As one of the candidates for Waunakee village trustee this year, I want to share why I am running and why I hope to win your vote on April 6. Waunakee is at a crossroads as a village. We’ve had a difficult time lately between the much needed and difficult discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion, the continued struggle to produce results on workforce housing, and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on our own jobs, our neighbor’s businesses, and the village as a whole. With this we saw the community rise up to support each other, with the formation of a community-led diversity group, stronger public advocacy and support for advancing housing solutions, and the countless volunteers and donors supporting pandemic relief efforts locally.
However, what was learned throughout this process, is that some of our elected representative trustees often struggled to rise to level of these challenges and left the community disappointed. Whether it was tone-deaf responses to discrimination from a trustee by telling the victims of these acts to just “make more friends” or spending public funds on diversity training for another to then make dog-whistle remarks in a leaked closed session, we learned that some of the longest tenured “experienced” trustees also have the most outdated views of our village.
I decided to run this year because we have stopped moving forward as a village, and we continue to lose out on opportunities due to a lack of diversity of opinion. All too often our neighbors, in taking the time to express public comment, find that the most likely response is inaction. While I applaud the village’s ability to be contacted, I continue to be concerned about their lack of follow through on concerns or finding solutions. As a trustee, I will be an advocate for your concerns, and will work to look for those solutions where they can be found.
As a candidate, I am the only person endorsed by both the Democratic Party of Dane County, and the Southcentral Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, as well as WCSD Board of Education President David Boetcher, and Vice-President Mike Brandt. These endorsements came from consistent work in the community on advocating for all of us to have the best outcome together. Whether it is fairness in taxes, transparency, or most importantly accountability for your tax dollars, I will be your advocate. Please vote McPherson on April 6.
Herzberg, Willems and Zellner, committed to Waunakee
Gary Herzberg deserves to be reelected as Waunakee Village Trustee. Gary’s unmatched level of knowledge, experience, and dedication helps make our village government work efficiently and well. In addition to the qualifications mentioned, for years he has volunteered countless hours of his own time to help make this community the excellent place to live that it is. While we personally know Gary and have seen his commitment, we believe this also applies to Phillip Willems and President Chris Zellner.
Finally, all these people are long-time tax paying citizens.
We highly recommend reelecting Gary Herzberg and Phillip Willems for village trustees and Chris Zellner for village president.
Robert and Marianne Jensen
Vote For Herzberg
I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Waunakee Plan Commission for 15 years and I had the opportunity to work with Gary Herzberg during that time. Gary has an incredible understanding of the Village and what it takes to make it a great place to live, work, go to school and own a business. He sees the whole picture when making decisions on Planning Commission issues and understands the long term implications of the Village Board actions. His years of involvement in the detailed operations of the Village give him insight that we should want to retain on our Village Board. Gary’s helped the Village transform downtown, build a new Village Center and a new Library, and our park system wouldn’t be near the quality it is without his leadership. Gary has earned another term on the Village Board.
Endorsement for Zellner
Without a doubt, we endorse Chris Zellner for Waunakee Village President
Waunakee has had ample opportunities to witness the success of Chris as a leader for our village. The list is long, and demonstrates over and over again he truly cares about all the people. It is not unusual for him to be caught “brainstorming” for new ideas to enable the community to come together (Founder of Waunaboom and Light the Night with Santa). These are events created for all people of the community to congregate and keep the village connected, to “feel” part of the village. The honest and practical approaches he uses to lead the community are commendable strategies to keep Waunakee a community that grows, excels and thrives. His list of personal accomplishments (bank president, school teacher, self-employed businessman, B.S. degree in school health education and public administration) shows he has knowledge, strength and abilities to be a true leader. He likes people, he works well with people. We are fortunate he has committed to extend these attributes to our village.
He understands and is knowledgeable and will share facts with anyone, again giving of his time and talents. We have personal experience with this. Issues seemed confusing as we read a few false media attacks, and then we were amazed to talk with Chris who provided an open, honest, and knowledgeable accounting of the facts. He supports the members of the village board and listens to comments and thoughts of the board and the community. He is ever thankful for the hard work of his village board and the members of the community as he passes on these thoughts in conversation every chance he gets.
We will be voting for Chris.
