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Two seek Edgerton District 3 post

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Stacy Vogel
March 30, 2009
— A crowded field for Edgerton City Council has narrowed to one contested race.

Incumbent Ken Westby will face challenger Mark Wellnitz for a two-year term in the third aldermanic district.


Two people no longer running also will appear on the ballot. Andrew Wellnitz, candidate for a one-year term in the third district, decided not to run after submitting candidacy papers. Mike Hardy, challenger for the second district, pulled out because he is moving out of the city.


That leaves Carrie Strahota unopposed for the one-year term and incumbent Matt McIntyre running unopposed in the second district. Strahota's one-year term will fill the spot of Alderman Paul Davis, who resigned last year. Strahota was appointed to fill the spot until the April election.


Newcomer Andrea Egerstaffer is unopposed in the first district. Incumbent Casey Burns is not seeking re-election.


Here are Westby and Wellnitz's positions on a few issues:


City Hall

Westby: Westby favors building new over moving into an existing building, but now might not be the best time to do that, he said.


"It's an issue that needs to be addressed, but no one wants to talk about it due to the economy We've made some repairs to the existing city hall that I think can get us through for a couple of years, and get us through until we make a decision on where we want to go."


Wellnitz: Wellnitz would support building a new building when the economy improves and the Fulton Square project is finished. "They should wait with it, wait until the economy gets better."


Downtown development

Wellnitz: The city should focus on helping existing downtown businesses before going after new ones, Wellnitz said. The city should not have invested more than $1 million in tax incremental financing to the Fulton Square project; instead, it should help owners renovate existing downtown buildings.


Westby: "I do think we should be actively promoting the downtown development. The Keller development (Fulton Square) is one way the city has been actively promoting (development). When that project is finished, which is going to be fairly soon, it's going to be a great addition to the downtown district."


TIF payout

The city could pay itself back up to $467,000 for a land purchase to start its business park in 1995. What should it do with the money?


Westby: "It should be used for economic development to help spur downtown business growth and economic development in the downtown and possibly the industrial park."


Wellnitz: "That money should then be reinvested in the industrial park, because that's another area (where) I think (the city) should be focused."


Other issues

Wellnitz: "The biggest issue is, I think, (city officials) just feel that they can spend money ... They're just spending way too much of taxpayers' money without putting a lot of thought into it." A possible new City Hall and the TIF investment in Fulton Square are the main examples of the city thoughtlessly spending money, he said.


Westby: Westby would like to see a new business go into the old Caterpillar plant.


"It's got great potential. I'd like to see more industry and business come to town to help sustain the town, rather than being a bedroom community and putting so much burden on the individual homeowner."


Bios

Ken Westby (I)


Address: 507 E. Fulton St.


Age: 53


Job: Project engineer and information technology manager for Johnson Industries International


Education: Graduated from Edgerton High School, 1973.


Community service: None


Elected posts: City council, 2007-09.


Mark Wellnitz


Address: 4 1/2 N. Catlin St.


Age: 35


Job: Commercial carpenter


Education: Graduated from Edgerton High School, 1992, and finished a four-year apprenticeship program.


Community service: None


Elected posts: None



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