Two people who have already served as the supervisor for the town of Genoa are facing off to fill the seat's next term.

Lorie Sellen-Gross, the current supervisor, and Hans Pecher, who had been in the role for 18 years in the past, will be on the ballot Nov. 7.

Sellen-Gross, running on the Republican line, started as the supervisor in 2010 and began as a town board member in 1998. She wants to continue in the supervisor role because there is more work to be done, she said.

+1 
Lorie Sellen-Gross

Lorie Sellen-Gross

One difference between how the job is done currently versus how it was when she started, she said, is she's now finding herself having to do more with decreased funds. She said it requires the town to be accountable and to "stretch your budget to make end's meet." She said the state has asked towns to share more resources with other municipalities.

On her to-do list if re-elected: Keeping property taxes at or under the state's cap while still providing services to community members. She said also wants to make sure residents' water remains safe and clean.

It isn't all about policy for Sellen-Gross, though. She said she has greatly enjoyed working in the community and that she likes the people she works with, saying there's "a good rapport" with those around her.

Pecher, a retired farmer running on the Conservative Party line, was also a county legislator from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that, held the Genoa supervisor position from 1981 to 1999. He believes his experience qualifies him to take the spot again, noting he thinks the projects the town has coming up will require someone with his background to see them through.

+1 
Hans Pecher

Hans Pecher

He said one of the primary reasons he wanted to run is because he believes Sellen-Gross has not always followed proper legal procedures in running the town.

Pecher pointed to an instance where two board members voted to approve a cell phone tower lease agreement with APC Tower despite being absent from the meeting. Board meeting minutes from Aug. 12, 2015, show board members Al Armstrong and Cheryl Shields were absent for the meeting but voted for the lease agreement in absentia. The resolution passed, with four approving votes, including the two in absentia votes. 

"That isn't something that's acceptable," Pecher said.

The minutes show Sellen-Gross abstained from voting on the lease.

Sellen-Gross said the board later voted for the lease agreement again, in October 2016. Minutes from the Oct. 12, 2016, meeting show the lease passed, though Sellen-Gross was absent.

Pecher also had concerns about how funds from the lease agreement were allocated. According to the Oct. 12, 2016, minutes, Pecher was at the meeting and said funds should have gone to the water department due to it sharing land with the water tower.

The Dec. 14, 2016, meeting minutes said Sellen-Gross asked the town attorney about the funds received from the tower lease and was told the tower is part of Genoa. The water district would have to take on all tower expenses if the district wanted the rental funds, according to the minutes.

Sellen-Gross said no funds from the tower lease went to the water district fund.

Pecher said issues like that "triggered" him into running again. He said those issues didn't occur when he was originally supervisor.

"I'm not saying we never made any mistakes, but we didn't make big ones like that," Pecher said.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

0
0
0
0
1

Education Reporter