Bill and Andrea Mann
The Khouri family has known the Zellner family for years. But I write about Chris Zellner not as a friend, but in his role as board president, where we often don’t see eye-to-eye.
I have simple tastes while Chris is chock full of great big dreams. And my tastes notwithstanding, his vision reflects how most of the Waunakee residents that I know feel about the village. Waunakee thinks of itself as special because Chris is one of those doing the work to make it special. Chris exudes Waunakee exceptionalism, but also brings endless energy to make dreams become real. We’ve all struggled through the past 12 months. Many of us are frustrated and want to take it out somewhere. I just don’t think Waunakee’s current leadership is an appropriate target, since our village seems to be one of the few things working pretty well.
Integrity, respect, experience.
Waunakee residents would be well served to reelect Gary Herzberg to the Village Board on April 6. I was fortunate to serve on the board with Gary for 14 years and saw firsthand his dedication to this community. In addition to the hours of time Gary spends as a trustee on the Board and its committees, he personally volunteers in many ways to better Waunakee. The board needs trustees with experience and knowledge of the workings of the village and issues it faces. Gary has that. Waunakee is a growing community that is going to need that experience to manage taxes, maintain its high level of services Waunakee residents expect to receive and address upcoming challenges in the community. Integrity, Respect and Experience is what residents get by reelecting Gary to the Board.
A positive change
I met Sam Kaufmann several years ago. He was part of the group who went to village meetings to fight the huge T. Wall development downtown. He is a smart young man who researches the issues before making statements. Sam continues to attend village meetings and keeps citizens informed through an email distribution list. That information keeps me informed about village government and I appreciate it. He is approachable and if you have an issue or idea, he will look at the different angles before coming to a conclusion.
Sam is going to look at the financial impact decisions have on the regular taxpayer. Roads and services are what I want from government. The older part of town still has crumbling roads. Also Sam will advocate for transparency in government. I want to know about proposed developments before they are a done deal. He understands that government represents citizens. Closed meetings don’t allow for us to see how our representatives really feel on topics and he will work to have open government. Please vote for a positive change and elect Sam Kaufmann.
The merits of science
I have a deep respect for science, especially when science attempts to go the extra distance to reexamine contrary evidence to its own conclusions. There is also the possibility of unintended consequences with any corrective action, which should also be studied for acceptance. I fervently believe that distancing was a correct action to combat the virus. However, I am not that sure of the face mask theory. There seems to be a lot controversy about the efficacy of masks. But that was not my major concern. I began to wonder about the fact that I wear a mask approximately 1.5 hours per day, and so I am inhaling loose fibers from that mask into my lungs. I don’t know, but I do not think that is a good thing. All I do know is that I cough a lot more now than I did ever before.
Then, I also considered that there are many people that have to wear those masks up to 10 hours per to accomplish their jobs (ie. retail workers, postal employees, factory workers, etc.) What type of fibrous material do they inhale per hour? How much per person per year? Will the accumulation of material have an effect on one’s health years from now? Is there a study to determine what levels are acceptable? For adults? For children?
Paul J. Weitzer
Vote Ted Frey
When I think of all of the characteristics for a school board member, I can without hesitancy, recommend Ted Frey. My husband and I have been part of the Waunakee community for nearly 30 years. During this time we have had three children, and now three grandchildren, enjoy the educational and extracurricular activities offered in our fine Waunakee School District.
I know Ted not only as a friend, but a coworker as well. By being witness to his work ethic and dedication to his family one is able to experience many sides of his character. As a coworker his management position required him to be open minded in dealing with challenges and analytical in the details. His ability to interact with others in a diplomatic manner; assess the matter at hand; review it from several angles to determine positive/negative impacts, and have foresight to see what results are needed to ensure a successful outcome.
I am duly impressed with Ted and his wife, Rebecca. Both hardworking and very involved in their children’s schooling and outside activities. Ted, from high school through college, has pursued interests in art, music, athletics and earned a degree in engineering. Their kids are well mannered, have varied interests in extracurricular activities, and will speak and carry on a conversation with an adult – no texting required.
Ted’s combined skill set is essential as an advocate for the community in serving on the school board. His common-sense approach is always welcome, and frankly, refreshing. He will be an outstanding addition to the school board. Please join us on April 6 in voting for Ted Frey.