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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

7th District Aldermanic race: What a candidate doesn't say or do speaks volumes

City of Brookfield, Elections

Can you spot what is wrong with this picture? Answer below

Two term Alderman Lisa Mellone is up for reelection this spring, and I am enthusiastically casting my ballot for her on April 1st. She is an exemplary Alderman. Surprisingly, she has an opponent this year--and not District 7's usual challenger.
 
This year, Kris Seals from the northeast corner of our district threw his hat in the ring. But what do we know about him?  Not much.
 
There was the Brookfieldnow article, but that didn't really tell me much about the man. The article didn't mention anything about higher education, such as a Bachelors or Associate degree. Nothing about whether he was single, married, or had a family was referenced, just that he lived here since 1969. The article did state he had worked with the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce in the past but was now with the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce.
 
The reporter did state that Lisa Mellone was a litigation paralegal at Ratzel and Associates (located in Brookfield) but failed to mention that in addition to obtaining her Post Graduate Paralegal Certificate, she also had a B.A. in Business Administration - Finance from UWM.
 
Development is a very important issue to Lisa Mellone, because she was once unpleasantly surprised by an unannounced project right in her backyard. (This is why she takes the time to meet with neighborhoods and developers many, many times during the development approval process.)
 
In the article, she voices her concern over a future project area, "Looking ahead, Mellone said, those representing the district will have to keep a close eye on development, with one in particular coming up. Briscoe Development and Management is proposing a 13,000-square-foot retail center at Moorland Road and Hackberry Lane, the site of a former city fire station."
 
I mention this section on development from the article because when I received Kris Seals' flyer this week, portions of it were oddly familiar.
 
First of all, he again tells us nothing about himself personally--nothing about family, education, civic involvement in Brookfield, not even his address. Then I noticed he had several sentences in quotes that were his own. He quotes himself in his own flyer! Actually, they were lifted in part from the Brookfieldnow article. (I don't know why he used quotes, since they were his own words.) But that isn't the only thing he lifted.
 
Refer the above section on development (in bold above) from the article. And then read what he wrote in his flyer. (The words from the article are in bold) : "Representing the district  I  will have to keep a close eye on development, with one in particular coming up. Briscoe Development and Management is proposing a 13,000 square foot retail center at Moorland Road and Hackberry Lane, the site of a former city fire station."  Sound familiar? 
 
He lifted the paragraph from the article, eliminated the words, "Looking ahead, Mellone said, those" and started his own paragraph with "Representing the district" and added " I ", as if these were his thoughts.
 
By stating, "Representing the district", his re-crafting of this section also makes it seem as if he already is our alderman.  He repeats that theme with his invitation to contact him with concerns in his closing, "I am here to serve the 7th district and its fine citizens." and gives a phone number and email address. He did not state, if I am elected, but rather as if he is already on the job.

In my opinion, when a candidate takes so little care to read the sign ordinances (or comply with what they say), it indicates carelessness. When a candidate cannot bother to create an original, factual flyer about their candidacy, it indicates a sloppy, haphazard approach to the office. But plagiarizing in a flyer by using your opponents words as your own? That is truly low.  Is this the type of alderman we want in the 7th District? I say no.

In contrast, this is what I recently wrote about Lisa Mellone on her website, "Lisa Mellone has definitely raised the bar on what constituents expect from an alderman in District 7. She is dedicated to helping residents when they have problems and to working with neighborhoods and developers to ensure optimal outcomes on new projects. Lisa works tirelessly for us all, and I am grateful she is willing to serve another term."

So did you figure out what was wrong with that picture yet? The sign was placed on the city right of way in front of Brookfield Marketplace shopping center on Greenfield Ave.  Election signs are not permitted on the R.O.W. or parkland, medians, etc. Candidates must also ask a business or homeowner for permission to place a sign on their property. 

This second photo is of a homeowner who asked for a Mellone sign (green arrow) for in front of their property. They were not pleased with the challenger's sign (red circle) so close to their property! (Sorry it is so dark.) The Challenger's sign is illegally placed on the city sidewalk connects a closed off street with the Greenfield Ave. sidewalk. Of course, garnering supporters who want a sign or stopping to ask a business or homeowner for permission takes time and effort. Illegally dotting the right of ways in front of offices or shopping centers with campaign signs is the lazy man's way of campaigning.  Sometimes, as in the case with Seals last week, the business takes down the signs as they did on Sunny Slope Bishop's Woods complex.

Brookfield goes to the polls on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. District 7, Wards 22, 23, 24, vote at St. Luke Catholic Church, 18000 W. Greenfield Ave. You can find your ward and preview a sample ballot at myvote.wi.gov

I should be posting Brookfield and Elmbrook School Board election picks this weekend. 

Past Post: Aug. 26, 2011
Come back, Lisa Mellone, District 7 needs you! 

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