Paris Town Board recall election debate coverage (VIDEO)

paris-town-recall-debateThe Paris Town Board recall election debate took place Thursday evening at Paris School.

As expected, the three incumbent Paris Town Board members — Virgil Gentz, Ron Kammerzelt and Ken Monson — attended and participated and the three challengers — Joseph Kolnik, Robert Fliess and Paul Terry — did not.

About 30 audience members attended.

The debate was organized by Kammerzelt. Ben Harbach, a former Somers elected official, served as the moderator.

The challengers declined to attend, citing what they called the board’s secrecy in dealing with the formulation of an intergovernmental agreement with Somers regarding development along the I-94 corridor and establishing a permanent border for Paris. Objections to the IGA are what prompted Kolnik, Fliess and Terry to petition successfully for the recall election. The challengers also objected to the date, time and place for the debate being set without consulting all candidates.

Issues of intergovernmental/boundary agreements with Somers and Kenosha dominated the questions, which were submitted by audience members. The debate continued for nearly two hours.

Here is video of the opening statements:

Here is video of the answers to the first question, which dealt with why was it necessary to include Somers in the intergovernmental agreements and why couldn’t Paris just keep all of the development revenue from the I-94 corridor north of Highway 142:

While they did not attend or participate in the debate, the recall challengers did this week issue (via Facebook) a joint call for the incumbent board members to resign.

From the challengers statement:

They have admitted that $1.25m of funds should not be given to Somers as part of an intergovernmental agreement, and that Somers should pay their own legal bills. The dramatic U-turn was revealed while a Freedom of Information request submitted by Citizens for Responsible Government uncovered their legal bills. Documents obtained from the Town of Paris show a catalog of legal expenses charged to the taxpayer in order to block democratic efforts to get a recall election and referendum petition.”

The recall election will take place Nov. 22.



  1. Investing 101: we should never allocate 25% of our investments in 1 entity says:

    Border Protection from Somers is NOT needed. No one will voluntarily annex into Somers because Somers can’t offer sewer and water. The only reason anyone is annexing into Somers is because the Town Board is forcing them into Somers.

    Border protection from Kenosha makes more sense because Kenosha CAN offer sewer and water.

    Prior to this IGA, Paris invested it’s money intelligently (diversified in investment grade assets).

    Never did we allocate a penny to Somers and never did we allocate more than 10% to any one entity.

  2. Anyone but Somers says:

    Somers is our competition because they have just as much vacant land along the Interstate as Paris. This agreement gives Somers veto rights on developing land subject to profit sharing. Somers will develop all land east of the interstate prior to west of the interstate.

    An ideal profit partner would be Bristol as Bristol doesn’t have any vacant land along the interstate. If the MOU would allow Somers to provide water, why not Bristol?

    Even Kenosha has significantly less vacant land along the Interstate as compared to Somers.

    It’s not personal, it’s logical.

    Anyone but Somers!

  3. The Board just lied to us again. says:

    The City of Kenosha is NOT going to pay for most of the infrastructure needed to serve Paris and/or Somers residents.

    Monson said that the $5 million revolving loan to Somers isn’t earmarked for future infrastructure because the city is “ going to be putting most of that infrastructure in.”

  4. Tie the $5 million loan to infrastructure. says:

    To assure revenue to Paris, we need to assure the infrastructure is funded.

  5. We all realize dump revenues are declining says:

    We just don’t believe you are doing enough to assure that revenue is replaced.

  6. Building a true partnership says:

    If you wanted to work with the residents of Paris, you wouldn’t dictate where and when. You’d get consensus BEFORE moving forward.

    Maybe this manual can explain:

  7. Where are we at? says:

    Thanks to the comments from Paris residents, we have an IGA that’s better for the Town of Paris:
    1) Paris is no longer paying Somers a fee of $1.25 million.
    2) Paris is no longer paying Somers legal bill.

    But, Paris is still making a $5 million loan to Somers and such loan is not tied to the infrastructure that is needed to bring revenue to Paris.

  8. What should we do? says:

    If Paris is providing all the land AND all the money, the money should at least be allocated to infrastructure costs that result in revenue sharing.

    All Somers has to do is approve the developments and receive their 1/2 of the revenue created on our land with our money.

