All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Can an incumbent with $17,000 in his war chest be considered an UNDERDOG?

Now this was a surprising MJS_posting , the mayor is declaring himself as the underdog! Underdog? Besides, Schellinger already claimed_that_status when he said, "Looks like I'm the underdog." (Actually, I would have called Schellinger the dark horse, but that is old news now.)

Think about the mayor claiming underdog status. He the incumbent. He has the ability to make news. He has a bulging war chest of over $17,000--much of it donated by developers or businesses such as paving and excavating contractors. That does not sound like an underdog to me, but then the mayor does like to portray that, awe shucks, "I don't think Mike likes me anymore", image. (Mike Chmurski contributed to Speaker in 2002 and to Kilkenny in 2005. Kilkenny returned that money because Chmurski worked for a developer. According to MJS, "He (Mike) said the two have disagreed about whether Brookfield should enact a local ban on the use of eminent domain for private development, a tool in which government can condemn private properties and resell them for new development.") Rather than address the reason why a 2002 contributor is not contributing to his reelection, the mayor sizes it up as a doesn't like me issue. "

The reason incumbents are not considered the underdog is that they have a record to run on. If they have done a good job during their term, then reelection should be easy. They run on their record--it speaks for itself. Of course if the public does not perceive that they have done a good job, then the incumbent runs from their record. Example: two aldermen up for reelection have already stated that they regret their vote for Capitol Heights.

The mayor said he will be out campaigning more leaving city business in the hands of Dean Marquardt, but the MJS blog reported, he would be at City Hall more than "50% of the time"... "But I'm trying to take some days off to do doors. I'm in the middle of a campaign and I'm the underdog...I think I've got to get the word out more."

On Feb. 9th he was given an invitation to "get the word out", at the candidate forum our neighborhood hosted. He could have addressed 66 people in one evening--after City Hall office hours!

If I were to label a candidate, it would be Kilkenny, the GRASSROOTS candidate. Her support is coming primarily from the people who live here!

Mayor's race
Campaign updates
Aldermanic race, district 6 & 7
If you have any questions or comments, please email me,

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why push this through without the 5th retailer? Because of possible post April 4 City Hall changes?

On the eve of the primary, the common council approved the addition of 5 buildings at Brookfield Square by a vote of 11 - 2, the MJS_reported. Mitchell's Fish Market will be added to the mall itself.

The remaining four buildings are part of the "Gateway" corner addition which is in the TIF #3 district (approved back in July 2004).

The center "Gateway" retailer remains unknown since Organized Living pulled out of the project, filing for bankruptcy last year. When that happened, the whole corner addition was put on hold. No new retailer has stepped forward yet, but now the mall is anxious to push this project through.

Why? Because they know if Kilkenny is elected, she would like to put an end to TIF #3. "If I'm elected (as mayor), it could be all undone," she stated in the Journal article. The mall owners also know that there are 3 contested aldermanic races that may change the complexion of the Common Council.

Not too difficult to figure out who the mall is backing for mayor! "Speaker has been a strong supporter of the tax district and the mall expansions. CBL officials are contributing money to Speaker's re-election campaign. Speaker said the donations have not played a role in his votes for the mall plans." the MJS reported.

When the original "Gateway" corner addition was first discussed in 2005, I attended the public hearing and Common Council meetings. I spoke_against Brookfield mandating that artificial "Main Street Disneyworld" 2nd story requirement and questioned why this incentive to the mall was being considered when the mall had not yet remodeled. The representatives of the retailers involved were very concerned that their building designs for this Brookfield Square project be consistent with their traditional building styles in other areas of the country. Since Brookfield was requiring that false 2nd story facade, this was altering their usual designs.

IF this corner addition is supposed to be the "Gateway" statement for Brookfield, is it logical to go ahead with it without knowing what that central retailer will be? Whoever it is would like to have their building be recognized as their style.

