Information on our local elections has been sparse, for both School Board and Village Board. There have been a grand total of two official news articles:
"Four candidates running for three seats" (School Board)
"Two candidates vying for one-year term" (Village Board)
Judging by the article titles, WFB NOW really, really, really wants you to know how many candidates and how many seats are on the ballot. Beyond that, each candidate gets about 4-5 sentences to tell you why you should vote for them.
In continuing with posting the long-form letters of Whitefish Bay candidates, Village Board candidate Sean Finnigan has submitted the following:
I am extremely excited to be running for the Whitefish Bay Village Board and I am pleased that I am running opposed as it allows me the opportunity to communicate my objectives and goals, if elected, prior to joining the Board. I want to make sure by the end of reading this letter that you know where I stand on the issues currently affecting the Bay.
There are many reasons people view Whitefish Bay as the premiere suburb in the Milwaukee area. However, like all communities, our Village has a number of areas that need improvement.
In preparation for my candidacy, I spoke to many Bay residents to find out what issues they felt Village government most needed to address. Based on my own experience and the information gathered by talking to Villagers, I believe the following issues, among others, need the Board’s attention.
Drug/Crime Prevention: Drug use and related crimes in the Bay have become highly publicized recently. These problems affect all residents and it’s important for the Board to facilitate communication and coordination between the Police Department, schools, and residents (especially Bay United) in order to find solutions to these problems.
Silver Spring: Silver Spring is in a sad state, and until recently the Village Government has done little to stop its deterioration. However, the Village Government has finally taken steps to reverse the downward trend in the form of the Streetscaping Project and the creation of the Business Improvement District Board. This is just the beginning and we need to build on this momentum so that we ensure our investment in the Streetscaping Project does not go to waste. The Village Board must take an active role by bringing together business owners, landlords, members of Village Government and residents to make Silver Spring vibrant once again!
Fiscal Restraint: In light of the economic situation, it is more important now than ever, for the Village Board to practice fiscal responsibility to help ensure that there is no future need to raise property taxes. We must spend money smartly.
Infrastructure Planning: For years the Village neglected and postponed infrastructure repairs and improvements. As a result, we have broken streetlamps, worn out water mains, and potholed roads needing attention. Recently, the Village hired a new, ambitious Village Engineer, and we need to seize this opportunity to create a comprehensive, long term infrastructure plan, and most importantly, execute it.
Improve Pedestrian Safety: We as residents are both fortunate and unfortunate to have a busy state highway like Lake Drive winding through our Village. Anyone who has tried to cross Lake Drive during rush hour or ride their bike downtown knows crossing this thoroughfare can be a scary experience. The Village must focus on finding workable solutions to make pedestrians safer when crossing busy roads such as Lake Drive, Silver Spring and Marlborough.
Improve Communication between the Village and its Residents: There is no reason that the Bay Leaves and the WhitefishBayNOW should be the primary sources of critical information for Village residents. When there are important crime alerts, updates regarding trash and recycling pickup or Village Government notices we should be able to depend on a user friendly Village website.
Improve Oversight of Construction Projects: Infrastructure improvement projects such as the Silver Spring Streetscaping are a necessity for the Village. However, such projects do not have to create great inconvenience and harm to Village residents. The Village Board can do a better job overseeing such projects so as to minimize incidents of fugitive dust covering people’s cars, broken or mislabeled barricades, confusing signage, or construction materials injuring pedestrians.
Don’t Forget the Little Things: During campaigns there is a tendency to focus on the big issues facing the Village while forgetting about the less publicized functions of the Board. It is important to remember that a majority of the decisions that the Board makes don’t necessarily make the headlines but are just as important to the character and charm of our Village. To that end I believe that it is important that the Board continues to work with the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation to promote their efforts; that it works hard to accommodate residents who enjoy the annual ice rinks; that it continues to work to improve the Village Library facilities; and that it continues to promote environmental efforts such as Green Day in the Bay and all environmental efforts.
I understand and appreciate that the above list of issues may seem long and that I may be overly optimistic in thinking that the Board can tackle all of these issues, but the reality is that we must. Each of these issues, and many others not even listed, require the attention and consideration of the Board. My fresh perspective, unlimited energy and dedication to the Village make me a good fit for the Board.
Make sure you read other items:
- Kathy Rogers - School Board Candidate
- Joe Martinelli - School Board Candidate
- Gerry Steele - School Board Candidate
- DeMuth Drops out of School Board Race
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