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Alderman Brookfield JP Murray

My name is JP Murray and I'm running for District 4 Alderman.  I moved here from CO to take a job as an engineering program manager hired to help a team of engineers design a jet. I moved to Brookfield just over a year ago when I bought an old farm house on Barker Rd.

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Elmbrook School Board At-Large Candidate Forum: Tuesday, Feb. 2

Education, Elmbrook, Elections, Special events

Just a reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2nd, is the only chance to compare all 6 candidates running for the 2 At-Large positions on the School Board.

The At-Large Candidate Forum will be held in the Elmbrook Administrative Office Board Room at the Central Offices from 7 - 9 pm, 13780 Hope Street, in Brookfield. (Hope Street is a few blocks north of Capitol Drive.)

Funding and increasing the school budget will be an important topic at the forum. Keep in mind that increasing funding often goes hand in hand with raising taxes. Example: adding 4K does increase the money coming into Elmbrook but as an additional expense to the taxpayers of Elmbrook and Wisconsin.

The top 4 candidates that make it through the primary on Feb. 16th will advance to the April 6th ballot.

After the primary, there will be another School Board Candidate Forum that will include the top 4 At-Large candidates and the Area II candidates: Board member Glen Allgaier and challenger Ilse Frayer. This one will also be at Elmbrook's Administrative Offices on March 16th, 7-9pm.
Both forums are sponsored by the Elmbrook Parent Leadership Council.

All Elmbrook residents vote for ALL of the school board candidates.

Hope you can make it to both events. If not, if you have cable TV, they will be broadcast on the district's channel after the 2nd and 16th.


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On Face Value


Packaged in this TWO OZ. JAR,

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Touching all the bases ...

BC girls and boys basketball, Tosa West girls and boys basketball. BE girls and boys basketball.

I know my headline says 'Touching All The Bases,' but this blog has nothing to do with baseball. I just have some topics I would like to hit on.

Mixed Signals

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Focus on Continuing Education Scholarships

The Elmbrook Education Foundation was founded by volunteers back in 1958 to support the community's value on continuing education.  To date, close to $1,000,000 has been awarded in scholarships to assist our graduates attend institutions of higher learning.  The Foundation's scholarship program now provides between 20-28 $1,500 scholarships each and every year making it the single largest community based scholarship program in the region.  Most scholarships are sponsored by area businesses, civic organizations and honorary/memorial funds.  The Foundation administers the program on their behalf at no cost in an effort to honor the most graduating seniors each and every year.  Without the Foundation to administer the program, many of these scholarships would all go to the same few students.  Recipients are matched to donor criteria and are awarded to students planning to attend both universities and technical schools.  Some awards are based on financial need.  Since the Foundation receives a large pool of applications, it is easier to find just the right recipient for each scholarship.  Recipients are held confidential until Seniors Honors nights in May.  The scholarships are awarded in the donor's name and are recognized throughout the District in a variety of publicity mediums.

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Mr. B's moving to Agave site in Brookfield

Dining out, The restaurant biz

The Bartolotta restaurant group today confirmed a longstanding rumor: It's moving its Mr. B's steakhouse from the Stonewood Village shops in Brookfield to the former site of Agave Southwestern Grille nearby.

Mr. B's is expected to close at 17700 W. Capitol Drive in late March, according to a statement from the group, and reopen a week later at 18380 W. Capitol Drive.

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The Short End of the Poll

election 2010, mayor

The Brookfield mayor’s race is in full swing. There are four candidates running, so a primary will be held on Tuesday, February 16 to narrow that down to two. The general election will be held on April 6.  Polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm.

One new aspect of this election is the greatly expanded role of the Brookfield News (BN). They have the usual coverage of campaign events, but they are trying several new things like video interviews with the four candidates, asking each candidate for comments on community issues and sponsoring a community forum. Throughout it all, I believe BN has maintained its thoroughness and neutrality, which is harder than you might think.   I have been a little disappointed that BN has not done much fact checking to compare candidate replies to past votes, provide links to relevant past news articles, etc.  Just click the link on the home page to get to the one page that links to everything else.

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A Life Worth Reading?


I daily publish each edition,

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Brookfield Krispy Kreme site will be mattress store

Mattress Firm, a national franchise chain, will open its first Milwaukee-area location in the old Krispy Kreme store on W. Blue Mound Road.

The store is under construction, but an opening date hasn't been set, according to Chuck Dawson, the local franchise owner. The first Mattress Firm store has opened in Pleasant Prairie, and another is planned for the Beltline Highway in Madison. Dawson also plans to open a store in West Allis but has not announced a site.

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The Debates End. Ponto Leads

The debates for Mayor ended last evening and Steve Ponto leads by a wide margin.

I was there and personally observed the ability of the candidates to field a variety of questions and form an intelligent and comprehensive response.