  9. Infrastructure says:

    Monson said that the $5 million revolving loan to Somers isn’t earmarked for future infrastructure because the city is “ going to be putting most of that infrastructure in.”

    Assuming the city is putting in MOST, who is putting in the rest?

    It’s either nobody (which means no revenue sharing) OR it’s Paris.

    If we want revenue sharing, we need to tie the loan to infrastructure costs not covered by the city.

  10. Challengers want to KEEP taxes low says:

    If we don’t generate revenue from the IGA with Somers, our taxes will be tied solely to the dump.

    In order to KEEP taxes low, the challengers believe we need to tie the $5 million loan to infrastructure costs.


    The most significant change made to the IGA:

    Paris was making a $3 million loan to Somers that was tied to infrastructure costs needed to generate revenue sharing.

    The Board removed that loan and KEPT the $5 million loan NOT tied to infrastructure costs.

  12. Northwestern Mike says:

    Hey Darren,

    Please post the video of Ken Monson’s closing statement.

    I think that was a great summary of last evening.

  13. Vidoes are great says:

    Video means accountability.

    The Town of Paris should video record all meetings.

    Thank you Darren for taking the initiative.

  14. Oh dear! Just 30 people? I guess they were mainly Reckless Ron’s friends or family. Next time he sets a debate up perhaps he’ll remember to tell the opponents the time and date and see if they are OK with the moderator. Speaking of which, isn’t he an old friend of Virgils from Somers? Just asking…

    Btw has anyone seen NW Mike? Maybe he’s still asleep in the hall after waiting for two hours to hear the Board debate themselves 😉

    PS will they resign as they are asking in the Kenosha paper?

  15. Northwestern Mike says:

    Look at the time stamps.

    The first six comments were written by the same person.

    At 9:35am the next five comments were also written by the same person.

  16. Northwestern Mike says:

    The incumbents were invited to take part in a debate by Ron Kammerzelt on October 19.

    It was reported in this story on Kenosha News.
    Recall election of entire Paris Town Board to be Nov. 22
    Challengers face a Tuesdayafternoon filing deadline
    Published October 19, 2016

    They refused to take any action to initiate a debate and then they complain when Ron takes the initiative.

    They had several days before the debate was scheduled to offer input. They declined.

  17. Northwestern Mike says:

    “Thanks to the comments from Paris residents, we have an IGA that’s better for the Town of Paris:
    1) Paris is no longer paying Somers a fee of $1.25 million.
    2) Paris is no longer paying Somers legal bill.”

    Thanks to Ron for this. He did the actual work not the challengers.

    The challengers just lie and complain.

  18. Paris Resident says:

    The challengers were notified of the debate but chose to ignore the invitation. The challengers are using the excuse that they were not notified. How about the challengers withdraw from the election since they didn’t care enough to attend. Many pertinent issues were discussed. The residents of Paris were entitled to ask them questions instead of relying on their handouts and social media posts which have contained erroneous information. If you want to challenge someone because you think they acted inappropriately, then be there.

  19. Thomas Gaynor survived says:

    Thomas Gaynor’s life was saved on Sept 20th, 2016 thanks to the work of several people including:
    * Twin Lakes Paramedic Ron Redlin and
    * Richmond Paramedics Damien Amore and Donald Raef

    Paramedics can resuscitate and support patients with significant problems such as heart attacks:
    * EMT course is 3 to 4 weeks.
    * Paramedic course is 30 to 45 weeks.

    Bristol added paramedics in 2014:

    Silver Lake in 2013

  20. Done without the approval of the electors says:

    Since at least December 2014, we can see a pattern of not involving the electors:
    “In mid-December 2014, the Town of Paris was notified by a resident that the increase for the Clerk-Treasurer, effective April, 2011, was done without approval of the electors.”

    And since 2008, losing minutes when it’s convenient:
    “The Town has been unable to locate the minutes from the 2008 Special Town Meeting.”

  21. Inconsistencies in Board's explanations says:

    When it serves this board, they clarify that a resident would have to petition to leave Paris. When it doesn’t serve this board, the Board spreads fear that Kenosha (or Somers) will gobble up Paris.

