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.
Tuesday, April 6th, is election day in Wisconsin. On our ballot in Brookfield, Wisconsin, we choose 2 judges, 3 Elmbrook School Board members, Mayor of Brookfield, and 7 Aldermen - 1 for each district.
These spring elections are said to be nonpartisan but for some races, maybe we should call them NINO -- nonpartisan in name only?
Going from the general to the specific, meaning from races that affect all of Waukesha County to all of the Elmbrook School District, to the City of Brookfield, to the specific Aldermanic Districts, here are my picks.
Mark Gundrum for Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge
Mark Gundrum is the clear choice here. He is a conservative and former Wisconsin State Assembly Representative. Gundrum has an impressive page of endorsements including Scott Walker, Waukesha County D.A. Brad Schimel, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan, and other conservative state legislators such as Ted Kanavas, Leah Vukmir, Rich Zipperer, and Neil Kedzie. (The incumbent Gundrum is running against is a Doyle appointee--need I say more?)
Paul Reilly for Wisconsin District II Court of Appeals Judge
I wasn't sure which candidate I was going to vote for in this race; both are Republicans and pretty conservative. Sometimes a preference gets down to personality or some other factor. On this race, I am deferring to the opinion of some people I trust: Julianne Appling of Wisconsin Family Action, an attorney with a conservative freedoms group, State Senator Ted Kanavas, Former Wauk. D.A. Paul Bucher, Wauk. D.A. Brad Schimel, and blogger Randy Melchert, who moderated a forum with both candidates last week. Radio Talk Show Host Jay Weber mentioned this morning he is also supporting Paul Reilly.
Randy Melchert includes some video clips of both candidates' closing remarks on his blog. I found Linda Van De Water's rather odd in that instead of telling the audience why they should vote for her, she spent the time talking against her opponent and bringing up some questionable incidents tied to her. Paul Reilly then clarified one of the incidents, though it seemed he would not have brought it up had Linda not mentioned it. He elaborated on his high 97% Qualified rating by the Waukesha County Bar Association and endorsements. Watch it for yourself.
3 positions on Elmbrook School District School Board. (All of Elmbrook School District residents vote for all 3 positions, regardless of Area.)
Glen Allgaier, Elmbrook School Board Area II
I am supporting Glen Allgaier for the Area II position. He is the more conservative choice and he has a proven record of making some tough decisions, which is why I wrote a letter to the editor in support of Allgaier for BrookfieldNOW's forum page. Board President Tom Gehl, had this to say about Glen, "I have come to know Glen very well over the course of the last three years and can say without reservation that in him, this community has an exemplary public servant. Not a good public servant – not a great public servant – an exemplary one."
Kathryn Wilson, Elmbrook School Board At-Large position
In addition to the Area II position, all Elmbrook residents vote for 2 At-Large spots on the board. Of the 4 people running, the one who receives the most votes will serve for 3 years. I hope this person will be Kathryn Wilson. Kathryn is very strong in the area of curriculum. She has been involved in Elmbrook curriculum planning and the Elmbrook Gifted and Talented Parent Advisory Board, to mention 2 areas of her school involvement.
I met with Kathryn Wilson; her approach is very analytical, which is what we need on the board. With the budgetary problems facing the district, we need someone who can clearly see a solution to our problems, rather than just react emotionally. Wilson is very familiar with the workings of the school district and board because she has been involved in Elmbrook schools for years. She will be able to "hit the ground running" to quote School Board Member Jean Lambert. Kathryn Wilson is also endorsed by my Alderman Lisa Mellone, who says, "I have always found Kathryn to be articulate, thorough, attentive to detail, and most importantly, one of the best listeners I have ever encountered. Her dedication and experience is evident..."
As for the other At-Large Board Position, I am at a loss; they are all for 4K, and I cannot support 4K at taxpayer expense. The candidate receiving the 2nd highest total will serve for 1 year as the At-Large representative. Bob Zeigler is the incumbent. Some might look at him as a "better the devil you know" candidate. Since the board has already heard all he has to say on the subject supporting 4K, for example, one might say he doesn't have much traction, and is more benign. Beth Horneffer has the support of some people, but she would still be a new voice in favor of 4K. Sandra Schultz is the 3rd pro 4K candidate. I have decided to NOT vote for any of them. We will end up with one of them; more than likely it will be Bob Zeigler.
Steve Ponto for City of Brookfield Mayor
When I met with Steve, one of the things he emphasized was his support for Brookfield's single family neighborhoods. He also told me how he was against light rail. On his campaign literature, he writes, "As a fiscal conservative, I oppose the federal and state governments wasting money they do not have on high-speed rail." If Steve Ponto wins, I hope to see more conservative stands protecting neighborhoods and against wasteful spending. He has been a member of the Republican Party for years--not just when he decided to run for mayor! Is Steve as conservative as I am? No, but I do believe he is the better choice.
City of Brookfield Aldermen - I live in District 7, one of 2 districts without a challenger. Here are my preferences if I lived in the other districts in Brookfield:
District 1 - Bill Carnell: Bill Carnell is the incumbent and has been doing a good job, I think. He is being challenged by an old time incumbent.
District 2 - Terry Halmstad: I believe Halmstad to be the more fiscally conservative candidate and more willing to protect his district from undesirable development. Terry would get my vote.
District 4 - Mark Nelson: Mark Nelson could be more bold in his opposition to the mayor's agenda but at least he seems kind in his remarks. His instincts are often good; I just wish he would follow through more. His opponent is far too new to Brookfield and doesn't seem to understand the city's role in school district business (which is NONE.)
District 5 - Sheila Buechel: I met Sheila Buechel at one of the mayor forums and was excited about her candidacy. She will be a breath of fresh air for District 5 and seems well prepared to take on the job of alderman. Another bonus, should Sheila win, think of how much shorter the council meetings will be! ;-)
District 6 - Jerry Mellone: Jerry Mellone has worked so hard for his district; they are fortunate that he is running again. Mellone fought valiantly to try to prevent Calhoun Road from being widened to the extent it was but was foiled by the likes of both District 2 aldermen, who pretty much disregarded the Master Plan. (Mellone's opponent has lived in Brookfield for only about a year.)
District 7 - Lisa Mellone: Lisa is unopposed here in the 7th District, but she deserves mention as an outstanding Alderman. What a pleasant change from our former Alderman often referred to as "Mr. Rolodex". Lisa Mellone works very hard for her district and follows through on resident concerns. Some day, I hope to draw that little connecting arrow next to her name for Mayor of Brookfield!
So, there you have it: My ballot picks for tomorrow. Be sure to look into the issues and candidates for yourself and vote.
BrookfieldNOW has devoted a lot of space to the school board, mayor and aldermen races. Check out their election coverage:
BrookfieldNOW Letters to the Editor
BrookfieldNOW Brookfield/Elm Grove Voters Guide
Other blogger's ballot picks: Cindy Kilkenny How I'll Be Voting
Randy's Picks - April 6, 2010 Spring Election Guide for Wisconsin Tomorrow
Past Post: Tuesday's Primary Ballot Picks