a one-year trustee position on the ballot to fill out the remainder of former trustee Alan Boyes term. Boyes resigned last fall.

Jason Smalley and Ben Keating are on the ballot for the one-year term. Keating had not returned the newspaper’s request for information as of press time.

The newspaper sent out the standard candidate bios (see information boxes with this story) and asked the candidates what their thoughts on various topics. Here are their responses:

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the village at the moment?

Wisniewski: Short term – the impact to businesses during the 2021 road construction. A couple of years ago, businesses were negatively impacted when the roads were tore up. In 2020, the Governor closed businesses which was especially hard, and now they will get hit again with road construction. We need to figure out how maintain and increase business during construction. Long term – The village is debating whether the multi-family percentage of 30% should be increased. Many of the residents spoke out against the increase and I agree with the residents.

McCormack Moody: A unified agenda that supports already existing community members and businesses, while making the village a viable option for future businesses, residents, returning graduates, and young families.

Nugget: Maintaining a healthy and responsible fiscal plan for the village. Inherent in this, is recognizing that the village must assure that it is able to provide the necessary services to its residents, including public works, police and administration. This includes not only meeting the day-to-day needs of people, but having a comprehensive capital improvement plan for the village. The goal to attract and keep people here in East Troy.

Smalley: The upcoming construction to the roads and square. With the square being the central hub for many summer events as well as parking for local business, I can see challenges during the project. With 2020 being so difficult for our local business to say afloat. The village will need to be ensure safe parking, signage and clear walkways are available for the business’s patrons.

The village is working to increase connectivity with sidewalks, multi-use trails and other improvements, why is this important?

McCormack Moody: Accessibility is paramount. While these amenities provide easier access to nature and movement, they also make it easier for all people to commute to work, grab groceries, get to parks, schools, and take advantage of everything the community has, and will have, to offer.

Also, a great selling point for the stroller crowd.

Wisniewski: Safety. East Troy has a lot walkers and a lot of students. Many of our streets don’t have sidewalks so the residents have to walk on the streets. This is unsafe and is needed.

Smalley: The size of community allows many residents to use foot power vs. horsepower. The village already offers an amazing footprint; however, the expansion of sidewalks and trails will promote a safer environment for those not currently having direct access.

Nugget: Sidewalks and trails are valuable in promoting community involvement – connecting of neighbors and increasing access to local businesses. It is also a safety consideration; preventing injuries from falls. Sidewalks and trails promote greater activity, thus better health.

Alexander: During this challenging period the past year, I have been fortunate to be able to work from home. This has given me the opportunity to see how much more use our sidewalks and even the small trails through some of our nature areas are used. There is obviously a need for this connectivity based on what I have witnessed.

Alexander: During this challenging period the past year, I have been fortunate to be able to work from home. This has given me the opportunity to see how much more use our sidewalks and even the small trails through some of our nature areas are used. There is obviously a need for this connectivity based on what I have witnessed.

What are you thoughts on what else needs to be a priority in the village?

Smalley: All concerns brought to the village should be addressed and be made a priority. Although some concerns may outweigh others regarding urgency, all village residents have an equal voice. The village has the responsibility of addressing all concerns with a timely appropriate action.

Moody: I’d like to grow interest, investment, and action around the west end of town. While our central district continues to grow in ways that provide awesome amenities like restaurants, walkways, First Fridays, the west end of the village holds a lot of our necessities like the grocery store, hardware store, and pharmacy. I’d like to see that area flourish so that we can make it easier for people to accomplish all of their weekly and weekend to-dos without needing to get on the highway.

I’d like to see us drawing in a diverse collective of prospective businesses, from manufacturing to mom-and-pop creative shops, to reduce brain drain and amplify traffic and interest in spending and living in the village.

Wisniewski: The Village needs to be focused on maintaining the look and heritage of the Village. Growth is important, but we cannot sacrifice the historical value of the Village. Many of our residents have been in the Village for a long time so I think it’s important we make sure they have a voice.

Alexander: With the national economy in its current situation every community has been affected. The state continues to reduce shared revenue to municipalities such as ours. One thing we cannot do is look for quick, short-term gains that will cost us even more in the future. I have always advocated looking at the long term versus short-term instant gratification “fixes.”

Nugent: Addressing the impact that COVID has had on our community. An outcome of COVID has been more people are working from home. Rather than “bedroom community” being seen as a negative, a community that has people working from home may have a positive impact; patronizing local businesses and restaurants and opportunities to people to become more involved in community activities. I see a need to support community organizations as well as businesses who have sustained losses during the COVID-19; these promote a healthy community.

What type of growth would you like to see in the village?

Alexander: Managed village growth. This must occur if we are to keep taxes from skyrocketing. One of the most important things we can do is to encourage economic growth and hopefully the revival of the Honey Creek Business Park, thanks to initiatives by the present Village Board, will help. Also the village planned upgrade to the Square, in cooperation with the Walworth County Highway ES resurfacing project will make the heart of our Village more attractive to businesses, residents and visitors. While we cannot expect things to stay the same in this world, we must manage that change.

McCormack Moody: Along with more business drivers, a larger, more advanced library, more parks, more programming, and continued investments in the upkeep of our roads and walkways.

Nugget: Sustained and managed growth of homes and businesses. The community needs to have a variety of homes available from senior housing, apartments and single family homes which will attract and keep people in the community. At different stages in life, people have different needs; a variety of housing options should be available to meet those needs. Continued growth of businesses will be beneficial to the tax base, but also encourage people to want to move to the Village to be closer to their employer.

Smalley: It’s great to see how the local businesses help the village evolve. These businesses bring in so many visitors and provide the residents with great places to eat, shop, socialize. I’m hoping to see more of these businesses come to ET, to invest in the growth of our village.

Wisniewski: Manufacturing, assembly, warehousing, and retail. We are in competition with the surrounding Towns and Villages so it’s important to create a business friendly environment. I believe we need to expand housing, duplexes, and cottage homes, but avoid adding more multi-family units. We are also in need of more assisted living facilities.

What do you think your personal experience and knowledge will bring to the role?

McCormack Moody: I am the daughter of small business owners in East Troy, and now the wife of a small business owner in East Troy. I attended St. Peter’s for elementary, and graduated from East Troy High School. I made the choice to leave East Troy and made the choice to call it home again with my young family.

My life outside of this community gives me the unique ability to see what can drive people in, while life-long experiences in East Troy give me insight into what this community thrives on.

Nugget: I am from a family with roots in the community. I benefit from knowing the history of the village. Those roots do not bind me to the past, but does provide perspective. I also bring with me life experiences – education, work and personal – to the position.

I believe that it is important that the village board be representative of the community. As a senior, I feel that I can represent needs and concerns of the older generation.

Wisniewski: In my current professional capacity, I am responsible for a large transportation spend, annual budgeting, Capex, managing a team of logistics professionals, and managing global trade compliance with U.S. Customs and other government agencies. My approach to issues and questions is methodical and well measured. I enjoy listening to other’s opinions and make decisions based off of my beliefs and ethics.

Smalley: As a resident of East Troy over the past 40 years I have seen a small village grow into a great community. This growth inspires me and is one of the reasons I am running for Village Trustee. I bring with me the desire to see continued success in hopes others will enjoy the community as I do.

 
 

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