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Jacobs returns

Familiar face fills Town Board spot until next election

Why did the clerk-treasurer vote? On Monday night, Linn Town Board members voted on a motion to appoint former longtime supervisor Tom Jacobs to become supervisor No. 1. As board members vocalized their votes, Town Attorney David Schiltz asked Town Clerk-Treasurer Sue Polyock how she voted. Typically, the clerk-treasurer is a silent figure sitting next to the board members. But apparently, State Statutes allow the clerk-treasurer to vote in matters such as appointing a Town Board member. On Tuesday, Polyock said she didn't come to the meeting expecting to vote, but when Schiltz asked her, she said that's when she remembered the statute. "When I'm at these meetings, I'm taking minutes, I'm listening to how the town is run (but) in these cases, the clerk is a voting member," she said Tuesday. She said she voted for Jacobs because of the same reasons Town Chairman Jim Weiss gave Monday. "Also, it won't take very much for Tom to get up to speed. ... He brings history back to the board," Polyock said. However, she forgot she had the ability to vote in August, when the Town Board appointed Weiss as town chairman. Prior to that time, Weiss filled in as acting chairman after the April resignation of David Bollweg. "I guess I just didn't htink about it, but I would have voted for Jim Weiss because he would have been the logical person for that position," Polyock said. In her capacity as town clerk, she's likely to be one of the first people who potential local election candidates will see because she provides them with the necessary forms and documentation. But given how many people were interested in the open supervisor position recently, she predicted there could be a primary next year to fill that spot. "Obviously, there's going to be many people running," Polyock said. During the public comments section of Monday's regular Town Board meeting, Dan Giffen said he intends to run for the position.
September 15, 2010 | 09:02 AM
Linn — Five people expressed a desire to become the next Town Board supervisor No. 1.

On Monday, Town Chairman Jim Weiss said the candidate who stood out claimed he won't run for that position when the term expires in April.

Weiss said Tom Jacobs, a former longtime supervisor, informed board members he is available to serve, but he has "no desire to run in the election."

Town officials voted 4-1 on a motion to appoint Jacobs, who wasn't at the Monday meeting. Supervisor Mike Palmer cast the "no" vote. He didn't say why during the meeting.

But shortly after it, Palmer's explanation stemmed from a crucial part of town history — and other people's take on it.

"There were some questions, but people weren't happy with his sale of the land that allowed Lake Geneva to annex the Dickinson farm," Palmer said about Jacobs. "There were a group of people who were concerned about that and weren't happy with it."

In 2005, the city of Lake Geneva annexed 718 acres of former Linn Township land located near Highway 120 and Big Foot Beach State Park — including what's known as the Dickinson farm, which was owned by Jacobs. Two development entities — Geneva Ridge, also known as Hummel, and Mirbeau — teamed together in an effort to develop the land. After the effort with Mirbeau failed, Geneva Ridge went on its own in an effort to develop the land. That effort also failed.

Now, those developers are suing the city for $129 million.

Palmer was asked how he believed this would affect Jacobs' performance on the Town Board, in a position which may be occupied by someone else seven months from now.

"I will work with him 100 percent," Palmer said. "I'm just expressing the views that were expressed to me."

'A clean playing field'

The positions of chairman and supervisor No. 1 became up for grabs after an unusual turn of events earlier this year.

David Bollweg, who was the town chairman for 18 years, resigned because of health reasons and the controversy over the town police chief's alleged sale of a tractor impounded as evidence to the relative of another Police Department member. The supervisor No. 1 position became vacant after Weiss was appointed town chairman last month.

With the supervisor position open, others expressed an interest in occupying it.

Weiss said Terry Woods, Christine Jones, Steve Mack, Dan Giffen and Jacobs threw their hats in the ring. Allan Polyock had expressed a desire to be town chairman prior to the board's appointment of Weiss in August.

As for Jacobs, Weiss said he brings years of experience to the position. Because he isn't interested in seeking it next April, this means the other people who want to serve as supervisor No. 1 can focus their efforts on their campaigns.

"In fairness to all involved, (with) Mr. Jacobs not having a desire to run in April creates a clean slate for all those who want to run in that election," Weiss said.

Supervisor Greg Holden agreed. He said this way, the public still can decide who fills the position.

Other board members talked about Jacobs having experience as a supervisor and predicted he would be able to adapt to the tasks of the position quickly.

"I think Tom would be a good asset for us," Holden said.

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