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

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Déjà vous: It seems like Swanson all over again

Remember when we all joined together to fight against VK's Swanson Swap? We leafleted the entire city, at least once (twice in some areas) to get the word out about the pitfalls of that school sale. VK of course had the money to pay for his information to be delivered to every household. We had to rely on our grassroots style get-the-word-out campaign, but our hard work paid off with our landslide victory of 2,587 to 636 .

This mayoral election reminds me very much of the Save Swanson scenario: Mayor Speaker with his huge war chest of development related donations v.s. Mayoral Candidate Kilkenny and her campaign for the people.

Ironically, VK is again a player in this election. He and his family have contributed to Mayor Speaker's campaign, $750 this election cycle plus $450 back in 2002. Mayor Speaker supported VK's Capitol Heights development, VK's Swanson Swap--city staff was involved in VK's efforts to make the swap (footnote 1), and the widening of Calhoun Road south in anticipation of VK's future development at the Ruby Farm/WTMJ site.

Cindy Kilkenny opposed the swap (footnote 2) and voted against Capitol Heights because of its height and density, and it intruded on the surrounding neighborhood. She does not support widening Calhoun Road south either because it adversely impacts the neighborhood and benefits VK's future Ruby development at taxpayer expense.

Well, it is time to roll up our sleeves again and join together to support Mayoral candidate Kilkenny. Because her campaign is not accepting developer money (footnote 3), she could use our grassroots support to help her campaign.

I believe Brookfield is at a real turning point here. Think about how many large development projects have mushroomed up during the past 4 years. Green space is fast disappearing. We need a change in leadership before it all receives extra density rezoning.

Help if you can.

(1) City Hall and staff should never have been involved like this behind closed doors in school district business! The Milwaukee Journal reported, "In November 2003, Kuttemperoor grew so frustrated with the lack of support that he turned to city Development Director Dan Ertl for advice. Ertl called Gibson to ask how Ertl "might work with Vincent (Kuttemperoor) to help meet district needs."

(2) "Ald. Cindy Kilkenny and Kinsey Park Neighborhood Association leader Kyle Prast, who also helped the opposition, said the message was that residents want less development.", the Milwaukee Journal reported.

(3) The Brookfield News last week reported on some of the developer donations the Speaker campaign has received and the correlation of those same developer's projects coming before the plan commission. Because of the perception that these donations may influence a mayor's decisions about a development project--a possible conflict of interest--Kilkenny has decided never to accept development related contributions. "It's a matter of never having that question asked of this campaign." she said. This stance has cost her money, but it makes her campaign clearly one for the people--not the developers.

Links: Mayoral Campaign:
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Aldermanic races district 6 & 7:
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