RICHFIELD — The battle lines have been drawn for quite some time, and the April 1 election could prove to be quite a skirmish.
Frank is hoping to serve as a trustee so he can work to change the village’s Public Works Ordinance, an ordinance passed in July 2012 that mandates a referendum for the installation of sewer and water west of Highway 175 in the village, should there ever be day when those utilities are considered. The ordinance also mandates a referendum for any public works project costing above a certain dollar amount.
Frank says that’s not enough to prevent trustees from bringing those utilities in.
“I want to change the Public Works Ordinance to allow all Richfield voters to be able to vote yes or no if they want sewer and water to be brought anywhere into the village,” he said.
Collins, however, is proud of the ordinance; before it was passed, residents had no voting recourse to stop utility installation at all.
“The village has made it clear they really don’t want anything to change. The board really wants to maintain the status quo,” Collins said.
That’s on Meyers’ agenda as well.
“I love our rural hometown and feel that, as a trustee, I will be more involved in the decision making process and help keep us on a course that preserves our country way of life,” he said in an email Tuesday. “I think a top priority is ending tax increases and balancing our budget by doing a better job of spending limited taxpayer dollars on projects most important to our citizens.”
Neu said he’d like to keep taxes down as well by encouraging some economic development and adding businesses to Richfield’s tax base.
“(It) will help reduce the residential tax burden,” Neu said. “(I want) to continue to have no debt in our village and to keep our taxes in line.”
Collins highlighted Richfield’s intergovernmental agreement to share two building inspectors with Slinger and Sussex as a money-saving measure crafted by the board.
“That’s actually generating revenue for Richfield” he said, some of which is being funneled into road repair. “We’ll continue to look for money for the road budget. We don’t want to raise taxes.”
Frank is also concerned about the state of the village’s roads.
“They don’t fund that well enough,” he said. “By the time the main roads are supposed to get fixed, there are so many subdivision roads that need to be addressed.”
Neu’s concerned with what’s beneath the roads.
“I think it’s important to preserve our groundwater study,” he said. The village monitors the groundwater within its boundaries to ensure adequate quality and supply.