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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.

Been to the new ALDI almost in Brookfield?

Brookfield, Living well on less $

Yes, it is true! Another ALDI grocery store moved into Brookfield - almost.

It is located on the Wauwatosa side of 124th Street on Burleigh Rd. next to the OfficeMax store, in the Lowe's shopping center. (Actual address is 12120 Burleigh)

They opened 2 weeks before Christmas. I stopped in that week and they were busy!

I shopped there again yesterday* because they had a fruit sale: cantaloupe for 89-cents, grapefruit for 29-cents, bag of navel oranges for $1.49, and bananas for 39-cents/pound. What a deal.

They seem to be well received, even in almost Brookfield. Like me, many shoppers bring their Sendiks heavy plastic grocery bags to reuse at ALDI.

People are interested in ALDI stores. From the weekly blog reports I receive from Brookfieldnow, I have noticed that 2008's posts on ALDI show up nearly every week on my page view totals.

Few stores consistently offer the same values as ALDI stores. Most of their products are made by mainstream companies, just relabeled for ALDI with their labels. The packages are often the same size and colors as the mainstream company, just the design is different. Other products are the same as other private label products. Their butter for example is the same as Roundy's butter, but at a cheaper price.

Plus, ALDI backs all of their products with a double your money back guaranty--even their produce. I once returned a moldy pineapple, which can happen anywhere, and they insisted on giving me double my money back. How refreshing.

So what do you have to lose? If you have never been to an ALDI store, give them a try ...don't forget to bring your quarter and bags. (See ALDI 101 below)

Past Posts: Shopping ALDI's 101: B.Y.O. B, Q, and C & New Loaction News
Just What Can You Find at ALDI's? Lowe Prices for One!
In Praise of ALDI's and Trader Joe's: Wish We Had Both!

*I shop at ALDI nearly every week but usually at the Hwy 100 store in West Allis, south of Greenfield Ave.

Links: 

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Promises, promises: It'll be on C-SPAN

Health care, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, Socialism / Marxism

Eight different times, on Jan 2008, 1/20/08, 11/14/2008, 8/28/08, 3/1/08, 11/27/07, May 2008, and 4/25/08, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised that his ObamaCare negotiations would not be held behind closed doors. Instead they would be televised on C-SPAN. He promised negotiations would be "transparent and accountable" so the American people could watch them. He even chided the Clinton's for their closed door health care discussions during the Clinton era.

But like so many promises made by President Obama, the reality is quite different from his promises. At present, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are negotiating behind closed doors to mesh the passed House and Senate versions of ObamaCare. No C-SPAN, no transparency, except Pelosi saying they are close to a bill.

This in itself should raise the ire of every American because this Conference Committee melding of the bills is always done in Congress and subject to more discussion and scrutiny. Considering the bill affects 1/6th of the American economy, you would think they would follow precedence. But not with President Obama's administration.

I guess we just must chalk up his broken C-SPAN promise as another, I was for it before I was against it? Was this the change you hoped for?

From The Heritage Foundation's Obama's Other Broken Health Care Promises:
 

  1. Individual Mandate: ...Obama:'Now, under any mandate, you are going to have problems with people who don’t end up having health coverage...' Both the House and Senate bills now contain an individual mandate. According to the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, under the Senate plan, 19 million Americans would pay $29 billion in taxes/fines and still receive no health care in return.
  2. You Will Not Lose Your Doctor: ...Obama promised the American people: 'No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise...If you like your doctor, ...keep your doctor...If you like your health care plan...keep your health care plan.' Again, the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirms that the current Senate health bill breaks this promise. Seventeen million Americans will be forced out of their existing health insurance. [Even more woes for Medicare/Medicaid patients--see Mayo clinic link at bottom.]
  3. No Tax Hikes for People Making Less than $250,000: '...Obama promised the American people: “if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.' I repeat: not one single dime.' Speaker Pelosi believes the Senate bill’s excise tax on insurance plans breaks this promise, and she is right... [and] There are a slew of new taxes in the Senate bill, many of which will hit the middle class...

