Makes endorsement for Shorewood board

Dear editor,

I grew up in Shorewood, moved away to attend college, and have moved back with my two children. Many of my graduating cohort from Shorewood High School have also returned to reside and raise a family in the community where we grew up. I am attracted by the growth and vibrancy of the village.

I was convinced to return to Shorewood, in part, by the exciting developments along Oakland Ave and Capitol Drive – the new restaurants, apartments, and businesses, including Metro Market. This development appealed to me because it demonstrated that the Shorewood Village Board values innovation and vitality that will support community services while balancing taxes. These developments have moved Shorewood forward and made it a model for other villages and cities around the Milwaukee area.

I am surprised and disheartened when I hear negative comments directed at the current trustees for supporting the TIF’s that allowed the village to support development along Oakland Avenue. These developments are the very elements that make Shorewood attractive. There is an excitement about living in Shorewood. I like being able to walk or ride a bicycle when going out to dinner, or to run errands, or to buy groceries. I understand and appreciate the role the village leadership plays in managing this growth and development.

The election April 4 is extremely important to continue the progress Shorewood has made in recent years, and I believe that many others in my generation feel the same. For that reason it is imperative that we re-elect Mike Maher and Ann McKaig to the Shorewood Village Board. They both have the background and experience needed to continue making Shorewood the diverse, sustainable, lively and attractive community that I am proud to live in.

Leo Eckman


Development opportunities await

Dear editor,

Many in Shorewood are sad to see Sendik’s on North Oakland closed. The piece in the Thursday, March 9, edition of North Shore Now focused on how redevelopment and road repairs along Capitol and Oakland contributed to Sendik’s demise.

Since the Metro Market development has become a flash point and divisive issue for many in the community, I took the opportunity to put on my “urban design” hat (I teach Urban Planning at UWM) and drove down Oakland Avenue, imaging what that stretch will look like when the construction traffic is gone and the street returned to its designed width.

I have to say I had an optimistic mental picture where the Market (even with its flaws) could anchor a nice mix of smaller and niche development and retail opportunities along that portion of Oakland. Without that niche development, however, Metro Market sits there relatively alone. But for that vision to occur, buildings that are vacant or underused would need to be developed.

At this point, I have to ask why property owners such as Katz and Ogden have let their commercial property sit idle for years or have not made needed investments to make the properties attractive. I'm specifically thinking of the building at the northwest corner of Oakland and Capital; the anchor corner has been vacant since Actaea left and now Wells Fargo and Subway are gone, as well. The former site of Goldi's also sits vacant. Are there best practices we could adopt to encourage smaller redevelopment?

It would be great to have shoppers who visit the Market be able to also then grab something from a hardware store, say, or a stationary supply store, perhaps a florist. Without this spillover from the Market, I feel a real opportunity is lost.

Virginia Carlson


Supports Symchych in Fox Point

Dear editor,

Christine Symchych is an outstanding village of Fox Point trustee and I highly endorse her re-election.

Christine's two successful terms as a village trustee, 20-plus years of professional experience as a municipal planner, and a stellar record of civic leadership and involvement make her an exceptionally qualified candidate. She is hard-working and passionately dedicated to our community. She is a dear friend and neighbor.

I've had the pleasure of working alongside Christine as part of a group in support of the photography collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum. I know her to be an astute financial manager and gifted connector of people and ideas. Whether in a visionary leadership role or in the management of day-to-day issues, Christine listens, considers multiple perspectives, and works diligently for balanced solutions and forward progress. She applies those skills and attributes to everything she does.

Here in Fox Point, where I have been a homeowner since 2004, I am glad and grateful to have Christine to represent my interests. Fox Point is a distinctive community, beloved by so many of us. We need experienced, balanced, principled leadership as important issues arise. We need Christine. Please join me in voting for Christine Symchych on April 4.

Kristen Carter

Fox Point

Supports incumbents in Shorewood

Dear editor,

We are pleased to support the re-election of Shorewood Village Trustees Ann McKaig and Mike Maher, and the re-election of Shorewood School Board member Paru Shah. We also strongly endorse the election of Pablo Muirhead to the open seat on the Shorewood School Board.

