Candidates for St. Croix County Board of Supervisors in districts 1-9 and 11-16 were asked to respond to two questions. Those that chose to participate shared the following answers: 

District 1

Erica Johnson

Erica Johnson

Erica Johnson

Age: 48

Town/village of residence: Somerset

Occupation: IT project manager

Family: I’ve been a member of the community since 1990 when my mom married a wonderful man, and we blended our families. My mom, my sister and I moved from Stillwater, Minnesota, to Somerset. I currently live two doors down from that house I moved into in 1990 and I have one adult child. 

Prior political positions: None.

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? Wisconsin will receive an influx of capital from the infrastructure bill that was passed in 2021, it will provide Wisconsin $100 million to invest in broadband and $5.2 billion for roads with a possibility to compete for $28 billion in bridge funds. 

We need to invest in our infrastructure within this county to fix our current issues and do long overdue improvements. This is cash on the table and won’t increase our taxes within the county to use this money so we should make sure we use what has been allocated effectively.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I’m an IT project manager. I’ve worked at Fortune 100 companies with a specialty of budgets, contract negotiations as well as cost reduction efforts.

I have experience with multimillion dollar budgets as well as economic feasibility studies to weigh how to spend our limited capital on projects that matter. Because of this professional experience it will serve the community members to select the best investments to serve us in the future.

Lisa Lind

Lisa Lind

Lisa Lind

Age: 56

Town/village of residence: Somerset

Occupation: Retired RN

Family: Husband, Grant; three young adult children.

Prior political positions: None

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? We have two very important priorities. Our county must rein in spending as inflation and property taxes are out of control.

With anticipated growth in this county we must responsibly plan for stages of growth, while protecting community members wallets. We must also limit the overreach of HHS on our communities.

Our nation was founded on freedom, and we must remain free, no illegal mandates personal or business.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? Registered nurse for over 30 years, I will use my voice against health mandates and lockdowns. I will use my principles to stand for faith, family and freedom. 

District 2

Shawn Anderson (incumbent)

Shawn Anderson

Shawn Anderson

Age: 26  

Town/village of residence: Somerset Township   

Occupation: Engineering manager at a metals manufacturer

Family: I have no wife or kids, but I have three siblings and three nephews. We are all very close. 

Prior political positions: I had no prior political positions before my first term on the county board. 

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? The county's No. 1 priority should be to ensure that the public safety is upheld while ensuring the tax burden on the county's citizens is reasonable.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? What makes me unique from other candidates is I am younger than most of the other candidates for the county board.

This means I have a better perspective on what young people and young families want from the county. I want the county to be the best place for young families to live because I want to raise a family in St. Croix County. 

Sue Curtis

Sue Curtis

Sue Curtis

Age: 64

Town/village of residence: Town of St. Joseph

Occupation: Retired school administrator

Family: Husband, Don; sons, Wade and Colton

Prior political positions: None

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? The county’s No. 1 priority should be its families. Thriving families make thriving communities and family first thinking will be my priority in all decisions we make.

St. Croix County is the second fastest growing county in the state and growing responsibly so all resident’s families thrive will be important. 

Managing growth and considering the current and future challenges and needs is important to ensure the quality continuation of  services such as public safety, infrastructure (broadband, roads, etc.) community planning, public health, mental health, family services and aging and disability. 

Rapid growth can compromise the things we cherish like clean water, therefore groundwater, lakes and river protection will be important.

Due to recent state and federal initiatives, opportunities for grant funding to offset and assist expenditures will be available and continued application and use will be an added benefit for the county.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I have experience as a former board member and team member in numerous profit and non-profit organizations.

As a former special services administrator, I have skills in bringing a variety of stakeholders together successfully  to make key decisions to develop and operate programs that serve and assist families.  

I can successfully navigate state and federal statutes to develop policies and administer programming. I have written and administered hundreds of substantially sized federal grants and budgets.

I have local experience as a Town of St. Joseph sub-committee member that researched and developed the first ever independent zoning ordinance for the town. My doctoral degree in organizational leadership, policy and development which I completed later in life, demonstrates that I have the grit to persist  and complete what is needed to get a job done.

District 3

Bob Long (incumbent)

Bob Long

Bob Long

Age: 66

Town/village of residence: Town of Hudson

Occupation: Retired

Family: Wife, Sandy; three kids who all grew up in Hudson; and six grandkids. 

Prior political positions: Two terms as county supervisor for District 6. 

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? The next few years will be challenging from a budget standpoint. There are significant inflationary pressures we’ll need to manage in a fiscally responsible way to avoid tax increases and still maintain exceptional service to our citizens. 

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? Experiences include having first been elected in 2016, I’ve served on the HHS board, currently chair the administration committee and have been involved in hiring a new county administrator, county clerk and was part of the building expansion sub-committee.

I also am on the St. Croix Economic Development Corporation Board. My constituents can rely on my integrity and common sense to not only be fiscally responsible, but to offer practical solutions that will benefit all of our citizens. 

District 4

Cathy Leaf (incumbent)

Cathy Leaf

Cathy Leaf

Age: 49

Town/village of residence: Village of North Hudson

Occupation: Marketing manager 

Family: Married 21 years; one adult child and two adult stepchildren.

Prior political positions: Prior to my service on the county board, I served two terms as a trustee for the Village of North Hudson.

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? St. Croix County faces several critical issues as it continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state. No. 1 must be public safety and health. 

These challenges include available and affordable housing for seniors and families; maintaining and addressing aging infrastructure; mental and health and addiction crisis; and addressing and funding the increased demand for services from our residents. 

As a county, we should be forward thinking in planning for growth, while still preserving the things that we love most about living here, such as our waterways, trails and parks. The challenge, of course, is to do this within strict levy caps and reduced state aid.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? During my time as an elected official, I’ve listened to our residents and advocated on their behalf, even if I didn’t always agree.

Understanding and considering everyone’s point of view results in good governance. I’m known for being responsive to constituents’ concerns and ideas, doing my homework on issues and asking relevant questions – questions aimed at discovering meaningful insights not just for myself, but for the benefit of my colleagues on the county board.

District 5

Carah Koch (incumbent)

Carah Koch

Carah Koch

Age: 50

Town/village of residence: City of Hudson

Occupation: Executive Director, Dakota Broadband Board

Family: Husband, Matt; Daughters, Maiya and Madison; two dogs and a tortoise. 

Prior political positions: St Croix County Board Supervisor of District 5 since 2020; St Croix County Board Supervisor District 6 from 2015-16; city of Hudson Alderperson District 6 from 2003-07. 

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? The county provides a number of critical services to the community and its residents, so it is difficult to identify the most important one.

But I think that in order for the board to fully serve the citizens of this county to the best of our ability there needs to be ongoing, active engagement and communication with stakeholders.

Sometimes this can be challenging, but the programs and policies administered by the county should be responsive to the needs of its residents. Understanding community needs and perspectives, whether it is for transportation, public safety, health and human services, the protection and promotion of our natural resources, or the multitude of other important services that the county provides, will help not only guide program/policy direction, but also assist in the prioritization of limited county resources.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? Over the past 20 plus years I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of local and regional government entities.

This has given me insight into the approaches communities and organizations use to address and solve issues, and also provided me with the experience of working collaboratively with others to accomplish public goals and objectives.

In addition, my experience leading teams that are implementing significant organizational change or new technologies also enables me to look at situations or challenges with a different perspective.

If given the opportunity, I look forward to the chance to once again utilize these skills in service to our community as the St. Croix County Board Supervisor for District 5.

District 6

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Age: 68

Town/village of residence: City of Hudson

Occupation: Retired U.S. Marine Corps; Currently employed with St. Paul Public Schools. 

Family: Four adult children; three grandchildren; and one sister. 

Prior political positions: None

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? County government must have as its first priority, indeed its first responsibility, the safety and security of the community and residents.

This involves acting as a coordinator of safety and security actions between the cities, state law enforcement and emergency management agencies.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? My over 27 years of active-duty Marine Corps service around the world and throughout our nation has provided me with a skill set of producing results to accomplish a variety of mission assignments.

I have served on the South St. Paul airport commission dealing with federal, state and local agencies, resident airport complaints and airport infrastructure and runway construction projects.

I have also served on the City Walk Townhome Owners inaugural board as vice- president, dealing with resident concerns and construction defect issues and suits. Locally, I am the current chair of the Hudson police and fire commission. After over six years on the commission, I have participated in the hiring of nearly every current officer on the Hudson force.

The commission will soon lead the effort in the selection of our next city fire chief. These leadership and management roles provide me with a broad and dynamic array of skills and knowledge that will serve the county board well.

Tim Hall (incumbent)

Tim Hall

Tim Hall

Age:63

Town/village of residence: City of Hudson

Occupation: Senior business manager for a large engineering technology services company

Family: Wife, Joyce Hall; two adult daughters, Betsy and Marie; and our wonderful granddaughter Chloe who is 3½. 

Prior political positions: Current County Supervisor for St. Croix County District 6; previously the chair of the Hudson Urban Forestry Board.

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? This promises to be a very challenging term for the county board. At our most recent 2022 budgetary committee of the whole meeting, we heard reports from all county departments about expected increases in costs and their projected needs to meet rising service requests. 

