Paris Town Board incumbents keep positions in recall election

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 After legal challenges, that initial agreement has been replaced by a memo of understanding between Paris, Somers and Kenosha that withdraws the $1.25 million payment to Somers and designates growth areas for both Somers and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.

44 Comments

  1. Movin on. says:

    Might have lost the fight but I’ll say they won the war.

  2. Just Some Thoughts says:

    Congratulations to the 3 challengers. Receiving over a third of the votes is well respected. Apparently though your voice is not part of the “whole town” as Ron claims to be working for. Hope for the best in April boys!!

  3. Northwestern Mike says:

    Movin on

    The challengers lost the fight and the war.

    They gave it a good effort, but they did not have the support they thought they did.

    Move on, is correct.

  4. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just some thoughts,

    Congrats to Virgil, Ron , and Ken.

    There is no hope for your boys in April. The challengers were beaten and beaten bad.

    60% to 40% means pack your bags and go home.

  5. The voice of the people says:

    The people have spoken loud and clear. Almost 40% don’t like what you are doing, Ron.

    What are you going to do about that?

  6. Give it a rest Mike. says:

    Please don’t tell me that you are going to defend/respond to every comment again?

    It’s over for now. You can start up again in the spring.

  7. Just a comment says:

    To Mike,
    Pack your bags and go home? Why? The three challengers ARE home – they all live in Paris – duh.

  8. Another Paris Resident says:

    Congratulations to the incumbents who one decidedly. The vocal minority didn’t have the support they thought they had. It is unfortunate that there are those that still don’t “get it” in terms of what the Board did, and why they had to do what they did. In brief summary Paris tried to negotiate with Kenosha, who held all of the cards and basically told us no as we can take whatever land we want whenever we want. So then Paris and Somers worked together – and the reason some of that wasn’t originally publicly disclosed because had it been Kenosha would have come storming in. Once there was an actual agreement struck Kenosha suddenly was on the outside looking in and just as suddenly more amenable to working with Paris. I’m not going to go into all of the details as I think that sums it up. At the end of the day Paris got a great deal thanks to the Board. Did the three challengers initiate action to attempt to stop the IGA, yes – but don’t kid yourselves – Kenosha was forced to the table by then.

  9. Nothing new in Paris says:

    The voice of the people: I am thinking the same thing. 4 out of 10 voted for the “no experience guys”. I don’t think 5 out of 10 is very far out of reach. This was done with all the cards stacked against them. They didn’t have Town of Paris lawyers researching and paying their bills! They didn’t have professionals spinning everything to look like they know what they are doing like the Board did. They did not have NW Mike running their campaign and bullying everyone with his insults and altered information. They did stoop to calling everyone liars who had a different opinion on how this all went down. A little more transparency as things evolved would have helped the whole situation.
    Also, As far as I understand the lawsuits are not all dropped as the KNews keeps reporting. And the hearing/meeting at the county building in April violated citizens rights on multiple counts. That’s a fact. For this Board to say that only 1 percent were opposed is the biggest spin/lie of this entire mess. If that were true, then why did about over 20%+ sign the recall????? And why was the referendum successful with more than enough signatures??? Beverly was 100% wrong about her interpretation of the law. Fact! My guess would be this “highly experienced and qualified Board” told her to do that.
    April should be very interesting!

  10. Northwestern Mike says:

    the voice of the people,

    Nothing.

    You listen to the minority, but you please the majority to be elected.

  11. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Or in this case Mike, You twist the facts and lie to the majority. Then you are a career politician.

  12. Just Some Thoughts says:

    Another Paris Resident,

    You can’t go in to detail as you say, because there is no detail. Your whole comment is a giant mess of words. The town hasn’t tried to negotiate with Kenosha for a long time.

    Your going to try and convince me the town of Paris couldn’t get an agreement with Kenosha and have them supply water and sewer to Paris for land we could developed on our own, just as Somers and Pleasant Prairie have done?? We are not benefiting from having Somers involved at all. No one wants to go to Somers. They have nothing to offer. Zero. We are going to loan them at least 5 million. That’s a quarter of the towns money. The town is spending more than what it is brining in every year. This is fact. If nothing is developed in the next 7-10 years and the plan commission and board keep approving land splits for one of their friends ON the planning and zoning board, more houses and businesses will be built. And none of this land is in this new planned area by the way (THIS IS FACT LOOK THAT UP.) Paris is going to be paying more and more for peoples’ town and county taxes. It will be a matter of time until we are all paying 100% of our town and county tax. Then lets hear you praise the current “wise” decisions of the board. Then you and the crowd behind the board will do what my family and others have had to do before the dump was here. So cheer up when your tax bill is double or triple. Lets hear the brainstorming you got brewing now.

