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How much will board really change?

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Mike Heine
February 20, 2008
— Even after seven primaries, the new Walworth County Board still might look similar to the current board.

Incumbents made it through each of the primaries, leaving open the possibility that the new, 11-member board could have 10 returning supervisors and one newcomer.


But the possibility also exists that the new board could have eight newcomers or former supervisors.


Newcomers or former supervisors are options in districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 11. District 5 in western Walworth County has two newcomers vying for a seat after incumbent Richard Kuhnke Sr. chose not to run.


Tuesday’s primaries eliminated all newcomers in districts 6 and 10, where only incumbents remain.


District 1, in northeastern Walworth County, has two incumbents running and no other challengers.


In all, 31 candidates came out to stump for a seat on the new board, which will be the second smallest in the state. A citizen referendum downsized the board from 25 last April.


“The election was great,” said Supervisor Ann Lohrmann, an incumbent from LaGrange who fought for the downsizing. “We had all kinds of competition for the seats. The democratic process has taken place, and I always say that’s a good thing.”


Delavan’s Jim Damrow thinks a smaller board will get more done but was worried about candidates coming forward.


“I’d be more concerned if fewer people were running, but once I saw how many there were, I felt better about it,” he said after voting in Delavan.


Each supervisor will answer to about 9,200 residents, compared to about 4,000 with a board of 25.


“I’m hoping it’s going to be a good thing,” Damrow said. “It’s all the more reason to do some research and make sure the right supervisors get on there.”


As one of the smallest boards in the state, John Langholff of Delavan believes more eyes around the state will be on the supervisors’ actions.


“It at least makes them think about things if they know everybody’s watching them,” he said.


The new board is expected to have more responsibilities and more commitments to committee work. However, county ordinances do not allow for the new board to give itself a pay raise. It can only do that for the board elected in 2010.


Click here for full election results

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