I had the pleasure of interviewing the 2 Mayoral candidates last week, Jerry Stepaniak and Jill Didier. I found both to very pleasurable to talk with and both were very quick to setup the meetings. Below are their answers to questions that we discussed, I am not endorsing either candidates but enjoyed my conversations with each one. I am listing Jerry’s answers first only because I interviewed him first.
Why are you running for Mayor??
JS: Experience – 8 years as an alderman, past board president, wants to positively impact the community he lives in. He has always been involved in his community and wants to continue the great tradition of Wauwatosa.
JD: Wants fiscal responsibility, Responsive government, make the government more accessible to the citizens. Wauwatosa needs an open minded, strong proactive government
What issues that are facing Wauwatosa that you want to take on??
Development – State street, North Ave, Burleigh and 45 need to be
developed with a vision in mind.
Strengthen the neighborhoods – Keep the block watch program going and improve the areas that are becoming blighted. Find a way to enhance the looks of the areas.
Housing – With jobs increasing at the research park, make more housing for job seekers (He brought up the new condos at 92nd and North as an example). Develop housing for seniors, not just senior living centers.
Information from the mayor’s office – Keep it at a fact level and not just perceptions.
Political discussions should be kept on an issue level for better discussions, enhance community values.
– Need to make the Village a gem and find a way to incorporate Hart Park and
the businesses on State Street to flow smoothly. North Ave needs a vision for development and attract more
community owned businesses like Il Mito, Cranky Al’s, and Rosebud theater. Better parking along North Ave to attract
business. Also need mentioned that Wauwatosa needs a vision for
overall development not just spot developing.
More responsive Government – Hold Town hall meetings, get input from the citizens for ideas. Make the Mayor’s office more responsible and help people communicate better with City Hall.
Support the neighborhoods and strengthen the block watch program. Make Wauwatosa safer block by block.
Support the police department with crime prevention efforts.
Crime in Wauwatosa??
JS: Work with the police department to handle the nature of crime. In the 2008 budget there is the hiring of 2 more police officers, use them to come up with ways to be proactive and work on crime prevention tactics
.JD: The dynamics of crime is changing, stats show that crime is the same but the nature of the crime is getting worse. Wants to work on crime prevention programs.
This is getting long, so I will post a Part 2 to this discussion in my blog later this week. Again it was a pleasure meeting with both candidates and both were very willing to sit down with me and discuss issues. Part 2 will touch on Hart Park, Hoyt Park, reducing the alderman from 16 to 10, New Fire Station, Little Red Store and why voters should vote for them.
That’s MY TWO CENTS”