Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Tough night for incumbents

by Lisa Seiser

April 07, 2011

The winds of change were certainly in the air Tuesday night.

A number of incumbent leaders fell in their races. The towns of Geneva and Lyons and the village of Genoa City all will have new people in charge come later this month. There also will be a new Fourth District alderman in Lake Geneva and a new Supervisor No. 2 in Geneva Township. But, in Linn, the incumbent chairman will serve his first full term in office.

Incumbents out

In Geneva Township, where the turnout was huge, former chairman Joe Kopecky, 61, defeated incumbent Daniel "Louie" Lauderdale 595-506. In 2007, Lauderdale defeated the incumbent Kopecky 553-374. Then, in 2009, Lauderdale defeated Kopecky again, 398-207.

Lauderdale was disappointed and surprised by Tuesday's numbers, but was gracious in defeat wishing Kopecky luck.

"I had a great four years and really enjoyed serving for that time," Lauderdale said. "I wish him the best of luck and will avail myself to any transition help he needs."

But, he said the results were a surprise because he thought he "had done a good job," including focus on the tax base, spending and cutting expenditures.

"I wish the results would have been different, but I wish Joe the best of luck," Lauderdale said.

Lauderdale said there were too many accomplishments to list during his past four years, but said the most important was the morale improvement throughout the town offices, including the police, highway and municipal court. He also cited the citizen committees created and the police commission as something he started and hopes "will carry on."

"I thank the voters for giving me the opportunity to serve," Lauderdale said.

Kopecky was unavailable for comment Tuesday night but was critical of Lauderdale during the campaign of not being transparent and not fostering positive relationships with neighboring communities.

Also losing his bid for re-election in Geneva Township appears to be Keith Millard. Jim Daily is in the lead 528-525 in a race that likely will involve a recount.

For eight years, Barry Goad, 47, was the Genoa City Village President. Now, John Wrzeszcz, 68, will take over with a 257-167 count. Goad served a term as village trustee prior to being president. Wrzeszcz has not held public office, but was the Public Works Superintendent in Genoa City for 35 years.

Newcomer Joy Bartelson, 40, defeated longtime Lyons Township Chairman William Mangold by a count of 402-353. She is a customer service representative for a private distributor and has lived in Lyons for 13 years after growing up in Spring Prairie.

In response to questions posed to her regarding the town headed in the right direction, she said the town has been "riding on a flat line for too long and there can be improvement. When decisions have been made, it's been irrational, not thought out and without the participation of taxpayers."

Longtime city alderman Don Tolar lost his bid for re-election in the Fourth District to Terry O'Neill by a count of 138-122.

Linn Township chair keeps seat

Jim Weiss, 47, defeated former chairman Allan Polyock 402-285. Weiss said it was a tough election, but he and Polyock "come from different perspectives. But, he was not surprised by the results.

"I felt as if people would vote based on what is going on in the world today," Weiss said late Tuesday night. "We are going to have to do more with less, we all agree on that, but his perspective is to cut services. Mine is not to cut services, but to sharpen them and be more efficient."

Polyock said Tuesday night that he told people what he was going to do and that did include cutting services.

"That's what I was going to do," Polyock said. "We have a lot of waste in this town and people don't know about it."

Polyock, who served two terms as chairman in the 1990s, said he thought he could do a better job as chairman because of the years of experience had in local politics.

Weiss said he was pleased with the results.

"I am very happy," he said. "I think this is a vote of confidence that I have done a good job."

He said people were pleased with the town's snow plowing this past winter and that's the type of improvement he is looking for in the town.

"We need to sharpen our pencils and be more efficient," Weiss said. "I think that will make a difference."

Bloomfield incumbents successful

In the race for Supervisor No. 1, incumbent Tom Sullivan, 65, defeated Beth Saunders 436-244. Saunders told the Regional News last week that she was no longer actively seeking the position.

Incumbent Supervisor No. 2 William Holder defeated challenger Dave Nusberger 392-258.