    If this IGA was always about profit sharing with Somers, why was the “First factor to bear in mind” about border protections and not revenue????

    In 2011, The Board corrected a resident to explain that the City of Kenosha can only take an area if someone petitions to be annexed.

    But in 2016 to justify the IGA, “The first factor to bear in mind is that Paris is a town, and under state law, towns are subject to piecemeal annexation by incorporated villages and cities.”

  22. Agreement with Somers is only good for 10yrs says:

    The Board is trying to convince us they have a poison pill that will force Somers to renew the IGA.

    But if the profit sharing is successful, the poison pill isn’t so lethal. Somers will get 100% of the revenue if they don’t renew the revenue sharing agreement (maybe 100% of the revenue finances the poison pill payment).

  23. Termination of IGA inexpensive for Somers says:

    The new Memorandum of Understanding doesn’t mention a poison pill.

    Matter of fact, the original IGA poison pill is only $37,500 / yr ($375,000 over 10 years).
    * Basically, we give Somers a $5 million loan at AAA rates.
    * The penalty if Somers doesn’t renew agreement is the interest they should have paid given they are only BBB rated (Somers is paying BBB rates currently so they are use to paying this rate).

    The difference in spread between AAA rates and BBB rates is 0.75% (1.00% minus 0.25%). See 15yr difference between two for yourself:

    See: last sentence of Paragraph 7gi (which refers to 7d).

    See 7giii: NPV of 20yrs of profit sharing. This won’t amount to squat as Somers will develop land east of I-94 to get 100% of real estate taxes and to minimize this penalty.

  24. Northwestern Mike says:

    From Kenosha News
    Sunday November 13, 2016

    DARTS —
    “To Joe Kolnik, Bob Fliess and Paul Terry, who a gathered enough signatures to force a recall election in the town of Paris but then refused to participate in a debate with members of the town board. Challengers generally try to debate as often as possible. Usually its the incumbents who try to duck out.”

    This is not how you define transparency. Kenosha News agrees.

    Hey threeforParis, why were my Facebook comments deleted from your page?
    I thought you were all for transparency.

  25. Northwestern Mike says:

    Hey Darren I know you have been busy, but four comments are waiting for moderation.

  26. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Mike, Ron did not do all the work. Ron was done after he negotiated the horrible first IGA. You and the board have to give fair credit to Kolnik and Taylor for filing to stop this terrible deal for a huge portion of Paris residents. If they had not done so, there would be nothing further to discuss. In 2 more hours the agreement would have gone into effect and therefore this current board would have negotiated the worst boundary agreement imaginable. Nothing more to negotiate. Ron should be thanking them for a second chance to fix that garbage they tried to sneak past ALL the residents. He can’t take much credit for having to try to improve the agreement.
    Also the board lies. A lot. They were going to lose in court. The writing was on the wall. About the first IGA, and the battle over water. Do they think they could really challenge and beat the DNR? They had no choice but to negotiate a new deal.

  27. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing new in Paris,

    Did Kolnik and Taylor negotiate the MOU with Kenosha, Somers, and Paris or did Responsible Ron?

    Whatever your name,

    The revised IGA with Somers was negotiated under a different boundary agreement statue then the original one which eliminates the 10 year renewal requirement.

    If you had shown up at the debate you would have heard Responsible Ron explain this. Your loss, but your ignorance (not knowing) shows.

    Again the developer decides what land to develop not the village.

  28. Northwestern Mike says:

    To defenders of the challengers,

    How do you explain the DART from Kenosha News and the lack of transparency? Cat got your tongue?

    The picture at the beginning of this story of the incumbents debating and the challengers’ EMPTY table reminds of what my 100 year old father used to say “just an EMPTY suit.”

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    cluck, cluck, cluck, CLUCKAAAAAWWWWK!
    buack buack buack buack!

  29. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Mike, you missed the point. Go back and read the first six sentences.
    Also, why do you assume that I was not at the “debate” or see an entire recording of said “debate”? Don’t assume things. Just like you shouldn’t assume that Ron tells the whole truth. He often likes to spin things.

  30. Nothing new in Paris says:

    BTW, the incumbents did not debate. It was an infomercial. I have seen their product and I’m not buying.

