Janesville60.4°

School board, city council to see new faces in spring

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Marcia Nelesen
Frank Schultz
December 6, 2010
— At least one newcomer will join the Janesville School Board in April. The same goes for the Janesville City Council.

The names on the April 5 ballot will be determined over the coming month. The deadline to file nominating papers is Jan. 4.


Peggy Sheridan said she will not seek re-election after three years on the school board.


Although she has enjoyed her time on the board, Sheridan said, the time commitment and the needs of her family weighed heavily in her decision.


"In hindsight, I should have waited until my children were older before committing myself to this very important position," Sheridan said in an e-mail. "It is my hope that some really sharp people decide to run for public office this spring.


"I would be happy to talk to anyone considering running to answer any questions and give an inside perspective on the roles and responsibilities of being a board member," Sheridan said.


Janesville School Board president Bill Sodemann, said he has not decided whether to run for a third term.


"I want to, as far as things I want to accomplish yet," Sodemann said.


Sodemann said he, too, is weighing the other commitments in his life against service on the board.


The third school board member who is up for re-election is Kevin Murray. Murray said he will run for a third term.


Murray said he wants to continue to work for a high quality school district for all, including his 3-year-old granddaughter.


Murray said he enjoys the work and has learned a lot, and many people have encouraged him to run.


The school board has nine members. Three seats are filled each year.


City council

Two of four city council incumbents who are up for re-election say they will run. A third incumbent is undecided.


The fourth member, Bill Truman, previously announced he will not seek re-election to a third two-year term because he must look for a job as a cross-country truck driver.


Russ Steeber and George Brunner will seek re-election to the seven-member council. Frank Perrotto is undecided. Perrotto has served one term.


Steeber, who has served eight years on the council, said this would likely be his last term, and there are a few projects he wants to see through.


"There are a few things I would like to see come around, mainly the economy and getting the city back on track," he said.


"I want to see Janesville start coming back to life, which I know it's going to do."


Several projects are brewing behind the scenes that could be "very dynamic for the city. There's a few things in the hopper that are starting to get some legs," Steeber said.


Steeber also wants to be a part in making the eventual decision on the ice arena's future.


"There's a big decision of what to do with a 35-year-old building and what's best for the city of Janesville," he said. "Do we repair that, or do we look at other alternatives?"


Other upcoming issues include how the city handles its borrowing and uses money from its cash reserves to close budget deficits, Steeber said.


"I think this year we did a phenomenal job of holding the line on taxes, but next year will be even harder," Steeber said. "We still need to maintain basic service at the highest level possible and maintain the tax rate as low as possible."


Brunner said he is seeking his fourth term because he wants to continue to serve the community.


The city continues to face many challenges because of the economy, Brunner said.


"With the challenges come opportunities to work for improving the quality of life in Janesville," Brunner said. "We must work to pursue economic development to strive to diversify our economy."


Economic development and maintaining city services are Brunner's highest priorities.


Janesville has many positives, including its schools, business climate, location, parks and recreation, Brunner said.


"Seeking re-election will provide me with the opportunity to have an active role in meeting the challenges but, more importantly, in pursuing the opportunities to build and maintain a strong Janesville," he said.


WANT TO SERVE?

City council: Residents who want to run for Janesville City Council must pick up nomination forms at City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. They must gather no less than 200 but no more than 400 signatures. Deadline to file is Tuesday, Jan. 4. The election is Tuesday, April 5.


For more information, call the city clerk/treasurer's office, (608) 755-3070.


School board: School district residents who want to run for school board may pick up forms from assistant board clerk Nancy Hewes at the Educational Services Center, 527 S. Franklin St.


School board candidates must gather 100 to 200 signatures and file nomination papers by the same deadline. For more information, call Hewes at (608) 743-5056.


Other offices: Check with the local municipal clerk or school board office for your local races.


Spring elections will include one state Supreme Court seat and a seat on the state District 4 Court of Appeals. Other races will include school boards, town and village boards, city councils, municipal judgeships, town clerks, treasurers and constables. Some town candidate slates are determined by caucus.


Spring elections are nonpartisan. If a primary is necessary, it will be on Feb. 15. Election day is April 5.



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