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Can't say I came away from mayoral forum with, That's the one!

City of Brookfield, Elections, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Last night I attended the 3rd City of Brookfield Mayoral Forum. I am pleased to report the event was well attended by an audience of about 120 AND all 4 mayoral candidates!

There really weren't any surprises for me except a little tension between David Marcello and Steve Ponto with the what would your top priority as mayor be question. This was a forum format, not a debate, but even so, there was a little attempt at back and forth between Marcello and Ponto.

Candidate Marcello stated taxes were a key issue--we needed to return to a 1.5% of assessed value rate, that all of our taxing entities have to work together [to achieve this]. We need someone focused on it [low taxes] who won't buy into raising just a little each year. The reality is we can't support high taxes anymore.

Candidate Steve Ponto said his priority would be to maintain our level of services without raising taxes and do it through shared services. Regarding the 1.5 rate, he said he discussed it with Robert Scott, then added that the city couldn't function at that rate, it would reduce city revenue by $12 million and [the city] might lose its AAA bond rating.

Voters always like to hear about candidates who are interested in lowering taxes, but with our mayoral candidate selection, they all have been in local government and haven't exactly bucked the system to knock out spending. For example, although I am not sure about Schellinger's position, the other 3 candidates all supported the $62.2 million high school referendum--certainly a tax raising, not a tax cutting decision.

So I have to ask, how sincere are they about lowering taxes? I can't help but think if they had a finite dollar amount to work with, rather than waving the magic tax levy rate wand, they would be able to find programs or services to cut?

I'm afraid I still did not come away with any strong sense of who to vote for on Feb. 16th.

How about you?

Afterward, there was time for a little political schmoozing. There were a number of aldermen in the audience as well as candidates for aldermen. I happened to sit behind Sheila Buechel during the mayor Q&A. I noticed Sheila because she was taking notes during the forum, and I wondered if she might be a reporter. When we got up to leave, I noted she was wearing a button that stated her name and candidacy for District 5, so I introduced myself. I found out she is running against Gary Mahkorn.

State Assembly District 14 Candidates David Coon and Dale Kooyenga, both Brookfield residents, were also there. I've met with both David and Dale and like their platforms, so their faces were familiar. Chris Slinker, another 14th Assembly District candidate, (Tosa resident) introduced himself to me. Like I said, it was schmooze time.

I caught school board members Tom Gehl and Glen Allgiaer on my way out. As I mentioned before, Glen Allgaier has my enthusiastic support for the Area II school board race. (All of Elmbrook votes for all of the school board candidates, regardless of which area they are from.)

Enough of schmoozing; it was time for snoozing!

BrookfieldNOW Live Blog of Feb. 4th Forum


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Keepers of the Flame


It's ON again!  Now, who's to blame?

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High Speed Rail and 1.5%

election 2010, Budget, High Speed Rail, mayor

The recent mayoral candidate debates identified many issues facing the new mayor.  Here is some background information on a couple of them.

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And...To Top it Off...


Some will squirt a squiggle;  some, a straightened line.

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Flood Info Meeting Thursday 2/11 @ 7pm in Courtroom

Flooding, Budget, election 2010

Flooding has been a huge issue in Brookfield, especially in the last decade.  The city is holding a meeting to inform residents and to solicit comments.  I'm surprised flooding hasn't been more of a campaign issue since it greatly affects quality of life, is affected by many policy decisions and solutions are tremendously expensive.  Please join me in attending.  Your comments are vital to shaping upcoming city policy and budgets.  You might even get to meet a few candidates for mayor and hear what they think.

This press release was sent out January 12 by Tom Grisa, Director of Public Works for the City of Brookfield, 796-6644.

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Call NOW: We can't afford Doyle's AB 649 Global Warming/Clean Energy Jobs Act

Alert, Energy, Global Warming/Climate Change, Going Green, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN


How ironic. The State Senate Public Hearings for Governor Doyle's Global Warming Clean Energy Jobs Act are scheduled for today and tomorrow, Feb. 10th and 11th, just after one of our biggest blizzards of the year. There is one more Assembly hearing on Feb 15th. (By the way, if you can go to Madison, you don't have to stay to state your opposition. You can just fill out and submit a form, and it will be counted as testimony. Hearings are held at 10am in room 412 or 411 south.)

And all of this job killing, expensive nonsense is based on what? "...a glut of ongoing recent discoveries of systematic [global warming data]fraud has rocked the foundation, and the entire man-made global warming house of cards is not teetering on the verge of complete collapse."

Yet Governor Doyle and most of the State Democrats are still pushing full steam ahead on the Clean Energy Jobs Act AB 649.

In reality, AB 649 is just a reheated leftover of Governor Doyle's Global Warming Bill. It came about from his Global Warming Task Force that did not take into account the cost of their drastic measures, nor did it factor in jobs lost in Wisconsin due to its implementation.

