Who am I?
Born in Hartland, Wisconsin, when Hartland used to be a small town, I grew up enjoying the benefits of rural life. From an early age, I wanted to become a physician. So, after completing college at Carroll College, I attended medical school at The Medical College of Wisconsin. During medical school, I married my high school sweetheart, Nichole. After completing family medicine residency in Waukesha, it was time for a move. Although medical training in an urban environment is helpful to increase experience, our goals were to join a medical practice in a small town. Eleven years ago we found what we were looking for in Richland County. Since moving to Richland Center, our family has grown to include three children: Ainsley (7 years old), Everett (5 years old), and Landon (3 years old). Although, we are still considered new to Richland County, we have made many great connections and consider Richland Center home.
Employment, Board, and Community Involvement:
- Mile Bluff – Lake Delton Medical Center (2017-current): Family medicine physician.
- Richland Medical Center (2006 to 2017): Family medicine physician. Member of the Board of Directors. Executive Committee Member. Director of Finance Committee.
- Jamaican Mission Program (2007 to current): President of The Board of Directors.
- Four Seasons of Fun, INC (2008 to current): Member of the Board of Directors. Treasurer.
- Richland Hospital (2010 to 2014): Member of the Board of Directors. Chief of Staff.
I have been on the county board representing the townships of Sylvan, Bloom, and Marshall for the last 2 years. On the board, I have been a consistent and vocal supporter of fiscal responsibility, encouraging growth, and improved county governance. As the chair of the health and human services committee, I directed the review of all non-mandated services, which was also implemented county wide. This review helped health and human services underspend their core budget by $200,000 in 2016 and an additional $100,000 in 2017. Although not a member of the finance and personnel committee, I have attended most meetings and attempted to improve the budget process. Despite this attempt, the 2018 budget remains unbalanced even with the large property tax increase. This budget passed despite my vote against it. Outside of my role in county government, I have been a member of both the Richland Hospital and Richland Medical Center board of directors. I continue to be a founding member and treasurer of The Four Seasons of Fun and the president of The Jamaican Mission Program.
The county needs a change in priorities and governance to obtain our goals. The county board should immediately develop a job description and hire a county administrator. The county board needs to move their focus to long term planning. The county administrator would handle the daily business of the county. This new direction would allow a leaner and more effective county board. I have spoken with many talented people around this county willing to assist with improving the financial situation in this county. Some are willing to serve on county board but stress that the large amount of daytime meetings limits their ability to run. Both board and committee meetings must be moved to nights. This would allow individuals in the private sector who are not willing to run for county office to attend meetings and provide their expertise. This new focus, with the support of an administrator, would allow a reduction in committees and eventually a reduction in the size of the county board. The next census is in 2020 and new districts could be developed prior to the 2020 election to significantly reduce the size of our county board. A stronger county board and better leadership, with the support of a county administrator, can help fix the issues that have prevented Richland County from being successful.
As we develop the 2019 budget later this summer, the county must start budgeting like we all do at home. Funding must be provided for all departments for mandated, statute required services. After that, funding should be determined for non-mandated services that are needed to assure the safety of county residents. Only after the essential services have been budgeted should other budgets be considered. This new method of county budgeting would prevent the overruns due to the underfunding of services that are required by law.
I strongly support the ideas I have described above and I have worked at implementing these processes over the last 2 years. I have been unsuccessful in some attempts but have seen some progress as well. I am very optimistic that the April election will be the next step to help Richland County realize our potential. I thank everybody for their support over the last 2 years and would appreciate your vote on April 3rd.