All the incumbent Paris Town Board members won in a recall election held Tuesday.
Results as posted at the Town of Paris website at about 8:23 p.m. are:
- Chairman — Virgil Gentz 397; Joe Kolnik 256.
- Supervisor 1 — Ron Kammerzelt 397; Paul Terry 255.
- Supervisor 2 — Ken Monson 388; Robert Fliess 263.
Gentz and Kammerzelt’s margins of victory were nearly identical, with the incumbents receiving 61 percent of the vote and the challengers 39 percent. Monson won 60 percent of the vote and Fliess 40 percent in their race.
Kammerzelt, reached by phone, called the result “another political landslide for me.” He said:
The people of Paris have spoken and they have spoken loud and clear. I’m anxious to continue what we have been doing, working for the whole town.”
Gentz, reached by phone, said he was “very happy” about the result. He said:
It shows we have the support of the people … We’re willing to work with the city of Kenosha and the village of Somers and keep many acres of Paris green.”
Monson, in an emailed statement, said:
I want to thank the residents of the town of Paris for the overwhelming support. We ran a campaign of openness, factual information and inclusion of all residents.”
westofthei.com received the following statement via the challenger’s email address on behalf of all the challengers:
We would like to thank everyone that came out to vote for us today. These past few months have been a wonderful opportunity to engage with people across the whole community. Win or lose, we can come away from this knowing that the board are no longer giving $1.25m to Somers – and that they know they will be held to account. We look forward to the elections next April.”
The challengers launched the recall in July in the wake of an April intergovernmental agreement between Paris and Somers that had some 2,500 acres of Paris land transferred to Somers in exchange for a secure boundary for the town. Paris and Somers in the IGA agreed to share revenue from development in the 2,500 acres. Paris also agreed to pay Somers $1.25 million and fund two revolving loan funds designed to spur development. After legal challenges, that initial agreement has been replaced by a memo of understanding between Paris, Somers and Kenosha that withdraws the $1.25 million payment to Somers and designates growth areas for both Somers and Kenosha in present day Paris. The latest agreement gives Paris property owners in the growth areas 50 years to be annexed into their new municipalities.
The raw numbers from the election suggest that the challengers may have lost of the support they once had. The number of signatures on the three petitions for a recall election were almost 300 each for each incumbent.