The thoughtful work of Ann McKaig and Mike Maher has helped to lay the foundation for a resurgent central district, enhancing the commercial tax base which, beginning in 2021, will meaningfully offset residential tax obligations. In addition, Mike and Ann have taken an informed, collaborative approach to addressing Shorewood’s long-term infrastructure needs. Their experience and dedication are critical as Shorewood embarks upon the process of hiring and onboarding a new Village Manager in May.

Shorewood’s vibrant atmosphere and the village’s award-winning school district are very much interconnected. While many of the established suburbs have struggled to maintain student enrollment, Shorewood has added over 300 new students since 2010, increasing their resident student base by 19 percent. As president of the school board, Paru Shah’s steady leadership was instrumental in the hiring of a strong administrative team, the emphasis on a supportive environment for its terrific teachers, the transition to a curriculum with enhanced authentic learning, and the prioritization of student wellness. Pablo Muirhead, meanwhile, will add significant value to an already effective board. A Shorewood parent and alumnus as well as a former teacher in the district with a PhD in education, Pablo Muirhead has the background and passion necessary to further Shorewood’s tradition of academic excellence in an increasingly challenging environment for public education.

Experience matters. We are fortunate to have responsive, committed public servants in candidates like Ann McKaig, Mike Maher, Pablo Muirhead and Paru Shah, who can navigate the complex issues that face our community.

John and Lindy Florsheim


Supports Symchych, Frazer

Dear editor,

The 2017 spring election is right around the corner and I, as a current trustee for the village of Fox Point, am endorsing Christine Symchych for re-election to the board and Douglas H Frazer as the new president of the board.

Christine is the board member’s member. She is actively involved in the Fox Point community and beyond, and one needs only to work with her for a little bit to see that she loves Fox Point, is very knowledgeable on how boards and governments work, and is an asset not only to the village board but to all Fox Point residents as well.

Doug Frazer will be a terrific president. His knowledge and love of Fox Point is clearly exhibited in his six years as a trustee and his monthly articles on Fox Point in the Fox Point of View. He is also a practicing attorney and I know he will guide the village exceptionally well with his experience and expertise.

We are fortunate to have two exceptionally qualified candidates who want to lend their expertise and knowledge for the benefit of Fox Point residents.

Please vote for Christine Symchych and Douglas Frazer on April 4.

Bill Kravit

Fox Point

Supports incumbent in Fox Point

Dear editor,

I ask you to re-elect Christine Symchych as Fox Point village trustee. With her education as a city planner and 20-plus years of involvement working with municipalities, she has the right qualifications for the job. Her two terms as a Fox Point village trustee have given her a deep understanding of the issues coming before the board. Christine takes her office and commitment to our village seriously. She studies each issue carefully, thinking about how it will impact the village and its constituents. She has good understanding of the public process and is committed to finding the best solutions to the significant issues facing the village.

Christine enjoys being a part of our community. She makes herself available to constituents, encouraging them to call or write her with questions or concerns. She listens, and tries to incorporate that input she receives.

During her tenure on the Fox Point Village Board, Christine has taken on responsibility as chair of the finance, audit and historic preservation committees. With the other board members, she conscientiously worked through the bridge controversy, helping to pave the way toward a successful, award-winning public/private partnership. Today, she is giving the same effort to issues around the aging village pool.

Christine is involved in the greater Milwaukee community. She is a former board member of Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, and currently a trustee of the Milwaukee Art Museum. With a strong passion for contemporary photography, she even serves nationally on the board of the Eastman Museum in Rochester.

Having worked with Christine on a number of initiatives, I’ve known her to be a hard worker and independent thinker. She gets things done. She dives into projects, connects with people and makes good things happen.

Please give Christine your vote April 4.

Barbara Fuldner

Fox Point

Supports change in Fox Point

Dear editor,

We’ve lived in Fox Point for nearly 18 years and believe we now have an opportunity to make a great improvement to our Village Board. Please support Gary Hollander for village president and Greg Ollman for trustee. Both candidates will infuse the board with fresh energy and ideas, stronger input from the community, and transparency and openness in governance.

Gary and Greg each have more than three decades of community service experience, far more than the incumbents whom they challenge. Both have shown remarkable involvement in the issues of interest to residents of Fox Point. They are reliable men who have received numerous commendations for community service. Gary Hollander and Greg Ollman value and respect our village employees, and realize that their contributions are very important to the quality of life we all enjoy in Fox Point.

