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Finances are key in District 1 race

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Kayla Bunge
March 26, 2010
— Bill Cousino and Ellyn Kehoe think city residents should have more say in how city government spends tax dollars.

Cousino and Kehoe are vying to fill the remainder of the term previously held by former Alderman Gary Dunham, who resigned in August, and former Alderman Spyro "Speedo" Condos, who resigned in November. The District 1 seat has been vacant for more than three months. The term expires in April 2011.


Finances

Cousino and Kehoe believe the city must be more transparent about its finances.


Cousino suggests the city continue working through the audit and share results with the public.


"We don't have a clear picture or understanding of the financial state of the city," he said. "People are stepping forward with fact and fiction, and we need to find out where we stand. … We need to get a handle on the city checkbook so we can honestly look at future programs and projects."


Kehoe suggests the city think like a business and produce a monthly balance sheet to the public at committee of the whole meetings.


"I think we should be having an open discussion (about finances)," she said. "I think we should be able to talk about how bad the city need things … We have to get together and put suggestions in the hat and look at them all equally."


Lawsuits

Cousino and Kehoe agree the city should work to resolve the more than $150 million in lawsuits filed by the developers who proposed the Mirbeau-Hummel project.


Cousino thinks the city and developers could come to an agreement that suits both.


"We need to come to an understanding … that's a win-win situation," he said. "We need to work with them to slow down the pace of (development) and control growth based on the master plan. We also need to realize that development is going to happen out there."


Kehoe thinks the city should not worry about the money involved but should focus on working with the developers to reach an amicable solution.


"I think negotiation or mediation is always an option. I don't think it's a money issue, quite frankly," she said. "I think we need to think about having a good negotiator or a good mediator on both sides to say, ‘Where did this get off center?'"


Bios

Bill Cousino


Age: 45


Address: 302 Maxwell St., Lake Geneva.


Job: Sales representative, Southern Lakes Plumbing and Heating, Elkhorn; bartender and server, Lake Geneva Cruise Line, Lake Geneva. Former member of the Lake Geneva and Elkhorn fire departments and the Walworth County Hazardous Materials Team.


Education: Served in the U.S. Coast Guard, 1982-1987; attended the U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement/firefighter school, Yorktown, Va., 1983; attended the U.S. Coast Guard radio telecommunications school, Petaluma, Calif., 1983; attended the Chicago fire department/paramedic academy, 1988; bachelor's degree in soil science and horticulture, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill., 1992; certified firefighter.


Community service: Member of the Lake Geneva American Legion; contractor for Habitat for Humanity of Walworth County; former youth football and baseball coach; former organizer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


Elected posts: None


***


Ellyn Kehoe


Age: Declined to say


Address: 222 Warren St., Lake Geneva.


Job: Owner of Rockwood Studio, Lake Geneva. Retired nurse.


Education: Licensed practical nurse diploma, Theda Clark Hospital, Neenah, 1952; associate degree in medical office management, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, 1976; bachelor's degree in health care administration, St. Norbert College, De Pere, 1978; master's degree in education, UW-Whitewater, 1982.


Community service: Organized collections for the Lake Geneva food pantry; organized a recent employment resource fair in Lake Geneva; member of the Lake Geneva Zoning Board of Appeals, 1990-present; former member of the Wisconsin Small Business Advisory Committee, 1989-2002.


Elected posts: None



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