1. Why do you want to be a Wauwatosa alder?

I am running for re-election as an alderwoman to complete work that the council has started on. I am honored to have been able to work with and for the residents of District 2.


2. What experience in the private sector or public service would you bring to this position?

I am a retired special education teacher. As a clinician I chaired the meetings where information was shared with parents and staff. I am skilled at listening to information, assimilating it and communicating it to others. This is an extremely useful skill when talking to others about city hall/council business and when chairing a meeting. While on the council I have had leadership opportunities as chair of the Community Affairs committee and of the disbanded Employee Relations committee.

My volunteer work in Wauwatosa has shown me time and again the commitment to Wauwatosa that its residents have.


3. With what charitable, civic or other organizations have you served? Briefly describe your contributions to these groups.

Wauwatosa Schools

2017 to present: Board of Directors, Education Foundation of Wauwatosa. I was recruited because of my education background to help the foundation meet its mission of rewarding innovative teachers with grants for their programs.

2009–2015: Curriculum Council. Council evaluates and advises on curriculum changes requested by teachers and staff prior to their presentations to the School Board

Mid- to late-1990s: Volunteer coach for Odyssey of the Mind teams. Odyssey of the Mind is an international organization providing students with opportunities to develop problem solving skills using open-ended challenges. The coach's responsibility is to support so students can independently develop their solutions. Two of the teams I coached advanced to the World Finals. It was, by far, one of the best volunteer activities I've done.

Band and orchestra parent

Neighborhood: Founding member of Lowell Damon Neighborhood Association

Community:

Member, Wauwatosa Historical Society Board of Directors for 9 years. During my 3-year tenure as president I led the board in efforts to rehabilitate the Little Red Store for use as a visitor center. I was the general chair of the Firefly Art Fair for more than 10 years.

Current activities include:

Member, Little Red Store committee, which manages the operations of the LRS

Home Coordinator for the Home Tour

Chair of the Silent Auction for the Firefly Art Fair

Guardian at the Kneeland-Walker house and Little Red Store


4. What are the two or three biggest issues that Wauwatosa will face over the next four years?

State level
Preemption of local authority by the state
“Dark Store” issues

Local level
Impending repairs in the Schoonmaker Creek watershed
Traffic issues


5. Has Wauwatosa found the right balance between tax-base expansion through development on the one hand and neighborhood preservation and natural-area protections on the other, or does the city need to slow down and reevaluate the speed and extent of new development?

Although I can't say if we're in balance I realize there is an undeniable effect on a neighborhood when a new development is put in close proximity to an existing neighborhood. I will continue to advocate for neighbors when dealing with developers and to listen to the concerns of neighbors when housing proposals are made.  

Non-housing development is definitely desirable and I am comfortable with the speed with which we have welcomed small businesses to our city. I believe that larger commercial development should be welcome at any time. Wauwatosa has to compete with our western and northern neighbors for larger developments and since those communities are not built out and still have large expanses of land to offer to new development we have to try to remain attractive while marketing our older community that has old infrastructure and space limits.


6. What other options for funding services, including raising taxes, should Wauwatosa explore?

We should continue to explore all options for funding services, as we have in the past, with a balanced approach of encouraging development, particularly non-housing development, cutting expenditures and raising revenues. Staff continues to market us as a place for non-housing development and all departments are charged with looking for more efficiencies. Our ability to raise revenue is somewhat restricted,limiting that option for funding services.


7. Where could the city look for cost savings? What expenses could it cut or trim?

I definitely support continually looking for cost savings. Although the council does not micromanage daily city business, it is responsible for wise use of the city tax dollars. In the time I have been on the council there has been an ongoing mandate for attaining cost savings in all departments. I am always impressed by how the staff has identified things to be done. Our committed staff has recommended, and I have supported, implementation of such things as:

One  driver per garbage truck

Gradual transition to LED street lights

Compensation study to assess whether our salaries were comparable with private sector jobs. (Adjustments to the salary ranges have been made; employees have to meet goals before raises are awarded)

Health Clinic in City Hall so that employees with minor health needs (sore throat, strep test, blood pressure check, etc.) can have those needs taken care of in the workplace. Savings have been noted as charges for these visits are less than at other locations and time away from work is decreased. This project is being closely studied for any opportunities for expansion and additional cost savings.

Instituting wellness programs to encourage and support healthful activities. Participation means employee's portion of premium is reduced.

Fire and Police departments cooperate with surrounding departments to participate in group training and purchases to save money

Pilot program for sidewalk repairs to assess whether it would save money to do some of the repairs in house. It is not.

Staff are occasionally shared between departments to cover vacancies, thereby avoiding new hiring

Cutting expenses is an ongoing challenge and I believe that most of the easy cuts have already been identified and made.  Raising revenue and development appear to be necessary to avoiding cutting personnel, something that nobody wants.


8. Do you favor or oppose additional development or road construction – including the proposed northward extension of N 92nd St to accommodate cars,trucks and buses, on the county grounds' northeast quadrant (north of Watertown Plank Road and east of I-45)?

The remaining undeveloped grounds that are not already part of the county park should not be developed. I would not support zoning that allows development or road building in those areas. The one area that I am exempting for now from that statement is the so-called food service building as I am still undecided about future use of a commercial site that is currently there, albeit closed.


9. Do you support proposals to move City Hall and replace the current structure with private development or should Wauwatosa rehabilitate City Hall instead?

No. My vote would be to rehabilitate it, which will still require a considerable amount of money. The location is easily accessible, walkable for many, and has adequate parking.


10. Why do you think members of the groups sponsoring this questionnaire should support you?

I am a Wauwatosan by choice; I've lived here most of my life and raised my family here so my roots are very deep. My resume verifies my commitment to the betterment of life in Wauwatosa. My record on the council confirms that I consider issues individually and in detail. I am open-minded to the opinions of others. I believe that I have been a good advocate and representative for District 2 in particular, and the city in general.


11. How might public officials work proactively to make Wauwatosa a more welcoming community to people of all races and backgrounds who live here,or work,visit or shop here?  What steps should the city take to promote diversity in its hiring practices?

I support any and all efforts by city staff and electeds to reach out to our citizens, those who have had  negative interactions, the schools, religious organizations, workplaces and trained professionals to help identify any needed improvements and to work with us to make improvements. We will be developing a housing policy that could potentially remove barriers that actually exist or are perceived to exist for people wanting to live here.

I support the efforts of our HR staff to continue to recruit the best pool of candidates for employment here, using all the resources at their disposal - search firms, colleges and universities, professional connections and experiences,etc.  I am not a human resources professional or an attorney and depend on guidance from our staff on these issues. I am responsible for hiring staff on my job and am very familiar with how difficult it can be to find the right employee for a vacancy.


12. How should the city address the issue of affordable housing in Wauwatosa?

We are embarking on creating a housing policy and will be using the data in our recent housing study, information from our citizens, information based on best practices and from similar sized communities, to address this. We need to address needs for seniors, workforce employees and those with disabilities. Coincidentally, the state may be redefining “affordable” in some pending legislation and it will be necessary to have that information as we move forward.


13. Would you be willing to participate in a candidate forum or a debate with your opponent?

Yes





County Grounds Coalition #1-Stippich #1-Lockwood #2-Schoenherr #2-Causier #5-Kuhl #5-Nistler #6-Byrne #7-Kofroth #7-Morgan Question #8