City Council Candidate Responses

1. Please provide some personal background information (name, occupation, list any community activities you are involved with).

Debra Allison-Aasby: Name: Deb Allison-Aasby

Occupation: Investment & Financial Advisor at Carl M. Hennig, Inc. and a small business owner-Lakeshore Coffee Company. Both are located in Oshkosh, WI.

Community activities: When time permits I find value in engaging with a non-profit in Oshkosh that works with women who have challenges to overcome from sex trafficking, sexual abuse & drug addiction.

During my time on Council I have served on The Grand Opera House Advisory Committee, Long Range Finance Committee, Parking & Utility, Committee on Aging and the Transit Advisory board.

Jake Krause: (no response)

Tom Pech, Jr.: (no response)

Bob Poeschl: (no response)

Robert Wilcox: My Name is Robert Wilcox.
My occupation is Landlord.
I have been involved Oshkosh Youth Soccer Club.

2. Why do you want to be on the city council?

Debra Allison-Aasby: I would like to be re-elected to Council so that I can continue to contribute in a meaningful way to have Oshkosh be a city that current & future residents and business owners are proud to call home. I think is it important to have Council members that are willing to listen, have the ability to productively collaborate and not be afraid to tackle tough issues straight on. I believe I have brought that to the Common Council during my time and I would like to continue.

Jake Krause: (no response)

Tom Pech, Jr.: (no response)

Bob Poeschl: (no response)

Robert Wilcox: I want to be on city council to change its direction in some areas.

3. Please outline what you consider to be the City of Oshkosh’s three to five most critical issues.

Debra Allison-Aasby: The critical issues of Oshkosh include but are not limited to and not in any particular order:

  1. Lost revenues from State & Federal
  2. Affordable housing in the City of Oshkosh
  3. Recruitment and retention of employees for growing Oshkosh businesses.
  4. Creative Economic Development solutions for sections of the City that would be ideal for development, however, may have issues with soil contamination.
  5. Adequate public safety and resources for our growing community.

Jake Krause: (no response)

Tom Pech, Jr.: (no response)

Bob Poeschl: (no response)

Robert Wilcox: The three most critical issues in Oshkosh are tenants being accidentally punished by the actions of the city, the tearing down of the tax base, and the debt the city has accrued.

4. There are a number of geographic locations within the city that can benefit from attention to facilitate economic growth and development.  Please identify and discuss what you consider to be the top two or three economic development priorities that you will champion as a member of the city council?

Debra Allison-Aasby:  Geographic locations for economic development that first come to mind would be our:

  • The Southwest Industrial Park which has our new trans load facility.
  • The Sawdust District which is included in the Opportunity Zone.
  • Aviation Industrial Park
  • Morgan District

Oshkosh is fortunate to have GO-EDC, The Oshkosh Chamber and the City all working toward an exciting economic development landscape. I am looking very forward to our future.

Jake Krause: (no response)

Tom Pech, Jr.: (no response)

Bob Poeschl: (no response)

Robert Wilcox: (no answer provided to this question)

5. Do you support the City’s use of Tax Incremental Financing to assist in development and/or redevelopment of areas within Oshkosh? Why or why not?

Debra Allison-Aasby: I am in support of using Tax Incremental Financing as a tool to support economic development. We need to compete with other communities. With that being said, we need to use the tool for legitimate projects that will make an impact. Moving forward we will need to carefully consider the length of time a TIF is in effect.

Jake Krause: (no response)

Tom Pech, Jr.: (no response)

Bob Poeschl: (no response)

Robert Wilcox: I do support the city’s use of tax incremental financing.  Because it is better to get some tax revenue rather than no tax revenue.

6. The City’s administration is currently developing a proposal to establish a Transportation Utility Fee Program, similar to their storm water utility, as a means to eliminate special assessments for street reconstruction and improvement projects and the sidewalk replacement program. Under this proposal, each residential property owner would be assessed a fee based on one development area unit (DAU) and commercial and industrial property owners would be assessed based on the overall size of their parking lots, i.e., the larger the parking lot the higher the fee. Do you support this type of a program? Please discuss your position.

Debra Allison-Aasby: This is a fair question. It is important to have good infrastructure and the City of Oshkosh has wrestled for quite some time on how to address special assessments. What is fair to property owners (both residential and commercial)? What is the best way to assess for improvements? I have not found consensus among leaders or constituents when asking their opinion. I would like to find an answer that would be a fair and equitable compromise for all. The biggest issue to keep in mind is that any proposal would not take away all assessments to the property owner but rather cut the expense significantly. The current proposal is one that a neighboring city in Winnebago County is adopting and currently working through. Until we are provided more answers it is a difficult one to decide if it is worthy of support. Please feel free to follow up with me as new developments come along.

I would like to thank the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to share my thoughts on the questions that are pressing to the membership.

Jake Krause: (no response)

Tom Pech, Jr.: (no response)

Bob Poeschl: (no response)

Robert Wilcox: I think it is wrong for the government to take our money with property taxes and then come ask for more money because the government hasn’t been a good steward of our tax money.  It is the governments responsibility to pay for roads, sidewalks, and improvement projects from the taxes they collect not from charging its citizens a special assessment or Transportation Utility Fee Program.

This question should be asked.  Would any special assessment need to be charged if there was no debt payments in the budget?