Primary Election Preview: Caledonia Village Board Race (Trustee No. 3)

Two newcomers are challenging incumbent Kevin Wanggaard in the Feb. 19 Village Board primary election.

UPDATE: Jim Tiderman has decided not to run. However, his name will still be on the ballot.

Caledonia voters will head to the polls on Feb. 19 to narrow down the field of candidates running for the Trustee No. 3 seat on the Village Board.

The top two voter-getters will advance to the April 2 general election.

The candidates are incumbent Trustee Kevin Wanggaard and challengers Jim Tiderman and Maureen Cramer. (Click on link for biographical information on each candidate).

To provide residents with the most information on where they stand on the issues facing the village, Caledonia Patch invited readers to submit questions that we posed to the candidates. 

Here, in their own words, are the candidates' answers to those questions as well as some posed by Patch.

Why are you running for Village Board? Maureen Cramer 1. I want to preserve the nature of Caledonia, which is the reason most of us live there.
2. I want to be a voice for the people of Caledonia and will promote cooperation, transparency and two-way communication.
3. I believe that commercial growth belongs in commercial areas such as along Douglas Ave and on the Interstate.
Jim Tiderman I have chosen to run for the mere fact that every person ultimately wants the same in a community: meaningful growth, protection of your home investment, a safe place to live, work and raise your family. I feel I will bring to the Board a proactive approach to business with the ultimate goal of protecting the investments of the Caledonia residents and at the same time creating true growth that doesn't strain our municipality or negatively affect local businesses. True job growth is key. Kevin Wanggaard

I have been fortunate to be able to serve the residents of Caledonia over the past ten years. Throughout my terms on the Town and Village Boards, we have been able to balance budgets, maintain and improve services, and hold the line on property taxes. Our future as a Village looks promising and I would like to continue working for the people!

What are your greatest strengths as a candidate, and how would you leverage those strengths to benefit the community?

Maureen Cramer As a salesperson and team leader, my job is to listen to my customers and fellow team members and make decisions and recommendations based on their needs and goals. As a board member, I will seek out public opinion and address/acknowledge the concerns of residents. I will be their voice on the board. Jim Tiderman My greatest strength is handling adversity with a professional approach no matter what the outcome may be. Business can be very cut throat in life but you have to move forward with the ultimate goal: What is best for the business and not myself. I take that approach with my companies and I would instill those same standards if on the Board with the Caledonia residents first in mind and the business community also. 
You have to be able to bring companies to the table, set parameters that are feasible for businesses to develop here and yet have the business background to hold companies accountable for what effects they will have on our community including the environment, the residents and local businesses including our police and fire departments. Kevin Wanggaard As a current Board member representing the residents of Caledonia, it is my responsibility to do what I believe is in the best interests of the community as a whole, to further our growth and maintain public services while protecting our quality of life and preserving the areas within our borders.
What is the biggest issue facing the district, and how would you address it, if elected? Maureen Cramer Caledonia will have many opportunities for commercial and residential growth. I believe the Land Use Plan that was a cooperative effort between residents and the village for controlled growth needs to be followed. Jim Tiderman Our Biggest Issue is the way we decide to develop our municipality in the future . And the Water Agreement opens doors for that. I would like to see development that gives people reasons to enter and spend in our community. Our land use plan is very meaningful and detailed and should be taken into consideration relative to growth. The obvious issue is availability of land and where that land is. It limits size, scope and location and we need to be mindful of that. Set ourselves apart as a place that has a strong sense of community identity. Having a “center” a downtown, a la Greendale or Grafton, a destination, while expanding industrial park and opportunities along the highway that gives people a reason to enter our community and not simply drive through. I drive and see communities across Wisconsin as part of my job in the transportation industry. I talk to business people within those communities and I have established connections within the business community to promote ideas about growth that could set us apart from our neighboring communities.
Kevin Wanggaard Bringing water and sewer out to the Interstate along the Hwy K corridor, by considering all options with input from the business community and the community as a whole! What kind of future development would you like to see in Caledonia, and how would you work to attract such development?
Maureen Cramer Planned and controlled development within established parameters. Development should not adversely affect people, their property or our shared natural resources. Jim Tiderman I believe in controlled growth that does not put a strain on our municipality such as fire and police protection. We have the lowest unemployment rate in the state and a limited fire and police force so we have to be observant of that.
You have to be proactive...it means get out in the community. Ask questions and promote Caledonia to other businesses in different areas of the state and even Illinois. Get businesses to truly want to come to Caledonia and be a part of this community.
We have a rural feel that our current Caledonia residents love yet we are close to businesses. However, we need to grow our industrial areas and the only way to do that is solicit yourself. We can no longer wait for businesses to fall into our lap. I take a proactive approach to growing both of my businesses and that is the same approach I would take if a member of our board. Kevin Wanggaard Fostering a good business environment within the Village needs to be a primary focus. We must continue working with existing businesses to strenghthen their presence, projecting a positive environment for business startups while maintaining our rural character. This strategy allows us to help businesses retain their current employment levels and when possible allow them to expand. Future development in the village,could be dependent on something as simple as access to water as demonstrated in the Hwy K and I-94 corridors. The Board's vision along with multiple factors through execution of following a process will determine the next step.

Brian Dey February 16, 2013 at 01:02 AM
After reading Maureen Cramer's responses, she really doesn't have clue. Where on Douglas Ave. does she propose she can find space for commercial development? Maybe 4 lots? Or is she willing to develop Douglas between Countyline Rd. and 6 Mile? If that's the case, she might as well say no commercial development, which is what I believe she stands for. And if she thinks that is the majority of the 24,500 residents that live here, she should try listening to others that live here besides the Conservancy and the Anti-Walmart crowd. Believe it or not, there is more opinions than just those two groups.
Brian Dey February 16, 2013 at 01:04 AM
I think the blank page is representative of what she brings to the table. Remember, you don't have to vote for two. You can vote for just one candidate. And you can even vote for Mr. Tiderman.
Mark Maley February 17, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. It has been fixed.
Tansandy February 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM
When I read the response from Maureen Cramer about the question about future development, she stated, "Planned and controlled development within established parameters. Development should not adversely affect people, their property or our shared natural resources." Where might this area be, Lake Michigan?? I got worried for a minute. I thought Greenfield was running again with that answer. Of course they both run in the same circles.
WIwishes February 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Funny. Reading Maureen Cramer's statement was pretty clear to me. She doens't want Wal-Mart in Caledonia! She gets my vote!


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