SHEBOYGAN — For Sheboygan’s 7th Aldermanic District, Rose Phillips faces Grazia Perrella.
Name: Rose Phillips
Office sought: Sheboygan Common Council – District 7
Occupation: Interim Executive Director at Glacial Lakes Conservancy
Family: I am married to my husband Cole Phillips, and we have three daughters; ages 7, 8 and 16. I grew up in the country and then after high school, I spent some time living in Madison. 13 years ago, I settled into Sheboygan and purchased my first home, which is where I still live.
Education: I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Silver Lake College (SLC) in Manitowoc in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science degree in biology and natural science. I conducted scientific research as an undergraduate that was recently published in a scientific journal called Ecological Restoration.
Elected office experience: I do not currently have any political office experience, although I did served a term as elected president of the TriBeta Biological Honor Society during my time at SLC.
Top three issues in Sheboygan
1) One of our biggest issues that most residents of Sheboygan can agree on is the city’s aging infrastructures. Our residents see the city offering tax incentives to new businesses and planning an abundance of development projects, but they continue to drive across broken roads every day. I think that is confusing and frustrating to our residents.
But I also understand that a big part of the issue is that the city has not has a good plan in place to budget road maintenance and repairs in the past. And just like many other things, the longer you wait to fix something…the more is will cost you to fix it. I believe that the city does have a reasonable plan in place to repair the roads…unfortunately there is so much distance of roads in need of repair, that it’s just not going to get accomplished as fast as we would like.
I feel the quality of the streets are a reflection of the city’s financial situation and contributes to the overall impression of the city… and for that reason I would like to see the streets repaired sooner. But we do have to work within our budget.
2) Taxes are another issue that I know concerns many of Sheboygan’s residents. Some of these concerns relate back to our aging infrastructures. When taxes and fees are initiated and/or increased, the public wants tangible evidence that their contributions are making a difference. I would like to see the city look for ways to help the general public understand how their tax money is helping to improve the city, or what type and quality of services they are receiving in return.
When you pay taxes, you are contributing to a greater good, or a community priority, and it is everyone’s civic responsibility. But on the other hand, I understand that people in our community work hard for their money, and many struggle financially. Everyone has a right to question what they are paying for. I think it’s helpful when residents understand what purposes and projects their hard earned dollars are supporting, and then be able to observe tangible results.
3) I think another challenge we face is the public’s perception and the reputation of our city. Over the years, we have had some challenges in our city leadership that has created concerns regarding the integrity of our city government.
I think the city ought to pay attention to the satisfaction of current residents and cultivate local government that residents can trust. One way I think that the city can facilitate this is to confirm that residents tax dollars are contributing to projects they support.
Reason for running
The biggest reason that I am running is because I truly love the community that I live in, and I want to see it continue to grow and to thrive for many generations to come. In order to do this, I think we must recognize, and then work to preserve the things that make Sheboygan such a beautiful and unique place: our history, our arts and culture, parks and green spaces, rivers and shorelines, and safe neighborhoods.
I believe that I have the ability to strengthen the council, and to help move Sheboygan forward in a fiscally responsible and sustainable way.
How can we grow Sheboygan?
I think we can grow Sheboygan by supporting small businesses and continuing to encourage community events and gathering places. Also, when we are creating development projects we should be seizing the opportunity as a city to be a leader in sustainable and innovative design. Through our example, we could inspire others to incorporate renewable energy into home and business design for example.
We should be doing our very best to reduce our carbon footprint so that Sheboygan can not only grow now, but continue to grow in the future as well. For development to be sustainable, we must protect the elements that create the foundation of any successful community or economy…and that’s our natural resources.