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Wisconsin State Journal (copy)

A member of the Village Board is challenging the incumbent village president in McFarland in the April 2 election. The term is two years. (I) indicates incumbent.

Carolyn Clow

Age: 45

Address: 6603 Schneider Place

Family: No response provided

Job: Lead purchasing agent, Dane County

Prior elected office: Village trustee, two years

Other public service: Board member, Wisconsin Women in Government; board member, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Wisconsin; chaplain, American Legion Women’s Auxiliary Post No. 534; volunteer, McFarland Girl Scouts; member, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, Carleton College; master’s degree in public affairs, UW-Madison

Brad Czebotar (I)

Age: 70

Address: 5211 Cook St.

Family: Married with two children and six grandchildren

Job: Retired human resources director

Prior elected office: Village president since 2012; village trustee for six months

Other public service: President and board member, McFarland Lions Club; treasurer and board member, Yahara Fishing Club; founder and president, McFarland Tri-County Youth Basketball; foster parents; Big Brothers-Big Sisters program

Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science, UW-Milwaukee; graduate school, educational psychology, UW-Milwaukee; industrial health and safety, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Industrial Health and Safety; public personnel administration, UW-Madison

Q&A

What makes you better qualified than your opponent for this position?

Clow: I am better qualified because I have 18 years of experience working in the Department of Administration for Dane County and my master’s degree in public policy from the UW-Madison. In addition, I am a connector by nature who works with others to build a stronger, working committee structure and to strengthen our relationships with other units of government.

Czebotar: I have in-depth understanding of village governance having served as village president for six-plus years and on 13 different village committees. My 25 years of experience in management, human resources and public service has honed my collaborative skills allowing me to effectively engage others who have diverse or differing perspectives and earning the endorsement of the Village Board.

What is the top issue facing the village and how would you address it?

Clow: McFarland’s top issue is a lack of a development plan that we are willing to follow. We are experiencing growth in the village but are missing opportunities to increase sustainability and equity and to build our business community and downtown.

Czebotar: The ideas for McFarland vary from building a community/senior center, an outdoor community pool, creating a splash park, starting a managed recreation program. I‘m committed to undertaking a strategic planning process that will actively engage the Village Board and community in thinking about the future and planning for the sustainable delivery of the programs and services to our residents in a fiscally responsible manner.

What’s one new way the village could keep property taxes in check?

Clow: In the short term, we need to streamline the village’s purchasing processes and to take advantage of cooperative contracts for better pricing. In the long term, we need to work with the state to find other strategies for funding local units of government, as Wisconsin’s reliance on residential property taxes is very high compared to other states.

Czebotar: I believe the village should be open-minded to all alternatives and options such as partnering with other communities on joint purchasing programs which can result in increased cost savings due to the creation of economies of scale; sharing the use of large capital items that each municipality would use only on a limited basis as well as the sharing of personnel.

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Mark Sommerhauser covers state government and politics for the Wisconsin State Journal.