Our No. 1 priority in my opinion is to maintain our current service levels in that challenging environment and without an increase in property taxes. I believe we can do this by making sure every budget request is a need not a want and within the recognized needs, prioritizing those which reflect the priorities we as a board collectively determine to be most urgent. 

Our departments are focused on efficiency and maintaining and strengthening that focus will also be a key element to our success. 

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I believe in listening to all of District 6 constituents’ viewpoints and concerns and responding to all of their calls, letters and emails.

With this information, along with data from our departments and inputs of other supervisors, I make an informed decision that I feel best reflects the values, needs and concerns of the district’s residents.

In addition, my experience serving on the county board, and on the transportation and transit committees have prepared me to face the challenges and opportunities in the coming term. 

District 7

Paul W. Berning (incumbent)

Town/village of residence: Hudson

District 8

Rick Ottino (incumbent)

Town/village of residence: Hudson

District 9

Bob Fiedler (incumbent)

Bob Feidler

Bob Feidler

Age: 72

Town/village of residence: Troy

Occupation: Retired, attorney and military officer

Family: Wife; two grown children.

Prior political positions: Three terms with the St. Croix Board of Supervisors.

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? Public safety. That term would include the obvious law enforcement and judicial efforts, but also embrace the needs of the very young, elderly, disabled and mentally ill. Key to much of this effort is controlling the direct and indirect effects of rampant drug and alcohol abuse.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? My five decades of work in government, the private and non-profit sectors have given me a breadth of experience that can contribute to responsive and fiscally sound county government.

I have dealt with complex issues and differing perspectives throughout my career. Hopefully, the result is that I bring balance, courtesy and understanding to the breadth of challenges addressed by county government.

District 11

Scott Counter (incumbent)

Town/village of residence: New Richmond

District 12

Daniel Hansen (incumbent)

Dan Hansen

Dan Hansen

Town/village of residence: New Richmond

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? The most important issues facing St. Croix County for the coming term include pressures from growth, a weakening economy, wage inflation, increased needs for mental health services, difficulty finding recruits in the sheriff's department and a potential structural deficit with the 2023 budget.

That sounds ominous but is not too much different than the challenges our county faces in managing every year. The key is having a conservative approach to governing and common-sense decision-making.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? My strength is knowing where the needs of the county government are and helping the administrator get the support and resources needed to overcome those challenges.

I have been in office for four terms, eight years. I hope to serve one more term. The experience I have gained over that time has prepared me to serve for the next two years.

Christopher Parent

Christopher Parent

Christopher Parent

Age: 52 years old, all in New Richmond

Town/village of residence: New Richmond

Occupation: Semi-retired crane service technician

Family: Significant other, Monica; daughters Lexi and Taylor; foster child, Jaylee. 

Prior political positions: Served three terms as a union representative for the BCTGM Local 22 Union in Minneapolis.

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? Public Safety should always be the top priority.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I have a very diverse background with working knowledge in transportation, manufacturing, automation, road construction, building construction, HVAC, electrical, agriculture, finance and the overhead lifting industry. I will definitely bring real world experiences to the negotiating table.

District 13

Scottie E. Ard (incumbent)

Scottie Ard

Scottie Ard

Age: 63

Town/village of residence: New Richmond

Occupation: Social services, housing and economic assistance, mental health, legal advocate.

Previous political experience: New Richmond City Council elected 10 years of service; St. Croix County Supervisor District 13, seated 2017, elected vice chair, administration committee, health, and human services board; Ad-hoc construction committee St. Croix County Health Center.

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? As a county, multiple priorities must be addressed simultaneously to maintain a balanced system of service and maintain economic stability.

St. Croix County continues to address broadband connectivity, public health, mental health, housing shortages and affordability, transportation, public safety, growth and economic stability.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I have devoted a majority of my career to learning, experiencing, and navigating the layers and language of government to resolve the issues and challenges residents, municipalities and counties face.

My work with organizations, individuals and families to resolve issues has been very successful on the local, county and state level. I have no agenda but that which is presented by residents.

Ryan Sherley

Ryan Sherley

Ryan Sherley

Age: 42 

Town/village of residence: City of New Richmond

Occupation: Business owner in commercial construction

Family: Wife, Jenny; and two boys, Aiden, 13, and Kellan, 8. 

Prior political positions: None

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? The current budget process is inherently flawed. The county runs on taxpayers’ money, and they owe it to each of us to change this mindset and work more like a business.

We can no longer just look for increased funding, more programs and employee raises.  We need a deeper look into which programs are working within each department, what we can do better and what the county can afford to do. Then we can create a budget around those findings.  

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I have a unique perspective than anyone currently on the board, as I am a business owner. My business is in commercial construction, so dealing daily with budgets, schedules and multiple groups collaborating to achieve the greatest product that we can give our clients. 

