The Dane County Board of Supervisors district 31 is located around the Village of Oregon, down to the border of Green County to the South.
The two candidates running for the seat are incumbent Jerry Bollig and Todd Kluever.
Bollig has served on the board since 2012 after working as an accountant for the Alliant Energy Center since the 1970s. Bollig has lived in his district for over 70 years, his entire life, and says that he knows the people in the area, and the issues affecting them.
“I’m running for reelection because I’ve lived my entire life in my district. I’ve continued to stay here because I think Dane County is an excellent place to live, they afford so many opportunities for employment and relaxation, it’s hard to find a place better. I want to do my part to keep it that way, and hopefully I can make it a little bit better,” Bollig says.
Challenger Todd Kluever worked with the county highway department, and has also lived in Oregon his whole life. Kluever is no political newcomer, and ran against Bollig for the seat in 2020.
He says that, after retiring, he decided to run for the Board to address the county’s financial woes.
“I see a lot of wasted money going on here. It could go on in all sorts of departments, but let’s start with the public works department. I know we’re looking at a new jail right now, and I’d like to make sure that gets done correctly. We have several public works projects that aren’t finished and don’t have a timeline for any completion,” Kluever says.
But this does not mean that Kluever is against the building of a new jail. He says that building a new jail is one of his biggest passions, and that we should build the jail with an eye on the future.
“I think turning down the extra money, I think that’s a mistake. Costs are only going to rise, and the longer that we hold off on that the more they’re going to rise. I don’t believe that there’s any public works project in Dane County that we are responsible for that hasn’t come back asking for extra money so, they are going to be back to the County Board looking for more money to finish this project off. I say let’s do this right the first time so we don’t have to keep coming back,” Kluever says.
Bollig says that, up until two weeks ago, the jail was also his biggest priority. But after the Board voted to approve additional funding for a new plan for a jail, he says that he has turned his focus towards housing.
“The biggest issue facing my district is just housing. Because we are in a desirable area, and Oregon is part of a desirable area in Dane County because it’s the entire county, it just isn’t enough housing. And the biggest issue too is that it’s just not as affordable as it should be. The prices have continued to escalate, which makes it hard. Along with that, when house prices continue to escalate, so do rents,” Bollig says.
Bollig says that he is also passionate about the quality of the groundwater in his district. He says that, while his district may not experience the same water quality issues that Madison does, he is still committed to protecting Oregon’s water.
Kluever is also passionate about the water in his district, but he is more concerned with too much water. He says that he hopes to address the flooding in the city, particularly around Swan Pond in Oregon. In 2019, the city experienced significant flooding in the groundwater table due to years of heavy rainfalls.
Both Bollig and Kluever say that their professional experiences set them apart. Bollig says that, as someone who worked for the Alliant Energy Center for many years, he knows and has connections to many people throughout the county. But Kluever says, with his decades of work with the county highway division, he too knows what the people of his district want. Kluever says that he respects Bollig and doesn’t disagree with how he has represented the district, but says that he has personally seen the problems in Dane County.
The Spring 2022 election takes place on April 5th.
Photo courtesy: Dane County Board of Supervisors