Gary has depth of experience in board and organizational leadership. He has garnered millions of dollars in federal and state grant money for community projects. He has led area and national committees and boards. He holds advanced degrees in education and psychology as well. Greg is well known to our schools as he and his wife have been active supporters of school projects and athletics for decades. He is a trusted neighbor and has service commendations from Milwaukee County leadership and the U.S. Secret Service.

In the past few months, I have gotten to know both of these candidates because they took the time to reach out to me and my husband. They are positive influences in their respective neighborhoods, value our environment and are committed to preserving the best from our past while we search for the best in our future as a community.

I urge Fox Point voters to remember to vote on April 4 and encourage them to vote for Gary Hollander for village president and Greg Ollman for trustee.

Jane and Jeff Fait

Fox Point

Symchych has needed experience

Dear editor,

For the past several years, the village of Fox Point has been fortunate to have Christine Symchych serve on its board of trustees. I am supporting Christine’s re-election to a third term because I would like to see our village continue to prosper.

Christine has a degree in urban planning and has worked in that field for decades. Her experience and knowledge on the issues facing communities today has benefitted the village many times. When the village was considering entering a public/private partnership with a community group to rebuild the Bridge Lane footbridge, Christine asked hard questions and demanded answers. That same dedication is now evident with regard to our community pool, another village amenity that is showing its age. Christine’s creative thinking has involved master’s candidates from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in coming up with proposals for the pool’s future. When the village receives their report in May, it will help us move forward in making the appropriate decision.

Christine has worked diligently on the finance committee, the historic preservation committee, the building board and the North Shore Library Board. Her wider involvement with the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Sailing Center further illustrates her dedication to community betterment.

The long list of village leaders, past and present, who have endorsed her candidacy testifies to both her qualifications and her ability to work well with others.

Please join me on election day Tuesday, April 4, in casting a vote to re-elect Christine Symchych as a Fox Point village trustee.

Barbara Schwartz

Fox Point

Supports incumbents in Fox Point

Dear editor,

Recent developments prompt this letter of support for Doug Frazer, Christine Symchych and Terry McGauran. I will be voting for these three individuals.

They are the best qualified to take on the issues that face the village now and in the future. It is my fervent hope that the voters of Fox Point will not be swayed by half-truths and innuendo. I am confident that my hopes will not be in vain. This confidence is founded on my knowledge of Fox Point and its citizens, having lived in the village for 28 years and having served on the village board for 17 years. Please join me in voting for Doug, Christine and Terry on April 4.

Michael A. West

Fox Point

Endorses McKaig, Maher

Dear editor,

I strongly endorse incumbents Ann McKaig and Mike Maher for Shorewood Village Board. Many others have touted their talents, resumes and commitment to Shorewood. I join these fellow residents. I do so as someone who has lived 44 years in Shorewood, been deeply involved in community service and served 11 years on the village board, the final six as village president (1992-2003).

Not one to rely on others’ opinions, I attended candidates forums and “meet and greets” for all candidates.

I know Ann less well than Mike, as her four years on the village board is less than his 12, but she is nonetheless impressive. Her assigned role as moderator for contentious community listening and Q & A sessions on the Metro Market was something to behold — I’ve never seen better. This is a rare talent that Shorewood cannot afford to squander. If you need more information about Ann, check out www.facebook.com/mckaigforshorewood.

I know Mike better. I walked doors for him in 2005 and I have supported him ever since. Please read his resume and vision on his website for yourself at www.maherforshorewood.com. Mike has never let me down in 12 years. By this, I do not mean that his views on every issue are the same as mine; sometimes they aren’t. Rather, his love of Shorewood and commitment to open, fair, thorough review of every issue is undeniable. That’s what I want in a trustee.

Retention of Ann’s and Mike’s cumulative 16 years of village board experience is especially important in a year when Shorewood will be replacing its extremely capable village manager, Chris Swartz, due to retirement.

After much direct personal due diligence, I have decided to wholeheartedly support the incumbents, Ann McKaig and Mike Maher. I urge all in Shorewood to reach the same conclusion.

