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Whitefish Bay president voters guide

March 19, 2014

Anne O'Connor

Age: 48

Employer/occupation: currently a full-time student, has worked in marketing and fundraising fields

Education: bachelor's in business administration with a specialization in marketing and international business, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Contact: (414) 967-8703; anne@oconnorforpresident.com

Why are you the right person for the job?

Whitefish Bay will have limited success with challenges, such as the reinvigoration of Silver Spring and infrastructure repairs, unless we consider a change in course. I bring comprehensive planning, transparency, and a collaborative approach to facilitating solutions. I also bring a fresh eye to review of budgets and policies.

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

Act proactively instead of reactively. In my role as liaison to the Business Improvement District, I've seen that development plans and incentive grants need to work less in isolation of each other, and the village president must work successfully to cooperate with all stakeholders. The image of the street needs to be defined, a strategy revisited, and appropriate businesses recruited accordingly.

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

The 2010 flooding was catastrophic and sadly devastating for residents suffering damage, some experiencing losses totaling thousands of dollars. A few factors may have contributed — the volume of rain in a short time, leaky laterals, lack of best practices green infrastructure to slow down storm water, and possible complications from local construction. The Cahill basin is just one piece of the puzzle. I would implement a cost conscious capital improvement plan with the most effective solutions, taking advantage of funds still left on the table set to expire, such as $100,000 in (to date) unclaimed MMSD grants.

Julie Siegel (i)

Age: 48

Employer/occupation: social worker at Froedtert Hospital

Education: bachelor's in finance, master's in social work from UWM

Contact: (414) 963-8695; PresidentSiegel@wfbvillage.org

Why are you the right person for the job?

I bring experience, leadership and the proven ability to build consensus. During my six years in village government, three as president, I'm proud of our accomplishments: we've maintained a high level of service, built our economic base and invested in infrastructure — all while holding the line on taxes.

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

Recently, we've made great progress toward a strong and vibrant Silver Spring. West of Santa Monica is thriving with many new businesses —including new regional and local stores — adding to the already successful flavor of the street. And the Mandel project is adding significant new tax base and vibrancy that will further attract new opportunities. I look forward to working with existing businesses, building owners and the BID to build on these successes.

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

WFB will continue to make sanitary, sewer, water and street repairs a high priority. We have a 15-year capital improvement plan that moves the village forward, creating new capacity and providing for essential improvements. We need to continue to bring forward well thought out, fiscally appropriate projects that will bring the most value for the dollars spent and are absolutely necessary to achieve flood remediation. We must assess the success of each project annually to ensure we are moving in the right direction.

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