  13. comment says:

    Mike, you seem like a bully. I don’t know you, but, just from your comments you seem like a bully. A few years ago, you complained about transparency in school spending, I think someone put a link about that on a different post. You went so far as to call school board members names. Yet, when the folks in this town ask to see things from the Town, it’s a different story – why? Then, when you didn’t get your way at the school board, you quit – just walked out and quit. That would seem like a pouty child.
    If you respond to this, you respond – if you don’t, you don’t. I won’t be responding back to you, but, I just think you are a bully.

  14. Western Paris Resident says:

    Spiking the football is unbecoming no matter which side does it. I live about as far from the Kenosha/Paris border as one can get. Watching this drama unfold from afar has been interesting. Frankly, I was not happy with either of my options in this election. (Remind you of anything else in recent history?) I am unhappy that the current board negotiated a deal that incentivized Kenosha to delay groundbreaking on the Uline project, costing our town $500,000. The challengers couldn’t be bothered to show up for a debate, which told me what I needed to know about how seriously they wanted to govern. I approve of the current agreement, which I don’t think would have happened without the challengers pitching a fit. So thank you to all parties.

  15. Northwestern Mike says:

    Comment,

    Off topic.

  16. Northwestern Mike says:

    Comment,

    “Yet, when the folks in this town ask to see things from the Town, it’s a different story”

    There is a procedure to get information from the Town.

    You fill out a form for the requested information. You get an estimate of the cost of labor to gather the information and copying costs from the town clerk. After you write a check for the information the clerk has a fixed time to deliver the information to you.

    Have you paid for the information you have requested? Nothing in life is free.

  17. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts and Nothing new in Paris,

    From Nothing new in Paris: “That’s a fact.” “ Fact!”

    From Just Some Thoughts: “This is fact.” “(THIS IS FACT LOOK THAT UP.)”

    Mike: Are you both the same writer?

  18. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts and Nothing new in Paris,

    http://www.westofthei.com/2016/11/17/paris-town-board-recall-election-candidate-questionnaires/59938#comments

    Kolnik quoted from his questionaire.

    KOLNIK: “If a border agreement is desired, Kenosha is the only municipality that needs to be included. Nobody is voluntarily annexing to Somers.”

    From Just Some Thoughts,

    “Your going to try and convince me the town of Paris couldn’t get an agreement with Kenosha and have them supply water and sewer to Paris for land we could developed on our own, just as Somers and Pleasant Prairie have done?? We are not benefiting from having Somers involved at all. No one wants to go to Somers. They have nothing to offer. Zero.”

    Mike: Are these both written by the same writer? Hey Joe is that you?

    Let me ask you two questions.

    1) Kenosha’s position is: If a property is annexed to Kenosha they will provide sewer and water otherwise you will need to pay in dollars. Would you be willing to pay Kenosha $10 million to get sewer and water?

    2) If property along the interstate was not annexed to Somers and Paris was to develop it on their own who would pay the county taxes on this property?

    From Just Some Thoughts,

    “It will be a matter of time until we are all paying 100% of our town and county tax. Then lets hear you praise the current “wise” decisions of the board. Then you and the crowd behind the board will do what my family and others have had to do before the dump was here.”

    Mike: Hey Joe. There is no town tax.

    Wasn’t your family here before the dump was here?

  19. Just Some Thoughts says:

    First things first,

    My name is also Mike. I am of no relation to Mr. Kolnik. And I only write under the name Just Some Thoughts.

    Why would you have to pay 10 million to Kenosha for sewer and water? There is no reason to. You could buy water, just as Somers and Pleasant Prairie do at whole sale costs. Then you assess it to the owners tax bill as a utility, just as those two municipalities do. So how would it cost 10 million dollars??

    My question: Isn’t Somers getting paid somehow to developed land in Paris?? Loan, revenue sharing ect.

