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Taxes, spending at center of Lake Geneva District 1 campaign

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Kayla Bunge
March 26, 2010
— Former Alderman Spyro "Speedo" Condos believes city taxes and spending are out of control.

Alderman Todd Krause thinks residents get a good value for their tax dollars.


Condos, who most recently served on the city council for three months, is challenging Krause, who has served on the council since 2007, for the District 1 seat.


Taxes and spending

Condos is concerned the city is not spending money appropriately.


He estimates the city takes in more than a half million dollars a year through lakefront rentals and fees, parking meters and highway aid in addition to property taxes. He thinks the city should make infrastructure improvements a top priority.


"I'm concerned about where all that money went," he said. "We need to re-appropriate (the money). We need to do work in our neighborhoods. We need to fix roads."


Condos suggests the city lower taxes, tighten up spending and live within its means.


"Reserve funds are reserve funds," he said. "You need to stick to your budget and quit robbing the city's reserve funds."


Krause is satisfied with how tax dollars and other revenues are being spent.


He thinks residents should consider the level of services they are getting in exchange for their taxes and should remember that times are tough for the city, too.


"We did what we could with the budget this year to keep it tight," he said. "The city portion of the tax bill went up only 2 percent and that was for those uncontrollable things. … It's unrealistic to expect the city to cut taxes after seeing what we had to do."


Public comments

Condos believes the city should give residents more opportunities to discuss the issues that are important to them.


Condos said he would offer time not only at the beginning of city council meetings but also at the end of meetings for people to make comments.


"It gives people a chance to let (their representatives) know how they just voted," he said. "It also gives the council a chance to interact with their constituents and possibly reconsider some important issues."


Krause believes residents should provide the city with feedback but do it in a respectful, apolitical way.


He said he recently limited public comments at finance committee meetings to agenda items because comments were getting off topic.


"It was turning into a political forum for bashing the mayor, bashing the council," he said. "I'd be all right with open mic at every meeting if people would get up and address the committees or the council for what they're there for. But it's just as easy for people to contact their alderman and request something on the agenda."


Bios

Todd Krause (I)


Age: 44


Address: 1112 Wisconsin St., Lake Geneva.


Job: Owner, Timeless Flooring, Lake Geneva.


Education: Graduate of Badger High School, 1983; bachelor's degree in music education, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, 1987.


Community service: Volunteered on four weeklong medical mission trips to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 2005-08.


Elected posts: Lake Geneva alderman, 2007-present.


***


Spyro "Speedo" Condos


Age: 55


Address: 1760 Hillcrest Drive, Lake Geneva.


Job: Owner, Harborside Café, Lake Geneva.


Education: Graduate of Badger High School, 1972; studied criminal justice and social welfare at UW-Milwaukee.


Community service: Former member of the Wisconsin Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council, 1988-92; former member of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, 1996-2004; former member of the Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission, 1994-98.


Elected posts: Lake Geneva alderman 1985-88, August-November 2009; Lake Geneva mayor 1988-92, 1998-2001.



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