  4. Your Health Premiums Will Be $2,500 Lower:Congressional Budget Office,and Lewin Group,[disagree.]
  5. Health Reform Reduces the Deficit:..'Obama: I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.' [but] When the true cost of Obamacare is considered, the final tab comes to $2.5 trillion with an honest accounting of Medicare reimbursement rates netting a $765 billion deficit all by itself.
  6. Tax Payer Funded Abortion: ...Obama: 'No federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.'[but in Senate version]Your taxdollars most definitely would be paying for elective abortions.

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Where's Ponto?

City of Brookfield, Elections, Politics, Mayor Speaker

Brookfield's mayoral primary election is fast approaching on February 16th.

I spotted my first Marcello for Mayor sign mid December?

Marcello also had a color ad in the Waukesha Freeman freebie paper last week.



 

The large red Speaker for Mayor signs went up after Christmas.after Christmas.

But where-o-where are the Ponto signs?

They may be out there but I haven't spotted one yet. Have you?

I would hate to have Steve Ponto play it so laid back that he misses the boat.


 

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Feingold says he'll listen at WCTC on Monday. What will you say?

Health care, Special events, WISCONSIN, Legislation

Hey, our own Senator Russ Feingold says he will be listening on Monday, Janurary 11th, at 12:15pm, at WCTC. Amazing. He hasn't heard us so far, but on Monday, he is ready!

Other listening sessions have drawn 200 to 300 in attendance, I heard. I also heard Vicki McKenna say that he estimates the crowds were split 50/50 in favor and against ObamaCare. I find that very difficult to believe. So, I will go see for myself.

The listening session will be held in the Lecture Hall of the Business building at WCTC, at 800 Main Street, Pewaukee.

Regardless if you attend or not, still give him a call. Senator Russ Feingold: Milwaukee (414) 276-7282, Washington D.C. 202) 224-5323.

True, he probably won't listen on the phone any better than he does at a listening session, but I have to believe the calls are making a difference. Entrenched Congressmen like Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan aren't calling it quits because of all the positive calls their offices receive!

Links: 

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It's Elmbrook's Human Growth & Development (Sex Ed) public review time again

Education, Elmbrook, Family, HG&D (sex-ed)

Elmbrook School District residents may look over the Human Growth & Development materials at the district offices at 13780 Hope Street, just a few blocks north of Capitol Drive.

Daytime Sessions: Jan. 11 - 15, Jan. 18 - 22 and Jan. 25: 9 a.m. - Noon and 1 - 4 p.m.
Evening Sessions: Thursday, Jan. 14 and Monday, Jan. 18: 5 - 7 p.m.

New for this year is the proposed packaged curriculum by Holt for the middle school students. I believe this is the first pre-fab curriculum our district has ever had for health instruction, which is the broader term for sex ed.

I like the idea of a packaged curriculum because it is easier to see exactly what will be taught. The Outcomes, I have heard, are tied to specific chapters and pages, which should help parents see what subjects are emphasized and taught.

One of the challenges in reviewing the HG&D materials is to match the Outcomes with the actual instructional materials. Another would be to look at how much time is devoted to a subject. For example, the curriculum may include teaching abstinence and birth control, but how much time is devoted to each? Hypothetically, if there is one mention of abstinence and then 10 lessons on contraception, are we really covering both subjects? Is instruction glossing over the importance of abstinence in preventing sexually transmitted diseases, many of which are incurable?

As you review the material, keep in mind the state graduation requirement for sex ed is 1/2 credit in the subject of health. Period. Every classroom hour devoted to HG&D takes one hour away from some other subject such as science, math, English, or history.

If you have children in the Elmbrook School District, I urge you to go take a look at what materials are there for your child's present and future grade levels.

Past Posts: Still time to review Elmbrookd's HG&D (Sex-Ed) materials:

 

Links: 

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Feingold "Listening" session: Were you there? Who asked about Constitutionality?

