By: Rebecca Miller
Edgerton Council Members Bob Day and Jason Gruver both stepped up as candidates for Mayor in 2019 when long time mayor Lance Bowsher decided not to run again. “We are friends,” Day, who won the election, shared, “and we agreed before we ran, that no matter who got elected, we’d stay that way, and we are.
Jason is still on Council and we look forward to working together.” Previously, Day was on the Edgerton School Board, serving as President for one year, and then has just spent the past almost two years on Village council.
Born and raised in Edgerton, he loves his hometown, and is hoping to lead it’s citizens well as Mayor. With a population over 2000, only 541 residents chose to use their right as a U.S. citizen to vote in January 2020.
Day feels that fewer people are taking advantage of their right to vote and fewer people are stepping into opportunities for volunteerism than there use to be. He is hoping to help develop a deeper understanding of rights and a love for helping the community “again”.
Some of the needs he plans to encourage council to address are the use of the village’s “bottom line” resources to 1. Repair or Replace the 53 year old Water Treatment Plant and water towers; 2. Implement a Sidewalk Program throughout the village; and 3. Improve the Street Maintenance Program.
“We have wonderful resources here in Edgerton that have not been tapped,” Day shared. Another of his desires is to develop the Central Park in the middle of Edgerton. The land sits basically empty and he believes it could become another great park for residents like Miller Park on the west end of town.
With that thought in mind, he contacted the man who designed Miller Park back in the late 1970’s, Brent Dennis. “I reached out to my former classmate and friend, Brent Dennis, to put on paper my vision for our Central Park, to begin a conversation,” he wrote in his bid for mayor.
Dennis loved the idea and drew up an elaborate plan which many citizens have already seen, including a child’s splash pad, an amphitheater, a picnic shelter, pickle ball court and dog park. He is thrilled about having a Veterans Memorial and Garden around “Clem” the statue of a soldier that is already there.
Day’s highest priority for the park is to put in a new Basketball court for residents to enjoy. “Edgerton is big on basketball,” Day shared, “ and we have two courts, with one of those being hard to play on as it is tilted and the other with no lights for night play, while we have seven baseball diamonds!”
Nothing against baseball but he really wants to get a new court put in there at the center of town. The hope is to also have a fence between the railroad and the park as well as a partial sound barrier, to reduce “noise pollution.” For funding the project, he has a number of great ideas, with one being to approach alumni from the past and ask them to donate toward it, and another, to apply for grants.
Day explained clearly in his write up which he passed out to the citizens during his run for mayor, that Edgerton already has some money laid aside caused by the higher taxes that continued to be levied after the town debt was paid off.
“Long term…I believe that this is a ‘GO’ season for the Village of Edgerton but we need a vision for the future,” Day said. He feels strongly that small towns are NOT dying, that actually young people with families are starting to feel the need for connection with families and for a safer place to live.”
“Many are “returning to their hometown roots as they retire. If that is true, we need to continue to improve our amenities to accommodate these family’s lifestyles. This would include updated parks, adding bike trails, walking trails and more local business options. I believe they want to have the best of both worlds, small town atmosphere with its safety, but also business, services and recreational options.”
He spoke highly of the schools and Miller Park as a great draw to Edgerton. He hopes to make the “Court of Legends” Basketball Court in Central Park, a lighted court that would “bring life to our park and downtown area.” It would have a mural honoring the 1959 State Champs, the 1981 girls state finalists and 1999 boys state finalists, “of course leaving some space for our next state qualifier!”
Bob Day is married to his high school sweetheart, Michelle, and they have three sons, Jordan, Joshua and Jonathan, who are all grown. He graduated from Edgerton High School in 1976, and owns and operates Day Carpet in Downtown Edgerton.
As he moves into this position in this town he loves, he said, “We just need to get a majority thought and start tackling it. Let’s get this stuff done and make our town an even better place.”
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org