Janesville56.4°

Finley cut from Delavan mayor race

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ANN MARIE AMES
February 17, 2010
— Voters on Tuesday night stopped a Delavan City Council member in his attempt to unseat the incumbent mayor.

Council member John Finley was eliminated from the race. He still is running in April for a seat representing the voters in Delavan’s First District, where he faces a challenge from Gary Stebnitz.


Council member Ron Siedelmann and Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis made it through Tuesday’s primary election.


Nieuwenhuis said the numbers show voters want city business to continue as it has.


“Voters are happy with the leadership I’ve given for the past eight years,” Nieuwenhuis said. “I think they want that to continue.”


Siedelmann was surprised at the number of votes he collected, considering Nieuwenhuis’ strong support, he said.


“Delavan’s quite a bit different from Janesville,” Siedelmann said. “It’s very, very conservative. Voters are very much bothered by change … I was very surprised at the support level I got.”


Even if Siedelmann doesn’t beat Nieuwenhuis in the April general election, he will bring his methodic, organized business mind to the council chambers, he said.


“I really think those are three necessary components to lead the city,” Siedelmann said. “We have a serious debt issue. We have a serious issue with our revenue sources. Even if I’m not elected and still on the council—which I would do—those are going to be the strengths I’m going to focus on.”


Siedelmann served on the council from 1997 to 1999 and from 2000 to 2006. He was re-elected in 2009 and currently is serving the first year of the two-year term.


Nieuwenhuis said the first order of business will be bringing jobs to Delavan and keeping the jobs available in the city, particularly at the embattled Lake Lawn Resort. While the city must be firm with Lake Lawn, officials must keep in mind the 200 to 300 jobs at the resort, he said.


Nieuwenhuis served on the council from 1996-98 and in 2001. He has been the mayor since 2002.


“I will continue to give the leadership I’ve given,” Nieuwenhuis said. “I will continue to do what’s best for Delavan. That’s all one person can do.”



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