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Crowded Lake Geneva ballot tops list of local races

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Kayla Bunge
January 6, 2010
— Voters and candidates alike are calling for change in Lake Geneva after a nasty political battle divided the city and put government at a near standstill for more than two months.

They likely will get their wish this spring.


The five city council races are contested, the mayoral race is contested, and two of the races have enough candidates to require a primary.


The general election is April 6. The primary is Feb. 16.


Mayor

Incumbent Mayor Bill Chesen is not seeking re-election. He said problems persist even after he and the four council members he accused of violations reached an agreement in late November.


“The city council is very divided, and I’m clearly not the one that’s ever going to bring them together because of all the back-door nonsense that goes on,” he said. “It’s obvious this problem isn’t going to go away, even if I do, and the best thing for me to do was step out of the way … ”


Three candidates have emerged in the race for mayor: Jim Connors, 320 Oakwood Lane, who led a citizens group against the proposed Mirbeau-Hummel development; Scott Storms, 750 Heather Circle, president of the police and fire commission; and Alderman Frank Marsala, 1823 Conant St., who also is seeking re-election to his 4th District seat. This race will require a primary.


Both Connors and Storms believe they have leadership experience that would help them work together with the city council.


“I think we’ve been somewhat lacking in leadership,” Connors said. “The mayor is supposed to work with the council; he’s not meant to be the supreme decision maker.”


“It’s been a long time since the city has had a professional manager and mayor,” Storms said. “I know how to, instead of make enemies, make friends.”


Marsala said he was urged by friends and residents to run for mayor.


“I have a good overview of the city and its operations, and I have some really good management and people skills,” he said. “I think I could put all that together as mayor and do good service to the community.”


City council
District 1: Both seats are open—one full term, currently held by Todd Krause, and one half term, which the council left vacant after former Alderman Spyro “Speedo” Condos resigned Nov. 30.

Krause, 1112 Wisconsin St., and Condos, 1760 Hillcrest Drive, will face off for the two-year term.


Krause could not be reached for comment Tuesday.


Condos said the city must focus on the issues.


“They can’t keep using each other to fight each other and using taxpayer money to do it,” he said. “It’s a bunch of nonsense. We need to move forward and stick to the issues.”


Newcomer Bill Cousino Jr., 302 Maxwell St., faces Ellyn Kehoe, 222 Warren St., for the one-year term.


Cousino said he brings a new perspective to city government.


“There seems to be too much of the old,” he said. “We should be putting the past behind us, not dredging it up. We have a lot of issues, a lot of things to take care of. … I don’t want to be sitting on the bench anymore.”


Kehoe said she is staying true to her word that she would run for the seat and allow voters to choose their representative.


District 2: Incumbent Penny Roehrer, 951 S. Lakeshore Drive, faces challengers Barbara Hartke, 705 S. Lakeshore Drive; Thomas Hartz, 1051 Lake Geneva Blvd., who currently serves on the plan commission, and Alan Kupsik, 717 S. Lakeshore Drive, Unit 8B, who currently serves on the park board and plan commission. This race will require a primary.

Roehrer, Hartke and Hartz could not be reached for comment Tuesday.


Kupsik said he had not planned on running, but changed his mind after few others seemed interested.


“This past year has been somewhat of a nightmare,” he said. “And now we need to get things back to normal and concentrate on all the things we worked so hard on over the years.”


District 3: Incumbent William Mott, 1150 Park Drive, No. 601, who defeated former Alderman Tom Spellman in a recall election Dec. 22, is seeking re-election. He faces Peg Esposito, 124 Darwin St.

Mott previously told the Gazette he intended to run for the seat because he would “just be getting (his) feet wet” by the time the term expires in April.


Esposito, who led a campaign to end the legal battle between the mayor and the four council members the mayor accused of violations, said she felt obligated to run for office. She hopes a few new council members can help put the city back on track.


“We are on the wrong path. I don’t know what right path is, and I don’t know how to change it, but maybe new individuals with new thoughts will help turn things around,” she said.


District 4: Marsala, who also is a candidate for mayor, faces newcomer Terry O’Neill, 954 George St.

Marsala said he would be happy to serve in either position to which he is elected.


“I’ll let the people guide me into which place they want me to serve,” he said.


O’Neill said he started paying attention to city government this fall as the battle between the mayor and the city council raged. He said is running to restore order.


