Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
The final organized Public Forum devoted to Tosa's mayoral race was held on Thursday, March 13th. I was there and it was excellent. I was told that approximately 120 people attended.
The students at Tosa East and Tosa West along with WauwatosaNOW deserve a big hand for all of their hard work in making this happen.
I have now been to all four of the public forums and two observations stand-out:
I have the candidate's presentations committed to memory. They both do a reasonable job of consistently repeating their respective messages.
Also, each forum has been a reunion of sorts as I'm always bumping into long and fast Tosa acquaintances. For instance, the East faculty member that assisted the students at this venue was a classmate with my daughter all the way from Roosevelt to Longfellow through East High School.(Note to Elaina - your assistance in cleaning-up after any humongous sleepover is still appreciated and you do not have to address me as Mr. Gaertner anymore).
This is the culture of community that Tosa is all about.
According to my Debate Index Calculator - Candidate Stepaniak is the winner. A copy of my notes are here: Tosa East Forum.pdf
Pandering is back - with Didier injecting the word crime into unrelated topics or using it more than needed.
When asked about the plans for Hart park she strayed into the past by stating that "the city never had a plan". This bugs me and I know is has rankled others. She said the same thing in the March 3rd forum. She didn't misspeak.
Does the candidate have a poor memory, is she engaging in double speak or trolling for votes by misrepresentation?
If the candidate is so wrong about this can you trust the accuracy of her other statements?
What we know for sure is that the hard working folks from the city, the Park Board, and volunteers from a variety of community groups might not appreciate their countless hours spent working on the Plan over the last seven years being summarily rejected out of hand.
The loss of only two points but a major faux pas.
When asked about the lifting of the bonding cap her answer was a rhetorical question about why it wasn't raised years ago - ostensibly before her less than 2 year tenure on the Council.
Of what use to us is this query today?
A useful debate adage is never to answer a question with another question. A correct answer would have provided substantive details about alternative(s). Redirecting a question to a different subject or backsliding into crime was a reoccurring mistake by the candidate.
Both candidates were Righteous and Hopeful although Stepaniak scored higher on this measure.
As for vision Didier certainly is enthusiastic but fails in taking enthusiasm to the next level - tell us the details please. Stepaniak comes across as a policy wonk and played his strong suit of being detailed to the point of routinely running out of time.
Everyone was on their best behavior.
Intangibles: Candidate Didier made a point of stepping away from the podium which resulted in sporadic loss of the mic. Candidate Stepaniak could have been more animated. The house lights were turned-off and I struggled with my notes and pens in the darkness. Next time I will pack my headlamp.
There is some time yet leading-up to the election so I'll probably post an observation or two on subjects brought-up in these forums that are deserving of more attention.