The candidates for the Brown County Commission would bring different experiences and perspectives to a job that requires providing quality county services on a limited budget.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics and business administration, University of Wisconsin — River Falls
Occupation: Retired 3M employee
Pat Hale wants to become a county commissioner in order to give back to the community.
A retired 3M employee, he has experience on many community boards including Avera St. Luke's Citizen's Advisory board, Sacred Heart Church board and Aberdeen Catholic School board. He has also been active in United Way drives.
"I was raised in a family of 12, and we were taught we were to give back," he said. "I have had an interest in politics and it seemed a good time to jump in. I will bring some of my experiences to the job and see what I can come up with."
Hale, like other candidates, believes that road maintenance is the biggest issue facing the county.
"We have had a number of wet years, and the roads have been murdered by the water and heavy equipment," he said.
County crews have been patching on a schedule, but that is a short-term fix, he said.
"We need to get into a proactive mode in upgrading the roads and develop a five-year plan," he said.
The county budget is limited to small increases based on growth and the cost of living.
"There is never really enough, and we have to stay within our budget," Hale said. "The best way to increase the budget is community growth, but we probably should look at some other revenue sources."
One option is to work with the Legislature on changing the wheel tax, he said, Any vehicle, regardless of how many wheels it has, is charged per wheel with a maximum of four wheels. The owner of an 18-wheel semi pays the same wheel tax as a car owner.
Big trucks and heavy agricultural equipment do the most damage to roads, he said. Charging vehicles for each wheel could bring in extra revenue that could be applied to roads, he said.