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Brookfield 7th Aldermanic District

Voter's guide for Tuesday, April 3 election

March 26, 2012

Renee Lowerr (i)

Age: 49

Job: small business owner (part-time)

Education: associate degree in data processing, Waukesha County Technical College; bachelor's degree in management, Cardinal Stritch

Contact: (262) 853-9657

Brookfield schools were recently named the best in the state. Are there ways the city can maintain and perpetuate the success of its schools with limited resources?

The city of Brookfield is working with the Elmbrook School District by providing a short-term loan to cover Elmbrook Schools' cash-flow shortage. It's a win-win. The interest rate Elmbrook Schools pays on this loan is lower than available from other sources, and the city earns a higher percentage for this loan than it typically receives. Additionally, Brookfield Parks and Recreation Department utilizes several Elmbrook Schools facilities for its programs, providing greater visibility and usefulness of these facilities.

How would you propose maintaining and attracting business without compromising the quality of life for Brookfield residents and families?

Underwood Crossing is an example of my commitment to supporting good development while respecting residents. This project is located on 128th and Bluemound with a Target and Trader Joe's. This gateway development offered a great opportunity because an abandoned printing factory was removed, and an environmental contamination site next to the Underwood Creek watershed was cleaned up with no city tax dollars. My advocacy for the Columbia Gardens residents included fighting to prevent vehicular access from the development through the subdivision, working to eliminate construction of high-density housing, reduced lighting requirements and enhanced screening with evergreen trees along Columbia.

Capital projects make up a considerable portion of Brookfield's budget and provide the infrastructure for the city. What do you believe is the best way to fund these projects on an annual basis?

Property and hotel taxes are the primary sources of revenue used to fund capital projects, therefore attracting quality development will continue to strengthen the city's tax base and continue to make Brookfield an attractive place to live. Brookfield's long-term planning and balanced city budget prevent the peaks and valleys that many municipalities incur. Brookfield also maintains a AAA bond rating, which allows the city to attract lower-cost sources of funding for its capital improvement projects. Additionally the cell tower leases provide a unique funding source for the development and maintenance of the Greenway Trails project.

Thomas Schellinger

Age: 59

Employer/occupation: sales

Education: bachelor's in political science, Marquette University

Contact: (262) 782-4496

Brookfield schools were recently named the best in the state. Are there ways the city can maintain and perpetuate the success of its schools with limited resources?

Congratulations to the School Board, administration, teachers and parents that help make Brookfield schools the best in the state. The city of Brookfield can help maintain this success by continuing to make sure Brookfield is one of the most desirable communities to raise a family by keeping taxes reasonable, providing premier quality public services and encouraging high-value developments that increase our tax base.

How would you propose maintaining and attracting business without compromising the quality of life for Brookfield residents and families?

You attract business without compromising quality of life by continuing to build strong relationships and close coordination among public- and private-sector entities engaged in economic development. You review the development review processes to ensure they are fair, clear and predictable. You evaluate challenges facing businesses and implement measures to resolve these physical restraints and regulations on business expansion. You provide assistance to desirable small and locally owned businesses in navigating the permitting and licensing processes. You ensure new development will complement Brookfield's existing character while respecting the integrity of neighborhoods with no encroachment of commercial/retail allowed in residential zones.

Capital projects make up a considerable portion of Brookfield's budget and provide the infrastructure for the city. What do you believe is the best way to fund these projects on an annual basis?

The council adopts an annual capital improvement budget based on a five-year capital improvement program. The 2012 capital budget is $4,770,000 out of a total city budget of $72,792,179. The capital improvement expenditures are financed through special assessments, deposits or fees collected from developers, issuance of debt and grants or other intergovernmental assistance. The best way to fund these projects are keeping the city of Brookfield bond rating at AAA to keep borrowing costs low, making sure fees and special assessments are up to date and reflect the city's true cost.

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