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Two vie for Menomonee Falls spot on county board

March 20, 2012

Redistricting created five open seats with no incumbents on the 25-member Waukesha County Board. In Menomonee Falls, Jennifer Grant and Michael Hyland are running. Here are their responses to questions related to their campaign.

Why are you running; what differentiates you from your candidate?

Grant: I'm a fiscal conservative with a background in finance/accounting. I have the analytical and business skills necessary to make the tough decisions that the county will face in the coming years. I am a proven leader and have the endorsements of the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association (www.mftax.org) and Republican State Assemblyman, Dale Kooyenga.

Hyland:Due to redistricting an opening for this position was created. I have a proven record as an elected official with my position on the Hamilton School Board. As a result of this position, I work with six communities that are part of the school district. As a school board and administrative team, we have experienced many positive accomplishments of which I am proud.

Is Waukesha County doing enough with Milwaukee and other counties to promote regional development?

Grant: The Milwaukee 7 initiative has been successful at driving new business to the area. I hope we can continue to grow and develop these relationships for the benefit of all seven counties. Given that Waukesha County has so much to offer, I would like to see us take on a stronger role.

Hyland: I believe Waukesha County has a great reputation of working with other local and county governments to promote economic, job and residential growth and to make our county competitive for future development.

What would you do as county supervisor to promote shared services at the local level to save costs, such as contracting with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department?

Grant: There are many opportunities to reduce costs by contracting with private businesses to provide county services. The area is filled with great businesses with the expertise to provide needed services at a lower cost. As a steward of the taxpayer money, it's the board's responsibility to find the most cost-effective way to provide high-quality service.

Hyland: As a longtime resident, I have seen a few border clashes between towns, cities and villages. If you truly believe in cost savings for local taxpayers, you must put egos aside and look at the benefits of mergers and shared services.

Would you be in favor of spending county tax money to make sure Kohl's keeps its corporate headquarters in Waukesha County?

Grant: Kohl's is th e largest employer in Waukesha County, employing over 5,000 people. In addition, Kohl's has made significant philanthropic investments in the area. I would support investing in the infrastructure necessary to allow Kohl's to expand or relocate within the County.

Hyland: The Village of Menomonee Falls has put together a very competitive package to keep Kohl's corporate headquarters. I am sure they have communicated with Waukesha County leaders about financial assistance. Many of their employees live locally. I want to keep Kohl's, but we all need to know how much it will cost us on a local, county and statewide basis.

In light of cuts from state government, what are your biggest concerns about the Waukesha County budget?

Grant: Waukesha County does have a legacy of prudent fiscal responsibility when compared to other counties in the state. That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't ways for us to reduce costs and lower taxes. The county must not only hold the line on taxes, but make real efforts to lower them - that will be the way to attract new businesses and homeowners to the area.

Hyland: Maintaining the various county services that are provided in the budget. The department leaders and the communities that overlook these various agencies must prioritize where limited funds are appropriated.

Jennifer Grant

Address: N61 W12926 River Heights Court, Menomonee Falls

Age: 36

Number of years living in the district: 20-plus years in county; 15 in Menomonee Falls

Previous offices held: None

Occupation: Human Resources/Benefits Professional at a Milwaukee-area hospital and health system

Education: St. Norbert College, bachelor of business administration-accounting and economics

Organizations: Certified public accountant, certified employee benefits specialist, member, St. James Catholic Church

Family: Husband, Patrick Grant, children: Colin, 8, Emily, 6, Grace, 3, and Megan, 1

Michael Hyland

Address: 13011 W. Cameron Ave., Butler

Age: 59

Number of years living in the district: 51 as Butler resident

Previous offices held: Hamilton School Board, 21 years

Occupation: Construction equipment manager

Education: St. Agnes grade school, Hamilton High School, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Organizations: Building a Better Butler, WIAA basketball official, National Association of Sports Officials

Family: Wife, Lucy, three adult children, two grandchildren

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Spring Seedling Sale & Greenhouse Open House: 10 a.m. May 23, NuGenesis Farm, N68 W33208 County Road K, Oconomowoc. A variety of organic veggie and herb seedlings to plant in your home or community garden this spring will be for sale. All plant sale profits will benefit the Giving Garden initiative.

Memorial Honor Celebration: 8 a.m. May 23, Wisconsin Harley-Davidson, 1280 Blue Ribbon Drive, Oconomowoc. Daylong event begins with reveille and breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by color guard and the national anthem. The event also includes military and veterans organizations, interactive displays and vehicles, food and beverages and entertainment. Evening showing of “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.” on a big, outdoor screen.

"Small Space Container Gardens" Seminar: 11 a.m. May 23, Ebert’s Greenhouse Village, W1795 Fox Road, Ixonia. Free educational seminar by gardening expert Melinda Myers. Melinda, who will also be available to answer gardening questions. Enter to win a $500 Ebert’s shopping spree with Melinda.

Tyke Hike: 10 a.m. May 23, Lapham Peak State Park, W329 N846, Delafield. Children and their families will hike with a guide and a representative of the Delafield Library will share books, songs and a craft to enhance the experience. Meet at the Lapham Peak Tower. State park sticker is required.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 


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