New faces join Delavan council
City of Delavan
Gary Stebnitz 380
John Finley (I) 114
2nd District, special one-year term
Dave Kilkenny 258
Sam Riggs 104
2nd District, two-year term
Bruce DeWitt 229
Sam Riggs 117
Jeff Johnson (I) 235
Shannon Markley 106
DELAVAN The newcomer to the Delavan City Council thinks he will work well with other council members.
And the three men elected Tuesday night think they will bring good business sense to the council.
Gary Stebnitz ousted incumbent council member John Finley for the seat to represent District.
Stebnitz’ campaign focused on lowering taxes, and he intends to use his experience in the private sector to do so.
“You have to look at every line item and see what items might be possibly cut,” Stebnitz said, repeating a line he said often during the campaign.
Historically, council member Dave Kilkenny has often worked with Finley. The two frequently vote the same way.
But Kilkenny said he is an “issue-oriented alderman” who won’t be affected by Finley’s loss.
Kilkenny beat perennial candidate Sam Riggs for a special one-year seat on the council.
Kilkenny thinks he will work well with Stebnitz.
“My campaign message was to stop the wasteful spending in the TIF district and refocus our spending downtown,” Kilkenny said. “Gary Stebnitz campaigned on no tax increases. I hope he includes the TIF district in that. We could work together very well.”
Kilkenny has been an opponent of spending in the TIF district that includes Lake Lawn resort.
He thinks tax dollars would be better spent on revitalizing Delavan’s downtown. But not blindly, Kilkenny said.
“People from Illinois don’t drive up to Delavan to go to Walmart,” Kilkenny said.
Riggs also lost to Bruce DeWitt for the regular two-year seat that was vacated when Kilkenny chose to seek the one-year seat.
DeWitt in August was appointed to replace former council member Ellen Reddy. Now DeWitt will start with a fresh term and Kilkenny will finish Reddy’s seat.
DeWitt said the public was looking for good, common, business sense as well as a sense of order without theatrics in the new council.
Council members must start working right away on the city’s 2011 budget, he said.
“I’ve got a feeling revenues are going to be down again,” DeWitt said. “If we don’t get at it right now, it might be disastrous.”
Although two names appeared on the ballot for the 3rd District, Shannon Markley withdrew from the race. Incumbent Jeff Johnson was re-elected.