Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Gage, Spadoni, McGreevy win seats on board

by Rob Ireland

April 07, 2011

Fontana — "How can you get upset when the people voted," Trustee Micki O'Connell said shortly after learning she lost her re-election bid.

O'Connell didn't garner enough votes in Tuesday's election to win a fifth-term as a trustee.

Incumbents George Spadoni and Thomas McGreevy and political newcomer and business owner Bill Gage were elected to the Village Board. Challenger Rick Pappas, who ran as an independent in the 32nd assembly race last November, didn't make the cut either.

The unofficial vote totals in Fontana were McGreevy, 380; Gage, 329; Spadoni, 298; O'Connell, 232 and Pappas 231.

Gage said he is "honored to be elected by the community."

He said he didn't run for the board with an agenda, but instead wanted a "nice mix" of people on the board to serve the village.

On Tuesday night, McGreevy said he was surprised by and grateful for the results.

"I'm just happy to be elected and to represent the people of Fontana," he said.

McGreevy credited his victory to the number of years he has lived in the community and his kids being active in the schools. He also said he campaigned promising he would listen to the people.

Spadoni also said he was pleased by the results.

"I'm never surprised by the results, I'm always honored by the results," Spadoni said.

He also made it clear he wants to continue working on the village's Plan Commission.

"I'm very honored to be re-elected to the trustee position and to remain chairman of the Plan Commission," Spadoni said. Although Spadoni was re-elected to the board, the Plan Commission chairman is a position that the Village Board picks.

O'Connell, who ironically was first elected when she edged out Spadoni eight years ago, said serving on the board was a wonderful experience.

"The longer you run for public office the harder the decisions are that come into play," she said. "It's time. The people have spoken and that's fine."

She also said Tom and Geri Whowell, who are well-known in village politics, campaigned for Gage, McGreevy and Spadoni. She felt that played a factor in Tuesday's results.

Pappas couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Boat slips an election issue?

Last September the Village Board voted to increase the municipal boat slip rate. In March, Spadoni led an effort to bring those rates back down to the 2010 levels. However his motion failed and it became a campaign issue.

Spadoni said he believes a number of factors played into the election, including the boat slip issue. McGreevy agreed.

"I think it might have," McGreevy said. "That goes back to the need to listen to the people and to do what is right for the taxpayers."

Both McGreevy and Spadoni said they believe the issue will be reconsidered by the board during the May meeting.

If the slip issue cost O'Connell a spot on the board, she doesn't regret voting the way she did.

O'Connell said the slip fees were raised to represent their market value, which meant the board didn't have to increase the tax levy.

"(Spadoni's) first order of business is to rollback the price of the slips and in turn raise the tax levy," she said. "I'm at most of the finance committee meetings and George never showed up...but I'm sure he knows a lot more than I do."