Three vying for Elkhorn mayor
Gary Payson Sr. wants to continue infrastructure improvements while keeping the city’s budget healthy.
Howie Reynolds wants to avoid raising taxes while maintaining current service levels.
Boardman, Payson and Reynolds are the three hopefuls vying for the seat occupied by Mayor John Giese, who is not seeking re-election. The three candidates will face off in the primary election Feb. 16.
The candidates have different approaches to city spending, but their goals are similar: tightening belts and making do with fewer tax dollars.
“I think the spending has gotten out of hand because it seems that every department in the city gets exactly what they want,” Boardman said.
Boardman, who has served three terms on the city council, pointed out city officials could tighten up on hiring and use equipment a little longer, instead of replacing police squad cars so soon or raising taxes to cover costs.
Payson, who has represented districts 2 and 3 on the city council, wants to contain costs by streamlining city staff responsibilities and projects.
“As mayor, I will appoint a blue ribbon commission comprised of a number of our department heads and elected council members, whose primary focus will be value stream mapping of our operations,” he said. “By definition, this is to identify the value added and non-value added activities in our operations.”
Reynolds, who has represented District 1 for the last nine years, said city officials have invested in a series of street projects, and there are more projects that need to be addressed. Taking care of business doesn’t mean wasting tax dollars, he said.
“Not raising taxes and not cutting service is becoming a bit of a challenge, but I’d like to ask each department to make as many cuts as they can,” Reynolds said. “They’ve been real good at that, and we can see if there are cheaper ways of doing things than we do now.”
James Boardman Sr.
Address: 312 W. Fourth Ave.
Job: Semi-retired loan originator for financial company
Community service: EMT on Elkhorn’s rescue team; police officer and local business owner; served as president of the Elkhorn Police and Fire Commission and an adviser at Elkhorn High School and Gateway Technical College
Other elected posts: Former alderman
Gary Payson Sr.
Address: 1229 Robincrest Lane
Job: Planner/buyer at SPX Delavan
Community service: Traffic control officer at Elkhorn Police Department; security supervisor for Walworth County Agricultural Society; co-chair of Community in Harmony
Other elected posts: Former alderman, including terms as Elkhorn City Council president
Address: 406 Davis Court
Job: Front-end receiving at soy sauce factory
Community service: Coached and officiated sports events at Elkhorn schools and local churches for at least 15 years
Other elected posts: Incumbent alderman for the last nine years