“I have nothing to gain by being an alderman except a better city government,” he said. “The city council has been a rubber stamp of the mayor. It’s time to put control of the city back in the hands of the council.”


Other races in Walworth County cities, villages and school districts include:


Darien
Village board: Three seats are open on the board. Incumbents Jim Abbott and Bob Wenzel are opposed by Phil Putman, 125 W. Jefferson St. and Helen Burton, 310 Cavanaugh Court. Board member Kurt Zipp is not seeking re-election.
Delavan
City council: District 1 incumbent John K. Finley is challenged by Gary Stebnitz, 1006 S. Second St. District 2 (regular election) incumbent Dave Kilkenny does not seek re-election. Bruce DeWitt, 524 McDowell St., challenges Sam Riggs, 201 N. Eighth Street. District 2 (special one-year election) Dave Kilkenny, 820 Parish, No. B, challenges Sam Riggs, 201 N. Eighth St. Incumbent Bruce DeWitt is not seeking re-election. District 3 incumbent Jeff Johnson, 629 Madison St., is challenged by Shannon Markley, 606 Susie St.
Mayor: Council member Ron Siedelmann, 516 Alder Ave., challenges incumbent Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis, 720 Parish St.
Municipal judge: Incumbent LeRoy Himebauch, 953 Racine St., is challenged by James Ritchie, 519 Betzer Road, No. F.
School board: Incumbents Joey Scholle Torkelson, N3695 Oak Hill St., Delavan, and James M. Hansen, 159 S. Walworth St., Darien, are unopposed.
East Troy
School board: Board member Dawn Buchholtz is the only incumbent seeking re-election. Michael Zei is not running. Brian Wexler, W3325 County Road A, Elkhorn, has filed as a candidate for one of the two open board seats.
Village board: Board members Randy Timms, John Alexander and Bill Joas are seeking re-election. Ann Zess, 2062 Division St., and Christopher Gultch, 2802 Woodview Court, have filed as candidates for the three open board seats.
Municipal judge: Incumbent Michael Cotter is running unopposed.
Elkhorn
City Council: Incumbents Ron Dunwiddie, District 3, Scott McClory, District 4, and Julie Taylor, District 6, are running unopposed.
Mayor: Incumbent John Giese is not running. Three candidates have filed for the open seat: James Boardman Sr., 312 West Fourth Ave.; Gary L. Payson Sr., 1229 Robincrest Lane, and Alderman Howie Reynolds, who represents District 1.
School board: Incumbents Carol Burton and Wendy Carlson are running unopposed.
Fontana
Village board: Three seats are available. Incumbents Patrick Kenny, 785 Indian Hills Road; Diane Lewis, 650 S. Main St., and Bill Turner, 393 N. Lakeshore Drive, are seeking re-election. They will face challengers Cindy Wilson, 813 Van Slyke Drive, who currently serves on the community development authority, and Peggy L. Pollitt, 442 Harvard Ave., who previously served as village treasurer and currently serves as the comptroller in Lake Geneva.
Municipal judge: Incumbent David C. Jensen, 738 Adahi Way, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
School board: Two seats are available. Incumbent Ellen Zitzler is not seeking re-election, but newcomer Rallee Chupich, N1844 Six Corners Road, Walworth, is seeking the Walworth Township seat. Incumbent Jennifer Keefe, 1014 S. Lakeshore Drive, Fontana, faces newcomer Craig C. Workman, 280 Stearns Road, Fontana, for the Fontana seat.
Genoa City
Village board: Three seats are available. Incumbents Donald Fort and Marc Harren are not seeking re-election, but incumbent Ken Parker, 467 Valley View Drive, is seeking re-election. Former village trustee Edward Lilla, 905 N. Center St., along with newcomers Eric Boxer, 462 Fellows Road, and Chester Juszczyk Jr., 676 Partridge Parkway, also have filed.
School board: Three seats are available, and incumbents Mary Goad, 243 Deer Path Drive, Genoa City; Jason Schoolfield, 251 Quail Drive, Genoa City; and Patrick Sherman, P.O. Box 724, Genoa City, are seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
Lake Geneva
City attorney: Incumbent Dan Draper, 1440 Linda Lane, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
Treasurer: Incumbent Germaine Clifford is not seeking re-election. Newcomer Teresa Klein, 1185 Rolling Lane, and former Alderman Tom Spellman, 270 Country Club Drive, No. 22, have filed.
Badger High School Board: Two seats are available. Incumbent Janet M. Giovannetti, W3803 Kelly Road, Lake Geneva, faces newcomer Tom Larwa, N3145 Center St., Lake Geneva, for the Geneva Township seat. Incumbent Helen R. Jacobson, 5686 Cranberry Road, Burlington, is running unopposed for the Lyons Township seat.
Lake Geneva Elementary School Board: Two seats are available, and incumbents Mike Franzene, 742 Sheridan Springs Road, and Joseph H. Spiegelhoff, 315 Lookout Drive, are seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
Reek School Board: One seat is available, and incumbent Bonnie Cornue, W4828 Lakeville Road, Walworth, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
Traver School Board: One seat is available, and incumbent Steven Mack is not seeking re-election. No others filed.
Woods School Board: One seat is available, and incumbent Scott Lowell, W4155 Jerseyhurst Lane, Lake Geneva, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
Sharon
Village board: Three seats are open on the village board. Thomas Poyer, 167 George St., Robert Sachs, 111 Pearl St., and incumbent William Springhorn, 103 Pleasant St., are unopposed. Jeanne Blain and Daniel Hering will not seek re-election.
Judge: Incumbent Denise Gibbons is unopposed.
School board: Incumbent Darrell Frederick, N586 Bollinger Road, Sharon, is unopposed for the only open seat on the board.
Walworth
Village board: Three seats are available. Incumbents Kent A. Johnson, 210 S. Main St.; Matthew Long, 115 Prairie Drive, and LeRoy Nordmeyer, 116 Weber St., are seeking re-election. Ed Snyder, 224 Fremont St., who is serving as interim trustee while Long is deployed overseas, also has filed.
Big Foot High School Board: Two seats are available. Incumbent Michael Lynch did not file a statement of non-candidacy. District residents may file papers to run for the Sharon/Sharon Township seat by 5 p.m. Friday. Incumbent Ann Zubow, N395 Swamp Angel Road, Lake Geneva, is running unopposed for the Linn Township seat.
Walworth Elementary School Board: Two seats are available, and incumbents Linda Freeman, 121 Beloit St., Walworth, and Patrick Hubertz, 496 Fox Lane, Walworth, are seeking re-election.
Walworth County Board

