Q. What relevant experience do you bring to the office you seek?
I am a successful business owner as a dairy farmer, who has endured tough economic times along with prosperity. I served 14 years on Pierce County Board of Supervisors and numerous other boards and committees, often in a leadership role. I have been recognized and awarded for outstanding work both as a farmer and in the community. A complete list of my experience and accomplishments may be found on my website: melpittmanforsenate.com
Q. The American Society of Civil Engineers says Wisconsin motorists spend $2.0-billion per year in costs from driving on roads in need of repairs. Name a specific measure you would support that would bring in more money for road projects.
I testified in April 2017 at the Joint Finance Committee hearing in Ellsworth about the need to do more to improve the condition of our highways, and that the State is actually costing the consumer more money by not raising fees due to the fact that consumers are spending those dollars on car repairs. I would support an increase in user fees to fund highway road projects.
Q. State aid to local school districts has been reduced, or remained flat for the last few years. Leaders of local school districts say that has resulted in stagnant teacher pay and reductions in educational programs that students need and want. Some worry that we are losing our best and brightest teachers to neighboring states. So many local school districts are now going to voters, asking them to pass referendums that would allow these schools to raise local property taxes to make up the difference. In your opinion, is this the best and most fair way to fund these projects? If so, what is the role of the state to provide further assistance.? If not, what, specifically, would you do to provide more state aid to local schools and where would that money come from?
I do support communities/schools using a referendum to gain additional revenue. Those voters are the best judge of their community and the needs of their school district. There have been studies done to evaluate fairness in school funding from across the state showing a disparity in funding. The state needs to consider acting on these findings and to provide additional revenue.
Q. What makes you the best candidate to represent your district?
My knowledge of the district makes me the best candidate. I would use this knowledge to balance the needs of residents, businesses and government resources to make Western Wisconsin a desirable and affordable place to work and live. Being an agriculture producer for over 40 years, I know how to manage through tough economic times and to adapt to the world around us.
Q. What do you think should be the top priorities for the state and your area over the next decade? If elected to office, how would you advance those priorities?
We can all benefit by filling many of the employment opportunities in our state through continued welfare reform, prisoner rehabilitation, job training and education. Taking care of infrastructure, including roads, bridges and broadband will keep businesses strong and growing, making Western Wisconsin a desirable location to raise a family and a great place to live.