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Past experiences lend candidates varying strengths

Mayoral hopefuls describe their skills, expertise

Feb. 15, 2012

Each week leading up to the April election, Wauwatosa NOW will ask the candidates running for mayor one question about an issue facing the city. The candidates have been limited to 150-word answers.

The three candidates - Peter Donegan, Kathy Ehley and John Pokrandt - will be narrowed down to two contenders in a primary election Feb. 21.

Readers are encouraged to submit questions by sending an email to reporter Stefanie Scott at sscott@cninow.com.

Q What is your current job and what positions or past jobs/experiences help make you the best choice for our next mayor of Wauwatosa?

Peter Donegan

A See PeteDonegan.com for a complete resume.

Twenty-six years of business management experience (insurance industry) is excellent preparation for the mayor's position.

While in middle management of a larger company, I became indoctrinated in the methods of TQM/Six Sigma and was part of an organizational transformation similar to what the city must undergo. Later as a VP of a division similar in size to the city, my urgent task was to find ways to deliver our product at less cost because of diminished revenue. I would describe the principle challenge of today's city management with exactly the same words.

Experience with insurance accounting helped me gain command of the even more arcane municipal accounting. Managing a payroll and buying employee benefits helped me with these critical city issues.

Six aldermanic years provide familiarity with the people, organization and issues of the city and readies me to step into the role tomorrow.

Kathy Ehley

A Running the Village of Wauwatosa Business Improvement District is like running a mini-city. I work with a diverse group of 190 business and property owners, bringing them together to find solutions within tight budgets. I deal with public works, infrastructure, marketing, economic development and safety issues. I work with the residents and schools as well.

I have strong working relationships with Wauwatosa elected officials, city administrator, department directors and staff, as well as leaders in private sector. I promote Wauwatosa as the place to live, work, locate your business and have fun. I am actively involved in the strengthening of our neighborhood associations and crime prevention efforts. I am involved in bettering our public school system - though my leadership in Education Foundation of Wauwatosa - providing grants for innovative projects, beyond the district's operating budget, that greatly benefit the students.

My strength is bringing people together to get things accomplished.

John Pokrandt

A I am an account manager for City Press Graphic Communications. I have spent my professional life in the printing and advertising industry holding positions in sales and management.

My professional experience has given me a unique perspective on working with a diverse base of clients and balancing diverse interests.

Budgeting and forecasting has been a key part of my work life. I understand how to find the most efficient mutually beneficial solutions. In my personal life I am a husband and father of two young children. As mayor I am dedicated to our school system, parks, public safety and infrastructure.

On issues of economic development I will be proactive and am committed to long-range planning. We need to attract businesses that benefit our city long-term. I am driven to maintain our quality of life and continue to make Wauwatosa a place that young families want to call home.

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