Candidates familiar in Elkhorn mayor race
ELKHORN Voters casting ballots for Elkhorn mayor April 3 will face the same choice as two years ago: Howie Reynolds versus James Boardman Sr.
Howie Reynolds served five terms as alderman in District 1 before defeating James Boardman Sr. in the 2010 Elkhorn mayoral race.
Reynolds won by a margin of 673 to 588, and he hopes residents approve of what he and his administration have accomplished.
"We accomplished our biggest goals that we set the past two years, and that's lowering taxes and closing out our TIF district (No. 2) along Highway 67, which will allow us to put $60 million back on the tax rolls and help taxpayers.
"The biggest issue is—without collective bargaining and having very, very good employees—trying to balance between keeping quality employees and being judicious with the city's finances," Reynolds said.
Boardman, who served as an Elkhorn alderman from 1976 to 1982, said that the mayor's office and city council must do a better job of preventing little problems from growing into bigger ones.
"When it comes down to economic issues, I've heard from a lot of people who are upset and disgusted with all of the rate increases, such as utilities and garbage," Boardman said. "They don't like the fact that the city signed a five-year deal with a garbage contractor without taking any quotes."
The future of the city pool at Sunset Park is an issue that might not be resolved in the next two years but is sure to elicit plenty of discussion.
"It was built when I was in junior high, so the pool is running on its last legs," said Reynolds, who has set up an ad hoc committee to study the issue. "The feedback I've gotten has been pretty split between those who want to see money spent to fix it up or replace it and those who don't want us to spend the money. It would be a shame to not have a pool, but again, we have to fiscally responsible, and hopefully there's a way do both."
Boardman agrees that something needs to be done, and sooner rather than later.
"It could open a can of worms, but we know that it will be open for the upcoming year," Boardman said. "I know some people really want to keep it open, but some alderman feel like it's just a baby-sitting service for the summer. I can't see shutting it down altogether, but we need to look at all of the alternatives and maybe come up with new ways to help finance it, and that goes for the whole park."
Reynolds said he wants to keep doing what's best for his hometown, and the experience he gained during his first term would be valuable if he's re-elected.
"Before two years ago, I had never thought about running for mayor, but it just felt like something I wanted to do," he said.
Boardman said the keys are keeping communication lines open with residents while providing them with quality services without raising their taxes.
"The main thing will be to cut expenses," Boardman said, "because in the past we've gotten carried away."
James M. Boardman Sr.
Address: 312 W. Fourth Ave., Elkhorn.
Job: Purchasing agent/inventory control manager at Mann Capital Management
Education: Elkhorn Area High School graduate, 1958; some classes toward police science degree at Gateway Technical College, 1969 to 1971.
Community service: Charter member of Elkhorn Jaycees from 1963 to 1970, serving as president, state director, state vice president; national director for U.S. Jaycees in 1968; emergency medical technician on Elkhorn area ambulance from 1971 to 1986; adviser to EAHS DECA club from 1972 to 1980; adviser for Gateway power mechanics from 1972 to 1982; president of Elkhorn Police and Fire Commission for six years; Walworth County Selective Service from 1979-1992 and 1999-2011.
Elected posts: Elkhorn alderman, 1976 to 1982.
Howie Reynolds (I)
Address: 406 Davis Court
Job: Front-end receiving at Kikkoman
Community service: Coached and officiated sports events at Elkhorn schools and local churches for at least 15 years
Elected posts: Alderman for nine years prior to being elected mayor in 2010.