Monday, February 10, 2020

Appleton Conservative Mayoral Candidates

We sent surveys to the three candidates that we believe are best suited for the job as the Mayor of Appleton.  All three candidates replied to our survey and we shared their answers with you below!

Primary Election is Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Name: Eric J. Beach
Age: 42

Profession/Job – What do/did you do for a living?

I retired from 21years active Army/WI National Guard service. I currently run two Businesses in Appleton. Beach House LLC, which primarily provides safe, clean and low-cost housing for 66 Appleton families, and commercial space for two Appleton business. I also founded and run Free Market Education LLC, which is a free to use education platform. Designed to foster first hand knowledge and skill sharing. Think of it like Craigslist or Air BNB, but for education. Downloadable on the App store. I also develop training management programs (applicable to any industry or company).   

Do you have prior political experience? If so, what?

No; however military organizations operate in a remarkably similar style, size and complexity. I served the bulk of my career at battalion level, in key leadership positions. My experience in the military has provided me experience In Maintenance activities and management systems, nearly every aspect of Logistical systems procedures and application. I spent four years in a MP unit. I was a unit administrator for numerous years working in the planning, overview and execution of: Operations, HR, Training management, Payroll, budget management, Information management, Unit newsletters…

What political party do you most align with?  Which direction do you lean?

Republican, I lean right. I really liked Ron Paul though, he was a smart well thought out person. So maybe a dash of libertarian.

In your opinion, what do you believe the role of government should be?

Uphold laws, public safety, provide all the social services required by the people, and encourage and collaborate with the organizations that provide our social safety nets.

Why should voters vote for you?

I am a leader, in the military the values of: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage have been engrained into me.

I have the most applicable experience of any candidate. In my 21 years of Army service I took on my large roles and received numerous national and state commendations. I was placed in critical roles and complex positions. I excelled in areas of Logistics, Maintenance, Operations, Training. I have years of experience in and played key roles in HR, Budget, Planning, Payroll, reporting, evaluations, inspection programs, rating systems…

I have proven business success, and a vast portfolio outlining my successes. I started and run my business with the resources I have at hand. I work well with the “tools” available and make the most out of any situation I find. There are endless opportunities out there, we just need to act on them.

I care profoundly for the individuals in my life. I tactfully engage with people around me to get their best efforts, and reward them for their good efforts. I don’t tolerate bad behavior.

In what situation should taxes ever be raised?

Whenever the expected cost of services exceeds the expected cost of the minimum amount of social services required.

What are you plans for your municipality? Why are you running for office?

I will attempt to find the most cost-effective efforts for our staff. I will eliminate wasteful practices. I will study all the ways we consume budget, determine any alternative options for those expenses, and compare the different possible courses of action. I will ensure the services provided are equitable and the taxes collected are done so equitably.  I will explore new possible revenue streams, determine if they fit within our existing infrastructure(staff/equipment), and if they have a greater economic impact than some of our current labor-intensive/low payoff efforts. I will privatize city services when it is economically viable, as long as it doesn’t adversely affect our ability to complete work for ourselves.

I seek to expand library services (not necessarily a new library) and education opportunities within the city. I hope to create internship programs, and apprenticeship programs within the city and possibly solicit local business to participate in such programs. All in an attempt to build the citizens skill sets without taking people out of the workforce. My goal is to create these for pay education/learning opportunities, while improving our hopefully their work output exceeds or matches their labor cost. It’s just a goal, goals don’t always match reality.

I hope to engage people and business in order to create better housing environments. Better managed, more affordable options. Not more of the same down town developments that are not affordable. I would like to see more owner-occupied rentals, but in reality, you can’t just make people good landlords or business people.

I’m running for office because I am a leader. I can’t stand to complain about a problem without offering a meaningful solution. I’m running because I care about people and I see how hard it is to get by, much less ahead. I’m running because I am the best person for this job right now.


Name: Chad Doran    
Age: 41

Tell us about yourself!
My background is in communications, a key skill that a mayor must possess. I have a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and an advanced certification in strategic planning from Texas Christian University.

