Last Thursday, February 7th, I sent this exact same E-mail to all four mayoral candidates...
Dan Devine firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark Nisenbaum email@example.com; Thomas Tilley firstname.lastname@example.org; and Linda Dobrowski email@example.com. To this point, not one of the four has responded. I don't think any of these questions are insulting, rude or otherwise offensive. They were asked as an undecided voter.
I would like to know a little bit about your ideas on topics that are important to me...
Taxes - Will you audit city budgets in midstream? How reactive will you be when a citizen calls you and says he caught a garbageman asleep in his truck? Do you feel our taxes are too high? If so, what fluff is in the budget that you feel can be cut?
Crime - A neighborhood boy is 15, and has been arrested in the last year for shoplifting from a department store, and for possesing weed. Both times, he was given "First Offense" treatment which basically includes some community service. As someone who knows the kid, I know he doesn't "get it". Big picture... if all kids "don't get it", then what good are these programs? Other cities have had success with "Broken Windows" types of poicies where small infractions are treated as big deals. Do you think that may be successful in West Allis?
City services - I think it is stupid that I have to buy blue recycling bags, and that they have to be blue. Although it is fine if people want to wash their garbage and cut down boxes, but I don't feel that the city should force me to do that, and I certainly don't think I should be required to pay for my recycling supplies. I have read studies that suggest that communities spend more in resources for recycling programs than the benefit derived. Do you feel the recycling program should be revamped, and if so, how would you approach it?
Economic development - What's the point if the roads are so clogged and slow moving that the business aren't worth getting to? Those condos on the east side of West Allis on Greenfield Ave are going to be a road clogging disaster. All of those condo owners and apartment residents will have cars, and they will be coming and going at all hours, all day. With that added traffic, how many people from West Milwaukee and Milwaukee are going to want to navigate that traffic to get to downtown? Traffic is already slow on 76th, 84th, 92nd Streets, so why shouldn't residents go towards Southridge (with two lanes of traffic past Lincoln) or Hwy 100 to shop? How is spending resources to spur development on Greenfield Ave. worthwhile if the traffic isn't worth the hassle to go there?
Other than listening to Mark Belling, I am not very political. I also don't have any desire to be an activist or volunteer. I want the next mayor to believe what I believe. Please let me know your thoughts on these topics.
For the record, I am asking these as a citizen, however, I do have a blog on West Allis Now. Please let me know if there is anything you do or do not want me to blog about. I don't know if your responses turn into a blog, but if they do, I would like to know up front what your boundries are. Thank you.