Letter: Candidate makes caseI’m running for re-election as Hudson town chairman and I’m asking for your support. I’ve served seven terms as supervisor and three terms as chair.
By: Jeff Johnson, Town of Hudson, Chair, Hudson Star-Observer
I’m running for re-election as Hudson town chairman and I’m asking for your support. I’ve served seven terms as supervisor and three terms as chair. We are the lowest taxed municipality in St. Croix County even though we have 7,931 residents. We also have 98 miles of roads to maintain, the second most in the county. Roads and population are major factors driving expenditures. A $300,000 property in the town of Hudson is taxed $3,200. In the town of Glenwood, taxes would be $5,100. The town of Hudson taxpayers pay 20 percent more in taxes to WITC than they pay to the town.
I’ve been on the Town Board 19 years (13 as supervisor, six as chair). I’ve attended 100s of meetings and have missed only a couple. My opponent, Gregg White was on the Plan Committee for many years. He missed many of his monthly meetings and resigned, citing a lack of time.
The main issue our opposition is running on is the supposedly outrageous salaries we are being paid and paying our staff. The town chair was paid about $11,000 in 1989 (had about half the population and roads). The chair is currently receiving $17,500 (about a 2 percent yearly increase).
Their accusations claiming the town staff salaries are outrageous because of limited hours simply shows the lack of experience and that they have no idea about the hours these jobs require. We operate a municipality of almost 8,000 residents, with a three-person staff and combined salaries of $108,000. They get no benefits — health, pension, 401k match; they don’t even get Social Security. Qualified clerks don’t grow on trees. They get calls seven days a week at all hours and do their best to help regardless of the day or time of the call.
The town constable is on duty 24/7, 365 days a year and is allowed 42 days off (if he goes over the 42 days allowed his salary is reduced on a prorated basis). That’s only one day per weekend 42 weeks a year. This past year he recovered half his salary in fines. He does a great job and is a detective in St. Croix County, which adds to his authority.
None of us takes ourselves too seriously and realize being a Town Board member is an obligation to do our best for the town residents. We’ve never borrowed money, have no debt and have a very comfortable budget surplus.
Please vote for Jeff Johnson, Tim Foster and Kernon Bast. We’ll do our best to be fair, impartial and good stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Please vote April 7.