Health care, Legislation, WISCONSIN, Special events

Well, it has been an interesting morning. Fox News, New York, is looking for the woman at Sen. Feingold's Listening session yesterday at WCTC, who was wearing a purple (actually it's blue)* beret.

I was there and heard her excellent question on the Constitutionality of the health care bill, but I couldn't see the woman who did the asking.

The reporter said her name is something like Anna or Hannah, but that is all she knew. They were running a clip of her question all day, she said.

If you know someone who was there in the lecture hall, or if you know who the astute questioner is, PLEASE let me or Cindy Kilkenny know?

By the way, the YouTube clip on Cindy's post shows a man asking the very thing I wanted to know.

* I found her on a photo I had taken, and her hat is royal blue.

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A goodbye to Cindy Kilkenny's Fairly Conservative blog

Musing, Blogging, Brookfield

Today Brookfield blogger and friend, Cindy Kilkenny, posted her last piece on her blog Fairly Conservative. I will miss clicking in to see what has captured her attention but look forward to her next venture.

Blogs sometimes offer the only coverage of an issue, especially since the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cut back on local news coverage. She will be missed.

But as if on cue, Cindy is going out with a bang. A Fox News producer from New York contacted HER this morning to see if she knew the woman who asked the question on constitutionality at the Feingold WCTC Listening Session!

So goodbye, Fairly Conservative, and Cindy, fare well! 
 

Links: 

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Sen. Feingold turned deaf ear to 97.5% at Listening Session

Conservatives, Health care, Legislation, Socialism / Marxism, United States

Monday, Senator Russ Feingold held a Listening Session at WCTC in Pewaukee. The lecture hall was packed by the time I got there, standing in the hall room only! I asked the security guard how many people the room held. He replied, about 350, plus the people standing at the sides and seated in extra chairs. There were maybe 30 more outside in the hallway. The guesstimate was over 400.

At first some thought the room was packed with Obama supporters, but as the questions were asked, it became clear from the response that most people were against ObamaCare. Just how many would be affirmed later.

It was rather difficult to hear out in the hallway as Feingold's mike wasn't as loud as the attendees' microphone. I wrote down the questions as best I could and the key words or essence of the response from the Senator. Words I am not sure of are in brackets. My questions and answers are not direct quotes but will at least give you a flavor of the meeting. Topics of questions will be in bold, so you can easily skip to the ones you are interested in or skip to the conclusion at the bottom. My favorite 3 questions are in red. Feingold did not always give a response to the question or statement.

Listening Q: Why aren't you and your colleagues listening to [us?]
BIG APPLAUSE

We don't want this & resume Q: The majority of people don't want this but it's being shoved down our throats...without transparency, you and Obama promised transparency. We are fed up and you better get your resume ready! (See video clip below)
BIG APPLAUSE

A: Feingold said something like I vote according to what I hear.
BIG Boos
He then said something about how You've got transparency.
Again, BIG negative response from crowd.

Stimulus jobs Q: ...about stimulus jobs. Private jobs pay for themselves; government jobs cost us money. I'm not going to hire additional people...

Next was the astute mystery woman in the purple beret that Fox News was trying to find for a further interview. (I thought her beret was royal blue.) Fox's producer told me they were running the clip of her question all day.*

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UPDATE on Elmbrook's HG&D (Sex Ed) curriculum

Education, Elmbrook, HG&D (sex-ed)

Monday I went to the district offices to look at the proposed Holt packaged curriculum for middle school students. Elmbrook School District residents may go to look over materials at these times:

Daytime Sessions: Jan. 11 - 15, Jan. 18 - 22 and Jan. 25: 9 a.m. - Noon and 1 - 4 p.m.
Evening Sessions: Thursday, Jan. 14 and Monday, Jan. 18: 5 - 7 p.m.

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Ponto signs popping up in Brookfield

Brookfield, Elections, Politics

Monday, I spotted my first Ponto for Mayor sign on Calhoun Road.

Since then, I've noticed they are popping up all over.