To me, approval without knowing who it is does not make sense. That is unless you are the mall owners and fear the next mayor will remove all the taxpayer financed infrastructure money.

VK and family have also contributed to Speaker's campaign. I remember from the TIF #3 public hearing in 2004, he was one of the few to speak in favor of the TIF. My husband and I along with about 10 others spoke_against that TIF. I believe VK has some property in that TIF too.
Where is the traffic study for this addition; what is the affect of adding 5 additional retailers?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kilkenny and Speaker advance in a neck and neck race & Heinrich and Mellone advance in district 6

Kilkenny led Speaker by a slim 9 vote margin: 1706 to 1697. Schellinger failed to advance with only 614 votes.

Heinrich was the top vote getter in district 6 with 249 votes, Mellone came in second with 218, and Steinberg 154.

The voter turnout was lower than predicted with only a 15.6% showing instead of the 20-25% estimate.

When I cast my vote around 4pm I saw only 2 other households on my ward's sheet marked as having voted. My question to you is, "DID YOU VOTE?"

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Monday, February 20, 2006

It's PRIMARY time: 20-25% voter turn out expected

Tuesday is primary election day in Brookfield and the sub-freezing temperatures are not making campaigning easy for the candidates on the ballot! The MJS_Weblog shed some light on how the three mayoral candidates are spending their last days before voters head to the poles.

Speaker was going door to door "but quit because he didn't want residents to question his sanity campaigning in below freezing temps. 'I think I was losing votes more than getting them,' Speaker joked. 'I didn't want residents to ask 'Do we really want this lunatic running our city?' ", the Journal reported.

The MJS weblog also reported that Schellinger is spending over $2,600 on automated phone calls and post-it-notes alone, and that he is still out door knocking, cold weather or no cold weather. Schellinger just started his own website, . (His flier/postage costs must be high too since we received "his" and "hers" campaign fliers!)

Kilkenny said she was "working strategically". If you recall she said she would be running a more frugal campaign, especially since she is not accepting any developer money donations. She is getting her message out though with her 2 websites: the more informal Campaign_updates and her platform . She has been meeting with voters at neighborhood coffees and the Kinsey Park question and answer "forum". Her more grassroots style campaign has been distributing fliers as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"Better-Outcomes" candidate information now available

Charles Stanfield, who is a 6th district resident, is taking the upcoming aldermanic and mayoral races very seriously. He sent each candidate a questionnaire. All three 6th district aldermen answered, but so far the only mayoral candidate to answer is Cindy Kilkenny.

The MJS_BLOG_POST reported that, "Incumbent Mayor Jeff Speaker and Ald. Tom Schellinger declined repeated requests to participate, said the group's spokesman, Charles Stanfield." (Hmm, that sounds familiar.)

Mr. Stanfield had planned to post these answers on a website, but so far it is not active. The Journal blog page did provide a link to the questions and answers though, so you may read through the candidate's responses. "The candidates questions and answers can be viewed in pdf format:6th District Candidates Mayoral Candidates"

I do not know if Steinberg or Heinrich have websites, but Mellone does, Neither Speaker nor Schellinger have websites that I am aware of; Kilkenny's is,

Update: Someone emailed me that Schellinger now has a website, (This is his website for mayor, not alderman or county supervisor.)

Please take the time to research and evaluate the candidates positions. For example: if a candidate says they are for strong neighborhoods, look at that candidate's record. Does their past performance indicate that they value neighborhood's opinions?

Mayor leads fund raising. $750 of his total was from 3 VK Development Corp. executives

The mayor is the leader this time in fundraising, gaining $4,525 and spending $824. Kilkenny raised $1,322 and spent $750, followed by Schellinger the big spender, who raised $300 and spent $5,479 according to MJS_ARTICLE .

The article stated that there were a number of "development-related contributions" included in the mayor's totals. I would be very curious to see how many?

Two contributions made by CBL executives (Brookfield Square) during the first half of 2005 were included in the last half of 2005's report. I believe these were for $250 each.