Rod Dow


Candidate responds to allegations

Dear editor,

In a letter appearing online March 13, Bob and Terry Worth ask the question, "Why is it that over $22,000 of our tax money goes to pay for private attorney fees to defend two of the incumbents against ethics charges?” This implies my involvement, as I am one of the two incumbents running for re-election. I was not on the board at the time, and therefore, not involved.

The intent is to imply that Christine Symchych and I may have questionable ethics, and waste taxpayer dollars. But much is left out. A citizen filed an ethics complaint with the village regarding the board’s handling of the Footbridge issue. Named in the complaint were Village President Mike West, Trustee Christine Symchych, Trustee Doug Frazer and the entire village board as a whole. The complaint was addressed by the ethics board and dismissed without merit. Village insurance covered in full the attorney fees (the $22,000) for the three individually named defendants, as well as the thousands of dollars for village attorney fees and other expenses associated with this action.

The village wasted a lot of time on this frivolous complaint brought forth by one individual citizen. Issues can become heated, but I believe reasonable people can agree to disagree without getting into litigation and accusations of this sort. I fully support the candidacy of both Doug Frazer for village president, and Christine Symchych for village trustee. They are both honest and trustworthy and I hope the Fox point voters will support them April 4.

Please support my re-election. I do not bring personal issues or vendettas to this position. I serve with an open mind, a willingness to listen, contribute, and always be mindful of citizen concerns and the village mission. Vote April 4 for Terry McGauran for village trustee.

Terry McGauran

Fox Point

Says allegations without merit

Dear editor,

It is not we who are ethically challenged (Worth letter in March 16 issue) but, rather, certain "Citizens for Change" who wish to malign their opponents on the eve of the election. This is not the Fox Point way.

In 2012, a resident opposed to village board policy concerning the exploration of a public-private partnership to fund the Bridge Lane footbridge chose to express his displeasure by filing an ethics complaint against the entire village board, Village President Mike West, and Trustees Frazer and Symchych. The ethics board considered the matter and dismissed the complaint as frivolous. The ethics board went on to state that Christine and I had, in fact, been "engaging in the precise conduct we expect of elected officials." The ethics board suggested that it would have sanctioned the complaining individual if the rules had so allowed. The village board reimbursed our attorneys' fees and submitted a claim to the village's insurance carrier. The carrier paid it in full.

This is not the first time the "Citizens for Change" leadership has attempted to advance its views or gain advantage in questionable ways. Our former village manager was given the unenviable task of implementing Act 10 in connection with the village workforce. This was a state mandate: neither she, nor the village board, had discretion over the matter. Yet, the "Citizens for Change" scapegoated her for it, and harassed her into resigning.

The voters will have to decide whether leadership that supports or engages in this kind of conduct, and approach to issues, is what they want. We stand for something else: fairness, integrity, reasonableness, and thoughtful, civil discourse over the matters that concern us. We ask that you allow us to continue our service to the village by voting for us on April 4.

Douglas H. Frazer

Christine Symchych

Fox Point

Supports Carpenter in Shorewood

Dear editor,

I had the honor of representing Shorewood in the state assembly for six years and moving to Shorewood four years ago was an easy decision. It was where my family played, shopped and dined for over two decades and it was a community of progressive values and actions.

I am endorsing Jessica Carpenter for village trustee. Jessica is highly qualified and strongly committed to Shorewood and its vitality as a wonderful place to live, and I applaud her fresh perspective and willingness to contribute. But what both she and I see happening is concerning.

Shorewood has always been a progressive village. However, we have turned our attention away from our residents and toward subsidizing large-scale developments that often don’t need financial help to succeed. I have knocked on Shorewood doors for years and frequently heard worries of rising taxes coupled with concerns of needed repairs on infrastructure. Jessica also shares these concerns, witnessing young families forced to select other communities and seniors driven out of their life-long residences.

Jessica has taken heed of President Obama’s call to action: “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.” Sadly, I have discovered that challenging incumbents is not part of our village’s progressive tradition. During this campaign, I have seen too much hostility aimed at those who have differing opinions and those choosing to get involved, like Jessica. We should champion people who want to contribute to our village, like Jessica, whose perspective and approach will be an incredible benefit to our residents. This current atmosphere of negativity toward people with different opinions is a bad reflection on Shorewood, and I sincerely hope it does not continue.

Jessica Carpenter will get my vote April 4 and I encourage you to do the same.