Those are skills I have put to use creating innovative programs that have drastically improved our outreach and communication with our residents. I want to bring those skills, knowledge and successful innovation to the mayor’s office.

My interest in running is to continue serving our community as I do now. Appleton is home for my family and I and I want it to stay the family-friendly, safe and affordable community that it has always been.    

My family and I have called Appleton home since 2007. We’re Appleton residents of Calumet County and love our neighborhood on the southeast side.  My wife is a Dr., owns her own business and for us this is home. We want it to be the place where our five children can some day decide to stay if they choose.

Profession/Job – What do/did you do for a living?
Prior to starting with the City of Appleton in 2014, I worked in TV news for 14 years as a photojournalist and reporter for stations in Green Bay, Davenport, IA and Madison.

Do you have prior political experience? If so, what?
I have no prior political experience other than covering politicians as a reporter in my former career and working with elected officials in my capacity with the City.

What political party do you most align with?  Which direction do you lean?
The role of mayor is non-partisan. No one cares about the political affiliation of who is collecting their trash, plowing their street or patching potholes, we just expect it to be done. The mayor has to do what is right for the community. I’ve shown where I stand on a range of issues throughout the campaign. One thing I will note is that I am a fiscal conservative who understands the expectations of our residents, because I speak directly with them in a multitude of ways every day in my role with the City.

Low taxes and high-quality services don’t go hand in hand, but we must be mindful that the spending that we do is on the biggest priorities our residents expect us to be spending on. 

In your opinion, what do you believe the role of government should be?
Limited. Government is rarely the best answer to solve problems. We lack the expertise and should work to support our partner agencies and non-profits that specialize in areas we do not. We can work together to be both fiscally responsible and responsive to the needs of our community at the same time, if we realize that our role is to focus on the core services of local government.

Why should voters vote for you?
I am the only candidate who has any experience working as part of the City staff here in Appleton. I have been with the City for the last six years, working in the mayor’s office and seeing day-to-day management of the City every day.

In my communications role, I work with all of our departments and staff every day. I have the most knowledge about everything the City does and why. I have created innovative programs that have earned Appleton national recognition and drastically improved communication with our residents.

I have been named one of the 100 most influential people in local government in the country for the last four years in a row. I also earned Appleton the recognition as the most engaging and best overall local government on social media in the country in 2018.

I’ve shown the ability to excel and innovate in my current role and will bring those skills and vision to be the next mayor of Appleton as well.

In what situation should taxes ever be raised?
I don’t believe there are ever situations where taxes have to be raised. Taxes go up because the costs of services or the demands for services increase. My focus will be on making us as efficient as possible with the resources we have and reprioritizing the budget to focus on the priorities our residents expect us to focus on.

What are you plans for your municipality? Why are you running for office?
My plans are to ensure we are focused on the priorities and the core services of local government our residents expect us to focus on. Our public safety departments have unmet needs arising from rising drug use in our community, mental health issues and facility needs specifically for the fire department. We also need to put more emphasis and resources toward road reconstruction projects. We add as many new miles of road as we replace each year and we’re falling behind and asking our roads to last longer. I’ll work with our staff to find ways we can reprioritize spending in our budget to focus on those issues.

Focusing on those key quality of life issues that affect all our residents, regardless of what part of the City they live in is one of the reasons I am running to replace Mayor Tim Hanna. Appleton is a family-friendly community that has so much to offer everyone who calls it home and I want to ensure we keep it the safe, affordable community that we all appreciate.


Name: James E Clemons
Age: 62

Tell us about yourself!

I have been a resident of Appleton my entire life. I come from a family of eight, living just one block from City Park and Jacobs Meat Market. I am a graduate of Appleton East and my wife of 32 years, Lisa, graduated from Appleton West. We have raised two children, Tyler and McKenzie, that both graduated from Appleton North and UW-Madison. The fifth member of the family is our golden retriever, Otis.

