Tuesday's Primary Ballot Picks
For once the City of Brookfield and Elmbrook School District have a wider field of candidates. What disappoints me is that we don't have more choices as far as ideology. But choose we must--I don't advocate sitting an election out.
One of the mayoral candidates looks good on paper to me, but a candidacy is more than just words written in campaign literature or spoken during a forum. There is the man behind the words to consider too. So of the 4 candidates running for mayor, I am considering 2: Ponto and Speaker.
For Mayor of Brookfield, I am voting for Alderman Steve Ponto in the primary. Ponto was my first choice in that I felt he would be more professional in his approach to being mayor. But I was toying with voting for Mayor Jeff Speaker too, which is saying a lot, considering I fully supported Cindy Kilkenny's platform and worked on her campaign 4 years ago.
I did meet with Steve to discuss his campaign. One thing I could wholeheartedly agree with was his desire to protect the single family home's property values. He also echoed a concern of mine that multi family housing does not contribute enough in property taxes to support the school district. (There is the possibility for school age children to be living in larger apartments/condos.) Ponto also stated he does not support light rail--I don't know that any of the other candidates stated that. (They all support, to some extent, high speed rail.)
So much has changed in Brookfield since the 2006 election, and I don't believe it was for the better. We moved the fire stations and widened Calhboun Road south in preparation for VK's Percheron Square (which because of the economy didn't materialize) and I-94 interchange. The city would say we needed these changes; I would respectfully disagree. We also increased the density at Brookfield Square with the 3 out buildings.
During the last mayoral forum, we heard about the candidates' stance on low- to middle-income housing. Ponto said there were "many options" in Brookfield and that he didn't support any government-subsidized housing.
Mayor Speaker came out in favor of the Workforce Housing slated for the mixed use development next to Brookfield Square. This is housing that would be affordable for people who work in the area. He said this was not low-income housing. The workforce housing is already in the works as far as I know.
As for Elmbrook School Board, we are to choose 2 school board candidates out of the field of 6, then the top 4 advance. I am voting for Kathryn Wilson. I met with Kathryn to discuss her candidacy last month. Curriculum seems to be her strength. Kathryn is well acquainted with the needs of the struggling student as well as the gifted student.
Is she as conservative as I am? No. But I think she would look for ways to cut waste and keep valuable programs in place. I have not decided on a 2nd candidate.
School Board member Glen Allgaier will be on the April ballot for Area II. He will get my very enthusiastic vote at that time.
Am I making any predictions about Tuesday's results? No.
I do wonder if David Marcello will come out fairly strong though. His signs seem to be on more homeowner's property than what I have seen for Ponto or Speaker. This could just be because of the roads I travel in Brookfield.
Marcello's campaign contributions were higher than I expected. According to the article in BrookfieldNOW, Marcello raised $5,270 from outside sources. This is 3rd to Speaker's $6,120 and Ponto's $6,176 outside sources.
I would think Marcello's and Ponto's supporters would be more enthusiastic than Speakers? (Incumbent's supporters usually don't turn out in the same numbers as the opposition.)
Remember this? Four years ago our Kinsey Park Neighborhood Association* hosted a mayoral candidate forum before the primary. Mayor Speaker, however, declined our invitation to participate. Reason? The mayor said, "I've been advised not to by my campaign committee, after the primary, I'll do debates."
This election cycle, Mayor Speaker has participated in 3 pre-primary debates. Why the change? Last time, Speaker didn't really have to worry about not making through the primary. This time, I think he has had to take his challengers a bit more seriously. The outcome will be interesting.
If you cannot decide between the 4 mayoral candidates on the ballot, you might consider a write-in--alderman Lisa Mellone comes to mind. If she had run, I wouldn't have voter's dilemma! Next time?
BrookfieldNOW Mayoral Info Page
Elmbrook School Board Candidates Forum live blog
City of Brookfield Voter Information
*KPNA, Kinsey Park Neighborhood Association is no longer a group
Past Posts: Can't say I came away from mayoral forum with, That's the one!
Pre-primary Mayoral Forums: 1 down, 1 today, 1 Feb. 4th
Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation