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Elkhorn City Council to lose two members

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Kevin Hoffman
November 10, 2011
— Julie Taylor and Ronald Dunwiddie are firm believers in term limits.

Though the city of Elkhorn doesn't have those statutory restrictions in place, the two city council members will step down in the spring after a combined 16 years of service.


They've done enough, both said. Now it's time for new leadership to take the city forward.


"It's been fulfilling, but it's time for someone else to do it now," said Dunwiddie, the council president who began serving in 2006. "Hopefully they'll get some younger people in there that have an interest in this."


District 3 Alderman Dunwiddie and District 6 Alderwoman Taylor submitted paperwork with the city indicating they will not run for re-election in the spring. Their departure will leave the council without two of its most senior members during what has become a turbulent time for municipalities.


Reduced allocations from the state have forced community leaders across Wisconsin to get creative with their budgets. Elkhorn is holding a public hearing for its 2012 budget Nov. 14.


Dunwiddie agreed the last couple years were the most difficult on the city council, but the challenge isn't what prompted his decision.


He's been married 25 years and has three daughters. He plans to help his daughter with her Elkhorn business and maybe take a honeymoon with his wife.


Dunwiddie retired from the Army in 2002 and filed papers to run for city council four years later as a way to "do something citywide to help out." He said he never expected to be elected to two more terms.


"Six years (on the council) I thought was plenty," he said. "Hopefully someone else steps on up."


Taylor's 10 years of service are the longest of any council member. During that time, she's served on nearly every subcommittee the city created, except for municipal services, she said.


Taylor expressed the same sentiment as Dunwiddie—it's time for new ideas and fresh thoughts.


"I was asked if I would say anything to the public, and it would be to get involved and run for public office," said Taylor, who will continue her work appraising real estate after she leaves office.


Both took time to reflect Wednesday, pointing to various accomplishments throughout their respective terms. Taylor said she helped create downtown façade grants in 2003 that aided Elkhorn property owners. That program was retired this year.


Dunwiddie was proud the council was able to finally get the police department a new home in 2010. The city's police spent close to 23 years in the old public works building, which was about 2,700 square feet, Dunwiddie said.


They now occupy more than 14,000 square feet located in the Walworth County Government Center. It was a change Dunwiddie said was long overdue.



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