    Your second question is sort of simple coming from you. Who would pay the taxes? The owner of the property would. If they were in Somers they would have to. If they were in Kenosha they would have to. BUT if the Town board was smart you would sweeten the pie a bit to make it attractive to them, and offer to pay a small portion of there taxes. I mean every other business in the town right now gets theirs covered 100%. Kenosha Beef, Great Lakes, WE Energies, Waste Management, Lakeland Septic, Mars Cheese, the taverns, the restaurants, the auto shop, we can go on if you want. I mean how much do these places eat up in taxes???? Care to look that up Mike??

    Oh Michael, your last comment is the best. “There is no town tax.” Very good. Right now there isn’t. What do you think paid for town expenses before the dump came along?? The town had a tax long before you came along. Then after the dump, that was taken away with the dumps revenue. Again my name is also Mike I am not Mr. Kolnik NOR anyway related. And yes my family was here before the dump, and people such as yourself who never had to pay county AND TOWN tax.

    Now that I answered your questions, you have nothing to say about my comment. About how land splits are being passed through. How more houses and development will affect to town coffers that aren’t in this “twilight zone”. You know basic facts you skip over because you have no answer or defense to support what else is happening in the shadows of the IGA.

  20. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts,

    It is not a simple question. That is why I asked it. If one does not understand this they are not qualified to be a board member. Try again.

    Nothing to say about splits. I need to research them.

  21. Just Some Thoughts says:

    No Mike it is a simple question. And I answered it.

    Who is going to pay the county and municipal tax for whatever development takes place? The owner of the development will. You think Somers or Kenosha will pay any of the developed properties taxes? Um heck NO.

    This is why I say the town should pay a small, repeat SMALL, portion of not only the businesses that get developed along the interstate but for ALL businesses in the town. I will have to check on precise numbers but I would be willing to bet almost half of the money Paris spends on county taxes dollars are spent on them. You should even know that.

    If you need help getting parcel numbers I will be glad to post them here for you. Not a sharp comment but trying to be helpful. Others should see what is going on in this town. The plan commission says it fits in there growth plan but I know several people who have talked to the chairman of the plan commission about splitting land and they get a NO, but one MEMBER OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE keeps getting yes and gets approved by board. I don’t think that is right either. Mr. Holloway was on a rant years ago about keeping Paris green. Why then now is it a change of attitude.

  22. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts,

    To use Kenosha Beef as an example their 2015 Property taxes from Kenosha County Property Inquiry are posted here.

    http://propertyinfo.kenoshacounty.org/

    Tax Year 2015
    Kenosha Beef International
    3111 152nd AVE
    Kenosha, WI
    Parcel # 45-4-221-233-0400

    Gross Tax 55,777.47
    School Credit 7,113.62
    Total 48,663.85

    CENTRAL/WESTOSHA HIGH SCH 9,159.21
    CNTY & LIB PD BY PARIS -16,376.56
    GATEWAY TECHNICAL COLLEGE 3,183.42
    KENOSHA COUNTY 21,835.41
    PARIS CONS SCH DIST JT #1 30,182.74
    STATE OF WISCONSIN 679.63
    Total 48,663.85

    First Dollar Credit 75.40
    Net Tax 48,588.45

    Paris Township paid $16,376.56 of Kenosha Beef’s Kenosha County tax of $21,835.41 or 75% of their county taxes.

    To treat all Paris property owners equality any Paris property developed in the growth area would also have 75% of their property taxes paid.

    Hopefully you would recognize that under these conditions Paris could not develop land in the growth area without going broke. And if Paris stopped paying 75% of the county taxes for properties in the growth area they would have to stop paying them for all Paris residents.

    Taxes for Paris residents would go up.

    Paris cannot develop land in the growth area while still paying 75% of county taxes. Land must be annexed to another municipality.

    Somers is vital to the IGA.

    It is not a simple question.

  23. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts,

    The 2015 property taxes for Amazon at 3501 120th Ave Kenosha are $2,666,387.37.

    Amazon’s Kenosha County Taxes would be about 40% of that or over $1million dollars a year.

    The Paris surplus would not go very far if they had to pay this each year.

  24. Northwestern Mike says:

    Without the missing comment the flow of the argument has been disrupted.

  25. In my humble opinion. says:

    The Town of Paris has been fortunate,(or un-fortunate depending on your point of view) to have not one but two polluting entities in the town.

