But two incumbent aldermen will not run in April

By Ed Nadolski

Editor in Chief

Burlington Mayor Jeannie Hefty intends to seek another term in April, but at least two of the four incumbent aldermanic candidates will not run for re-election on April’s ballot.

First District Alderman Edward Johnson and Second District Alderwoman Ruth Dawidziak have both filed papers stating their intentions to not seek another term, according to City Clerk Diahnn Halbach.

Jeannie Hefty

The other two seats that will appear on the spring ballot are currently held by Tom Vos, the longest tenured member of the council, and Tom Preusker. Vos represents the Third District and Preusker the Fourth District.

Beginning Dec. 1 prospective candidates may circulate nomination papers for the seats appearing on the ballot. Aldermanic candidates must have a minimum of 20 valid signatures on their nomination papers and mayoral candidates need a minimum of 50 signatures, according to Halbach.

Those who are interested in seeking office may obtain candidacy and nomination papers from Halbach at City Hall, 300 N. Pine St., weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To be eligible for the spring ballot, prospective candidates must turn their papers in by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 2.

Incumbents who don’t intend to run must file notice of non-candidacy by Dec. 22.

Hefty, who served as mayor from 1992 to 2000 before winning the 2015 election, said she believes the city has made good progress the past two years and she wants to continue that trend.

“As long as I can do the job, I want to continue,” she said. “When it’s time (to step down) I’ll know.”

She cited several initiatives over the past two years that she views as successfully improving the city.

Among them are:

  • Working with the new owner of the Fox River Plaza shopping center to attract Big R and fill other vacancies at the shopping center;
  • Successfully lobbying the Department of Transportation to change the configuration of the traffic signals at Pine Street and the Burlington bypass to improve safety – “There hasn’t been a fatality since,” she said;
  • Presiding over the Common Council’s approval of the new Burlington Community Aquatic Center;
  • Participating in federal disaster response training last spring – a program that paid off when the city’s department heads dealt with the July flood;
  • Working with the city police department to restore the canine unit;
  • Rallying supporters of the Martin Square and Veterans Memorial projects in two local parks; and
  • Establishing the city’s first Ice Festival and Autumn Fest.

Hefty said the next big challenge she sees is preparing the city to handle the growth and opportunity that will inevitably come to Burlington in the wake of the massive Foxconn development in Mount Pleasant.

“That’s staring me right in the face,” she said.


Alderman steps aside

Johnson, who intended to step down prior to the 2015 election, eventually agreed to seek another term as a write-in after no other candidates emerged for his seat.

Aldermen are paid 3,600 annually and the mayor receives $7,200.