Two former chairmen square off in District 2
Joe Schaefer, an incumbent since 1974 and former board chairman, took the top spot and in April will face Bill Norem, a former supervisor for eight years and one-term county board chairman.
Schaefer came in with 871 votes to Norem’s 616.
Spring Prairie Town Chairman Jim C. Simons was ousted with 501 votes. Newcomer Terry Wilson had 362 votes.
District 2 is the largest geographically, with the towns of Lyons, Lafayette, Spring Prairie and part of Troy.
“I’m sure it will be a good race for District 2,” Schaefer said. “I will use my judgment to the best of my ability to represent (the townships) and all of Walworth County.”
Schaefer said his experience and years on the board helped him secure the top spot.
He says he’ll continue to try and hold the line on taxes while supporting some non-mandated services, including Lakeland School and the Lakeland Health Care Center.
“It seems to me that some of these board members think that things should be cut, cut, cut, and you can’t do that when the population keeps increasing,” he said. “When you do have a county increasing population, the services have to be met to a certain extent.”
Norem, who served from 1996 until 2004 with his last term as chairman, said he made it to the April election because he is no-nonsense.
“I think that I did well when I was chairman before. We got the job done,” he said. “We didn’t fight over it, and we didn’t screw around with it. I didn’t do any favors for anybody. I did what was good for the county.”
Norem says it will be an uphill battle to overtake Schaefer, who has name recognition.
“We have two candidate forums coming up. Joe is going to have to come out and speak at those candidate forums or I’m going to speak for him,” Norem said. “He’s going to have to. He can’t keep hiding under a desk.”
He’ll look to improve the efficiency of the board and promote economic development to offset residential taxes.
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