Meet Two Rivers Council Candidates Jason Ring and Roger Van Voltenberg

Two candidates are running in a special election for a two-year seat on Two Rivers City Council – Jason Ring and Roger Van Voltenberg.

These nominees completed a candidate survey provided by the Herald Times Reporter to give our readers a taste of who they are and what they stand for.

The spring election and this special election will take place on April 5th. Voters must be registered and provide photo identification, such as a driver’s license or Wisconsin Department of Transportation ID card, when voting. To register, people can go to the city clerk’s office or go online to and provide proof of residency.

Meet the candidates

Jason ring

Jason ring

Age: 44

Profession and highest level of education: Executive Director of the Manitowoc Area Visitor & Convention Bureau. Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Relevant experience: This is my first experience as a job candidate. Serving on local boards for organizations like the Manitowoc County Historical Society, Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Wisconsin Harbor Towns Association, and Two Rivers Main Street introduced me to working at a governing body. I think this experience, along with the community contact and education I received, is a good foundation for working on the city council.

Roger Van Voltenberg

Roger Van Voltenberg

Age: 59

Profession and highest level of education: Factory worker at Ariens in Brillion. Has taught martial arts for 35 years. High school graduate.

Relevant experience: Not answered.

Why are you running for election?

Ring: I feel I have the ear of local business owners and can give them a voice with the Town of Two Rivers. I’m afraid what happened at Manitowoc will happen again at Two Rivers. We need candidates to run for office or we risk having no voice and no control. When you have candidates running unopposed, you take away the right of citizens to choose their leaders. Those who run unopposed have the mistaken idea that the people support them, when in fact the opposite is true. If you have an unopposed election, I believe that means the community has lost its faith in the leadership of their community. At Two Rivers, we have a full slate of candidates and I look forward to discussion and debate about the difficult issues facing our community.

VanVoltenberg: I’m running for office to give a new experience and hopefully a different point of view as I see things outside the box.

What makes you the best candidate in this race?

Ring: I will leave it to the voters to decide who is the best candidate. All I can do is provide them with information about myself that they can compare with what my opponent is offering. I can tell you that I am committed to working to make the community of Two Rivers the best place to live, work and play. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, whether it’s promoting tourism, being a member of a local service club, serving on a local board, or volunteering for a local event. If I sound familiar, I’ve probably served you a beer at Carp Fest, the Cool City Car Show, or some other local event. I have always been an honest, open and approachable person who is happy to help when asked. It’s a rare day when I say no to someone. Establishing collaboration and creating partnerships is something that comes naturally to me and I think it is a skill that will serve me well as a board member of Two Rivers.

VanVoltenberg: Everyone has different things that happen to them in life, every experience is a learned experience. My experiences come from other parts of America and other countries. So I see how they do things in other areas that are beneficial to their residency, and I believe that would move the community forward for me.

What do residents think are their most important issues and how would you address them?

Ring: I heard a lot about the residents while collecting signatures. The two things I heard the most about were economic development and trust in our elected leaders. Economic development has covered a lot of ground, from jobs to empty storefronts and bringing new businesses to the community. If elected, I will commit to working with local businesses, large and small, to learn about their needs and find where the city can help. With local businesses satisfied, we turn our attention to finding new businesses and selling our community to them. In recent years Wisconsin has pulled businesses out of other states and I think Two Rivers would be a great location for business. From a trust perspective, I think what people were referring to is just communication. We need to let the community know how to reach out to the city, get them involved, and make sure we’re transparent wherever we can. My contact details will be readily available to people and I will provide them with as much information as possible.

VanVoltenberg: Two Rivers has negative issues like declining population, lack of well-paying jobs from departing companies, and lack of housing in the area. Addressing these ideas would be about listening to the ideas of the community and resolving these negativities with an open mind and positive effort.

What would be your top two priorities as a board member?

Ring: I feel like if I already have priorities, it’s like coming up with an agenda. I think it will be better to arrive at this position without a preconceived plan and priorities. There are, however, a few areas I would like to learn more about. Increasing local engagement would be an area I would like to explore. We have many committees, service clubs, non-profit organizations and events that are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit new volunteers. I think that as representatives of the municipal council, it is our job to involve the citizens more. A community that works together to support the same causes is a strong community and I think it’s a way to bring people together and resolve some of the divisions caused by politics. Another area I would like to learn more about is economic development. I understand the role tourism plays in Two Rivers, and I know the importance of attracting new business and the jobs that come with it, but I think there’s more to it. First, I want to make sure that we are doing everything we can for the businesses and the residents that we have here. Once we have nurtured our community, we can look outward to bring more into the community and hopefully do so in a way that provides options for new, unique business opportunities.

VanVoltenberg: Priorities would be, as with building any community, finding businesses that would come to Two Rivers rewarding residents here with gainful employment, and/or entrepreneurs that would open their establishments here. There would also be a search in the area to help other establishments already existing in Two Rivers.

What is your vision for Two Rivers?

Ring: I would like to be part of the team that makes Two Rivers a community where we engage with residents to create economic vitality, profitable public services and a community where residents are proud to live, work and live. have fun.

VanVoltenberg: See the town of Two Rivers grow back into a thriving community. To see an area where we have festivals that attract tourism, but also a thriving industry base to generate income. We also need a balance in the area between rural and urban life. Festivals like Applefest are a perfect example. There are also more vineyards in the area that are beginning to be cultivated. With these fruits come the pollinators, the bees. Maybe support a new festival with honey, because across the country bees are in decline.

What are your thoughts on current budget for the city?

Ring: It’s hard to judge, I’ve never been involved in drawing up a municipal budget and I’m sure there’s a lot to do. I guess I would take a sensible approach and consider it in how I manage my personal finances. I would first make sure we have a balanced budget that allows us to live within our means. Then I would look at the debt. Is this level sustainable, are we borrowing for the right things? What are we doing to make sure we pay off that debt and free ourselves from interest charges? In what areas can we invest dollars in the community that brings a return. I think at the end of the day, you have to look at the final budget that’s created and ask the question, “Is this budget using taxpayers’ money in the most efficient way?” »

VanVoltenberg: To maintain a balanced budget. Bringing in new ideas along with entrepreneurship and gainful employment would be beneficial in keeping the town of Two Rivers in a good light financially.

Contact Alisa Schafer at Follow her on Twitter at @AlisaMSchafer.

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