Well, this is interesting. Randy Koehler is a West Bend Alderman who announced this summer that he would not run for reelection. Now he has changed his mind and will run. Koehler is one of the only aldermen who has been pushing for property tax increases the past few years and was frustrated because the rest of the council did not want to raise taxes. From Judy Steffes’ story in the Daily News:
“I’d rather see it gradually increase rather than one big increase and this was the perfect year to do it because MPTC (Moraine Park Technical College) and the West Bend School District went down, and this would have been our chance to go up a bit and really not affect the other tax bill. But nobody wanted to agree with me.”
When Koehler had said he wasn’t running, Chris Jenkins, the president of the West Bend Community Memorial Library Board, had already thrown his hat in the ring. Jenkins is a vocal conservative who has done a good job on the library board. He has run for the City Council unsuccessfully in the past. Although I have not seen a statement from Jenkins promising to keep property taxes frozen, he advocates for conservative positions and I would expect such a position soon.
District 4 in West Bend will have a pretty clear choice in April. The incumbent candidate wants to end the 4-year trend of property tax freezes for the city. The challenger is running as a conservative who will likely maintain the spending and taxing discipline the city has demonstrated in recent years. The April election just got more interesting in West Bend.