GENEVA — Until March 8, Gene Decker, District 3 supervisor in the town of Geneva, thought he was running for re-election unopposed.
Then former Supervisor Larry Kulik announced a write-in campaign.
In a letter to the editor in the March 20 Regional News, Kulik spelled out his reasons for mounting that campaign.
In that letter Kulik expressed concern that the Lake Como Homeowners Association would dominate the board if Decker were re-elected.
“The town board should have representation from all parts of the town,” Kulik wrote.
“When I was told on March 8 that Larry Kulik was mounting a write-in campaign, I was surprised. As he said in his letter, he defeated me four years ago. He was the incumbent, and I was a political neophyte. Larry won by three votes.
“What Larry does not mention is that two years ago I won the election by a fairly large margin. What also surprises me is that Larry has absolutely nothing to say about my performance the last two years.”
Kulik’s stated reason for running is that he is trying to prevent three residents of the Lake Como Homeowners Association from having a majority on the Board.
“I agree with Larry, but for a different reason,” Decker said. “If you look at all the registered voters in Geneva Township and divide them, in a perfect world, the association should have two board members, the south side of Lake Como should have one, the farms to the north and west, one, and Geneva National, one.
“The group that has no representation, now or in the past, is Geneva National. That is unfortunate, since they pay a higher portion of our taxes (per household) and get a lesser percentage of town services. I am also sympathetic to town issues as they relate to Geneva National residents.”
Decker continues, “Four years ago, Larry was newly-retired and promised to spend a week with every town employee to understand their duties, something he never did.
He now has his old job back. Will he have the time to serve?”
Decker has learned from the promises Kulik made to be involved and knowledgeable about the town’s business, he said.
He is the town’s liaison with the Elkhorn Fire Department and Paratech, liaison with the Lake Como Sanitary District and the municipal court.
“I attend every meeting with these groups,” Decker said. “I also attend every planning commission meeting, as they are vital to our economic growth. I am the treasurer of our association, serve on the lakefront committee and helped oversee the clubhouse restoration project.”
Decker also spent over a thousand hours last summer building a fenced-in playground at the new Walworth County Alliance for Children facility in Elkhorn.
The summer before, he planted 65 trees in the park area of north Lake Shore Drive in addition to completing the last of three playground sets for the community.
As well, he is the quartermaster for Como Post 5811 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“As you can see, I am ‘retired’,” Decker said. “I enjoy serving the town and the community, and I will continue to give back as long as I am able.”
So, how will he respond to this challenge and the last-minute need to campaign?
“I will likely put out a few more yard signs and gear up social media to get out the vote for myself,” he said.