  31. Paris Pundit says:

    @Northwestern Mike: “Responsible Ron”??? Hilarious!! The Comedy Club is hiring…you should fill out an application! You rely on the Kenosha News (you routinely chastise Darren for not printing your posts in a timely fashion to your liking)
    for information? To quote you: “cluck, cluck, cluck CLUCKAAAAWWWWK! You might consider trying out for the “Gong Show”. Chuck Barris would love to “GONG ” you!

  32. Just Some Thoughts says:

    NW Mike,

    Responsible Ron? Are you joking??? Kolnik and Taylor STOPPED the original IGA that YOU and the board gloated over. If not for them this “great”, yet still a joke, 2nd IGA would not even be here yet or even at all.

    What was there to debate?? Going to debate the 1st IGA, the 2nd IGA, or what. Do you or Ron or the other 2 on the board think before you spout off?? What great knowledge did you learn at the debate? Did you learn how many ceiling tiles are in the gym??? Because what the board says is just a tape set on replay!!

  33. Northwestern Mike says:

    Done without the approval of the electors,

    And since 2008, losing minutes when it’s convenient:
    “The Town has been unable to locate the minutes from the 2008 Special Town Meeting.”

    If this individual gets to make this accusation against the Town, I get to defend them.

    Linda Terry, the wife of one of the challengers, was the Clerk-Treasurer in 2008.

    See for yourself.

  34. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing New in Paris,

    I did not miss the point. The first six sentences did not negotiate the new MOU. Ron did. The first IGA got Kenosha to come to the table. Then a new agreement was reached.

    “Anger is not a plan.”

  35. Northwestern Mike says:

    Paris Pundit,

    That was some showboating tonight by Mr. Kolnik at the Town Board meeting. Setting up a video camera tonight to record the board was so asinine. He videoed them approving the Treasure’s Report and changing the date of next month’s meeting.

    Does that make you look involved? Far from it! You had your chance at the debate and missed it. That show tonight will not make up for it.

  36. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts,

    The revised IGA with Somers was negotiated under a different boundary agreement statue then the original one which eliminates the 10 year renewal requirement.

  37. Northwestern Mike says:

    Look at the picture with this story.

    Residents I have talked noticed who was a “NO SHOW”.

  38. Just Some Thoughts says:

    NW Mike,
    you say look at the big picture. Big picture is this, the board tried to run a ridiculous IGA past everyone’s back, people found out, VOICED THEIR DISLIKE for this said IGA. Then the town ends up in lawsuits due to THE BOARDS ACTIONS to try and pass the original IGA. Kenosha wouldn’t have been able to come to the table if not for these lawsuits!! This is common knowledge bud. After all the run around the board has now found themselves on the chopping block due to poor judgment, hence the recall election. And that chief, is “the big picture”.

    Maybe I should have went to college and went for a master degree in art!! I may just change my name from Just Some Thoughts to Picasso. HA!

  39. Nothing new in Paris says:

    Sorry, but the first IGA did NOT get Kenosha to the table! It was the fact that once they saw they were going to lose the court battles they started to finally talk to Kenosha again. They were very happy to ram that original IGA down our throats and be done.
    Unfortunately, they had to waste a ton of money in the process and violate the Freedom of Information Act repeatedly.
    Linda Terry was a good clerk. She was also appointed not elected. The Board was 100% her boss. I am sure she would follow what her bosses tell her to do or expect to be fired.

  40. Northwestern Mike says:

    Just Some Thoughts,

    The challengers refused to show up for the debate and Joe Kolnik misspoke that his dad helped create the deal with the landfill. Their supporters don’t care.

    Likewise the town board supporters don’t put as much emphasis on the first IGA and are happy with the final MOU between Kenosha, Somers and Paris.

    To each their own.

    Knowledge is always a good thing, it couldn’t hurt.

  41. Northwestern Mike says:

    Nothing new in Paris,

    Were you there? If you say so, it must be true.

    That is Linda Terry’s name with votes for and against after her name. Sure seems like election results to me, besides the Clerk-Treasure’s job is an elected position.

    Beverly has the same type of election results and she was elected.

  42. Nothing New in Paris says:

    It used to be appointed. Now she can, and was, controlled by the board. How convenient.

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