District 1



Craig Kittel
Craig Kittel

Craig Kittel (i)

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Age: 59

Address: 251 Williams Avenue, New Richmond, WI 54017

Occupation: Retired Postal Worker. Boys JV Basketball Coach at New Richmond High School. Varsity Football, Softball, and Baseball Official

Education: Graduated from New Richmond High School in 1979.

Civic Involvement: I've served on the City Council since 2010. I've served on the New Richmond Park Board since about 2002. During my time on City Council, I've been the chairman of the Public Works Committee, chairman of the Airport Commission, chairman of the Park Board, member of the Ambulance Board, member of the Finance Committee, member of the Utility Commission, and member of the Planning Commission.

Family: My wife Kathy Kittel (Krumm) and I started dating in 1978. She graduated from New Richmond High School one year after I did. We married in 1984. Kathy is an Administrator in the St. Paul School District. We have two sons. Both graduated from New Richmond. Max graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013, and from William Mitchell in 2018. He just got a new job as an Appellate Public Defender. Andy graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2017 and is now a pilot in the United States Navy. Andy just recently returned from his first deployment.



Why do you want to serve on the City Council?

I have been honored to have served this city since 2010. I feel we have accomplished a lot in the last eleven years, but there is still more work to do. Before I arrived, the city's debt level was quite high. As a council, we've kept taxes low while also reducing the city's debt and still being able to complete projects. We've undertaken projects in the areas of infrastructure and a new library. Those are projects that will keep New Richmond a great place to live, and I would like to see those projects through to the end.



As vaccinations are underway, what actions should the city take to address the continued impact of the pandemic?

As a city, we do not have a department of health. We are blessed to have a great public health department in St. Croix County and have top epidemiologists in our State and Federal governments. We must work with all three and take their guidance. The most important thing we can do at this point is continue to keep their taxes low and support the efforts of our State and County in their goal of delivering vaccinations to every person who wants one. Returning to normalcy will help our small businesses more than anything.



What are the main issues facing the city?

We need to continue to keep taxes low while encouraging the cautious growth of the city. The best and easiest way to keep taxes low is to expand our tax base. We need to continue to reduce the debt of the city, but we cannot focus on the issue of debt and spending to the detriment of our residents and our infrastructure. Roads still need to be built. Projects still need to be completed. We must continue to fund our Police, Fire and Ambulance Departments. Those things can be done cautiously and can be done while keeping taxes low.



Christopher Parent

Age: 51

Address: North 5th Street in New Richmond

Occupation: I semi-retired when I turned 50. I live off my investments but work a part-time job to help pay for health insurance and taxes. I spent most of my working years in high-speed automation and in the overhead lifting industry.

Education: Two Year Degree – Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Civic Involvement: I served three terms as a union representative in St. Paul, MN.

Family: Father – William, Mother – Sandra, Brothers – Timothy & Thomas, Sisters – Tamera & Candice, Daughters – Alexandra & Taylor, Significant Other – Monica, and one foster child.

Questions:



Why do you want to serve on the City Council?

I do not agree with some of the recent actions from the City Council. While I agree with purchasing land for projects like business parks and such, I am 100% against purchasing dilapidated buildings and/or distressed properties from business owners that made piles of money in this city. The old Beebe building and the former Dairy Queen are great examples of this.



As vaccinations are underway, what actions should the city take to address the continued impact of the pandemic?

Local governments should have stepped up their game to help businesses acquire the training and equipment to safely remain open to the public. Unfortunately, many elected officials in this area do not see it this way and would rather work to pass ordinances allowing the people to be fined for not cooperating. Even with vaccines, there are new variants of Covid-19 that keep popping up around the globe. The city should be reminding its residents that we are not out of the woods yet and our success depends on our diligence.



What are the main issues facing the city?

The most common concern from residents I have spoken with is the lack of affordable housing in our city. I believe the city should look into tax credits, housing bonds, and direct subsidies to help cover the costs of acquisition and construction of affordable housing units.