The race for two trustee positions on the Village Board drew seven candidates, including incumbents Dan Neu and Bill Collins, both of whom easily advanced to the April 1 election. Neu took in 607 votes, according to the village’s unofficial totals, and Collins gathered 521.
Voters thinned the herd to four Tuesday. Candidates Greg Krznarich, Gil Frank, Nick Hansen, Russ Zold and Bill Meyers all entered the race with the same agenda: Keep sewer and water out of Richfield and change village ordinances to trigger referendums for capital spending projects over a certain dollar amount — the figure varied between candidates.
Frank said before the primaries that voters could pick “Any two of the five to change what happens in Richfield.”
They chose him and former county supervisor Bill Meyers at 288 votes and 226, respectively.
“I certainly hope (voters) get educated on the issues and they get out at the polls,” Meyers said. “I think that the issues facing the village are serious enough that if people don’t get educated, our village will be run by special interest groups.”
Meyers said that he would put his house up for sale and move if he had to if the culture of Richfield deviated from the village’s motto, “A country way of life.”
Frank said he has a narrow focus going into the general election.
“We have to get this ordinance changed. That’s all I care about,” he said. Frank referred to the village’s public works ordinance, which granted voters the right to have a referendum to determine if sewer and water would be installed west of Highway 175 in the village, and also stipulated a referendum for capital improvement projects that cost more than $5 million. Frank said he wanted a referendum for all sewer and water projects.
Neu and Collins have long insisted that there are no plans for sewer and water to be installed in the village, and expressed frustration that other candidates are spreading what Neu calls misinformation.
“I just wish everybody would come out with the true facts,” he said, referring to Meyers’ and Frank’s rhetoric concerning sewer and water.
“I look forward to continuing to move the village of Richfield forward in the fashion that we have been. I don’t anticipate anything changing,” Collins added.
Though both incumbents’ totals were almost more than double Frank’s 288 total, hundreds of votes were split between each of the five non-incumbent candidates. That could mean Collins and Neu have a fight on their hands come April.
“You can’t be overconfident,” Collins said. “You have to get out there and talk with the people.”