The Governor just can't let go of the idea that Global Warming is man made or that his Don Quixote attempt to single handily tilt at windmills, or should I say mandate windmills, is not going to change the temperature of the planet by one degree. So like so many other unwanted ideas, we rename them as a jobs bill. Trouble is, this is a jobs killer bill.

You may have heard the 2 radio ads running regarding Governor Doyle's Global Warming Clean Energy Jobs Act, AB 649 / S 450. The ad against AB 649 from the WMC is straight forward, stating how it will raise energy prices for the average family by $1,000/year and kill jobs in Wisconsin.

The pro version by the Potawatomi sounds more like a fairy tale, talking about a factory in Wisconsin Rapids building wind propellers and biomass plant in Wausau. It ends with "protect Mother Earth so she can provide for all of us." Nauseating.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act calls for reducing CO2 emissions by 75% by 2050. (Is that even possible?) Plus a 25% renewable fuel mandate by 2025. (For Wisconsin, primarily it's wind.) That means increasing the amount of renewable energy by more than 20% in just 15 years. Is there even enough land available for all those windmills to meet the standards? They require such a huge landmass, and most people don't want to live near wind farms.

Windmills also require lots of wind--not too much and not too little, for they cannot generate at either extreme. Last week, Senator Glenn Grothman mentioned on Vicki McKenna's radio show that Wisconsin doesn't have enough wind to meet Doyle's requirements. Our windmills would be outsourced to North Dakota and Iowa!

If we were really interested in reducing CO2 and increasing jobs, we would repeal the moratorium on nuclear power plants. The bill does mention nuclear, but only after the renewable criteria is met.

Representative Jim Ott testified last week about the fallacies of clean, green energy helping Wisconsinites. It is worth reading. What makes Rep. Ott's testimony even more compelling is that he is a Meteorologist. He certainly knows about weather and the atmosphere!

Does Wisconsin even need additional electricity generating capacity? NO.

The Oak Creek coal fired power plant just came online. It is "a $2.3 billion colossus capable of generating enough electricity to power 1 million homes - power that even state regulators concede isn't needed now." (Oak Creek could power almost half the homes in Wisconsin alone. One third of its $2.3 B cost was for environmental controls.)

We need to stop this. I know we all hate doing it, but call, Call, CALL our State Senators and Representatives and call key Senate members who support this atrocious bill. Rep. Ott said we just need 2 Democrats to vote NO to stop this expensive job killer. You can also sign a petition: Save Jobs! Stop the Global Warming Bill!

Remind legislators that Wisconsin is home to the world's 2 largest coal mining equipment manufacturers: Joy Global and Bucyrus. How is taxing coal and promoting wind going to help them and their employees?

Senator Jim Sullivan (866) 817-6061 Remind State Senator Sullivan that he is facing a tough reelection race this fall from Rep. Leah Vukmir. When I called Sullivan's office, the young man taking calls didn't know much at all about the bill, the public hearings or that Oak Creek came online, giving us excess electricity production.

Senator Jeff Plale Co-sponsor of the bill, (608) 266-7505 Campaigned on a tax freeze and as a moderate to help blue collar workers.

Senator John Lehman (608) 266-1832 Or (866) 615-7510 Like Sullivan, he is facing a tough reelection.

Find your State Legislator

More reading: Hot Air Reports Rep. Jim Ott's Senate testimony and Assembly 

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Defense could make the difference for Tosa West boys

Tosa West Boys Basketball

The Wauwatosa West boys basketball can score as well as anyone in the area.  With three players like seniors Sam Krenzien and Ray Sterling, Jr., and freshman Anthony Carroll, interim coach Chad Stelse has three bonifide scorers.

By bonifide scorers, I mean three guys who can score 20-or-more points in any game and no one is surprised over it. There are not a lot of teams who can do that.

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A Rosy Day


When the skies are drab and gray,

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The Tipping Point

This post is a continuation of my last article on consumer driven health care.

The U.S. Department of Labor issued some interesting statistics last week, one of which was a graph showing the intersection of two lines.  This intersection illustrated that the number of Americans represented by public sector unions now exceeds the number of organized private sector employees.  This reveals the reality that while private sector employment is shrinking, government is a growth business, and it is a precursor to the potential of total public sector employment rivaling or exceeding that of the private sector. 

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Golf superstore coming to Brookfield

Golfsmith, an Austin-based golf retailer, will open a 25,000-square-foot store in June at the Fountain Square shopping center in Brookfield.

The store will be the first Golfsmith location in Wisconsin, and will be located in the former La-Z-Boy space on the Blue Mound Road side of the center. Golfsmith, which started about 40 years ago as a catalog business, has 70 locations around the country.

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