With two seats up for grabs on the Grafton Town Board, two new board candidates with considerable experience (Paul Melotik and Patrick Stemper) and political newcomer with a law background (Collin Schaefer) are running against one incumbent (Stockwell).
Ozaukee Now asked the candidates about their opinions on local issues like new apartment developments and municipal relationships.
How does your level of experience in public office make you qualified to be on the town board?
Stockwell: I have served the town in the capacity of supervisor for six years. Prior to being elected, I was an appointed to the planning commission for 11 years. I was active in working on a committee to develop new zoning and future land use along the Highway 32/V corridor to enhance and expand future commercial and multi-unit housing in the town.
Melotik: As Ozaukee County Board supervisor, I have gained valuable experience in working with residents to address their concerns. As a member of the executive committee, I've helped draft three consecutive budgets with zero tax levy increase.
Schaefer: Before opening my law firm in Cedarburg, I was an attorney for a civil litigation firm in Dodge County. I have a broad understanding of municipal law, real estate law and corporate law. I also previously served as president of the Dodge County Bar Association and currently work as a director for the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce.
Stemper: The town board appointed me to both the plan commission and open space commission. I served in the Marine Corps from 1999 to 2003, and I am currently employed as a project manager for a pump manufacturer. Both my public and private work experiences have given me the necessary tools to serve the residents in the town of Grafton.
There's been a lot of discussion in the county regarding new apartment developments. What would you like to see in the town of Grafton going forward?
Stockwell: I feel the town is in need of additional development to enhance our tax base. However, because of our rural character and sanitary requirements, I don't feel that new apartment development is the answer. Perhaps smaller multi-unit development would be a good fit for the town.
Melotik: I would like to see slow and careful steps when planning growth. My family and I appreciate the great quality of life in the town of Grafton for the past 18 years and I'd like to maintain that quality.
Schaefer: Housing availability is a reality that the the town must face. Great housing options can be provided while protecting the town's rural character, which is of paramount importance. The town has a unique opportunity to leverage its natural beauty as a distinct value addition, and I would like to see an increased development of additional natural attractions.
Stemper: The majority of our residential zoning currently doesn’t allow for multi-family development, and I don’t see a need to change that. When I think of traditional “apartments,” they are usually located within the limits of a city or village. The majority of the people looking to develop or reside in apartments usually want public utilities (water and sewer).
Some communities in the county have difficulties balancing the relationship between the town and village/city. How would you keep the relationship between the town and village of Grafton strong?
Stockwell: I feel the town and village have had, and continue to have, an excellent working relationship starting with our chairman and president as well as supervisors and trustees and staff in both communities.
Melotik: Communication is key. I would work with village officials in an open and honest manner in order to best represent the needs of the town. My position on the county board should also be helpful, since I have worked with the village in the past and have had a good relationship.
Schaefer: The village and town have had a relatively good relationship. Both municipalities must continue to work together and find opportunities to collaborate because issues such as changing demographics, road infrastructure, fading natural resources and loss of local government control are problems that we both face.
Stemper: Here in Grafton, there has been a very cooperative relationship between the village and the town from what I have seen. I would continue that relationship by keeping communication open. The village needs to be in the loop on future projects and planning and vice versa. I believe that both the village and town need to always consider the impact on greater Grafton area as a whole.
Address: 1408 Pioneer Road
Political history: Ozaukee County Board supervisor (2012-present), Ozaukee County first vice chair (2016-present), chairman, Ozaukee County Public Safety Committee (2014-present)
Phone number: 262-377-6147
Address: 1542 Lake Shore Road
Political history: None
Phone number: 312-725-6274
Address: 957 Lakeland Road
Political history: Chairman of open space commission and plan commission alternate for the town of Grafton (presently holding both positions)
Phone number: 262-385-2118
Address: 717 Heather Court
Political history: Six years as town supervisor, 11 years on planning commission
Phone number: 262-377-7472