Jeffrey Pfannerstill, a first-time candidate for village board president is challenging long-time incumbent David Lamerand for his seat.
Pfannerstill said the village does not always use taxpayer money wisely, and Lamerand said the village needs to find more ways to communicate with residents.
The Lake Country Reporter submitted questions to both candidates. Here are their answers:
What experiences in life, government or work do you have that will help you be an effective village board president?
Lamerand: I have found that my background in business has helped me a great deal in looking at local government as a business. It is our job as elected representatives to ensure that the citizens are served in the best and most efficient manner possible. I started my governmental service as a member of the Park Board and was then chosen to represent the board as a member on the Plan Commission. After that, I was elected to the Village Board of Trustees. I learned and continue to learn from those positions that clear and open plans are needed so the public will know what expectations to have in dealing with local government and where we were headed. These plans were developed by listening to the citizens on their needs and what services were necessary to help lead the community in successful growth and development. The planning processes were well in place before I became involved. I have attempted to continue the planning sessions in all of my years on the Village Board.
Pfannerstill: As an account manager at Derco Aerospace, which is owned by Lockheed Martin, I manage and sell aircraft parts to militaries and aerospace companies around the world. I work with government contracts and regulations every day. To be effective, I listen to what people have to say. To ensure good judgment and good results, I make sure to have all the facts before I make decisions. I carry out my duties with ethical standards in mind. There are very strict guidelines when dealing with government contracts. I have been through many hours of training on ethics and government regulations. I believe that to be a good leader one must be a good servant. I will serve the village with compassion, integrity and dedication. I have been a volunteer coach at North Shore Middle School and a volunteer religious education teacher at St. Anthony on the Lake in Pewaukee and at St. Charles in Hartland. Through my career, and volunteer service I have learned that to be good at anything you must do it with compassion, integrity and dedication. I will carry this foundation of knowledge and experience with me as I serve the people of Hartland as village president.
What is the biggest challenge facing the village?
Lamerand: The biggest challenge that I see facing the Village is the sustainability of the quality of life and services to meet the needs of our citizens. We have developed plans for maintaining the infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) through timely repair and replacement as needed on predictable timetables. Every year as we plan the budget and forecast the needs for the future, we keep in mind that we need to get the most out of every dollar that is spent on behalf of the taxpayers.
Pfannerstill: The biggest challenge we face in Hartland is maintaining control of the growth and at the same time protecting current property owners. There have been many developments in Hartland over the last three years, and some of those developments have angered people a lot. Village government must have empathy as it makes decisions on developments that will change neighborhoods and take great consideration when listening to the people that developments will affect the most. Another large challenge ahead will be parking downtown. Once the Riverwalk development is complete and tenants move in, there will be more traffic downtown on a regular basis than Hartland has ever had to deal with. There will be approximately 200 more vehicles moving around and parking downtown than Hartland has ever seen. We all have the responsibility of working together and listening to each other to make Hartland the best village it can be. However, it falls on the shoulders of the village president and the village board to make sure this challenge is addressed.
What would your No. 1 goal be if elected?
Lamerand: My number 1 goal is to continue to provide for the needs of the village. This includes continuing to find more and better ways to communicate with the residents. I also see cooperating with other governmental bodies to help find efficiencies in operations and in providing services to our citizens. This would include the school districts, neighboring communities, the county as well as the state.
Pfannerstill: My top goal is to work with the village board to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer’s money. The taxpayers had to cover $11,000 for a bad loan for the chimney swift bird house. The chimney on Cottonwood Ave. has no birds living in it and cannot be used as a chimney because it has no fireplace, hence it has absolutely no use at all. The village loaned out funds for the chimney bird house and was not paid back. We cannot spend taxpayer money like this. We have to be fiscally conservative and fiscally responsible. The money is not play money and must be spent with respect to taxpayers. We also have to be more open with how we are spending money. The village purchased two properties for over $400,000; the village tore down the houses on those properties and then gave both properties away as a gift to a developer for less than $150,000. Many people do not realize this happened because you have to dig deep into the financials to find it, but when TIF #4 closes, the taxpayers will have to pay the estimated $190,000 for the loss. We need to be fiscally conservative, fiscally responsible, and more open about how we are spending taxpayer money.
What is the most important thing for elected officials to do?
Lamerand: The most important thing that we do, as elected officials, is to listen to the residents. We need to weigh all of the facts and then try to implement the best decision for the entire community.
Pfannerstill: To listen is the most important duty of an elected official. An elected official must realize they serve the people. As a servant, you listen and do what is requested be done. Government has certain rules for a reason. The village government has to post meetings and times that business will be conducted so that the people represented can listen to what is going on and can make their voices heard. Being a good listener and carrying out the will of the people is what an elected official is elected to do. If an elected official stops listening, it is highly likely that the voters will stop voting that official into office. Thomas Jefferson once said, “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” I think it would be wise if elected officials did that along with listening.
Years in the community: 38
Political experience: Local government. Park Board, Plan Commision, Village Trustee, Member of the BID Board, and Village President.
Career: I have a BA in accounting and have been a controller at a non-profit nursing home in Milwaukee, and was manager of retail accounting for a large supermarket company, and I owned a small accounting office serving a select clientele. I served in the military and retired from the Army Reserve as a first sergeant.
Family members: I am married to the most wonderful person for 47 years, Shirley. I have two children who were raised in Hartland and graduated from Arrowhead High School in 1988 and 1989. My Daughter was an attorney and lived in Burlington, WI with her family until her passing from Pancreatic Cancer in January of this year. My son and his family live in Palatine, Il., where he owns a dental supply company.
Years in the community: 12
Political experience: None
Career: Aerospace Sales and Account Management
Family members: I have four sons: Jeffrey Jr., 15, freshman at Arrowhead High School; Jacob, 13, eighth grade at North Shore Middle School; Noah, 11, sixth grade at North Shore Middle School; and Andrew, 10, fourth grade at Hartland South.