I still have not seen a Schellinger sign, have you?

Recent post: Where's Ponto?

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Watching Massachusetts Senate race with great interest

Elections, Health care, President Obama, Politics, United States

This coming Tuesday, all eyes will be on the Massachusetts Senate race between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown. Why? A Brown victory would end the 60 vote filibuster proof supermajority in the Senate.

What should have been a slam-dunk for Democrats in the special election to fill the late Edward Kennedy's Senate seat, is becoming a neck and neck race, with Brown pulling ahead! This is truly remarkable, considering it is in the liberal haven state of Massachusetts.

The poll was conducted early in the week, of registered voters, and showed Brown ahead by 4 points. (Still within the margin of error.)

If Brown would win and be seated before the final health care vote, his no vote would sink ObamaCare. I realize that is a lot of ifs.

Also of interest, is Obama or isn't Obama going to campaign on Coakley's behalf?
"Coming off stinging election losses in Virginia and New Jersey -- not to mention Copenhagen, where he failed to win the 2018 Olympics for his hometown of Chicago -- President Obama is staying away from what could become another painful loss." He did send an email instead. Another article suggested he might still show up.

But whether the president campaigns for Coakley or not, the President and Democrats are invoking the late Senator Kennedy's memory and cause. A video piece I watched begins with Obama touting Teddy Roosevelt as the first to promote health care reform in 1912, presumably to make Republicans feel better about ObamaCare? (In 1912, however, Teddy Roosevelt was not a Republican; he was a 3rd party Bull Moose candidate--after his presidency.) The video ends with footage of Ted Kennedy.

"Yet even in the bluest state, it appears Kennedy’s quest for universal health care has fallen out of favor, with 51 percent of voters saying they oppose the 'national near-universal health-care package' and 61 percent saying they believe the government cannot afford to pay for it."

Tuesday's special election will be interesting, to say the least. A Brown victory "...would send a chilling message to all Democratic candidates on the ballot in November, even those in supposedly safe seats." A Brown victory could turn the tide on ObamaCare.


Articles cited: Massachusetts 'tossup' threatens Obama agenda
Poll shocker: Scott Brown surges ahead in Senate race
Obama keeps his distance from Mass. race

Past post: Litmus test: Watching Doug Hoffman's N.Y. 23rd race with great interest

Links: 

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CCC hosts Brookfield Mayoral Candidate Forum, Jan. 20th, 7pm

City of Brookfield, Elections, Special events

The Concerned Calhoun Community, C.C.C., is hosting a City of Brookfield Mayoral Forum on Wednesday night, January 20th, at 7 - 9pm, at Swanson Elementary School on Calhoun Road.

These forums present a great opportunity to see what the various candidates stand for. Each candidate presents a 3 minute opening statement before they start to answer their pre-submitted questions. Time permitting, there may be a chance for additional questions from the audience.

The primary is on February 16th, which will narrow the field of 4: Jeff Speaker, David Marcello, Steve Ponto, and Tom Schellinger to the 2 on the April ballot.

Links: 

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Brown needs healthy margin to win Massachusetts to beat possible fraud

Musing, Conservatives, Elections, Health care, President Obama

Today is the day! Massachusetts votes to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Will this very blue state go for the establishment Democrat or the more conservative, by comparison, Republican Scott Brown?

Polls suggest Brown will win. If you look at the polls, you can see the momentum is going to Brown. The polls from this last week range from 1 tie on up to +15 points.

President Obama did go to Massachusetts, after he said he wouldn't, to campaign for Martha Coakley. It seems his promo fell flat, although it is said he saved or created 1,000s of votes! Even the President is said to doubt Coakley will win.

But it seems a win for a Republican needs to be a bigger win than for a Democrat. MSNBC's Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews both suggested cheating or buying votes as the way to a Democrat victory. Remember the Minnesota Senate race between Coleman and Franken? During the lengthy recount process missing ballots from car trunks, etc. finally added up to a Franken victory. Brown needs to have enough of a victory to prevent recount mischief.