Incumbents seeking re-election and running unopposed are Rick Stacey in District 1, Jerry Grant in District 4, Kathy Ingersoll in District 6, David Weber in District 7, Daniel Kilkenny in District 8, Randy Hawkins in District 10 and Nancy Russell in District 11.


District 2 incumbent Joseph Schaefer is facing a challenge from Roy Lightfield.


District 5 incumbent Claudia Holst is opposed by Carl Redenius.


Newcomers running unopposed are Russ Wardle and Richard Brandl, who are seeking the seats left open by incumbents Mark Bromley, District 3, and Jim Van Dreser, District 9, who are not seeking re-election.


Walworth County Judge
Circuit Court Branch 2: Incumbent Judge James Carlson is running unopposed.
Circuit Court Branch 4: Incumbent Judge Michael Gibbs is not seeking re-election, and four candidates seeking the bench seat: Mark Bromley of Whitewater, David Danz of Williams Bay, Scott Letteney of Lake Geneva and David Reddy of Delavan.

Danz and Letteney are yet to file statements of economic interest due Friday.


Whitewater
City council: District 2 incumbent Max Taylor did not file a statement of non-candidacy. District residents may file papers to run for office by 5 p.m. Friday.

District 4 incumbent Lynn Binnie, 1315 Satinwood Lane, Whitewater, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.


Council member at-large incumbent James Stewart, 745 W. Center St., Whitewater, is seeking re-election. No challengers filed.


School board: Two seats are available, and incumbents Charles Nass, W6087 Highway 12, Whitewater, the board president, and Brian Brunner, W8373 County A, Delavan, are seeking reelection. No challengers filed.
Williams Bay
Village board: Three seats are available. Incumbents Donald Parker, 354 Forest Drive; John Grove, 511-H Woodlawn Court, and Gordon Roth, 74 Upper Loch Vista, are seeking re-election. No challengers filed.
School board: Two seats are available. Incumbents Jane Smith, 79 Orchard St., Williams Bay, and Dianna Woss, 2721 Theater Road, Delavan, are seeking re-election. Newcomer Roberta Pollak, 4914 Bailey Road, Delavan, also has filed.

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