The Journal also reported that Speaker's campaign made a $100 donation to Bucher's campaign for Attorney General. If you remember, "Bucher's office is reviewing whether Speaker violated state campaign finance laws by accepting excessive contributions in 2002", according to the MJS article. This case has now been turned over to prosecutor Jennifer Dorow. The MJS_BLOG_POST reported that she would hope "to make a decision in a 'couple weeks,' possibly before the Feb. 21 primary election." The primary is only 5 days away. Will we see any decision on this before then?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh goodie! More traffic, water guzzling restaurants, and another specialty grocer just a mile from another!

In a community that already experiences grid-lock on Bluemound and Moorland Roads and is looking for high flow-rate good quality wells, our Plan Commission votes unanimously to approve more traffic producing & high water/sewer utility using development. Does this make sense?

MJS_article The Journal reported that the commission approved another 22,500 square foot grocer, Fresh Market, for the corner of Bluemound and the west entrance to the mall (Boston Store corner). Can you picture that? Sounds crowded. Don't forget to add the 2 new restaurants on the Moorland and Bluemound corner too. The third store in that corner development is still on hold because the Organized Living that was to have gone in there filed for bankruptcy.

I question why we are approving such a similar grocery store to V. Richard's already in the immediate area. Remember, the Century Centre Pick and Save is nearly ready for business at Greenfield and Moorland/Vista View. How many grocery stores do they think we can support? (I know it is not the commission's job to dictate what type of business a developer can bring forward, but was any attempt made to suggest an alternative? A grocery store is larger than a restaurant. It seems out of proportion to the site.)

I question why we are adding so many traffic producers to the area. Fountain Square's multi-family housing isn't built yet and now we are adding more? How about a traffic study? Why is the future "traffic" on Calhoun Road such a problem and real traffic on Bluemound and Moorland is ignored?

How do the Mayoral Candidates stack up on this one? Well,I would think the mayor is in favor--after all it made it to the plan commission. Tom Schellinger voted for the original corner addition last spring. When I expressed my concerns to him about adding more traffic to the area, his reply was, you should see the traffic in Europe! (I don't choose to live in Europe, I chose to live in Brookfield.) Cindy Kilkenny voted against the Mall corner addition. She said we need a traffic study before adding more development to the area.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mayoral Q&A a SUCCESS, and a SURPRISE!

Our candidate question and answer session was a success! I did see familiar faces as well as some new ones; thank you for coming.

Mary Wacker proved to be an excellent choice for moderator, skillfully organizing the questions and segwaying from one topic to another. Mayoral candidate Cindy Kilkenny answered question after question without missing a beat. You would have thought they did this type of thing every day.

The audience of 66 listened attentively for over 1 1/2 hours. The Q&A session ended with a round of applause after Kilkenny summed up the night by saying, I did not realize when I started out 3 1/2 years ago that this was my going to be my calling. I appreciate the opportunity to tell you about why I am running (tonight). Running is becoming a wonderful experience for me. Thank you.

So, what was the surprise?

Alderman Schellinger arrived unexpectedly 6 minutes after the forum began, marched up uninvited onto the stage, and interrupted Cindy Kilkenny in the middle of answering a question. (Remember, he declined our original invitation stating, "It does not fit into my campaign schedule".)

The moderator asked if he would like to join us. He declined again, but stated, "I have a couple issues I would like to clear up" and indicated he wished to address the audience. The moderator said we have already started the formal presentation, but added, "if he would like to meet with the community afterwards..." indicating if he did not want to participate in the forum, he would be welcome to stay in the audience. (I reviewed my video tape to make sure of the events.)

The audience grew agitated with him; he left the stage. Mary skillfully got the Q&A back on track.

Mike Lilek (another Kinsey Park leader) and I conferred privately that if Schellinger still wanted to participate, he should be allowed to, which is why we went looking for him. That is when we found him upstairs with Lisa Sink, the MJS reporter. We asked if he wanted to join the forum and answer questions. He declined again, mumbling that he needed to campaign?