I admit I will be on pins and needles and in prayer for Massachusetts today. There is a lot riding on this election. Our Senator Feingold said at the Concord Listening Session that he might hold his vote on ObmaCare until Brown is seated, should the Democrats lose in Massachusetts. The fact that it is this close is nothing short of miraculous.
 

Links: 

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So thankful Brown won!

Conservatives, Elections, Health care, President Obama, United States

The Massachusetts special election is a Tea Party dream come true! They are even referring to it as the Boston Tea Party. Best of all, the margin is large enough to call it 52% Brown - 47% Coakley.

Tomorrow I will be watching the Dow. I'm thinking it will be up again in anticipation of ObamaCare's demise?

I am also wondering if more Senators will jump ship now that they know ObamaCare is unlikely to pass the Senate. Why stick your neck out if you know it won't pass?

Why stick your neck out, indeed, if you know that a Republican just won in the very blue state of Massachusetts? No doubt, there will be concern over seating Scott Brown before moving forward with ObamaCare. There will also be increased concern over deficit spending and shifting of tax burden to the states connected with their version of health care reform. These 2 issues could provide a gracious turnaround on a former yes vote.

Still, I hate to count chickens before they are hatched. Democrats are so desperate to pass something, they are again talking about using the nuclear option or the House passing the original Senate version.

But for today, I'll breathe a sigh of relief, because of the Brown victory. To think a year ago, tomorrow, Conservatives like me were grieving over the inauguration of a president we knew would push a socialistic agenda. Who in their wildest dreams could have predicted this upset?

Election news: WH Reacts to Massachusetts Special Election
Coakley concedes
Brown Gives Rousing Victory Speech

Links:

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Feingold has got to go & Sensenbrenner, was that a hint?

Conservatives, Elections, President Obama, Health care, United States, WISCONSIN

There is an old saying that if you repeat a lie often enough and it's big enough, people will believe it. Now, I am not saying Senator Russ Feingold is lying when he claims most people are for ObamaCare, because I think he believes it himself. It seems he just cannot fathom that the majority of Americans don't want a government take over of healthcare.

Despite being hammered at nearly all of his listening sessions, Feingold is still insisting, "'If you think all of those people that say they don't want the bill, are people that don't want health reform - there's a good chunk of them who want a much stronger bill,... I think the largest group is probably the people that are for the bill. The second largest group is the people that are against the bill because they don't think they want to do anything. And then there is a third group, which is significant because they want a stronger bill.' "

So maybe Feingold is thinking that if he repeats that mantra often enough, some will believe it?

Tuesday's Senate upset in Massachusetts, combined with Sen. Feingold's refusal to acknowledge most Wisconsinites don't want ObamaCare, makes him very vulnerable this fall. People are also angry about all the deal making fostered by ObamaCare.

While I am inclined to think the dog catcher might be able to win against Feingold in November, Senate races usually take a lot of money, good name recognition, and a well run campaign to be successful. So far, we only have 2 long-shot Republican candidates.

This afternoon I caught a bit of Mark Belling's radio show and heard Congressman Sensenbrenner and Belling talking about other possible Senate candidates. Belling was very impatient and negative on Wall and Westlake's ability to win. Belling was suggesting Mark Neumann or Tommy Thompson or even talk show host Charlie Sykes as possibilities.

Sensenbrenner said more than once, just be patient and that we still had time. That suggests to me there is someone more able to win that the Republicans have in the wings to challenge Feingold?

I hope that wasn't just wishful thinking on my part. Don't get me wrong, my hat is off to those 2 businessmen for rising to the occasion, but a stronger opponent would be wonderful. It would be great to turn half of our blue state red in the Senate. I guess we will just have to stay tuned on this one.

Links: 

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MoveON.org asking members to attend Sensenbrenner Town Hall Saturday

Health care, Special events, Legislation, President Obama, United States, WISCONSIN

Saturday, January 23rd, Congressman Sensenbrenner is holding 2 Town Halls: one at Pewaukee City Hall at 9am and another at the West Allis Public Library at 1pm.

