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Mayoral candidates spring for change in Walworth county

Mayoral candidates seeking election in three Walworth County cities -- Delavan, Elkhorn, and Lake Geneva, will face off in the February 16 primary contest.

9 S Broad Street
Elkhorn, WI 53115?

Three men are running for the mayoral seat as incumbent John Giese retires; James Boardman, Sr., Gary L. Payson Sr., and Howie Reynolds.

James Boardman, Sr., 69, is a former alderman, EMT on Elkhorn’s rescue team, police officer and local business owner. He has served as president of the Elkhorn Police and Fire Commission, a member of the chamber of commerce and an adviser at Elkhorn High School and Gateway Technical College. Boardman says that local government should promote more efficient and cost effective budget and encourage businesses to stay. "I think we should stop the spending and start doing something for the businesses -- encourage them to come back to the city.”

Gary L. Payson Sr., 57, served as alderman in the 1990s and again from 2007 to 2009. He said that he has served on every city committee. "With the involvement that I've had with city government since the early '90s, I felt that I would bring a lot to the table," he said. Payson is a planner and buyer for SPX.

Howie Reynolds, 57, a city council veteran of eight years for District 1 vows to keep the city’s debt ratio below 40 percent and the it’s bond rating high. He has worked at Kikkoman Corporation for 25 years.

City of Delavan
123 S Second Street
?Delavan, WI 53115?

Council members Ron Siedelmann and John Finley challenge incumbent Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis.

John Finley, 58, a photographer and security specialist, claims his historical perspective and business savvy can improve leadership in the city. “I think that the city of Delavan is in desperate  need of original leadership ... we need new intelligence behind the steering wheel.”

Mel Nieuwenhuis, 48, the incumbent mayor, cites that he is proactive for business development and job creation. “We need to hold the line on spending and focus more attention on attracting more businesses in and outside the TIF district.” He is employed by his family business Nieuwenhuis Disposal.

Ron Seidelmann, 66, was the owner/operator for the Ben Franklin store in Delavan for 20 years. Before that, he managed a Chicago based Walgreens. With 10 years of experience as a council member, Seidelmann stresses he will strive to improve relations between elected officials and the community through better communications. “I think we’re very weak in the areas of communicating leadership and goals with our staff and the general public. We need to collaborate more regarding our public services, our school districts, and our common-boundary neighbors.”

Lake Geneva
626 Geneva Street
Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Two men who have not held public office and a current alderman are running for the mayor's office in Lake Geneva. Newcomers Jim Conners and Scott Storms will challenge Alderman Frank Marsela for the top seat that will be vacated by incumbent Mayor Bill Chesen who will not be running for a second term.

Jim Conners, 50, claims he will focus on redevelopment of blighted areas within the city to increase the tax base without increasing the city's cost. "We need fiscally sound planning." Conners has the least experience in city government but has been participating in the city's smart growth planning and is vocal about local development issues at city council meetings. He is currently serving as vice-president for Dalco Metals in Walworth County and has been employed by the company for 27 years. "I am for open and ethical government and for us to function as a city," says Conners.

Frank Marsala , 65, an employee for General Motors for 25 years and a local businessman says the city must cut spending to lower taxes and "bond" with citizens to restore integrity. "We need to see the council get focused."

Scott Storms, 54, retired at the rank of county lieutenant after 25 years of service with the Bergen County, New Jersey Police Department. He managed 75 patrol officers and a 412.5 million operating budget. Storms vows to lower taxes, create sustainable job opportunities and restore civility and integrity to the Common Council.



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