    First and foremost, the Dump. For putting up with the smell, the traffic and whatever may come down the road you not only receive income each year but free garbage disposal.
    The second but different polluting entity is the Race Track. For consideration of the noise on certain weekends and thru-out the summers the residents receive reduced if not free entry to the track.

    These are tradeoffs that most of the Town residents except as a price for the rural living they seek and desire.

    With the income from the dump, the town residents (thru the voting of their town board at that time) decide that it should not levy a Town tax upon the residents as the Town received enough money from the dump to more than cover the towns ‘cost of doing business’. They also decided to pay the residents county tax portion too.

    Two points. First, the town should stop paying the county’s portion of the residents taxes starting immediately on a declining percentage basis possibly over the next 5 to 10 years. The county’s budget and its effect on the town is not in the control of the town. Therefore the yearly increasing cost to the Town and to the town residents could deplete the towns reserves with little if any DIRECT benefit to the town.

    Second, since the border agreement has been written with a 50 year date on it I think the town should commission a study on the income projections of the dump going out 50 years. At the same time the cost estimates of running the town for the same 50 years.

    At some point in the future the residents of the Town of Paris may/will have to start paying taxes to support the Town and I think that like any other business, those cost should be projected out as long as possible so that they can be gradually phased in and not ‘Dumped’ (pun intended) on the town some time long into the future when our children and grandchildren are footing the bill.

    Nothing last forever and good planning for the future should start now. This current board, which will be long gone 50 years from now, is making decisions for people that are not yet born. Wouldn’t it be good for those future residents to benefit from this agreement instead of cursing it 45 years from now!

  26. Just Some Thoughts says:

    NW Mike,

    Again how is Somers vital? What are they bringing to the table? There is a way around paying 75% of taxes on businesses AND vacant land that is owned by people who live out of state or out of this town. I’m not going to get into detail about it because if the board is so wise they should know about it.

    And if we are going talk about treating ALL residents in the town the same. We should all be paying our own taxes like the board was going to do to the residents they wanted to send to Somers. WHATS FAIR IS FAIR. Granted they were going to pay for a limited term of years 75% of taxes.

    We going to talk about what I’ve been saying or like the board we brush it under the table???

  27. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts,

    By the way it should be ‘equally’ not ‘equality’ and I did look it up.

    “Why would you have to pay 10 million to Kenosha for sewer and water? There is no reason to. You could buy water, just as Somers and Pleasant Prairie do at whole sale costs.”

    Pleasant Prairie traded land to Kenosha for a boundary agreement that gave them access to sewer and water. So did Somers, except it cost them an additional $5 million.

    Paris did as Pleasant Prairie did. They gave land for sewer and water to the growth area.

    I looked it up. The town expenses were very small before the dump came along. The 1980 Town Budget was $85,000 with $75,000 revenue coming from the Wisconsin State Shared Revenue. I saw no revenue from a town tax. It does not mean there was not one. It just means it would have been small. Fire and Rescue services were purchased from neighboring towns.

    I asked a Town Supervisor about land splits just as you could have. I find it is better to get the facts than speculating about the unknown.

    Several properties that were you would term land splits had deed provisions that allowed multiple lots for development. I was also told all development was done according to the zoning laws.

    If you have particular lots in question ask a Town Supervisor about them. If you get an unsatisfactory answer, post your concerns online and I will ask about them.

  28. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts stated:

    “Again how is Somers vital? What are they bringing to the table? There is a way around paying 75% of taxes on businesses AND vacant land that is owned by people who live out of state or out of this town. I’m not going to get into detail about it because if the board is so wise they should know about it.”

    Reread above comment until you understand it. I do not know how else to explain it. I am not sure repeating myself would help.

    I would say the town pays about .33% of assessed household value towards the Kenosha County tax. Paris would pay about $330 for a $100,000 house. The town could afford to pay for a lot more private homes than it could commercial development.

    OK. You are smarter than everyone in town. But I need proof.

    I talked about land splits above.

    I like brushing it under the table.

  29. Northwestern Mike says:

    Beverly McCumber is vindicated.

    From the current story:

    “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.”

    From this story:

    http://www.westofthei.com/2016/08/11/paris-town-board-recall-organizers-to-appeal-decision-rejecting-recall-election/58589

    “McCumber found that the number of signatures collected were sufficient, but rejected the petition as insufficient because of statements in the recall petition that she said could have misinformed signers.”

