Janesville78.2°

Three square off in District 11

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Mike Heine
February 16, 2008

City of Lake Geneva voters will have a choice between two incumbents and a newcomer, who also is running for the city’s mayoral post.


Alan Kupsik


Age: 53.


Address: 717 S. Lake Shore Drive, Lake Geneva.


Job: Self-employed general contractor.


Education: Associate’s degree in heating and air conditioning from Triton College in River Grove, Ill.


Community service: President of Lake Geneva Park Board; citizen member Lake Geneva Planning Commission; American Society for Heating Refrigerating Engineers member; Refrigerating Service Engineer Society member; Indoor Air Quality Association member; Green Mechanical Council member.


Elected posts: Walworth County supervisor 2005-present.


Q: What is the biggest issue facing the county board today?


A: “Future development. Taxes are an extremely large issue. We’ve seen our budget cut every year quite a bit in order to maintain the services people are accustomed to. We’re going to have to watch our spending and our future funding and where it’s going to come from.”


For development, “I think for the good of the county we’re going to have to take each individual development separately and see how it will fit in with our future.”


Q: Should Walworth County continue offering non-mandated services such as a school for children with disabilities, a nursing home, county zoning, etc.? Why or why not?


A: Kupsik favors the services the county has, but that could change.


“The bottom line is how we support these things. As long as the taxpayers are willing to maintain these services, there isn’t going to be an issue. If it gets to the point where it’s overtaxing or overburdening, that’s when you have to look for alternatives.”


Q: What are some ways Walworth County can manage the burden on taxpayers?


A: “I think the key is to maintain the services as efficiently as you possibly can. The nursing home, school, I think will be here for a while. The key is to run them as efficiently as you can. Give them the best services we can with the least amount of money spent.”


Nancy Russell


Age: 72.


Address: 1720 Fairview Drive, Lake Geneva.


Job: Retired. Formerly part of a general manager team and human resources manager of Watlow (Gordon) Company.


Education: College coursework in management; graduated from Calumet High School in Chicago.


Community service: None current. Formerly a mentor for the Lake Geneva School District’s Read Program; volunteer for McHenry County United Way; volunteer for Tour de Lac fund-raiser for breast cancer, and board of directors member for the Land Conservation of Walworth County.


Elected posts: Walworth County supervisor 2002-present (chairwoman 2007-present); Lake Geneva alderwoman 2006-07 (resigned).


Q: What is the biggest issue facing the county board today?


A: “I would say probably the transition from 25 to 11 (supervisors) and how that’s going to be accomplished.”


Russell hopes for a seamless transition.


“I would not want the citizens of the county to suffer because of things being dropped or not addressed in a timely fashion.”


Developing a unified Smart Growth plan between municipalities is important, as is sharing services to reduce taxes, she said.


Q: Should Walworth County continue offering non-mandated services such as a school for children with disabilities, a nursing home, county zoning, etc.? Why or why not?


A: Russell favors keeping the programs Walworth County has.


Lakeland School is the most efficient way to run the service of educating children with disabilities, she said.


The nursing home has been popular with citizens and is a place for local people to go who have mental health problems, Russell said.


The zoning department maintains a consistent approach to county development and is mandated to take care of other operations, Russell said.


Q: What are some ways Walworth County can manage the burden on taxpayers?


A: “Getting together with the municipalities within the county and working on ways to save money by sharing responsibilities, services and maybe even staff.”


Continuing to work with county employees to lower employee costs, such as health care, is also important.


“My experience has been that the employees in Walworth County, most of them live here and have the same issues as all the other citizens in the county.”


Spyro ‘Speedo’ Condos


Age: 53.


Address: 1760 Hillcrest Drive, Lake Geneva.


Job: Owns Speedo’s Harborside Café, Lake Geneva. Realtor associate for Keefe Real Estate.


Education: Studied criminal justice and social welfare at UW-Milwaukee; graduated from Badger High School.


Community service: None current. Former member of the Wisconsin Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council; member of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission; member of the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission.


Elected posts: Lake Geneva alderman 1985-1988; Lake Geneva mayor 1988-1992, 1998-2001.


Q: What is the biggest issue facing the county board today?


A: Taxes and spending.


“I feel that the county board is not up with the times. We have people now who are having harder times than ever. I think we need to be more accountable to the taxpayer and their needs. I don’t think the county board and its members are attached to the needs of the taxpayers of Walworth County. They’ve lost touch.”


Q: Should Walworth County continue offering non-mandated services such as a school for children with disabilities, a nursing home, county zoning, etc.? Why or why not?


A: Condos supports Lakeland School and the Lakeland Health Care Center, now that the new one is up and running. He wants to look at making the latter service more efficient or even profitable.


As for zoning, “I think (municipalities) should handle more of the zoning than the county does. With the county (doing it), I think it’s a duplication. Communities should handle zoning issues themselves, and I think the county should back off.”


Q: What are some ways Walworth County can manage the burden on taxpayers?


A: Condos favors putting county health care benefits in the hands of private companies, feeling it will be cheaper.


He also thinks making departments more accountable will tighten the county’s purse strings.


“I would propose monthly budget meetings. The administrator and finance would meet monthly with department heads and see where they’re at with their budget so they stay within the cost of living.”



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