I think we all found his actions rather bizarre. His actions were no more appropriate than a person getting up during a council meeting and demanding to speak during some debate on the council floor. Just as a resident would not be allowed to address the council during a council meeting because it is not the proper venue, so the moderator rightly refused Schellinger's request to address the audience. It was not the proper format.

Incidentally, I have known Mary Wacker since 1990, years before Cindy Kilkenny moved to Brookfield. Tonight's unexpected events and Mary's skillful handling of it all confirmed just why she is the head debate coach: she's good! Cindy Kilkenny, despite that startling distraction jumped right back into answering questions and explaining her platform. The night progressed on without further interruption.

Mayoral Candidate invited 3 times to join in, but declines to answer questions with Kilkenny

I see the MJS_ARTICLE has posted. It is unfortunate that the focus of our forum was turned from Kilkenny, the candidate who was willing to speak with the public (who came out on a cold winter evening to hear what she had to say) to the scene-stealing Schellinger who declined 3 times to join in on the question and answer session, yet wanted the floor to explain why he declined our invitation. The article also said that Schellinger wanted to ask me if I would put his platform on my website. I think he did not need to come to the church to do that; he could have used the telephone or email.

As for the statement in that same article, "Some City Hall observers questioned whether the Kinsey Park forum was objective, given Prast's support of Kilkenny." I would like to interject that the only involvement I had with the forum was to invite the 3 candidates, find a place to meet, and choose a moderator whom I greatly respect and admire. All questions were submitted by area residents and organized by the moderator and all introductions and closing remarks were made by her as well. There was even an offer to change moderators if the other two candidates had a problem with Mary Wacker. Hardly what I would call subjective.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

So many questions for little time

Brookfield residents have sent in over 30 questions for tomorrow night's question and answer session! They cover a range of topics; some relating to the same issues.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mayoral Candidates: Who are they; what do they think?

The front and back page of the SUNDAY_JOURNAL, Waukesha section, was all about the race for Mayor of Brookfield. MJS reporter Lisa Sink gave us a great article identifying the different viewpoints of each candidate and an easy to digest issues comparison chart too. Take the time to read it and keep it for future reference.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Mayoral candidate finance report reveals more than just $s received

July - December 2005 campaign finance reports were filed on Tuesday. According to MJS_ARTICLE Mayoral candidates post spending, Cindy Kilkenny not only took in more money during the 2nd half of 2005, but she had 10 times the contributors too. Kilkenny took in $1,600 from 60 contributors, Speaker $1,440 from 6 contributors, and Schellinger--who announced his candidacy in Dec. received $25 from 1 contributor (who also gave $25 to the other 2 candidates too.)

Who are these contributors? Of Speaker's 6 donors, 4 were developers or real estate agents. Kilkenny's 60 donors consisted of 2 developers (their contributions have been returned), leaving 58 other supporters, one of which was Kilkenny's mom. Kilkenny has pledged to not accept developer money during or after the campaign.

Of course Speaker is sitting on a sizable war chest, his total was over $14,000 at the end of 2005. Much of this was built during his 4 years in office. CBL, the Tennessee based Brookfield Square owner, has made numerous contributions to Speaker. The latest $250 came from Lauren, the 4th Tennesseean Lebovitz to give to Speaker, she "is listed as a housewife."

Kilkenny has spent most of her money on signs, website, mailings, etc. Speaker has no website and by 2005's end had only spent around $30 on copying.

I have not seen any information on Speaker's and Schellinger's platforms yet, but watching their campaign finance reports and their willingness to appear before the public tells the voters much too. Just look at who is contributing to a campaign and which candidate is getting their message out. Look at who is willing to appear before the voters of Brookfield in a public setting, not just at neighborhood coffees which require an invitation. Vive la difference!