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West Allis Aldermanic District 2 voters guide

Feb. 8, 2012

SCOTT BUNKER

Age: 56

Address: 1709 S. 80th St.

Employer/occupation: Self-employed restaurant owner

Education: University of Wisconsin, majoring in construction administration

Political/related experience: New to politics; experienced in running my own businesses since 1978

Contact: sbunker@wi.rr.com

Why should people vote for you?

I will listen to the concerns and questions of my constituents. I will try my best to answer their questions and address their concerns, and if I am unable to I will direct them to the individuals who can. I believe that all concerns should be addressed in a timely manner. The biggest complaint I've heard in talking with the residents of West Allis is that they are "brushed off" and "dismissed" when they voice their concerns to their alderman. I feel this is the number one responsibility of an alderman - listening to and working with and for their constituents.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you handle it?

I think that the increase in crime and increase in poverty are the two major issues facing the city. Unfortunately, I don't believe an alderman has the ability to change either of these issues directly. However, as an alderman I would address the issue of how West Allis is perceived, which can be an indirect way of addressing those issues. One of the ways to improve the negative perception of West Allis is to improve and redevelop the Downtown Business District. Actively looking for businesses to fill vacancies and improve these properties would be the first steps I would initiate.

KURT KOPPLIN (INC.)

Age: 67

Address: 1625 S. 77th St.

Employer/occupation: Purchasing agent at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Education: Bachelor's degree in history from UWM; also business courses taken at UWM in accounting, finance, marketing, administrative organization, etc.

Political/related experience: Four-term alderman; I've worked in the private sector in procurement, transportation management and project management for manufacturing companies for most of my career.

Contact: (414) 258-8729

Why should people vote for you?

I bring private and public sector experience to the position as an alderman. We need careful budgeting to fund and provide the services that people depend upon at the local level, while maintaining our infrastructure while facing declining state and federal aid. This combination of factors is likely to continue for years. However, without a solid infrastructure and excellent services it will be difficult to attract new businesses to our community.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you handle it?

I think the biggest challenge facing this community is to provide the essential services (police, fire, public works, health, library services, etc.) while controlling our costs. The demand for city services will continue to increase, particularly in these tough economic times, and our infrastructure is aging. About 50 percent of our current city workforce is eligible to retire over the next four to five years, and we need to replace them with qualified, dedicated people who care about this community. I think that my business and procurement experience provides a solid background as we address the challenges we will face.

CATHLEEN PROBST

Age: 46

Address: 1959 S. 79th St.

Employer/occupation: Owner of Teaching for Success, an educational consulting business, focusing on relationship building to enhance learning; until recently, 16 years with the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District teaching civics, college-level government, history and geography; still a substitute teacher

Education: Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in political science and history; teaching certification, UWM; master's degree in education from Cardinal Stritch University

Political/related experience: Vice president of the West Allis-West Milwaukee Education Association, also served on the negotiating team and on the district's labor-management team, former chairwoman for the association's professional rights and responsibilities; taught civics and social issues college-level classes for 19 years

Contact: probst4WA@gmail.com

Why should people vote for you?

I possess the qualities that are desperately sought in our elected officials: integrity, accountability and a desire for reform. The people of the 2nd District should be represented with a strong voice focused on economic development and community building. A voice that reflects a vision of a vibrant West Allis, a community symbolized by thriving business, safe neighborhoods and achievement in education. As alderman for the district, I will work to achieve these goals through constant positive representation and forward-thinking policies.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you handle it?

West Allis, once a beacon of economic development, a shining star of industrialism and manufacturing, has, in the past few decades, dulled and withered. Empty storefronts, signs of neglect and apathy, and a government that needs to be more proactive have all become major issues for West Allis. I believe that addressing "quality of life" issues (vandalism, theft, graffiti, loitering), an aging population, and readily available skilled workforce are all key in attracting development, and investors.

RYAN WARGOLET

Age: 32

Address: 1647 S. 81st St.

Employer/occupation: Hotel management

Education: Marketing degree from the Madison Area Technical College

Political/related experience: No political experience but experience as a landlord and from being in the hospitality industry

Contact: ryanwargolet@gmail.com

Why should people vote for you?

I'm new to city government but have strong goals and beliefs to get involved with my community. I figured the best way I know how is to become an alderman. I was raised in Milwaukee and have lived in West Allis for five years. I bring a new perspective to the Common Council with youth and the views of the younger generations which is missing on the council today. A voice to be heard!

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you handle it?

Safety for the people that live and reside in this community and making sure its remains a place that people and families would like to live and raise their families in the future. By making sure there are good jobs and schools in the area to keep good residents in West Allis for generations to come. Finding out what the community needs and make sure we do our best to get it for our community, whether it would be lower taxes or more stoplights at key locations.

MARTIN WEIGEL (INC.)

Age: 52

Address: 7415 W. Greenfield Ave.

Employer/occupation: Bar/restaurant owner and operator, Benno's Genuine Bar and Grill.

Education: Graduated from Wauwatosa East High School; studied mechanical engineering at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Political/related experience: Appointed to the council in 2003 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008; served on all five Common Council committees as well as a Community Health Improvement Plan Committee and the city's 2030 Comprehensive Plan Committee and Strategic Plan Committee; a director of FIRE (First-ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise) and on the West Allis Youth Commission.

Contact: marty.weigel@gmail.com; (414) 774-0639 home, (414) 704-6350 cell

Why should people vote for you?

For the past eight years I have provided active and engaged representation for the residents of the 2nd District. My 31 years as a small businessman have taught me how to find solutions for difficult problems, often using limited resources. I support the prudent use of economic development tools as well as efficient, honest and open government. I answer my own phone, and I work to resolve citizen issues as completely and quickly as possible. I have worked hard to promote a positive image of the city and will continue to provide the best service possible.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you handle it?

The current recession has put a strain on the entire community. The city's job is to provide service as cost effectively as possible while working to improve the tax base. To that end, the city should continue to redevelop underused commercial and industrial land while taking a hard look at every department, assuring that residents are getting the best value possible. When this recession ends, and it will end, West Allis will be prepared to provide a city that even more people will chose to live and work in.

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