AP NEWS

Four seek three seats on Sauk City Village Board

March 28, 2019

Sauk City residents will see a new name on the April 2 ballot, as resident Keith Ball challenges incumbents Richards Marks, Lynn Rausch and John Schmidt for a position in one of three at large seats on the Sauk City Village Board.

Sauk City Village Board President Jim Anderson is seeking reelection for his seat as village board president, and he is running unopposed.

Ball said he is running for public office because he loves his community and wants to help residents get their voices heard.

“I also want to help with some issues I’ve been hearing from others who live in this great community,” Ball said. “They’d like to see more transparency with village officials and decisions, (and if elected) I am hoping to communicate more efficiently with those who can’t attend meetings.”

Ball said he feels the village could do more to incentivize business in the village, citing the old Dairy Queen building and the former Harley Davidson shop.

“Business come and go here … Why can’t we get businesses to stay?” Ball said. “We do have some new businesses coming in, but what are we doing about the other spaces?”

Ball said while the community has a good variety of restaurants to choose from, he would like to see the village bring more retail opportunities to town or make larger, vacant buildings more suitable for today’s business needs.

“It might not be cost-effective to redevelop or redesign some of the larger spaces,” Ball said. “But businesses are so much more technology-focused it might be worth seeing what it would cost to redo some of the (vacant) buildings and look for new uses for them.”

Ball said the village is moving in the right direction with creating more opportunities for housing.

“The community is thriving in the fact that everyone is trying to move into town,” Ball said. “Property values are steadily increasing…. But we need to look ahead to more housing opportunities and finding land for our schools and recreation for the future.”

Ball said he feels local government should have more of a listening role, and “have an ear out to the voters.”

“They should be hearing people’s concerns and addressing them,” Ball said. “They should be holding listening sessions and referendums so we can all throw our ideas out there. It would be great for the town.”

For Anderson, running for president again means the opportunity to see some of the programs the village has started under his watch come to fruition.

“We continue to try to look for areas in the community we could try to possibly develop,” Anderson said. “Sometimes our choices are not always popular, but we do listen.”

Anderson said he has been encouraging a younger generation to get involved in local government.

“I approached the chamber and the school district about creating a liaison member role for a student,” Anderson said. “They wouldn’t be a voting member or participate in closed session.”

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 2 at the municipal building, 726 Water St., Sauk City.

Efforts to reach candidates Marks and Rausch went unanswered and candidate Schmidt declined an interview with the Eagle.