Two seek to replace Kilkenny on Delavan City Council

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Monday, March 25, 2013

— One served on the local school board. The other has run for office before.

Now they will face each other for a seat on Delavan’s City Council in the 2nd aldermanic district.

Ronald Grair, 67, of 301 N. Seventh St., Delavan, and Christopher Phillips, 37, of 306 N. Fifth Street, Delavan, are both running for a chance to replace Dave Kilkenny on the city council.

Both men have a simple reason for running: They want to serve. They also agree: things are getting better in Delavan.

When Phillips originally ran for office more than a year ago, he was concerned about taxes and the council’s fiscal policies.

“We still have a lot of budget issues, but we’re getting there,” Phillips said.

Grair, too, sees the city moving forward in terms of financial policy, but he has reservations.

“I’d like to hear more about the TIF district,” Grair said. “I know that it bothers a lot of people.”

A tax incremental financing district, or TIF, is a tool that local governments use to encourage economic growth by offering financial incentives to potential developers and charging them to the TIF district. The hope is that improvements and development increase the value of the property and increase the tax base.

Grair, who previously served on the school board, said that TIF districts take money from other taxing entities, such as schools.

Grair believes that building and business owners should want to participate in such ventures—the city can’t do it all on its own.

Phillips is eager to see improvements downtown.

“I would really like to be a part of this downtown thing,” Phillips said.

Downtown must be a destination, he said, and without it, the city won’t thrive.

“We need something that revolves around family entertainment,” Phillips said. “We used to have different events going on throughout the year.”

The Phoenix Park Band Shell is one draw, but there needs to be more going on, he said.

Phillips believes the city should capitalize more on its circus history.

Both men want to give back to their community through service on the council.

Phillips thinks that an infusion of ideas on the city council could help move the city forward.

Last updated: 8:16 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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