Community Activities:

Apple Creek YMCA Board of Directors                                               2019- Present
Apple Creek YMCA Finance Committee                                             2019- Present Appleton Alderperson, District 13                                                                       2004 – 2014
Appleton Alderperson, District 7                                                         1994 – 2004
Appleton City Council President (Two Terms)                              
Appleton North High School Booster Club President                       
Ran Golf Tournament Fund raisers for Pop Warner Youth Football
AAU HIGH SCHOOL Men’s Basketball Coach
Ran Fund Raising Golf Tournament for Appleton North Booster Club
Appleton North Girls and Boys Basketball Club
High school and college sports official (master level basketball)
YMCA Youth basketball Coach

Profession/Job – What do/did you do for a living?

I am a Senior Account Executive Advocate Aurora Health Systems

Do you have prior political experience? If so, what?

I have had the privilege of serving on the City Council for twenty years, two time council president as well as serving on all standing committees. Serving on all and chairing most committees gives me a unique perspective on what your elected representatives on the Common Council need and when they need it. The Common Council controls all spending and they need accurate and timely information in order to represent you, the taxpayer. With Appleton’s ongoing opportunities, that experience is needed now more than ever. With the exception of one other candidate serving a single term in 1990, no other candidate has ever held any elected office, much less gone through this very unique and complex budget process that I have gone through twenty times. There are several new council members coming on in April due to additional experienced alderpersons not seeking re-election, my leadership and experience will prove to be a valuable asset.

What political party do you most align with?  Which direction do you lean?

The mayor of Appleton is a non-partisan position and I will do everything in my power to keep it that way. We cannot afford to turn our back on any and all options based on partisan political leanings. I continue to stand by my twenty-year record on council as a successful non-partisan guardian of taxpayer dollars.

In your opinion, what do you believe the role of government should be?

Local government should provide its citizens with a safe environment to work, live, and play.  Provide a level playing field for developers, workers and citizens to pursue their goals dreams and objectives.  Local government should have adequately staffed and trained employees to provide services to citizens in an efficient cost effective manner without negatively impacting the quality of said services. Finally, local government should know when to get out of the way and let the market forces determine success. Most of all we will treat developers and citizens with the respect they deserve, always keep our word, and continue to work toward a solution if possible or a definite timely decision if it just can’t be done.

Why should voters vote for you?

I am a lifelong Appleton resident with a long history of community involvement and the only candidate with the political leadership experience needed to guide Appleton in a time when we need leadership and experience the most. There is too much at stake for Appleton and our future. (see previous answers above) With many very important issues regarding Appleton currently unresolved such as the US Venture project, the library, traffic flow and parking downtown as well as continuing to develop our industrial parks we need to grow our tax base and implement a well thought out comprehensive plan. My experience will help get this done and my dedication to public safety will help insure citizens feel safe in their homes and out in public.

In what situation should taxes ever be raised?

We must look at all departments for necessary services and the most efficient way to deliver such services all year and not just at budget time. With costs continuing to rise on most goods and services and the cost of employees also rising we must continue to grow our tax base to absorb cost increases without raising the Appleton portion of your tax bill. The School District and Counties make up the other portions and they share that role.

What are you plans for your municipality? Why are you running for office?

We must keep in mind those on fixed incomes when making spending decisions.

Common Council must have all options available to them, a thorough debate and then leave a trail for those that follow us as to what was discussed and why we made the choices we made with the information available at the time. Our dedicated employees are by far our most valuable assets. Our vision is to maintain properly staffed and trained personnel especially Police and Fire. If we can give this already great team the tools they need and deserve to achieve even higher levels of productivity and efficiency we all benefit long term. A well-trained and properly staffed workforce is the key to our continued growth and long-term success attracting and maintaining the business and developments we need to thrive, not just survive. Planned growth tempered with good judgment to increase our tax base and still protect existing neighborhoods. Good neighbors make great communities.I will not submit a budget that doesn’t address this. I would like future generations to share the experience of growing up in a growing accepting community, we owe it to them and I owe it to Appleton.

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