To the Editor-
Our first introduction to Chris Holman, candidate for county executive, was at an open house and panel
discussion held at Sentry Theater on January 6, 2016.
Chris was invited to join a seven-member panel to address issues related to agriculture’s past, present and future here in Portage County. This public session was part of the development process of the county’s farmland preservation plan, sponsored by the planning and zoning committee and the county board.
As longtime residents of the Town of Belmont and with many years of participation in our local
government (as town treasurer and plan commission chair), we were curious to learn what the panel
had to say about the role of agriculture and its impact on land use and water quality. One panel
member stood out for his insightful and reasoned contributions to the dialogue.
We didn’t know anything about him at the time, but he made an indelible impression on both of us. We came away hoping this new vibrant voice in local small-scale farming would find a leadership position in our county.
Fast forward to our next encounter with Chris at a recent informal “meet and greet” listening session in
our neighbor’s parlor.
We were pleased to discover our initial favorable impression was correct. He is a mature, experienced leader dedicated to addressing problems by finding where consensus exists, broadening that consensus by dialogue and inclusion, and then mobilizing it into action.
Chris draws his unique skill set from the diversity of his experience as a veteran, an educator and a
farmer, combined with his initiative and range of accomplishments. We agree with the Stevens Point
Firefighters Union, and others who have raised their voices, that all Portage County residents will be well
served by the election of Chris Holman as county executive on April 3.
Colleen Andrews and Rick Simmons
Town of Belmont, Almond