Pre-primary Mayoral Forums: 1 down, 1 today, 1 Feb. 4th
True to form, candidate Tom Schellinger canceled that day but managed to get his campaign literature there. BrookfieldNOW reporter Alan Harmari blogged live from the event.
I took notes and a few pictures too--see below.
At 6:30pm tonight, the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce and NOW Newspapers are hosting a forum at the Safety Building. Again, NOW reporter Hamari will be blogging live from the event. This is good news since I will be at the Creation Science presentation tonight. At least I can still catch the highlights of the forum. (Candidate Tom Schellinger will not be at tonight's forum due to a conflict with a County Board meeting.)
There is still one more forum to go before the primary election on February 16th. That one will be at 7pm at City Hall and hosted by the East Central Branch of the Waukesha County Republican Party.
A few tid-bits and pics from last week's forum: Answers are not exact quotes but will give you a flavor of the evening.
About 50 people attended the CCC forum, including (alphabetical order) Aldermen Berg, Carnell, Lowerr, Mahkorn, Lisa Mellone, Jerry Mellone, and Nelson. State Assembly candidate David Coon was also there. Questions were from the CCC board.
Mayor Speaker was first to give his 3 minute intro. He said he wanted to make City Hall friendlier--cut the red tape and make the process easier. He asked for our vote because we have a lot to do... He said Brookfield is a premiere neighborhood to live in, work in, and eat in. He emphasized the good places to eat!
During the questions, one of the more ironic moments of the night was how the mayor answered part 2 on the question of an economic recovery plan for the vacated property on Bluemound.
Q: How do you justify construction [of new] buildings next to vacant property? Speaker answered, we don't have much of that but there are some successes: CVS and that "other" [Hooters] restaurant. The irony was that the Common Council just had a public hearing on adding an additional free standing building to the parking lot of the Brookfield Fashion Center, that is across the street from vacancies at the 3 neighboring shopping centers! To be fair, I understand this out building was approved years ago under the original zoning.
The other humorous comment to me was in response to the question of density and uniform height criteria for target areas. The mayor said he didn't want "cookie cutter development" that looks alike! To me, most of Brookfield's development looks alike: formidable, with no charm. The false 2nd story requirement comes to mind too.
Former Alderman and School Board member David Marcello was next. Primarily, he directed listeners to his website to read comments from those on the school board. He said government is most frustrating when it's misunderstood, and often it is on purpose to obscure their intentions. He added that his strength on the school board was to speak in words that can be understood.
The first question was about an interchange on Calhoun Road. Marcello was the only candidate to point out how unusual it is for an interchange to be in a residential area.
Another question was about south side residents being treated rudely when contacting City Hall and what you as mayor would do to make sure staff was courteous? Marcello relayed an incident when he was Alderman that revealed he was threatened by the Director of Administration. Marcello said there were departments that were excellent, such as the Parks Department and the Tax Department.
Alderman Steve Ponto was last to give his 3 minute intro. He stated he believed in limited government and disagreed with Obama. He said, just because government can pass a law doesn't mean it should. He said he would be a leader on policy issues, in the metropolitan area and preserve our interests with Wisconsin. He concluded with, single family neighborhoods are the hallmark of Brookfield. I am convinced I can do better.
During the 1st question on the interchange, Ponto pointed out no one was for it right now, but that the 2035 Plan called for a study that included the option of doing nothing. He asked if improvements could be made to existing interchanges or maybe a new ramp to Executive Drive. Ponto favored the study with no preconceptions.
Regarding raising taxes or cutting services, Ponto said our greatest concern was the removal of the QEO for the school district. The City comprising 29% of our tax bill while Elmbrook takes 56%. (The city usually takes all the blame for high taxes.)
Was there a candidate that jumped out at me as "the one"? No. There are red flags with all 3 for me. I don't think I am alone in my quandary over which one to vote for; a number of people have expressed their reservations to me about this election. Hopefully the other forums and Q&As on BrookfieldNOW's Mayoral Coverage Page will help me decide before February 16th's primary.
Unfortunately, the candidate I would have like to have seen run, didn't. I might just write her in! (...and it is not Cindy Kilkenny, although if she was on the ballot, I could be more enthused.)
Elmbrook School Board At Large Candidate Forum: Tuesday, February 2, 7pm, sponsored by the Elmbrook Parent Leadership Council Forum is at the Central Administrative Offices at 13780 Hope Street in Brookfield.
School Board member Glen Allgaier has my enthusiastic support for his Area II race.
Posts from the past: Mayoral Q&A a success and a surprise!
Mayoral Candidate invited 3 times to join in but declines to answer questions with Kilkenny
Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation