Delavan alderman faces a challenger
DELAVAN Voters in Delavan District No. 3 face a choice between an incumbent alderman and a newcomer who has experience working with city officials.
Incumbent Ryan Schroeder, 38, of 510 S. Seventh St., faces Chris Lindloff, 36, of 519 E. Geneva St., Delavan.
Schroeder was an alderman from 1999 to 2009. He was re-elected in 2011.
Lindloff is on the city planning commission and the Downtown Delavan Steering Committee.
Lindloff said he is running because he thinks there is a need for change in Delavan.
“Right now, there are over 200 vacant homes, vacant businesses and a vacant industrial park,” Lindloff wrote in an email. “We need to get people back to Delavan and improve our image. Some want to ignore this issue, but it is not going away. “
Lindloff suggested that instead of waiting for businesses to come here, the city needs to be “proactive and go out and get the businesses to come here.”
“The city council needs to meet with the Delavan-Darien School Board and see how we can work together and improve Delavan as we both want,” Lindloff wrote. “If we can get businesses to move to Delavan and improve our schools, the people will follow.”
Schroeder touted his record on the council.
“We have been frugal with the resources given to us by the state and other revenues such as property taxes while still being able to provide a high level of service for people,” Schroeder said.
He’s pleased the city council approved a tax incremental financing district for the downtown area.
Tax increment financing is a tool for governments to attract private investment. It allows municipalities to acquire property, eliminate dilapidated buildings, make improvements in infrastructure and charge the cost to a TIF district.
The municipality then offers sites in the district to businesses for free or at great discounts to draw development. As the district’s property value rises because of the new investment, the increases in property taxes are used to repay only the municipality’s costs. When the costs are paid or the district’s limited life expires, the new property taxes are distributed among all taxing jurisdictions, such as school districts and the county.
“I’ve been interested in downtown to day one, before it was popular,” Schroeder said. “I appreciate the district. I’ve fought to preserve our history.”
Lindloff said that as a member of the Downtown Delavan Steering Committee, he helped make several of the recent decisions regarding downtown.
“One thing we have done on the downtown committee is get the input of citizens,” Lindloff wrote. “We’ve had a couple of listening sessions to hear what the community wants.”
That kind of openness is crucial to the process of making downtown Delavan a destination for both residents and visitors, Lindloff said.
City officials could help efforts in the downtown and elsewhere, Lindloff said.
“I think that the city leaders need to get out there and promote Delavan to potential businesses,” Lindloff said. “We need to get them to realize that this could be a great place to have a business.”
Schroeder stressed that he’s been able to work with a variety of people during his time on the council.
“If people take time to look at my record, it’s really been very moderate,” Schroeder said. “I’ve always been interested in doing what’s best for the city of Delavan—I don’t care who gets the credit.”
Along with the downtown, Schroeder said it’s important for the community to protect its lakes. By protecting the lakes, the city is protecting its tourism industry and improving quality of life for all residents, he said.
Schroeder worked to ban phosphorus in fertilizers used in the area and was named the Clean Water Action Fund’s 2007 local official of the year.
The group recently endorsed him in this race.