Janesville66°

One-, two-year seats up for grabs in Delavan's 2nd District

Print Print
ANN MARIE AMES
March 22, 2010
— The ballot won't show any incumbents are running to represent the city of Delavan's 2nd District in April.

But two current council members are running for a one-year and a two-year seat in the district.


And the man challenging them both is making his fourth attempt to get elected to the city council.


Council member Bruce DeWitt, 524 McDowell St., Delavan, is running against Sam Riggs, 201 N. Eighth St., for the regular two-year seat.


Riggs and council member Dave Kilkenney, 820 Parish St., No. B, are seeking to fill a special one-year seat that's left after DeWitt in August was appointed to replace former council member Ellen Reddy.


Reddy resigned from the council.


The person elected to the one-year seat will finish Reddy's term.


The city's financial commitments to Lake Lawn Resort have been at the top of the list of candidates' concerns. The council this month voted to sever amendments to the city's developers agreement with the resort.


The resort faces foreclosure and a civil lawsuit.


"Lake Lawn is in foreclosure, owes for two years of property taxes, owes the city cost-recovery expenses and more," Kilkenny wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette. "Delavan has gone into $4 million of TIF debt for Lake Lawn. Enough is enough."


The TIF district that includes Lake Lawn also has been a hot issue.


Riggs said he's learned to support the TIF district as he's gotten more familiar with it.


"To close it I think would be premature," Riggs said. "It would shift the tax burden for the infrastructure improvements citywide to other property owners."


Kilkenny disagrees. Riggs has misrepresented the way the TIF should be closed, Kilkenny said.


"You must first stop the spending, then pay off the debt, and then close the TIF district," Kilkenny wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette. "More than $1.5 million are diverted from the school district, county and city general funds annually because of TIF No. 4. This diversion results in tax increases for us all."


The city has spent more than $12 million in TIF No. 4, Kilkenny said.


Riggs said the city has wasted time talking about a new fire station, and it's time to act.


Riggs' work on the ad hoc communications committee is proof that he can get things done, he said.


"Through my efforts and the efforts of others, we ultimately got the (city council) meetings broadcast," Riggs said. "The city had spent money studying the issue, which went on for seven or eight years. We got it done."


DeWitt also thinks the council needs to focus on forward motion. The council needs to work to promote the city's industrial park, he said.


The council's role in making that happen is to give firm direction to the staff to promote the park, DeWitt said.


"It doesn't happen just because it's there," DeWitt said. "I think that needs to be addressed. I think that needs to happen."


DeWitt said he is a professional who truly believes in the city's well-being.


"I think the council's gotten away from what's good for the city and is more about what's good for me (individual council members)," DeWitt said. "That needs to change."


Special election—One-year seat

David G. Kilkenny


Age: 60


Address: 820 Parish St., Delavan.


Job: Pump control specialist for Wilmar Pump & Supply, Delavan.


Education: Graduated in 1968 from Delavan-Darien High School; First Infantry Division.


Elected posts: Elected in 2005, 2006 and 2008 to the Delavan City Council; served as council president in 2007 and 2008.


Major campaign issue: Given Lake Lawn's past lack of performance and misrepresentations, I don't think we should transfer money from the people that I represent who are suffering to help individual owners of Lake Lawn get out of their own mess. It is not the taxpayers' and schools' job to bail them out.


***


Sam Riggs


Age: 45


Address: 201 N. Eighth St., Delavan.


Job: Mechanic at Wedige; retired arborist.


Education: Graduated from Archbishop John Carroll High School, Radnor, Penn., in 1982; some college.


Community service: Citizen member of Delavan Park and Recreation Commission for the last three years; chairman of the commission in 2009 and 2010; citizen member of the zoning board of appeals for the last three years; member of the mayor's fire station task force and the ad hoc Delavan Communications Committee since 2007.


Elected posts: None


Major campaign issue: This is my fourth attempt to be elected to the council. I believe it would be to the citizens' advantage to elect me to represent them. Decorum—Being that most standing committees are comprised of three council members, it should be a presentation from the chairman to the council for a result. TIF—It works and is good for the property tax payers. Change—If you elect the same people year after year, you get the same results. Same decisions. Same problem. Lake Lawn. I get things done. Results.


Regular election—two-year seat

Bruce DeWitt


Age: 57


Address: 524 McDowell St., Delavan.


Job: Financial adviser for Arris Capital Management.


Education: Graduated from Fort Atkinson High School in 1971. Did military service and attended classes at UW-Whitewater.


Community service: None listed.


Elected office: DeWitt served on the Delavan City Council from 1983 to 1988 and from 1997 to 1998.


***


Sam Riggs


Age: 45


Address: 201 N. Eighth St., Delavan.


Job: Mechanic at Wedige Automotive, Delavan; retired arborist.


Education: Graduated from Archbishop John Carroll High School, Radnor, Penn., in 1982; some college.


Community service: Citizen member of Delavan Park and Recreation Commission for the last three years; chairman of the commission in 2009 and 2010; citizen member of the zoning board of appeals for the last three years; member of the mayor's fire station task force and the ad hoc Delavan Communications Committee since 2007.


Elected posts: None


Major campaign issue: This is my fourth attempt to be elected to the council. I believe it would be to the citizens' advantage to elect me to represent them. Decorum—Being that most standing committees are comprised of three council members, it should be a presentation from the chairman to the council for a result. TIF—It works and is good for the property tax payers. Change—If you elect the same people year after year, you get the same results. Same decisions. Same problem. Lake Lawn. I get things done. Results.


Delavan 3rd District

Two names will appear on the April 6 ballot, but only incumbent council member Jeff Johnson seeks re-election. Candidate Shannon Markley has withdrawn her name from the race.


Jeff Johnson


Age: 53


Address: 629 Madison Drive, Delavan


Job: Mechanical designer


Education: Earned an associate's degree in mechanical design from Gateway Technical College in 1977.


Community service: Volunteer coach for Little League and PeeWee League; vice president of Delavan Soccer Club; Delavan-Darien School District volunteer.


Elected posts: Appointed to the Delavan City Council in 2006. Member of the planning commission and finance committee.


Major campaign issue: Continue making improvements to our city while controlling costs and improving efficiency. Ensure public safety. Improve our parks and recreation programs, making sure we keep our senior citizens in mind. Encourage businesses both large and small to bring their jobs to Delavan. Preserve our history and ensure our future by working with various business and citizen groups.



Print Print