The Liberal Political Action group MoveON.org sent out an email alert asking members to attend the Pewaukee Town Hall to show support for health care reform.

"_can you come make your voice heard for real health care reform?"

 

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"Purpose Precedes Creation" presentation Tuesday, Jan. 26, 7:30pm

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Brookfield, Special events

Ever wonder "Why in the world are butterflies so stunningly beautiful?"* Why are their wing patterns tiny works of art? If they just evolved from the primordial ooze, as evolutionists believe, why are their wing designs orderly and artfully arranged, instead of just an accidental hodgepodge of color? For that matter, how do you explain their complicated life cycle and migration patterns?

On a less glamorous subject, "What purpose do organs such as the appendix serve? and what can we conclude from the life-sustaining perfection of every variable in earth's physical existence?" Years ago, the appendix and tonsils were thought to be useless parts. Today we know differently. They have a purpose.

Tuesday night, local business executive Gerald Frye of Elm Grove, will explore the topic, God's Purposes in Creation, at the Creation Science Society of Milwaukee's monthly meeting.

If you have ever wondered about Creation Science or Intelligent Design, Tuesday's meeting should be informative and interesting. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 7:30pm
Brookside Baptist Church Auditorium
4470 N. Pilgrim Road
Brookfield, WI

*Quotes are from Gerald Frye

Also coming up: Creation Worldview Weekend in West Bend on February, 19, 20, and 21. This seminar is also FREE and open to the public.
 

Links: 

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Ted Kanavas not seeking reelection for STATE Senate

Musing, Brookfield, Elections, WISCONSIN, United States

Now this is interesting: "State Senator Ted Kanavas announced today that he will not seek a third full term in the Wisconsin State Senate."* (Kanavas is not my State Senator, I have Democrat Jim Sullivan.)

Will Ted Kanavas announce he is running for U.S. Senate if Tommy Thompson decides not to run?** Thompson probably would like to bask in the Won't you run Tommy? limelight a bit more before announcing that he won't run. At least I hope he will say he is not running, because I am not much of a Thompson fan.

If you recall, Governor Thompson created BadgerCare in1999. Plus, who could forget last October when he was pushing for health care reform? (And I don't mean Congressman Paul Ryan's version of health care reform!) Thompson is too much of a McCain type Republican for my taste. I would swallow hard and vote for him if I had to, but can't we do better?

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner did hint last week on Mark Belling's talk show to be patient and that we still had time, regarding a worthy opponent to Senator Russ Feingold. Mark Belling was pushing Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann, and even Charlie Sykes.

Is the candidate Sensenbrenner had in mind Ted Kanavas or is there still someone else? Questions, questions, questions!

This November, we have a real chance to elect a more conservative Republican to the US Senate...should one step forward. It isn't often an opportunity like this comes along. I hope we don't squander it.


*Does this mean State Representative Rich Zipperer will be moving up from the 98th Assembly District to run for the State Senate? That would open the 98th Assembly seat to someone new too. UPDATE: Zipperer did start campaigning for State Senate in Menomonee Falls tonight. (Tip: Randy Melchert) See: State Senate: 33rd District - Rich Zipperer  http://www.richzipperer.com/

**Of course the possibility exists that Kanavas is just calling it quits. 

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Pre-primary Mayoral Forums: 1 down, 1 today, 1 Feb. 4th

City of Brookfield, Elections, Elmbrook, Special events

Click for 4 photo version.

Last week Tuesday, the CCC held the first of 3 pre-primary Mayoral Candidate Forums. CCC president Barbara Roncke moderated.

True to form, candidate Tom Schellinger canceled that day but managed to get his campaign literature there. BrookfieldNOW reporter Alan Harmari blogged live from the event.
I took notes and a few pictures too--see below.

