Bachelor's Degree, Finance, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Other, Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Commercial Banker, Prairie Community Bank
Married, Lisa Mortensen
3 Children ages 17, 13 and 11
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
My past history of serving on various Boards and Committees has given me the knowledge and experience to run for this office. As a former member of the Board of Education for Zion Lutheran School – Marengo and as a commissioner for the Marengo Park District, I have dealt with having to operate with a lean budget, cash flow shortages and personnel issues. None of it is easy, and I feel it takes someone who is willing to take the time to gather all of the pertinent information in order to make informed decisions.
What are your top two or three priorities if elected?
If elected, I do not have a personal agenda. My role if elected will be to represent the citizens of Ward 1 to the best of my ability. I believe that the City of Marengo is headed in the right direction and is taking the necessary steps to prepare for growth. Hopefully we can leave the current economic environment behind us and shift our focus in a different direction. If I had to list a priority it would be to attract more businesses to our community. This is important for the citizens of Marengo as it will provide employment opportunities and additional tax revenue.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
This is a difficult question. I hate my tax bill just as much as the next person. Unfortunately, each district needs to continue to operate. Over the past three years, the taxing bodies have watched their tax revenues shrink from declining property values. In order to freeze property taxes it would have to be a collaborative effort from all of the taxing bodies. Having watched the revenues decline for the Marengo Park District over the past three years and the cuts that have been made in order to continue to operate has been difficult. The only way I see us being able to achieve property tax relief is to find a different way to fund our schools. If you look at the tax bills for the City of Marengo, 54.22% of the tax payment goes to District 165 and District 154. The City of Marengo only accounts for 8.10% with an additional 3.03% going towards the City of Marengo Pension fund.
What one decision by the city council do you most disagree with and why?
I have a tremendous amount of respect for everyone that sits on the city council and it is my belief that a lot of time and effort goes into each decision that is made. With that being said, I would not disagree with any of the decisions that have been made by the current city council.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
I believe one of the best decisions the City Council made within the past year was to negotiate and retain the services of Marengo Disposal. Although they are no longer locally owned, they provide several jobs to our residents and are a valued member of our business community.
Why should voters elect you to office?
Having been a lifelong resident of Marengo and representing a 5th generation that has called Marengo its home, I will bring a commitment to the residents of Ward 1 to represent them with dedication and honesty. As a resident and taxpayer, it is important that we continue to see Marengo grow and prosper for future generations.