Richard Burby challenging Jerrold Burns in District 16|
A longtime supervisor is facing a challenge from a former school administrator and school board member in District 15 of the Langlade County Board of Supervisors.
The election, which will be decided Tuesday, pits incumbent Jerrold Burns, N10592 E. Isle of Pines Drive, Elcho, against Richard Burby, N11181 Oak Lane, Elcho.
The district includes the town of Ainsworth, Ward 2 in the town of Elcho and Ward 2 in the town of Langlade.
Jerrold Burns has served on the Langlade County Board for eight years. He has owned property in Langlade County since 1983 and has lived on Post Lake since 1991.
Burns has been a property owner in the town of Elcho on Post Lake since 1983, and after retirement in 1991 the industrial technology teacher moved north to settle in their Isle of Pines Drive residence.
He said he has enjoyed his years visiting Langlade County and living here on a year-around basis, and has also enjoyed the knowledge shared and the challenges of being a member of the County Board.
He serves on the Board of Health, is chairman of the Finance/Information Services Committee and the Water and Land Use Committee.
He explained that he is interested in the county finances and budget and calls the investment in the Wood Technology Center, with Northcentral Technical College a positive action because of what can be created.
“In another three years we will be out of debt,” Burns said, but notes that continued salary pressures are and will be a problem for the county.
“We need to look at our own community when setting those wages,” he said, suggesting that comparisons with other counties are not always fair.
Well versed in the county’s financial activities, he said he is closely watching the most recent forest purchase in his district in the town of Langlade.
The massive and pricey piece of timberland will start to produce an income during this year.
Richard Burby and his wife, Sue, operate RJ’s Towing in Post Lake. He is a former school district administrator and served 12 years on the Elcho board of education and also on the Ethics and Law Committee for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
“I have a personal interest in the well-being of northern Langlade County,” Burby said. “All areas of the county should have the same opportunities and I don’t see that happening right now.”
Burby said that currently much of the county’s action seems to be centered in the Antigo area, with the northern region missing out.
“I’d like to see this area prosper and see tax dollars distributed equally throughout the county,” he said. “Right now I don’t see any initiatives for employment in northern Langlade County.”
Burby has other concerns as well, chief among them the restricted uses being developed for some county-owned properties, such as the ban on summertime all-terrain vehicle use on the Wolf River Trail.
“If you have public lands, you should have equal access,” he said. “There is no reasonable explanation I have heard as to why they are restricted.”
And while he has no problem with the county owning large tracts of land, he said some non-productive areas should be sold and placed back on the tax rolls.
“Good stewardship is wonderful, but how much should you own? How much do you need?” he asked.
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