Businesses that do not follow those steps to create the best for their clients fail. However, governments that fail to achieve for their constituents end up raising taxes because of their incompetence and poor decisions.  

District 14

Jason Gruber

Jason Gruber

Jason Gruber

Age: 43

Town/village of residence: Richmond Township

Occupation: entrepreneur, small  business owner

Family: Wife, Holly; and three kids. 

Prior political positions: none.

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? County roads should be a top priority. A lot of people in my area complain about the rough shape they’re in. Another priority should be emergency services and the sheriff’s department, making sure they have all the tools they need. 

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I’ve been a small business owner for about 17 years, with a background in EMS and rescue. I know the ins and outs of public service and safety. 

Greg Tellijohn (incumbent)

Greg Tellijohn

Greg Tellijohn

Age: 71

Town/village of residence: New Richmond

Occupation: Owner of Digital Garage in Hudson, a computer sales and service small business for 22 years.

Family: Two adult children, Megan and Eric, and partner Sandra Wagner. 

Prior political positions: Two years as District 14 board supervisor and served 11 years on New Richmond School Board. 

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? I don’t think there is one priority because of all of the services that St. Croix County is required to provide for its citizens. As a member of the health and human services committee I have been focusing on how to better address mental health services access. Possible solutions could be more access to professionals, at hospitals and clinics in the county. 

Investigating the availability of regional mental health facilities while working with surrounding counties. Also, I have been focusing on homelessness and affordable housing in all of St. Croix County and looking for alternatives for us to allow the disadvantaged to get ahead.       

There has been a need identified and prioritized that there are large areas of St. Croix County that are underserved by broadband high speed internet. As a member of the Broadband Grant Awards committee, we have just awarded $3 million in matching grants to eight different projects in St. Croix County.

Low-cost Public Transportation needs to be implemented in St. Croix County to address our aging population and the need for residents without reliable transportation to get to their jobs and health care appointments.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I feel I am well qualified to continue to serve my constituents as I’ve gained experience as the current District 14 supervisor.

Born and raised in St. Croix County, I have an understanding of local agriculture issues. I have been a small business owner for 22 years in Hudson and belong to Hudson and New Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

I am a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters.  Have previously served on the School Board of New Richmond for 11 years including clerk and president. As a member of my local church, I have served on several administrative committees. Also, I am a member of the St. Croix County Fair Board.

As an experienced, knowledgeable and community minded candidate I believe I can best serve St. Croix County.

District 15

Mark Carlson

Town/village of residence: Hammond 

David Peterson (incumbent)

David Peterson

David Peterson

Age: 79

Town/village of residence: Town of Kinnickinnic

Occupation: Retired

Family: Married 60 years; four adult children.

Prior political positions: 12 years on the board supervisors

What should the county’s No. 1 priority be? I believe our vision statement listed on our county web page states it very well; “To be the county that delivers service with compassion and respect for people and the environment.” I am very concerned with the political polarization that is occurring in our nation today.

If we do not work together in addressing the complex problems facing us today, we risk complete failure. As far as issues to address, I believe one of top concerns is the drug addiction problems so prevalent today and the stress it is putting on our judicial branch as well as health and human services.

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I have served on the board of adjustment since 2008, the admin committee for eight years and chaired that committee for four years, and have served as county board chair since 2020. 

It is worthy to note that because of our prudent fiscal policies, we have the second highest bond

rating given by Moodys which means we get excellent interest rates when we borrow for building projects.

District 16

Tessa Boury

Tessa Boury

Tessa Boury

Age: 43

Town/village of residence: Hammond Township 

Occupation: Director at local nonprofit

Family: My husband and I have been married for 16 years. We have a 10- year-old son.

Prior political positions: None

What should the county's No. 1 priority be? We are a fast-growing and diverse county from the city of Hudson to Hammond Township and through the rest of the county. 

We should be focusing on how we can grow while maintaining the rural nature of our county. This means paying close attention to our resources like land and water to make sure while we grow we continue to care for our community. 

This also means paying close attention to how we spend money. We should make sure we use all our community resources in ways that help us care for our community and its members, now and in the future. 

What makes you or your skill sets unique from the other candidates? I have a background that includes a law degree and working for a charitable organization. Those experiences have honed my analytical and advocacy skills and instilled a genuine appreciation for how to take care of (or be a steward to) resources. 

I’ve lived in Hammond Township for 16 years with my husband and we’re raising our son here. I cannot imagine a better life. I have a deep love of our community and would be honored to serve those in District 16. 

Mike Barcalow

Town/village of residence: Hammond 

(1) comment

Mark Carlson

My name is Mark Carlson, and I am running for the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors for District 15. I was never informed about this article nor was I given the opportunity to submit my input.

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