Incumbents challenged by newcomer for Fox Point board

Published on: 2/22/2013

Fox Point - Newcomer Terry McGauran is challenging incumbents Eric Fonstad and Doug Frazer for a seat on the Fox Point Village Board.

McGauran is retired after holding various management positions at Johnson Controls for 44 years. He participated in Junior Achievement and United Fund work and promotion during his tenure at the company. Frazer, a tax attorney for DeWitt Ross & Stevens, has served three years on the village board. Fonstad, a retired corporate attorney, has served six years on the board.

Issues facing Fox Point center on major capital expenditures needing to be addressed, primarily the Bridge Lane Ravine footbridge, expanding the North Shore library and the community pool, Frazer said.

Looking to the next three years, Frazer would like to see the pool, which was first constructed in 1968, be refurbished. Though not a new idea, he is in favor of moving toward curbside garbage collection. This, he said would result in significant savings year after year, which could go toward the cost of renovation.

Residential surveys about curbside collection; however, have come back inconclusive.

'There is not a clear consensus to moving to curbside pickup and I think that's why the board has not moved forward with greater alacrity, but when we get to the pool item on the budget the question is how are we going to fund this?' he said. 'And the answer may be yes, or in part, but the answer I like is: let's pay for part of it, or all of it, by moving to curbside pickup.'

Manager a priority

First and foremost, Fonstad said hiring a new village manager is a top priority for the board, as it is a crucial management role for the village. In serving three more years he wants the footbridge completed, as well as the library and pool addressed. He would also like to re-establish some of the footpaths from the bluff to the lake and accommodate the many hikers in the village.

'I think the overall challenge is to manage the village so that we maintain the highly desirable residential character of the village because, over time, that's the way we are going to be able to manage our expenses because we don't have the opportunity to expand commercially, and we are fully built up so we have to maintain the quality of housing and increase the tax base that way,' Fonstad said.

McGauran is hoping to bring his years of experience working in business and management to the board.

McGauran first became interested in running for office when the village began to redo water mains and sewer lines on his street, which he said raised questions for him as a property owner that he would like to delve into should he be elected. He is also hoping the village can continue developing a public/private partnership to ultimately replace the footbridge.

'I bring sound judgment and insight gained from the many business disciplines I have experienced during my career,' he said. 'I have a vested interest in the continued success of the village in enhancing the quality of life and community value through the maintenance and improvement of services and public amenities in an efficient and cost effective manner.'

Quality housing key

Since the residential areas of the village are fully developed and there is no room for commercial expansion, Fonstad said the key is in maintaining the quality of housing.

'I really want to work with the staff and rest of the trustees to try to manage the finances of the village given the constraints we face,' he said. 'I enjoy serving the village as a trustee, and I work very hard at making sure I understand the issues and try to act in the best interest of all village residents.'

Frazer views himself as one of the strongest fiscal conservatives currently on the board.

'I take pride at watching our budget closely and looking for ways to maintain essential services and good services - because the village has good services - but in a way so we don't have to raise taxes and minimize what we have to do in that regard,' he said.

McGauran said he is looking to serve his community and bring new ideas to the board.

'I feel I can be a service and bring some value to the board,' he said.

Village trustees serve three-year terms and are unpaid.