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

Monday, April 03, 2006

The good old boys: desperate to protect their power

We already looked at the inconsistencies in the endorsement from Ted Kanavas, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out the conflict of interest with the Paul Bucher endorsement. (Bucher was investigating a campaign contribution violations for Speaker from 2002—no answer on that yet. Bucher and Speaker used the same campaign manager for the prior election, and Speaker donated $100 to Bucher’s current campaign.)

But what about the 9 aldermen and those plan commission members who have lined up behind the mayor? MJS had a very good article Sunday explaining how Speaker’s reign really became just a continuation of Bloomberg’s.

Shouldn’t we ask, do the 9 aldermen and plan commission members who endorsed Speaker really think the current mayor is so wonderful? Or are they just worried that with an able leader in charge, it will no longer be business as usual for the plan commission and inner circle common council members who are really running the show?

Currently, in a last minute PAC group letter, 10 plan commission members stated, “In our form of city government, the mayor actually has little power.” That fact is pretty obvious. But that is only with our current mayor! He clearly does not understand the power he has available to him. Remember, he himself stated in the Freeman interview, “We can’t control where we are.” Kilkenny understands the true role of the mayor, “The mayor, as chairman of the city’s plan commission, sets the agenda and basically controls development in Brookfield.”

If the mayor really is so powerless, why do we pay him $90,000+ a year? That is pretty high pay for just a figurehead! I think a more correct analysis of the current situation is: under the present arrangement, certain inner circle aldermen in concert with the plan commission are running the show with a mayor who does not realize what his true role should be.

One resident put it this way in a letter submitted to the Brookfield News.
old-boy network (old' boi') n.-An informal, exclusive system of mutual assistance and friendship through which men belonging to a particular group exchange favors and connections, as in politics or business.

After reading the headline articles on nine aldermen, Kuttemperoor, and other developers declaring support for incumbent mayor Jeff Speaker, one can't help but suspect that an old-boy network is alive and active at our Brookfield City Hall and that the network is anxious to keep it that way

Do you realize how often the plan commission and council blindly approves everything that comes along? We could save a lot of money on alderman salaries and just have most of those 9 aldermen’s electronic voting boxes programmed to vote “Yes” for development related issues. (Schellinger and Brunner have stated their regrets for approving Capitol Heights now that they realize how much the public is tired of the automatic "Yes" rubber stamp of approval.)

As far as I know, there has only been one, ONE project brought before this mayor and council that has not been approved: Deer Creek Plaza at the former Sentry Foods site on Calhoun and Greenfield.

Bottom line: We pay these people to represent US not the developers. It is time we elected a mayor and council that understands that basic concept. I hope that we have a clean sweep in city hall and elect the challengers to the status quo: Kilkenny, Carnell, Mellone, and Mellone. We need a mayor and aldermen who will be more than just “Yes men”.

P.S. I am very grateful to the aldermen who do demonstrate independence of thought with their votes. Alderman Blackburn has consistently shown us that it is possible to not sucumb to the seduction of the inner circle. Some others, most of those who did not endorse the incumbent mayor also show signs that under fresh leadership, we may actually get a council that does what it is supposed to do.

Links: Mayoral current campaign related news
Aldermanic races district 6 & 7:
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