Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Newcomers win April 2 in Boomfield

by Steve Targo

April 11, 2013

BLOOMFIELD — Now it’s their turn.

Newcomers Ken Bauman and Susan Bernstein beat incumbent Gary Grolle in the April 2 at-large race for village trustee.

Bauman and Bernstein won 182 and 173, respectively, over Grolle, 149. Grolle declined to comment Monday on the April 2 race.

Although, together, their names sound good enough to be the title of a law firm, Bernstein and Bauman seem eager to participate in local politics.

In fact, Bernstein tried to in February 2012, when the village of Bloomfield held its first trustee election.

“I did not win,” she said in an email Sunday. Those trustee spots each held one-year terms.

But it appears Bernstein took something away from last year’s defeat.

“This year, I worked tirelessly to reach as many residents as possible,” Bernstein said. “I went door-to-door, introducing myself and (handing) out thousands of flyers. I learned that we share similar visions for the future of the village, and similar concerns regarding the financial climate of the village.”

For Bernstein, the outcome of the April 2 election was “an understanding of what and how people are thinking,” she said.

“It’s gratifying to know that hard work and sincerity is rewarded,” Bernstein said.

It also signified to her a desire to maintain representation of an important demographic.

Outgoing trustee Sara Schulz, who decided not to seek re-election, was the only woman on the Bloomfield Village Board.

“With the loss of our outgoing female trustee, residents welcomed the idea of an additional woman in the race,” Bernstein said. “To those who voted for me, thank you. I appreciate your support.”

Born leader

This was Bauman’s first election.

In an email Monday, responding to the question if he was surprised by the outcome, he said “yes and no.”

“Yes, because of it being my first ever try at becoming a trustee/board member,” Bauman said. “No, because of the overwhelming support from the people of Bloomfield that I received prior to being elected.”

He received an outpouring of community support after his family’s home was destroyed in a fire Feb. 23, 2009.

Bauman said one reason voters may have supported him is that they want him to be involved in Bloomfield’s public works departments.

“Given my extensive background in public works/utilities, and being a WDNR-certified wastewater/water operator, they feel I would have a better understanding/view in how to correct current and/or any future and up-and- coming issues that are or could come about with our public works/utilities departments,” Bauman said.

He also said his supporters want to see a change in how these departments are run.

“They feel there needs to be more accountability within our departments, given the past/current issues,” Bauman said.

He also gave some credit to his father, Ralph “Homer” Bauman, former Genoa City police chief and Lake Geneva police captain.

“I feel my constituents chose me because I’m a naturally born leader,” Ken Bauman said. “It’s in my blood. Thanks Dad.”