Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Boy am I glad I don't live in Kenosha

That's because of the upcoming election for mayor.

John Antaramian is wimping out and not seeking another term.

Antaramian, a former state legislator, has a laundry list of accomplishments over his 16 years as mayor.

Along the way, of course, he's made some enemies and is not above some criticism but at the end of the day all of that's foreshadowed by the progress the city has made. Kenosha is among a handful of cities which have both expanded outward and redeveloped major parts of the central city.

Enter the potential successors of which four could be considered contenders at this time.

First, there's former mayor Pat Moran, a charismatic intellectual who did a good job during his prior stint.

No doubt Moran and John Bilotti, who's backing Pat, helped nudge Kenosha into the future but Moran's views about community growth suggest that he hasn't evolved much since his turn at the helm. This could be a very substantial issue. Turning the clock back shouldn't be an option.

Keith Bosman, a former city council president, wants to take over where Antaramian will have left off.

While Moran is charismatic, Bosman is fairly low-key and there may be some issues with his list of supporters looking a lot like a roster of local union leaders. Not that it's bad to be liked by these folks but shouldn't he have a broader base?

It's too bad one can't merge Moran and Bosman.

Another former council president, Everett Butler is, like Moran and Bosman, a decent guy with a long record of community service.

Butler is a thoughtful, likeable guy but his web site lists only a few one-liners as his issues. It's hard to get a sense of his vision with just a few generalities. Perhaps he'll develop them as election day nears but, hey, it's not rocket science.

The final well-known contender is Michael Bell who still appears obsessed over the shooting of his son by a police officer.

The elder Bell, who has a lawsuit pending against the city, would certainly pose an interesting conflict as the mayor of a city he's suing. That said, his lack of competence and questionable sincerity makes him a dark horse in this race.

A late entrant is computer programmer Maria Perri. Little is known about her or where she stands. Enough said.

Given these choices, being a city voter could be a major challenge this spring.

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