Voters will decide on three to fill trustee seats

By Jason Arndt

Voters in the Village of Paddock Lake will weigh in on the race for Village Trustee on April 6 with four residents seeking three seats.

The April 6 Spring Election features incumbents Bena Ahlberg, Scott Garland along with newcomer Renee Brickner and former Kenosha County Supervisor John Poole.

The Paddock Lake Village Board, meanwhile, will have a new trustee upon completion of April 6 Spring Election because incumbent Kathy Christenson decided not to seek another two-year term and declared non-candidacy.

While Paddock Lake has a contested trustee race, according to officials, Village President Terry Burns is running unopposed for another term.

In-person absentee voting begins on March 23, running through the Friday before the Spring Election, and voters can cast ballots at the Village Hall from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday leading up to April 2.

On April 6, meanwhile, polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Paddock Lake Village Hall, 6929 236th Avenue.

Residents must show an acceptable photo ID to vote or to cast an in-person absentee ballot.
As for the four candidates seeking office, this newspaper sent biography forms with the same questions to each candidate, with all four given unlimited written space to state reasons why they are seeking a Paddock Lake Village Board seat.

Here are their responses with candidates listed in alphabetical order:


Bena Ahlberg

Age: 30
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Beloit College, 2012.
Occupation: Assistant Buyer in foods/retail buying.
Family: Married.
Previous political experience: Appointed as Trustee to the Paddock Lake Village Board, May 2020.
Organizations: Membership Chairperson, Paddock Hooker Lakes Association; Volunteered at various community fundraisers; helped organize and execute fundraisers for Children’s Miracle Network at her workplace.

Reason for seeking position:
Ahlberg has been a village resident for six years and earned appointment to serve as Paddock Lake Village Trustee in May 2020 to fill vacancy.

Ahlberg, who said she invested in learning more about the community, believes it is important for trustees to make informed decisions.

“It is the duty of a trustee to be well-informed in order to make decisions, which impact the future of our community,” she said. “While currently serving on the board, I have read all necessary materials and have had multiple conversations with community members in order to form my opinion. I have enjoyed being able to offer a fresh perspective from a new generation on the board.”

Ahlberg, 30, and her husband looks to start a family in the community and remains committed to serving residents now and in the future.

“I want to ensure a stable, welcoming, and safe community for my family and all of the other residents of Paddock Lake. We have a delightful small community here with deep rooted history,” she said.

“I believe it is important to nurture tradition and the nuances that make Paddock Lake so special while the balancing the growth in the community, which brings additional resources, businesses and population.”

Ahlberg, who recognizes the ‘big picture,’ believes it is equally important to consider individual needs.

“It’s important to not only view the big picture of the community itself, but to also take into consideration the needs of individuals,” Ahlberg said.

Ahlberg, meanwhile, touted strengths she obtained during her career.

“My career in the retail buying world is fast paced and multi-dimensional. I have years of experience balancing a large budget and working with a variety of individuals and suppliers from a diverse background,” she said. “I am not afraid to fight for what I believe to be fair, even when it may not be the easiest path. I am passionate about Paddock Lake and hope to have the honor of serving the village for years to come.”


Renee Brickner

Age: 57
Education: Westosha Central High School, Carthage College.
Occupation: Office Manager and ParAlegal, Kmiec and Noonan, LLC.
Family: Married with three children and four grandchildren.
Previous political experience: First time running for office.
Organizations: Past Treasurer, Westosha Central High School Booster Club.

Reason for seeking position:
Brickner, who has lived in Paddock Lake for 30 years, looks to for a seat on the Paddock Lake Village Board because she wants to increase her community involvement/

“I am a longtime resident who has become more involved in the last two years in observing our Village operations and government,” said Brickner.

Brickner, a paralegal and office manager, believes she can become an asset as an elected official.

“I feel I have a lot to offer the residents of my community and the village of Paddock Lake,” she said.


Scott Garland

Age: 46
Education: High School
Occupation: Purchasing Coordinator
Previous political experience: Paddock Lake Village Trustee, 2019-Present.
Organizations: Paddock Lake Fireworks, Inc.; Paddock Lake Fishstocking Association; Paddock-Hooker Lake Association.

Reason for seeking position:
Garland moved to the Village of Paddock Lake more than eight years ago.

Garland, who secured election to the Paddock Lake Village Board in 2019, seeks another term for continuity.

“I want to try and continue to make a positive impact for this community now and future generations,” he said. “Simply put, I just want good for Paddock Lake.”


John Poole

Age: 73
Education: Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting.
Occupation: Retired Accountant
Family: Married with two adult children and four grandchildren.
Previous political experience: Kenosha County Board, Supervisor, 2014-2020.
Organizations: Kenosha County Republican Party, Silver Lake Sportsmen.

Reason for seeking position:
Poole has resided in the Village of Paddock Lake for 13 years and previously served as supervisor of the Kenosha County Board.

A retired accountant, Poole seeks a seat on the Paddock Lake Village Board to represent taxpayers.

“I’m running ‘for the taxpayers’,” he said. “I want to keep Paddock Lake an affordable and enjoyable place to live.”

Poole, meanwhile, states many local businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our businesses and citizens are hurting from the shutdowns,” he said. “I intend to work to reopen Paddock Lake and save our businesses.”


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