No surprise--spending, development loom over election
Don't tell those who were eliminated in Tuesday's primary election that there aren't enough candidates to make races competitive.
In the village of Fontana alone, eight candidates were seeking a shot at becoming village trustee. The field was trimmed to six for three seats in the April 3 general election.
Don Roberts, Jan E. Whitler, George J. Spadoni Jr., Micki O'Connell, Arvid Petersen and Michele Teale advanced. John Lopeman and Jon Kemmett were eliminated in the primary.
Predictably, development and spending issues were at the center of most of these races Tuesday, and those same development and spending issues will be front and center when voters go back to the polls April 3.
County wide, the biggest issue facing voters will be whether or not to decrease the number of Walworth County Board supervisors from 25 to 11.
Proponents, led by members of Citizens for Responsible Government, say the move will ultimately result in better fiscal responsibility.
Opponents say the reduction would result in a loss of representation and consolidate decision making in the hands of a few.
We'll continue to cover the story leading up to the vote. Read Mike Heine's series examining the size of county boards elsewhere.
That's the spending part of the campaign debate.
The development part centers around a project that will have significant impact not only in Delavan Township but countywide as well.
Jackson Creek, a residential development project proposed by Sho-Deen Development, could completely transform Delavan Township and its neighboring communities.
The latest plan proposes 3,357 single-family homes and 1,411 multi-family units on roughly 2,000 acres of land surrounding the Delavan Lake inlet.
In an election preview by Gazette reporter Ann Marie Ames, each of the candidates raised concerns relating to Sho-Deen, but of even greater concern is how the township will manage growth and development overall was of even greater concern.
Both the cities of Delavan and Elkhorn are watching developments in the town closely, because what happens there will certainly affect those adjacent communities.
A week ago, members of the Delavan City Council sent an open letter to the township to encourage dialogue on the issues.
In Lake Geneva, development and planning were also the focus of the campaign for alderperson. Top vote getter Mary Jo Fesenmaier told reporter Chris Schultz in an election preview that, "The greatest challenge facing the city of Lake Geneva is planning. Of greatest importance is planning for development and growth that will support our citizens."
Fesenmaier will face M.L. Mac McBride for the District 2 alderperson seat. Alan Kupsik was eliminated in the primary.
In some ways, Whitewater faces much different challenges than the rest of the county. Top vote getters Jim Winship and Roy Nosek, who will face Jan Bilgen-Craggs for the city council's District 3 seat, both expressed concerns over the clash of student housing and its impact on residential neighborhoods. Cody Horlacher was eliminated in the primary.
Others primary race results include:
In the town of Bloomfield 2nd District supervisor race, William W. Holder will face Dave Nusberger. W. S. Radwell Jr. was defeated
In the Geneva Town Chairperson race, Joseph F. Kopecky will face Daniel L. Lauderdale. Stan Pacheco was defeated.
In the town of Geneva 1st District supervisor race, Bob Kamps will face Robert McLernon. Robert R. Johnson was defeated.
In the town of Geneva 2nd District supervisor race, Keith Millard will face Bob J. Cramer. Steve Kukla was defeated.
~Dan Plutchak, editor