Town of Beloit chairman race down to two

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Gina Duwe
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

— Town of Beloit voters will decide whether town Supervisor Tim Guenther or Turner School Board member Jim Olson will be their next town chairman in the April election.

Town Supervisor Jim Stevens and former town Supervisor Phil Taber were eliminated in the four-candidate primary Tuesday. Guenther received the most votes with 158, followed by Olson with 104.

"I think the voters like my message, and the message is to keep moving forward in the path that we're going, and I'm very happy about that," Guenther said. "It's actually a vote for the whole board that's sitting now, in my opinion."

Guenther, 57, of 2556 S. Natures Ridge, Beloit, is a project manager with Morse Group in Beloit. He is serving his first term on the town board.

"I wasn't surprised by the outcome. I do think that the turnout was very low, and it's certainly going to be a bigger turnout for the April election," Olson said. "I'm going up against a good guy. He's the kind of guy you wouldn't mind losing to."

Olson, 76, of 2228 N. Pow Wow Trail, Beloit, is self-employed in a financial service business. He served as town chairman from 1991-93 and is serving his first term on the Beloit Turner School Board. He also is seeking re-election to the school board.

Olson said his goal is still the same—to bring economic development to the town and city and create jobs.

"I think the possibility of a casino certainly is going to have an impact," he said, "and I think we should be planning for that, even though it may be a few years. It kind of fits in to the school board's plan, as far as the referendum. Hopefully, we're going to grow. I'm going to do my best to see that we do."

The school board has a $28 million referendum to build a new high school on the April ballot.

Guenther said he believes the board has moved in a positive direction—"doing things the town needs, watching things fiscally, and basically tonight, in my opinion, was a vote of confidence in that platform and the things we've accomplished."

The board in the last few years worked through legal issues, hired a new administrator who is doing "very well" for the town and held joint meetings resulting in positive talks with the city of Beloit, he said.

"There's been a lot of good things that have happened," he said.

Last updated: 8:09 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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