Michael Kahlow

Michael Kahlow. Photo by the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

Michael Kahlow has a chance to do some good and he isn’t wasting it. 

Kahlow has been on the Pierce County Board of Supervisors since 2012 and is the chair of the Human Services Board. He works to provide mental health care, child and elder support, and drug abuse help to area residents.

The Republican Eagle spoke with Kahlow about his passions, the board and more.

What inspired you to join the board?

I had several friends and colleagues who were running for office, including my spouse, Diane Odeen. Then I found that no one had filed to run for my supervisory seat. The rest, as they say, is history.

What do you hope to accomplish for the residents of Pierce County?

In Wisconsin, counties are responsible for transportation (roads) and for public safety (law enforcement including courts, public health and human services). I want to make sure that we do the best possible job of fulfilling that mandate for the citizens of Pierce County.

What is one particular topic that you advocate for?

I'm chair of the Human Services Board, responsible for oversight of human services in the county. This includes mental health care, child support, elder support, drug abuse support and child protection. I am an advocate for the best possible delivery of those services to the citizens of Pierce County, within the limits of our budget.

What is one thing you like most about your job?

The thing I like the most about being a county supervisor is that I've got a chance to do some good. The other really important thing is that we've got a really good group of supervisors, we all get along, most of our votes are unanimous. We – liberals, moderates and conservatives – really do strive for consensus. I think there's a lesson there for our legislature and Congress.

What do you find difficult about your job?

The most difficult thing has been the pandemic. The amount of misinformation is staggering. I'm a scientist, and so it's very frustrating to hear some of the crazy stuff about COVID and the vaccines; it's even more frustrating to see science somehow become a partisan issue. I'd encourage everyone to get vaccinated – the sooner that happens, the sooner we can return to normal.

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