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Q & A for Board of Directors Candidates


  1. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the Conservancy over the next 4 years (your term), and what would be your approach to overcoming it?

Matt Petersen (Area 3): In the recent past, there seems to be misinformation presented as fact, causing unnecessary division within our community. My approach is to help all Freeholders to better understand the issues at hand and the processes to resolve them. There are always multiple solutions to any problem, however, there is always one that stands out to benefit the many over the few. This creates conflict, however, with better clarity and understanding the disagreement can be minimal.

Our newsletter is an existing tool to communicate with Freeholders. This method, along with electronic updates, will help keep people informed. The more factually informed the Freeholders are the more engaged they become within the community. The more Freeholders involved in the governance process will only help improve our Conservancy.

Solutions to problems are not always obvious and may need additional explanation and understanding. This can be accomplished by a simple phone call or email from anyone that would like further detail. As a current Board member, my email is available to anyone that would like a more personal explanation of any issue. I also offer my telephone number for a conversation to address any Freeholder concerns.

Michael Leavitt (Area 3): I feel that the biggest challenge facing the Conservancy is the progression from being a weekend community of small lake houses to full time residences with increasingly larger homes. The transition from weekend homes to full time was accelerated by the covid pandemic when many fled the larger areas for the seclusion of the Conservancy and realized living here year-round was attractive. This placed a greater burden on the infrastructure as well as the amenities of the lakes. The long-term impact of this evolution needs to be studied so that we can continue to meet the needs of the freeholders while preserving the wonderful place we live.

Joe Kurdziel (Area 7): As far as priorities, issues etc. I feel the health and safety of our freeholders as well as the land and lakes are the highest priority. I would then suggest financial health is the next priority. With 35 years of accounting experience including 25 years as a Controller, I will provide a review of our financials and support Brittany in any matter she may need help or guidance. As we know, the lakes have gotten busier and it is important that our lake safety team be allowed to keep our lakes safe.

Ted Adolay (Area 7):The lowering of the water so we can repair the dams.  I would make sure that we properly manage the people whom we hire to get the job done and that they are qualified.  At the  same time, making sure that residents can use the lakes while this is occurring.

2. Efforts have been made recently to involve more Freeholders in the governing process and allow more Freeholders to have access to meetings, etc. What, if anything, additional do you think could be done to improve transparency and board member communication with Freeholders?

Matt Petersen: With the development of new technology and the improvement of the broadband resource recently installed at the Conservancy office, my agenda for the upcoming year would be to implement upgraded hardware for an improved online experience for all meetings. In addition to improved “live streaming,” an easier categorized “On Demand” navigation will also allow Freeholders to watch and listen to current or prior meetings. If additional clarification is needed, a hyperlink or email may be made available for a quick selection to reach out to the appropriate person to help. The responses will be addressed timely. This will help reduce the misinformation and confusion that exists today.

Michael Leavitt: Improvements have been made over the past year in providing live streaming platform for the Board meeting. These improvements need to be continued in terms of the feed and sound quality. In addition, all committee meetings should be live streamed to reach the greatest number of freeholders, allowing everyone to provide their input.

Joe Kurdziel: The first comment I would like to provide is that I will always provide complete transparency on CSCD matters. I have no personal agendas and as a board member, I will seek comments from all freeholders

Ted Adolay: Expand our own personal CSCD Facebook/Social media site that is managed by us.

3.The Conservancy's relationship with the county seems, from the outside looking in, tenuous at best, adversarial at worst. A committee of Freeholders was attempted recently to find ways to improve this relationship but does not appear to have been effective despite best efforts. Do you feel there is value in continuing efforts to improve the relationship? If so, what do you believe is the key to being successful?

Matt Petersen: It is my opinion that the lack of a relationship between the Conservancy and the County Council/Commissioners of Brown County is a result of the different viewpoints each group has regarding the county services offered to the District.

With the better understanding by Freeholders that our assessed value compared to the total assessed value of Brown County is increasing annually, I am hopeful this will encourage our Community to become more active in our Advocacy Committee. For more information, the 2022 payable 2023 assessed value for Brown County is $1,795,541,599 while the Conservancy is $526,925,600 and the Town of Nashville is $152,160,898.

With better understanding and more participation from Freeholders, our Community will become more unified and directed toward being an active political subdivision of the County. As a positive and effective group of the County, Commissioners may be more receptive to our ideas and suggestions. I believe that today, the Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District is considered an outsider by the County. We have no relevance or input into the decisions being made by the Council or the Commissioners. I intend on working to change this.

I will continue to work to create an active, positive voice from the District to include the Conservancy with the decisions made for our County.


Michael Leavitt: I believe there is significant confusion regarding the relationship between the Conservancy and the County, some of which is propagated by the Board. For example, the roads in the Conservancy are not included in the County Road Inventory and therefore the County does not receive any fuel tax revenues for the roads. The case has been made that they are “Public Highways”, however, they are not County Roads and are not the County’s responsibility to maintain. Furthermore, due to the growth of the Conservancy, we have pushed the limits of the laws under which it was formed, attempting to function more as a town instead of a conservancy district. This also complicates the relationship with the County. The true responsibilities between the Conservancy and the County need to be explained to the freeholders so everyone understands the situation. Once that is accomplished, the Board can continue to work on improving the relationship with the County.

Joe Kurdziel:  The roads have also seen much more traffic since I have been a freeholder 25 years ago. We have a great place to live and if we work together we can maintain and improve our community!

Ted Adolay: Yes there is value to improve the relationship.     As the property  values increase along with more full time residents then this will generate more income for Brown County, Nashville and this conservancy.