At 6:30pm tonight, the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce and NOW Newspapers are hosting a forum at the Safety Building. Again, NOW reporter Hamari will be blogging live from the event. This is good news since I will be at the Creation Science presentation tonight. At least I can still catch the highlights of the forum. (Candidate Tom Schellinger will not be at tonight's forum due to a conflict with a County Board meeting.)

There is still one more forum to go before the primary election on February 16th. That one will be at 7pm at City Hall and hosted by the East Central Branch of the Waukesha County Republican Party.

A few tid-bits and pics from last week's forum: Answers are not exact quotes but will give you a flavor of the evening.

About 50 people attended the CCC forum, including (alphabetical order) Aldermen Berg, Carnell, Lowerr, Mahkorn, Lisa Mellone, Jerry Mellone, and Nelson. State Assembly candidate David Coon was also there. Questions were from the CCC board.

Mayor Jeff Speaker was first to give his 3 minute intro. He said he wanted to make City Hall friendlier--cut the red tape and make the process easier. He asked for our vote because we have a lot to do... He said Brookfield is a premiere neighborhood to live in, work in, and eat in. He emphasized the good places to eat!

During the questions, one of the more ironic moments of the night was how the mayor answered part 2 on the question of an economic recovery plan for the vacated property on Bluemound.

Q: How do you justify construction [of new] buildings next to vacant property? Speaker answered, we don't have much of that but there are some successes: CVS and that "other" [Hooters] restaurant. The irony was that the Common Council just had a public hearing on adding an additional free standing building to the parking lot of the Brookfield Fashion Center, that is across the street from vacancies at the 3 neighboring shopping centers! To be fair, I understand this out building was approved years ago under the original zoning.

The other humorous comment to me was in response to the question of density and uniform height criteria for target areas. The mayor said he didn't want "cookie cutter development" that looks alike! To me, most of Brookfield's development looks alike: formidable, with no charm. The false 2nd story requirement comes to mind too.

Former Alderman and School Board member David Marcello was next. Primarily, he directed listeners to his website to read comments from those on the school board. He said government is most frustrating when it's misunderstood, and often it is on purpose to obscure their intentions. He added that his strength on the school board was to speak in words that can be understood.

The first question was about an interchange on Calhoun Road. Marcello was the only candidate to point out how unusual it is for an interchange to be in a residential area.

Another question was about south side residents being treated rudely when contacting City Hall and what you as mayor would do to make sure staff was courteous? Marcello relayed an incident when he was Alderman that revealed he was threatened by the Director of Administration. Marcello said there were departments that were excellent, such as the Parks Department and the Tax Department.

Alderman Steve Ponto was last to give his 3 minute intro. He stated he believed in limited government and disagreed with Obama. He said, just because government can pass a law doesn't mean it should. He said he would be a leader on policy issues, in the metropolitan area and preserve our interests with Wisconsin. He concluded with, single family neighborhoods are the hallmark of Brookfield. I am convinced I can do better.

During the 1st question on the interchange, Ponto pointed out no one was for it right now, but that the 2035 Plan called for a study that included the option of doing nothing. He asked if improvements could be made to existing interchanges or maybe a new ramp to Executive Drive. Ponto favored the study with no preconceptions.

Regarding raising taxes or cutting services, Ponto said our greatest concern was the removal of the QEO for the school district. The City comprising 29% of our tax bill while Elmbrook takes 56%. (The city usually takes all the blame for high taxes.)

Was there a candidate that jumped out at me as "the one"? No. There are red flags with all 3 for me. I don't think I am alone in my quandary over which one to vote for; a number of people have expressed their reservations to me about this election. Hopefully the other forums and Q&As on BrookfieldNOW's Mayoral Coverage Page will help me decide before February 16th's primary.

Unfortunately, the candidate I would have like to have seen run, didn't. I might just write her in! (...and it is not Cindy Kilkenny, although if she was on the ballot, I could be more enthused this election.)



Elmbrook School Board At Large Candidate Forum: Tuesday, February 2, 7pm, sponsored by the Elmbrook Parent Leadership Council Forum is at the Central Administrative Offices at 13780 Hope Street in Brookfield.

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