LANNON - If the candidates for the Lannon village presidency are united on one front, it's this: A second water source must be built in order for the village to move ahead with further residential development.
Lannon residents Tom Gudex and Jerry Newman will challenge incumbent David Nagler during the primary on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election on April 4.
Northwest Now spoke to the candidates about the upcoming election.
1). Why should residents elect you as village president?
Newman: I have brought over $400,000 dollars of revenue to the village by negotiating development agreements that improved village services without raising taxes. Because of my engineering, construction and legal background, I was able to save the village over $100,000 in consulting fees for engineering projects. My management of the new water project program produced savings of over $500,000 in construction costs, allowing Lannon to extend the new system to additional parts of the village.
Gudex: I am for increased community involvement in local government, more open government with effective communication, less litigation and more cooperation, business and residential development and lower taxes and fees. I have been a resident of Lannon for 29 years and have been a successful leader throughout my working career, as co-owner of Green Acres Self Storage, Product Support Engineer at Milwaukee Electric Tool, Air Force Senior NCO with a tour as a Combat Commander of Convoy Escort Gun Trucks in Iraq.
Two candidates are running against you during the spring election. Why should constituents keep you in office as the village president?
Nagler: Why shouldn’t they keep me in office would be my response. I’ve done as I said I would, and have governed by committee. I have always kept the village’s best interest as No. 1 priority. The role of a village president is to preside over village meetings, of which I have done with perfect attendance. I will continue to participate in all village business along with the village’s six other elected trustees.
2). What ideas do you have to increase development in Lannon?
Newman: I developed the 2030 "Smart Growth" plan for Lannon as required by the state in 2005. During the last 50 years, any new development in Lannon was difficult because of the high level of bedrock, and the lack of a village water system. I own a property development company that has been investing in Lannon properties for future projects. Before the housing industry collapse in 2009, we were working with developers of seven projects that wanted to build in Lannon after the water system was installed. However, the high cost of construction in bedrock will always hurt Lannon.
Gudex: I will work with the village board, plan commission, village residents and landowners to develop a comprehensive plan for development of Lannon. I will also invite developer input to insure that our plan is economically viable. I will then coordinate expediting the implementation of the development plan.
Nagler: The best plan to increase development in Lannon is to continue with Lannon’s current process of plan commission review of any developer’s proposed ideas/concepts before making a recommendation of approval or reject to the village board. This process allows the village the best chance of getting the best possible developments into the village.
3). Should a second water source be built in Lannon? Why or why not?
Newman: A second water source is required for Lannon by the DNR. The village purchased a site next to the bus company on Main street. We drilled a test well, then designed and bid the second well and a 250,000-gallon water tower to be completed in 2010. The bid was around a million dollars (and under budget), but we didn't start construction because of the housing market collapse. I have been working with Menomonee Falls for a regional water system that could serve Lannon's future growth.
Gudex: The Lannon water system has enough customers that DNR may require a second water source. As village president, I will lead a study to discover what is the best and most economical second water source for the village of Lannon, whether that is a new well or hooking up to the water system of a neighboring community. After the second source is decided, I will work with Lannon residents, landowners and developers to implement the financing and development of the second water source.
Nagler: Eventually, it will have to be built. The DNR, which ultimately makes the decision on whether a second water source should be built or not, has pretty much told the village that upon approval of the next residential development the second source will have to be put in. The village could on its own, at any time, put in the second source at a cost of about 1.2 million taxpayer dollars, or wait for new developments to pay for the infrastructure through impact fees. So far, the village has chosen to wait.
Address: Box Number 375, Lannon
Political History: Past village board member, past president and plan commission chairman, chairman of the 75th anniversary celebration, former director of public works, current board member and chairman of safety committee.
Address: 7051 Parkview Drive, Lannon
Political history: Lannon village trustee, four years
Phone number: 262-488-5813
Address: 21765 W. Bonnie Lane, Lannon
Political history: Two terms as village of Lannon president, one term as village of Lannon trustee, one year on the Village of Lannon Plan Commission, student government at Cardinal Stritch College.
Phone number: (970) 485-0004