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Elmwood Park Committee Looking to Recall Village President

Another recall could be underway in Wisconsin, this time in Elmwood Park.

Friends of the Village of Elmwood Park have filed the paperwork to collect petitions to recall Village President Audrey Viau.

filed the necessary documents on Friday with the Racine County Clerk's office.

The petition states the primary reason as "neglect of duty as Village Board President" and included an attachment of 11 points the group feels are illustration of Viau's poor leadership. Two of the points include direct references to 's proposal to building a 40,000 square foot Neighborhood Market grocery store on the

"Mismanagement of the Taylor Home Complex" includes three bullet points that allege Viau ignores that the property continues to run a deficit; that Viau fails to use a professional realtor/broker to market and represent the property; and that Viau fails to make sure the property remains attractive to bring in renters for needed income.

Resident Maureen Bagg a couple of weeks ago told Patch that recall could be a second choice while trying to petition a judge - if it were even possible - to declare Viau's leadership as "gross negligence." Another possibility could have been petitioning the board.

Now, though, Nick Haas, who presented the paperwork to the clerk's office, said recall is really the only option.

"We aren't choosing a recall over trying to get the board to remove Audrey. We just don't trust them to get it done," he said via email. "Our hope would be that the board would have the decency to remove her, which they can get done before we can get a recall done."

Kathy Clouthier questions how upset her neighbors can really be when Viau continues to run for re-election unopposed.

"I mean, how can anyone really be that upset when no one ever comes forward to run against her?" she asked .

The Friends of the Village of Elmwood Park do not yet have a solid candidate to run against Viau, but Haas said one resident has stepped forward to serve as interim and another may be interested in running in April.

"There are a couple of candidate possibilities we are talking to," Haas said. "But we hope to have a candidate as soon as possible."

Elmwood Park had 264 registered voters cast ballots in the 2010 gubernatorial election so they would need 66 signatures - 25 percent - to force a recall. Scheduling an election depends on how quickly the signatures get collected and if there is a solid candidate to run against Viau.

James R Hoffa July 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM
@Heather A - I believe your story about Racine Railroad Products moving to Mount Pleasant will answer that question for you ;-)
ming July 01, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I would have no problem telling Wal-Mart that they would need to build on the existing footprint but doing that won't settle anything. Wal-Mart could even decide to walk away from the site altogether. This is also not about who's side the law is on. It's about not wanting Wal-Mart to locate anywhere, period. Elmwood Park needs the tax base and the Wal-Mart gift horse is knocking at the door. When an unruly mob goes after and verbally abuses the only person that's been willing to take on the duties of running the village (for many, many years), they need to be challenged. 'See you all at the new Wal-Mart. (-:
mau July 01, 2012 at 11:51 PM
They were driven out of Caledonia too. That is a perfect example of an area that could have used a grocery store with good prices. And it would have been a convenient place for us to shop. I would have liked to see them build a full size Walmart there. But there again you have Walgreens and Pick n Save dominating the area. Does there seem to be a pattern here?
Jeff Warg July 02, 2012 at 02:42 AM
@Heather The tax bill in the city would be at least double that of the suburbs. On a $10 million project, that is a key factor in deciding where to locate.
Heather Asiyanbi July 02, 2012 at 01:47 PM
There are financial incentive packages available to all municipalities to attract businesses and Racine is no exception. Of course taxes are higher in the city than in the villages, but I don't think that's Walmart's primary objection to locating in Racine.

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