On April 2, Oshkosh voters will elect three candidates to serve on the Oshkosh Common Council. The OI has connected with four of the five council candidates to provide a short profile of each.
Oshkosh Common Council Candidate: Deb Allison-Aasby
Current Profession: Investment & Financial Advisor at Carl Hennig, Inc. & Owner of Lakeshore Coffee Company
Education: Bachelors of Science Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stout
Elected Public Service:
– Oshkosh City Council: Incumbent, 2011 to present, including a term as Deputy Mayor
Volunteering:I like to spend it with a very worthwhile organization that works with women who are or have been sexually exploited. The organization does jail outreach and assists in employment, clothing, personal care, housing and number of other challenges that many of the women face.
(OI) List two specific and concrete programs / policies / initiatives that the city needs to change that you will be advocating for if elected to serve the next two years on the council:
The City’s operational and capital improvement budget is an ongoing concern. Federal and State funding has been cut significantly and we have been experiencing a substantial decline in available grants for special projects.
This has made each budget season especially difficult. When I was first elected to Council the budget season did not start until the first of October.
The following year I had support from council members and staff to begin budget discussions starting in July. Our adopted budget process gives council more time to evaluate the numbers and also allows the citizens to give input well in advance of the November budget approval.
Moving forward I would like to work with fellow council members and staff to continue transparent budget discussions.
I believe this year we need to determine if the cap we put on the CIP budget is still relevant to our needs and if any changes will impact our status with Moody’s. Our Moody’s rating is important because it is a factor in borrowing costs for general obligation and revenue bonds.
Also, due to some changes at the state level, we will have challenges that will impact our operational budget this year and beyond. I feel that my time on council gives me the experience to navigate through this and any other challenges we may face.
Another area of focus is the maintenance needs of our buildings and facilities. The process has begun to evaluate current and future needs. My hope is to evaluate now and help create a plan that will be sustainable for the citizens, staff and councils long after I am gone.
(OI) Identify one gap that exists in the city that warrants considerable attention and work from the city and what is your position on what needs to happen:
I believe that addressing the needs of our homeless population and the needs of our residents that have served time in either county jails or prisons deserves attention. They are both very different topics but some of the challenges they face are similar. The lack of transportation, employment and housing can make it very difficult to rebuild a life and support a family.
I would be misleading you if I said I had an answer because I don’t. I think we need to look at existing programs, determine if we need new ones to fill gaps, continue to have discussions with employers and explore what funding options for housing may exist that doesn’t require a significant increase to taxpayers
(OI) Why will you be an effective representative of the citizens of Oshkosh:
It has been a true honor to serve the citizens of Oshkosh. I have worked very hard to make meaningful and positive changes to the community. It is easy to make promises but it requires a significant amount of work to actually put those words into action.
I believe I have demonstrated a willingness to collaborate with others, be inclusive, to listen intently before speaking and do my part as an individual by rolling up my sleeves and doing the work necessary for changes that I would like to see. I hope to serve my community another term and I would be grateful for the support to allow me to do that .
visit www.oshkoshindependent.com for profiles of four of the council candidates and the two mayor candidates. one council candidate did not respond to multiple requests.