Sandy Pasch


Says state Rep. is unresponsive

Dear editor,

This morning, I called my representative, Jim Ott, about a concern. Instead of having a staff person answer the phone, I got a recorded message.

Whenever I have sent him a letter about a concern, he does not reply. Mr. Ott apparently feels that he does not need to communicate with the North Shore residents whom he represents. Neither he nor Alberta Darling, our senator, have held open meetings with local residents for years. Outside of some visits to local schools, the only time Sen. Darling is seen in Whitefish Bay is in the July 4th parade. The same goes for Mr. Ott.

I think people in the North Shore would like to know why neither of them have been strong, vocal advocates for our schools in terms of funding and local control. What is their stand on proposals by some of their colleagues to change the law to allow concealed weapons in school buildings? Sen. Darling has focused her efforts in education to dismantling Milwaukee Public Schools, an area that she does not even represent. I can’t remember any legislation proposed by Mr. Ott that would directly benefit the citizens who reside in the North Shore.

Mr. Ott and Sen. Darling need to do much more to document that they are vested in representing the interests of their constituents who live in the North Shore.

Dick Marx

Whitefish Bay

Candidate asks for support

Dear editor,

Four decades of public service position me well to seek your vote for village president of Fox Point this spring. This office requires knowledge our village, and how our community connects with others on the North Shore, and with the state and nation. To preserve the best of our past and envision our brightest future, we need leadership that is committed to transparency, responsiveness and fair dealing.

Fox Point has much about which we can be proud. Our schools, environment, and quality of life are excellent. We boast excellent village employees. Our manager, clerk, and public works employees are remarkable for their willingness to respond.

Our elected officials, too, must engage fully in the life of Fox Point. As I have visited hundreds of homes this winter, I heard incredible commonality. People like living here. Many came for our schools and stayed for our environment. But, while many shared examples of neighborhood engagement, others express concerns about where we are headed and how decisions are being made.

We have a need to review our village. We need to have greater participation in the budgeting process. Our village board meetings must become welcoming of participation. We need a village plan that serves as a benchmark for decision making. Conflicts over land use and infrastructure could have been ameliorated with a plan developed with significant community input.

My experience with fire and police departments, public health at all levels of government, area and regional foundations, and secondary and post-secondary education have led me to understand that elegant solutions are possible when people are heard.

I have logged in over 18,000 miles walking our streets with my dogs in the past 30 years. I know our village and its residents. I ask for your vote to continue my lifetime commitment to public service.

Gary Hollander

Fox Point

Opposed to mayor’s actions

Dear editor,

Glendale is experiencing a first in the spring aldermanic elections in districts 1 and 5. Never has a mayor ever actively backed a candidate for an aldermanic position. You may not realize that an alderperson is responsible and accountable to the constituents in his district first and then to the city of Glendale. The mayor, Brian Kennedy, wants to fill the aldermanic seats with those whose views and allegiances align with his thoughts and continue to always vote affirmative on those ideas he supports.

Glendale has always had a clean city government. This effort to support alderpersons who will side continuously with Mayor Brian Kennedy could compromise the city values, enhance the opportunity of collusion and provide a springboard for corruption!

Mayor Brian Kennedy: Shame. Shame. Shame.

To be recruited for these elected positions, being endorsed by the mayor and accepting is a moral and ethical compromise based on city history. The challengers, Tomika Vukovic and Steve Schmetzing, have basically sold their integrity for the mayor’s support and do not deserve your vote.

How much can you trust Mayor Brian Kennedy? When the city administrator retired in 2016, the people in key city positions saw how the mayor operated. No city employee had ever had or needed an employment contract. All key city employees requested and received a four-year employment contract before Dick Maslowski retired.

Yes, your support and vote is needed for the two incumbent officials serving their aldermanic districts with dignity and no strings attached. Bob Whitaker in aldermanic district 1 and “Izzy” Goldberg in aldermanic 5 are both incumbents and both deserve to continue to serve their constituents faithfully.

