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Burlington Chocolate Fest

March 04, 2014 | 05:14 PM
FONTANA — There have been a lot of changes at village hall over the past two years.

In fall 2012, Director of Public Works Craig Workman left for a job in Burlington.

In August, Zoning Assistant Bridget McCarthy resigned.

In December, Village Administrator Kelly Hayden left for a job in Delavan. In April, there will be at least one new face on the village board to add to the changes.

Trustee Cindy Wilson has filed for non-candidacy. Her term ends in April, and five candidates are vying for three open seats. Trustees Patrick Kenny and Rick Pappas, former trustee Tom Whowell, Todd Reschke and David Prudden will all be on the April 1 ballot.

The board hired Dennis Martin, former village clerk, to replace Hayden in the administrator role. The village clerk position remains empty, with Martin filling both roles.

Workman’s position has yet to be filled, though it’s been discussed at multiple board meetings for the past year. Besides village management, all five candidates mentioned village finances as a key issue for their campaigns.

Another issue is the village’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, which was created in 2001. The TIF is struggling. The 2013 tax burden for the TIF district was $375,000, and that is expected to grow to $500,000 this year.

Originally, the district was valued at $30 million. In 2009, the value had grown to $92.8 million, but a year later the state Department of Revenue lowered the assessment to $66 million.

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Because the village borrowed money on the expected growth of the district, the village now owes that amount.

Kenny, chairman of the finance committee, said during an interview that the other trustees like to look to blame him for the village’s financial woes. However, Kenny was elected in 2007 after the TIF district was created and a lot of the borrowing occurred.

Pappas, who is finishing his first two-year term, said he would like to continue his work on the lakefront and harbor committee.

Whowell, former village trustee and president, served on the board from 1973 to 1977 and from 2001 to 2007.

Both Reschke and Prudden serve on village committees currently. Reschke was appointed to the public works committee in February, and Prudden is serving on the police and fire commission.

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Committee appointments are made by the village president after the election, and it’s unknown if Reschke and Prudden will stay on those committees if elected.

Check out this week's issue of the Regional News for the candidate profiles.


Tags: Geneva Lake West

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