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Whitefish Bay Village Board voters guide

Incumbents Garry Davis and Tara Serebin are challenged by Will Demet.

March 19, 2014

Garry Davis (i)

Age: 56

Employer/occupation: Professor of linguistics at UWM

Education: Bachelor's in German, French and political science at the Central University of Iowa; master's and PhD in Germanic languages from the University of Michigan

Contact: (414)332-1924; acculang@wi.rr.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

I have lived in the village for over 15 years and believe firmly that village residents have a right to be heard on every issue and to be treated with the utmost respect. My current term on the board has made me familiar with the issues now confronting the village.

What should the village do to attract new businesses, especially on Silver Spring?

First we must change the perception that WFB is unfriendly to business by streamlining the permitting process needed to get a business started here. We then work with new businesses and local landlords to resolve issues related to needed building upgrades. Through it all we must work closely with the Village's Business Improvement District (BID) organization, because they are our most knowledgeable resource for attracting new businesses that will succeed on Silver Spring.

Last year the Village Board put a halt to the village-wide sewer lateral repair program. What should the village's focus bewhen it comes to repairing Bay's aging infrastructure and preventing home flooding?

WFB should focus on getting the most bang for its buck by addressing the worst problem areas first. The village's current capitol improvement plan (CIP) that I supported while on the Village Board accomplishes that by prioritizing the needed upgrades to our infrastructure and setting out a timetable for their step-by-step implementation. In this way the costs of upgrading our aging infrastructure will not overburden the taxpayer. The Cahill detention area is an example of this careful planning process since it was paid for mostly with federal grant support, and is designed to lessen surface flooding in nearby areas.

Will Demet

Age: 22

Employer/occupation: Researcher at School Choice Wisconsin

Education: Bachelor's in political science, Marquette University

Contact: (414) 731-8134; willdemet@gmail.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

As a 20-year Whitefish Bay resident, I know the community and its issues well. I will make responsiveness to residents my highest priority. Through my work as a researcher I collect the necessary information to solve complex policy issues and I hope to use my skills to help the Village.

What should the village do to attract new businesses, especially on Silver Spring?

I believe that the best way to keep and attract businesses to Whitefish Bay is to listen to the concerns of current businesses in the village. Businesses know best what their needs are and we must value their input on village projects that affect them in order to give them the environment they need to survive and thrive. The village can also sponsor more street festivals or sidewalk sales to attract shoppers from around Milwaukee.

Last year the Village Board put a halt to the village-wide sewer lateral repair program. What should the village's focus bewhen it comes to repairing Bay's aging infrastructure and preventing home flooding?

The infrastructure improvements that have been, and continue to be implemented in order to solve the village's flooding problem should be done in an equitable and cost-effective manner. When analyzing future flood infrastructure spending, I will look to ensure that: 1) the reduced risk of property damage outweighs the cost of the improvements for the average homeowner; 2) infrastructure should be built with a sufficient enough expense while minding costs to ensure a quality job that will not have to be repeated sooner and cost the village more in the long run.

Tara Serebin

Age: 48

Employer/occupation: Executive Director, Peace Learning Center of Milwaukee

Education: Bachelor's in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; master's in curriculum and instruction from UWM

Contact: (414) 963-9192; trusteeserebin@wfbvillage.org

Why are you the right person for the job?

I believe we need to make government accessible to residents. It's important to me that people are well educated on village issues and have the opportunity to provide input before decisions are made. I will work to continue to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of communications between the village and residents.

What should the village do to attract new businesses, especially on Silver Spring?

Village government should maintain ongoing dialog with the Business Improvement District to resolve issues they believe stand in the way of new businesses choosing to move to Whitefish Bay. We must be willing to examine policies that negatively impact business development, be open to new ideas, and be willing to investigate any opportunity presented to attract new business to Whitefish Bay.

Last year the Village Board put a halt to the village-wide sewer lateral repair program. What should the village's focus bewhen it comes to repairing Bay's aging infrastructure and preventing homeflooding?

The village should continue progress on the CIP plan adopted in 2012. Each year's projects should be evaluated for both impact and cost to residents with changes being made as necessary. Whenever possible the residents should be offered opportunities to make improvements on private property in conjunction with public works projects to help ease both the impact and the cost. Once again, all efforts should be made to educate and inform residents about impending and potential improvements and to encourage practices that further reduce inflow and infiltration into the sanitary system.

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