Daniel Hess


Supports McGauran in Fox Point

Dear editor,

I am writing to encourage all Fox Point voters to help re-elect Terry McGauran as village trustee in the April 4 election. Since 1994, my husband and I have had the privilege of knowing Terry and Diane McGauran as good friends and great next-door neighbors. Terry and Diane are dedicated to their family and to the neighborhood and community they have lived in for over 40 years. I can attest to the integrity and thoughtfulness that Terry brings to his work and that he exhibits in his interactions with others. I currently serve on the Fox Point Village Pool Advisory Committee that is tasked with determining the future of our aging municipal pool. Terry supports the preservation of the pool as an important village amenity.

Terry brings to our village board his valuable expertise from his many years at Johnson Controls. Terry’s sound judgment, his immense dedication, and his great respect for all members of our community combine to make him a valuable member of the board.

During his first term, Terry has devoted his time to the challenging issues we face in the village. He believes in preserving our high-quality public services and to improving the infrastructure of our roads, aging water mains and municipal pool. He has a common sense approach and a willingness to listen to others that he will continue to apply as the village faces important decisions in the coming months.

I believe Terry will continue to help guide the board to bring forth all that is best for Fox Point residents. Please join me and cast your vote for Terry McGauran for village trustee.

Vicki O’Neill

Fox Point

Names candidates worth choosing

Dear editor,

After spending 12 years on the Fox Point Village Board, I chose this year to speak out on the village board election.

This has turned out to be a controversial election year coming off the problems we had finding a new village manager in 2015-16. Many residents have blamed the village board for these problems, when the problems were primarily due to issues in the hiring process. Now the village has settled these issues and is ready to head into a new year with new leadership.

While it will be difficult to replace Mike West, who is retiring as village president, I believe Doug Frazer is a strong candidate. Doug has been on the board for two terms and has shown he is capable of leading it. His writing skills are excellent as shown by his work on the Fox Point of View Magazine.

I am also supporting two additional candidates. They are incumbent Christine Symchych and newcomer Greg Ollman. Christine has all the qualifications of a very effective board member and Greg attends most board meetings and is well read on issues the public should be aware of.

Please join me in voting for these three candidates on April 4.

Bill Warner

Fox Point

Makes endorsements for school board

Dear editor,

The Shorewood Schools have been, with rare exception, fortunate to have highly qualified citizens commit to serve on the school board. Throughout my 18 years as a Shorewood school leader, we were well-served by thoughtful, wise, and talented board members, many for multiple terms. They understood the complexities of schools, were forward-looking, provided policy guidance, and were good stewards of district resources. They were the best expression of sustaining traditions amid the press for innovation.

I see two highly qualified candidates for school board who will carry on the tradition of good governance and leadership for Shorewood — Paru Shah and Pablo Muirhead.

I met Paru Shah two years ago as I assisted the board with the superintendent search. She was in her first month as school board president and served the community very well during the transition. She communicated with clarity, guided the school board to quickly restore a healthy working environment, establish trust with the faculty and stability within the school leadership. Community concerns were heard and confidence of parents strengthened. She was just the leader Shorewood needed.

Pablo Muirhead was a student at SHS when I was principal; he was a leader and a fine student who contributed to the vitality of the school. Pablo returned to our schools as a Spanish teacher, where he excelled in the classroom, just as his students did. He comes from a family of educators, understands how schools work best and engenders respect among all aspects of the district.

I admire both Paru and Pablo for their commitment to the community and to Shorewood students. They have demonstrated the skill, wisdom, and values needed to represent Shorewood families and citizens to sustain the quality of the Shorewood schools and to keep the community a destination district.

Jack Linehan


Incumbents needed in Glendale

Dear editor,

Elections do have consequences. With a mayor with less than two years in municipal governance and a city administrator with less than six months on the job, we need to re-elect our incumbents, the aldermen that have the experience.

Bob Whitaker and Izzy Goldberg have given of their time and expertise on the job to enable the citizens of the first and fifth aldermanic districts the chance to enjoy the ‘Rich Past’ we enjoy today.

It is my belief that now is not the time to elect two individuals that have had no municipal experience to lead Glendale going forward. Now is not a good time for on-the-job training.

We need to elect the two incumbents that have demonstrated their dedication to serving Glendale as a whole by fostering collaboration and working to meet the needs of the community as a whole.

They have worked for an understand the importance of balancing city services and development which allows Glendale to maintain its quality of life, a great place to live, which enables the ‘Bright Future’ we all have come to expect.

Jay Hintze


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