    This election is vindication that the Clerk –Treasurer Beverly McCumber was correct and the Wisconsin Election Commission was wrong. 300 votes on the Recall petition yet only 256 voted for Kolnik, 263 for Fliess and 255 for Terry.

    From the certificate of insufficiency:

    “The misleading statements that the officeholder did not follow the law in carrying out his official responsibilities in the reasons for recall could have induced a person to sign the petition who would not have otherwise signed the petition. I find that the misleading and untrue statements make the petition insufficient.”

    Her statement was very true. That is what the data shows.

  30. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts,

    It is vital that properties that are developed in the growth area are annexed to Somers so that Paris does not have to pay 75% of the Kenosha County tax. Somers is also vital to get revenue sharing. There is no revenue sharing with Kenosha.

    If you do not understand this, you are not Town supervisor material.

  31. Paris does not have to pay anything. says:

    Why does Paris pay people’s county property taxes? Because they can.
    Not a very good answer if you ask me.

    I guess it’s just like any other government entity, you got it, spend it. Why not just be satisfied in having more income than out go? Paris should only pay their own operating cost. Nothing more. And if they keep increasing their bank account, more coming in than going out, what’s wrong with that? The dump won’t be open forever. The money should be saved for as long as it last.

    If Paris wants to be so generous with their money why not just rebate it back to the residents each year. Paying people’s taxes give more to some and less to others. Why not just give an equal amount to each resident just like Alaska does with their cash cow. Oh wait. That’s changing too with oil prices going down. Go ahead read up on how Alaska gives away their oil money.

    Again. Why not just put it in the bank and pay only what’s needed for the Town?

  32. Dig the Pig says:

    Yes, NW Mike shut down the comments to the last story by spamming a ridiculous number of posts and replies to his own messages. A rather odd behavior that no doubt led to him being banned from other groups. More bullying signs and maybe why he support the board – they were accused of that kind of behavior and visiting people with signs up for the opposition…

  33. Northwestern Mike says:

    Paris does not have to pay anything,

    I guess you are a nonresident. You’re loss.

    Dig the Pig,

    Mike is off topic. Never been banned.
    Go elsewhere if you do not like the discussion.

  34. more thoughts says:

    NW Mike, you really are not making a whole lot of sense. Why would Paris want developed properties annexed away from us? Makes no sense to me.
    Paris Clerk was vindicated? By who? 300 + people signed the petition, but, only 263 voted. That doesn’t mean she was right – it just means that everyone didn’t vote. Considering that she received emails from the Elections Board telling her that she was wrong. Ask her to see those emails.
    If someone wants to ask a supervisor a question, why should they go through you? Are you the new PR person for the Town? I think they just hired someone else for that, or was that just for their campaign flyer?

  35. Not a Bully says:

    Beverly Mccumber is not vindicated. Just means not everyone who signed the recall voted. Voting turnout was low compared to the turnout for the presidential election.

  36. Nothing new in Paris says:

    McCumber was wrong about the referendum as well! Again, She was probably instructed by the board though.
    Oh yeah…. Where is this PR woman. I see she has some credentials. Where is the value of what they spent? Or was that just more smoke and mirrors? How sad this whole situation has become.
    If you want something done, get on the board or a committee. Oh, oops, you can’t if you are in the old, Twilight Zone.
    I sure hope some people step up in April. These three and the planning committee together are slowly destroying what they claim to love and protect. We need new blood with fresh ideas and less arrogance.

  37. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Hi Darrin. Are comments blocked on this?

  38. Northwestern Mike says:

    The discussion is over.

  39. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Hopefully you are hibernating now Mike, planning your campaign for the 3 incumbents in April. Remember, the so called, unqualified (among other things) challengers got about 40% of the vote in a RECALL. Pretty impressive against some good old boys that have been on the board way too long. I sure hope others are considering stepping up and filing to run soon. The 4 of you may really need to ramp up your campaign.

  40. Northwestern Mike says:

    yawn !!!

  41. more thoughts says:

    NW Mike – who are YOU to say “the discussion is over”????? I was unaware that you were now the editor for westofthei.com More bullying tactics

  42. Northwestern Mike says:

    yawn !! yawn !! then start discussing, no one is stopping you.

  43. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Does anyone know if there are other candidates yet for the April election? I would like to see opposition to all four positions. This current crew has run this ship aground. Time for new blood, new thoughts and ideas, and a new attitude running this town.

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