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7th District aldermanic seat to be filled tonight

May 5, 2009

The Wauwatosa Common Council is poised to vote tonight on a selection committee's recommendation of Cheryl Berdan to fill a vacant 7th District aldermanic seat. But a competitor for the appointment had written a letter urging city officials to support the runner-up candidate.

Peter Hart, a 7th District resident who came in third as the committee narrowed down the field, is asking council members to vote for Robert Sigrist, who came in second to Berdan.

He wrote about concerns that relevant professional and practical experiences were not given proper consideration. Sigrist most recently worked as manager of New Berlin's Inspections Services Department, and Berdan is employee as a Milwaukee County Courthouse receptionist.

During the interview process, committee members said they put emphasis on volunteerism and community involvement. Berdan has been in charge of the city's Fourth of July parade for the past five years, whereas Sigrist has served on the city's Design Review Board in the past.

"I respect Ms. Berdan's community involvement, however, after further review I believe Mr. Sigrist would bring a more balanced set of skills to the council," Hart wrote.

In an e-mail to a NOW reporter, Hart also questioned whether friendship was reason for Berdan's support. He suggested increasing the committee from five to seven members for future interviews would "help dilute this bias."

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