De Pere Common Council
District 3 (contested for one seat)
Kathy Van Vonderen (incumbent)
? Age: 61
? Address: 517 S. Sixth St.
? Occupation: corporate accountant for Young Broadcasting LLC, owners of WBAY-TV and 11 other stations in the United States
? Education: Associate degree in accounting from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College; Bachelor of Arts degree in education from St Norbert College; Master of Arts degree in administration from Marian College
? Political experience: Served as alderman for 12 terms in De Pere's 4th and 3rd districts; served on the city's Finance/Personnel Committee all 24 years; also served on the city's Park Board, Plan Commission and Historic Preservation Commission
? Community activities/involvement: None, other than alderman at the present time (see below); have been involved with the Buck Van Vonderen Memorial Ride and Sister Cities
? Family: I am widowed, as my husband of 32 years died of prostate cancer in 2006; we have two beautiful daughters with great son-in-laws; on Feb. 22, our ninth grandchild was born, and being their "Nanny" is almost a full-time job but one that I wouldn't miss for anything!
? Reasons for running for office: I enjoy politics and enjoy being involved in what is happening in De Pere. I have time to research the issues on the agenda and always have questions. I enjoy talking with my constituents and helping them with their requests.
? Age: 58
? Address: 246 Twilight Drive
? Occupation: semi-retired
? Education: American Home Inspectors Training Institute of Milwaukee graduate
? Political experience: 12 years as a West De Pere school board member; four years as a De Pere alderman
? Community activities/involvement: Scout leader; booster club member; basketball coach; West De Pere and St. Norbert College Neighborhood Association member
? Family: wife, Vicki; three children; four grandchildren
? Reasons for running for office (top issues facing the community): The safety of the residents of De Pere and especially our children must be the No. 1 priority of the City Council. Being the only community in Brown County to repeal the sex-offender ordinance may compromise that safety. ? Businesses in De Pere, large or small, should all be held to the same standard. When Walmart fails a compliance check and sells alcohol to a minor, their liquor license doesn't come up for review, as does the smaller businesses. ? As a council, we must be "fair, firm and consistent" with issues.
? Age: 45
? Address: 214 Lorrie Way
? Occupation: senior consultant to utilities for the administration of public benefit funds related to state-regulated energy efficient programs
? Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; post-graduate work in product management/development, project management and Lean Six Sigma
? Political experience: none
? Community activities/involvement: American Red Cross donor; Junior Achievement; Boy Scouts; various school- and church-related activities and events
? Family: husband, Dan; sons, Jake and Kevin
? Reasons for running for office: I have always been interested in policy and administration. I am excited about the opportunity of public servitude allowing me to give back to my community. I will do my best to be the voice of the people of my district. My goal is to maintain fiscal responsibility, ensure due diligence on proposed projects, support economic development and job growth, and continue to ensure that De Pere is the safe community that we have come to enjoy.
Editor's note: Lisa Rafferty, a political newcomer, is running unopposed for the District 2 seat on the Common Council held by Dan Robinson, who didn't seek re-election. Incumbents Larry Lueck (District 1) and Mike Donovan (District 4) also are running unopposed. The profile for Rafferty is being published as a way for the community to get to know her.
West De Pere School District
School Board (contested for two seats)
Jason Graef (incumbent)
? Age: 40
? Address: 1643 Ravine Drive, Hobart
? Occupation: account manager
? Education: Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology from University of Wisconsin-Stout
? Political experience: three years on the West De Pere school board
? Community activities/involvement: nine years of coaching youth sports in Green Bay and De Pere
? Family: wife, Jennifer; sons, Keenan and Bryce
? Reasons for running for office (top issues facing the school district): Increasing enrollment. Enrollment projections at West De Pere show incremental increases for the next five to 10 years. While this is good news for district funding, it does raise issues with regard to capacity in our schools. I will continue to support exploration into expansion options that will ultimately make the most sense for the district, the community and, most importantly, for our students. ? Funding. School funding primarily comes from two sources - state funding and property taxes. In recent years, the state has changed how it calculates the amount of funding allotted to each school district. I will continue to support fiscally responsible budgeting to minimize the impact on district taxpayers, while maintaining the high education standards that we enjoy in our district. ? Keeping up with technology. There is no doubt that technology is part of our lives. We see it daily in our jobs, community and homes. It is constantly evolving and changing. I believe that is imperative that our district continues to embrace technology and offer the technologies that our kids will be utilizing in their continued education and careers.
Barb Van Deurzen (incumbent)
? Age: 61
? Address: 1195 Fernando Drive
? Occupation: dairy farmer
? Education: Bachelor degree in elementary education from St. Norbert College
? Political experience: 12 years as a West De Pere school board member, school board president since 2005
? Community activities/involvement: Cantor and choir member at Our Lady of Lourdes church; supervisor of school exhibits for the Brown County Fair
? Family: husband, John; children, Michelle, Scott, Pat, Kris and Shaun
? Reasons for running for office: I have enjoyed representing the West De Pere taxpayers for the last 12 years as a school-board member. In that time, we have added additions to our buildings and built, and moved into, new facilities to accommodate our growing district. It was very exciting to be a part of those building projects! We have also added a top quality charter school and a thriving alternative school for our district students. We address the various ways that our students learn and make it a top priority that all of our students get an excellent education. If you would let me, I would like to continue on the school board making the decisions that are best for the district and to be a part of helping to shape the future of our students, who will become our community leaders some day.
Editor's note: Tanvir Khan, a first-time candidate for the school board, couldn't be reached to provide information for a profile.