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Hortonville Village Board election

Hortonville Administrative Building. File Photo

Seven candidates running for three seats

By John Faucher

Seven candidates are running for three available seats on Hortonville Village Board in the April 2 spring election.

There will be a primary election on Tuesday, Feb 20, to narrow the field down to six candidates.

The New London Press Star sent surveys to each candidate asking them to share some background information and respond to questions regarding their thoughts and goals as a candidate. Questions and responses will run as a two part series beginning with this issue

What experiences have best prepared you to serve on the village board?


Jason Abendschein
In my professional career I have and continue to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds, ideologies and beliefs.

I will bring my personal experiences of a father, husband, and homeowner along with my professional experience of serving as a public-school teacher for five years and a shift supervisor in my current position at Granite Valley Forest Products.

I believe civic leaders serve best when they listen to different points of view and opinions, look for common ground, and formulate a plan to reach a community’s goals.


Robert Jewell
I’ve enjoyed a long career related to sales and design of water treatment equipment.

I worked together with city councils, village boards and manufacturing companies to solve water quality issues.

I also spent over 20 years teaching water treatment to the plumbing apprenticeship program at FVTC.

I understand that sometimes it’s important to talk less and listen more in order to move a project forward.

Thomas Zartner
I am a Veteran of the United States Army, where I learned hard work, integrity, and many life lessons that I have carried with me throughout my life.

I have worked in various management roles within my career, and I understand how to apply common sense to be an effective leader.

I am a father of two young children, and want to invest my time in the community we live in.


Shauna Keel
As a lifetime resident, I have watched Hortonville grow and change.

In that time, I have established relationships with many people in town whether through school, work or my previous terms on the board.

I have enjoyed listening to the needs and desires of the residents and used that information to help guide my decisions and suggestions with the board.

My professional career is corporate finance for a global company. This provides a unique set of skills for budgeting, locating funding opportunities and cost planning/management.

In my opinion, the most valuable experience is simply being a long term resident who loves this village and wants to preserve all of the great things Hortonville has to offer as the setting for my twins’ childhood memories.


Michael Paltzer
I recently retired from a 33 year teaching career, 28 of them with the Hortonville School District. Throughout my career I was able to get to know many of the area families and business owners. I often worked closely with school administration on creating opportunities for our students as well as fostering a safe learning environment in the classroom.

I have lived in Hortonville for 22 years and in the area my entire life.

I believe in fiscal responsibility and recognize that if elected, I have a lot to learn about how village government works.


Judy Peterson
I am a mother of a Hortonville High School graduate and a small business owner in the village of Hortonville for the past 6 ½ years where I’ve been a resident for 22 years.

I feel like I have a good pulse on the community through my daily life.

I feel like I’m in tune with what Hortonville residents want and don’t want in the community. I’m an extravert, with a strong will. I have fought battles in my own personal health, yet always kept an open ear and a willingness to learn.

Vanden Heuvel

Julie Arendt Vanden Heuvel
I am a lifelong resident of Hortonville, and in addition to my role as a Village Board Trustee, I contribute to various subcommittees, including Public Facilities, Public Works, and Planning and Zoning.

Having been elected to the board in 2016, I take pride in the accomplishments we have achieved since then. We have established several amenity enhancements. To name a few, these include a future splash pad, kayak rental service, downtown redevelopment, and the development of multimodal trails.

I am a positive leader who focuses on addressing the needs and concerns of both village residents and businesses. I am an unbiased advocate, providing drama-free voice that represents the best interests of the community.

With a family history rooted in Hortonville, my parents operated a business in downtown for nearly five decades. Alongside my husband, Ryan, with whom I’ve shared 24 years of marriage, we have raised three children here, making this community our cherished home.

What is the top issue that concerns you as a candidate for the Hortonville Village Board?

With our proximity to Appleton and the opening of the new bypass, Hortonville is presented with a unique opportunity to grow into a village that will be the envy of Wisconsin. But we need elected officials who are forward thinking and desire to invest in the community.

Every decision we make should be with an eye to the future.

My focus will be on improving transportation, schools, dining, and entertainment as well as access to year-round outdoor experiences.

A top issue for me is the need to maintain a vibrant and prosperous business climate in our village.

I want to make sure that the schools leave outside influences away from our children. School is a place to learn, and I want the best environment for our children to thrive in.

I want to ensure that our police department, first responders, and fire fighters get what they need to continue to keep our community safe.

I want to be involved in helping our local businesses flourish, and keeping Hortonville a safe and prosperous community.

Having been on the board for a few terms at this point, there are always new opportunities coming to our attention. I say opportunities because even the most difficult situations allow for growth and education and the priority of these situations is ever changing. However, I believe cost management is the biggest concern.

I believe that the residents are looking to the village to effectively use the tax income to serve the community through public services, amenities and road repair.

I believe that we have some very large opportunities on the horizon with the completion of the bypass that we have started to discuss and I would love to see through.

I think it’s important to avoid imposing any new taxes or expenses onto our residents especially when those provide very little impact the community as a whole.
We need to attract people to Hortonville in every way possible.

Creating a safe and inviting place to live and destination for people visiting is important to me. Developing and maintaining our parks system would be one area I would want to focus on.

Taking a look at the water/sewer rates is another concern I have heard from some of the folks I have talked to.
Smart future development as the village grows is a third.

I want to be on the board because I feel like I could make a positive difference as a resident with an open ear to many other’s opinions and concerns on a day-to-day basis.

I will say there is a real concern here for the rising cost of water and utility bills and rumors of a wheel tax in the community that I would strongly oppose.

Vanden Heuvel
In a recent survey, overwhelming support was expressed for funding public safety in our growing community. The survey also highlighted that residents choose to live here because it is a safe, small town.

In the context of small-town settings, law enforcement often establishes close connections with both community members and offenders, with officers being familiar figures in the broader community. These social ties between public safety officials and the public are pivotal in keeping our community safe and maintaining the cherished small-town atmosphere.

Our collaboration with the Hortonville Area School District in law enforcement further nurtures positive relationships between officers, students, and staff. As a board, it is crucial for us to prioritize funding and ensuring stability for our police, fire, and EMS staff. This involves providing stability, comprehensive training and robust support for their respective roles.

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