Vote April 03, 2018

John Kraft

County Supervisor
St. Croix County District 15

Where is District 15?

  • Strong Taxpayer Advocate
  • Proven Community Leader
  • Friend of the Farming Community
  • Data Driven Decision Maker
  • Fiscally Responsible Business Leader
  • Experienced in Local Government
  • Fair and Balanced
I need your support to get elected to the County Board! If you can, please donate.



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Why am I running?

I believe that it is important to use the skills and talents I have been given as effectively as I can to the benefit of the community as a whole.  I strive to approach challenges with a fair, and open mind, and to always do “the next right thing”.  I have growing concerns with the direction that the current Board is taking the County.  I believe it is time to restore balance to the Board, and shift the focus back to the basics of providing the best services possible to residents within the confines of the fiscal budget, rather than continually increasing debt spending at taxpayer expense.

Of course, there are projects that will require borrowing to finance. I believe it is important to have a long term strategic plan that assesses current and future needs, then prioritizes the need for municipal bonding and its timing to ensure that the debt service budget percentages don’t just continue to escalate an burden the taxpayers.

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I am For:

Keeping Tax Burden as Low as Possible

It is very important to approach setting the tax levy from the perspective of what the bare minimum required for sustainable operation is, rather than what the maximum the State will allow.  Growth in tax revenue should be the result of growth in the County, not continual increases in rates charged to residents to cover an ever-expanding bureaucracy.

Strategic Planning for Major Projects

While the Board is required to adopt and pass budgets on a year by year basis, and board members potentially turn over every two years, I believe it’s important to have 5 and 10 year strategic long term plans for major capital intensive projects.  Current Boards cannot force future Boards to implement the plan, but at least a consistent vision could be passed forward as Board members change over time.

Project Cost Accountability

Historically, it certainly appears that past Boards have had difficulty completing major projects within their approved budgets.  Cost overruns are commonplace, and there seems to be little accountability to taxpayers.  Regardless of how valuable or beneficial the project is, there seems to be a pattern of significantly underestimating the total costs.

Sustainable Transit Planning

A  Transit Commission was recently created to promote and implement a plan for County buses.  The current Transit Plan grossly underestimates what the true costs to taxpayers would be, and even at at the understated rates, calls for taxpayers to bear 90% of the costs forever.  It is definitely important to the future of the County to have transit alternatives,  but not at permanent taxpayer expense.

Water / Sewer Infrastructure Planning

The State Administration considers St. Croix County to be a strategic location for business growth in the state, because of its proximity to the Twin Cities just across the river.  The relatively unfriendly climate for business in Minnesota is causing more and more companies to look across the river at St. Croix County.  A limiting factor for Countywide growth is the lack of a comprehensive water / sewer system.  Individual communities are left to independently solve their own waste handing problems, which is detrimental to growth opportunities.

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I am Opposed To:

Tax Increases that are Out of Line with Growth

The County’s budget has grown 27% in the last 5 years, well ahead of inflation and population Growth in the County.  Individual incomes have not grown anywhere near that much.  Despite this fact, I witnessed a discussion where current supervisors complained about not being able to tax enough to cover all the new spending because of the State’s levy limits.

Management By Perception

In government, as well as in business, it is necessary to base financial decisions on the solid foundation of an objective cost / benefit analysis.  Particularly when spending other people’s money, it should be incumbent on legislators to examine facts, and not make decisions based on the fact they “feel good”.

Legislating From a Personal Agenda

I believe the County Board should limit its agenda to business relating to the County and its residents, and not take positions on items it has no control or authority over, simply because they represent the personal social justice perspectives of one or more individual Board members.  Not only are such items a waste of Board Members’ time, but they result in resolutions expressing opinions that may not be those of a majority of constituents.

Suspending the Rules in the County Bylaws When They are Inconvenient

A governing body simply choosing to ignore its own rules when they become inconvenient in a given context is a slippery slope.  I’ve seen it happen twice in the last year.  Once on an ethics issue, and again when the chair did not choose the candidate pre-selected by other individual Board members to fill an interim Board seat.

Sanctuary Status for the County

The topic of declaring St. Croix County a sanctuary for illegal aliens has been proposed in an open meeting by a sitting supervisor.  I am strongly opposed to this notion.

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About Me

I am a life long Wisconsin resident who has spent his entire adult life in rural Townships.  My wife and I moved to the Town of Warren in 2015 after all three of our children became adults and moved away from our small farm in Oconomowoc Township.  Professionally, I am a Senior Executive in a medical care system that specializes in caring for frail elderly, dementia, and disability patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Florida.  I understand balancing social needs against limited fiscal resources on a large scale.  I have been elected to the School Board in our district in Waukesha County, where I served during the tumultuous introduction of Act 10.

I served as Advancement Chairman in the Sunset Waters district of Boy Scouts of America for a number of years when my son was in scouts, and had the honor of awarding numerous Eagle ranks during my tenure.  As an active private pilot, I also do Aviation Merit Badge counseling, and have been involved as a pilot in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagle program, introducing youths to the wonders of flight.  I also coached FIRST Lego League middle school competitive robotics teams for 7 years in the Stone Bank school district where I was on the Board.

I need your support to get elected to the County Board!
If you can, please donate.