Four Janesville City Council seats open; two members undecided
JANESVILLE One Janesville City Council candidate has announced he will seek re-election April 2, and two other incumbents whose terms are up are undecided.
A fourth could not be reached for comment.
Four, two-year seats—those occupied by Deb Dongarra-Adams, Sam Liebert, DuWayne Severson and Russ Steeber—will be open in April.
Incumbent DuWayne Severson, 55, of 56 S. Martin Road, already is circulating papers. He is director of contracting for Mercy Health System.
Steeber and Liebert said they still were deciding whether to seek re-election.
Two challengers are also circulating nomination papers.
-- Brian Fitzgerald, 58, of 4236 Huntinghorne Dr., Janesville. He is retired. Fitzgerald has never run for office before.
-- Jerry Smythe, 60, of 819 N. Garfield Ave. He is retired from General Motors. He has never run for public office.
Candidates can get nomination papers from the city clerk's office at City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. They must gather more than 200 but not more than 400 signatures and return the papers by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Severson was elected in 2012 to finish the term of George Brunner, who resigned mid-term.
Severson said he has enjoyed his time so far on the council and wants to continue work toward a balanced budget.
"I believe we need to address meeting the needs of the city without taking funds from the reserves," Severson said.
The 2013 budget uses almost $1 million of the reserves, and Severson said that was the major reason he voted against its adoption.
"The majority of the board did not desire to tackle the hard work now," he said. "I don't believe the council really pushed administrators to look at ways of meeting budget needs without taking reserves. I think there are ways. We need to address the issues that are out there."
"I want to continue to work for that—to provide the police and fire the essential services of our city—but we need to do them in a fiscally responsible manner."
Severson previously served on the Janesville School Board.