Janesville33.1°

Lake Geneva mayoral candidates differ on money

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Kayla Bunge
March 24, 2010
— Jim Connors and Scott Storms believe the city should set a reasonable budget and stick to it.

Connors thinks the city could do more to reduce spending and cut taxes. Storms thinks the city has done its part.


Connors, who led a citizens group against the proposed Mirbeau-Hummel development a few years ago, and Storms, who has served as president of the police and fire commission for two years, are vying for mayor. Both men are making their first runs for political office.


Incumbent Mayor Bill Chesen is not seeking re-election.


Taxes and spending

Connors thinks the city must strive to maintain if not lower property taxes while maintaining high quality city services.


"That's always a goal," he said. "You can tell people you want to lower (taxes) but that's not always possible if you want to keep services in place. Public safety, for example—you wouldn't want to cut anything there. And that's a big chunk of the budget."


Connors suggests the city find ways to be more efficient, perhaps relying more on technology or outsourcing to get jobs done. He also suggests city departments comb through their budgets and cut things that are not essential to operations.


Storms thinks the city is holding the line on taxes and spending.


"The city budget isn't out of control," he said. "It's the four other taxing districts that are out of control. … City spending isn't outlandish. We're providing necessary services and then some."


Harmony

Connors and Storms both want to restore harmony and stability among city staff, the city council and the mayor.


Connors believes officials must agree to disagree.


"We need to be open-minded," he said. "Politics is the art of compromise. … We've got great people with great ideas, and we need to respect each other."


Storms believes people who constantly call for change in city government must be part of the solution.


"Badgering the council doesn't help. Badgering the mayor doesn't help," he said. "It starts with the mayor. The mayor sets a lot of standards for everyone involved. He's the guiding force that helps people get along."


Bios

Jim Connors


Age: 50


Address: 320 Oakwood Lane, Lake Geneva.


Job: Vice president, Dalco Metals, Walworth.


Education: Graduated from Parker High School, Janesville, 1977; bachelor's degree in industrial technology/manufacturing engineering, UW-Stout, 1981.


Community service: Boy Scout leader, volunteer at the Lake Geneva food pantry.


Elected posts: None


***


Scott Storms


Age: 54


Address: 750 Heather Circle, Lake Geneva.


Job: Retired police lieutenant


Education: Graduated from the Bergen County (N.J.) Police Academy, 1976, certified firefighter and hazardous materials instructor, certified public manager.


Community service: President of the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission, 2008-present; member of the police and fire commission, 2006-2008; softball and baseball coach.


Elected posts: None



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