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Primary election voters guide for West Allis 5th Aldermanic District

Feb. 4, 2014

Editor's Note: Candidates were asked to limit responses to 100 words.

ROY BEAUDRY

Age: 71

Address: 2082 S. 104th St.

Years in community: 49

Employer/occupation: retired West Allis police officer (30-plus years service)

Education: associate degree in police science and business credits, MATC

Political history: three unsuccessful bids for alderman

Community involvement: West Allis-West Milwaukee Crime Stoppers; West Allis-West Milwaukee Monogram Club

Family: wife, Andrea; daughters, Robin, 44 and Rachel, 39

Contact: (414) 543-0876; roybeaudry@yahoo.com

What is the biggest challenge facing West Allis and how would you address it?

West Allis must work on bringing new business into the city. We need to work on keeping the business we have so they will stay in West Allis. In District 5, there are some good-sized parcels of land waiting to be developed. We have to find the right type of business for this land. This is important for the city. We need businesses that would create jobs for our community. This would also improve the housing market. A more vibrant business environment would also attract more consumers to West Allis from other communities in the Milwaukee area.

What are the best reasons for people to vote for for you?

I have worked for the city for 30 years. I feel that I have a working knowledge of the city and how it works. I would use this knowledge to better the community. This would be my full-time job; therefore, you would see me involved in many aspects of the job. I would be available at any time to answer any questions and concerns my constituency may have. I would be visible in the community.

KEVIN HAASS

Age: 40

Address: 3420 S. 122nd St.

Years in community: lifelong West Allis resident

Employer/occupation: attorney; founder and managing attorney of Forward Disability Attorneys

Education: West Allis Central High School, 1992; University of Wisconsin-Madison, bachelor's degree in political science, 1996; Marquette University Law School, law degree, 1999

Political history: first try for public office

Community involvement: West Allis Police and Fire Commission; formerly on the West Allis Board of Review, serving as chairman; executive board vice president of the Three Harbors Council, Boy Scouts of America; Cub Scout Den Leader, Pack 53, Hoover School; Eagle Scout; Plymouth United Church of Christ, active member on church and ministry team, southeast association, United Church of Christ; Rotary Club of Milwaukee; Community Alliance Against Drugs

Family: wife, Carolyn; twin children Clara and Henry, age 7

Contact: cellphone (414) 704-1164; kevin@electkevinhaass.com; electkevinhaass.com

What is the biggest challenge facing West Allis and how would you address it?

Maintaining quality of life is the biggest challenge facing West Allis and must be a singular focus of municipal government. By continuing strategies of sensible redevelopment and effective city services with a priority on public safety, we can maintain this quality of life.

What are the best reasons for people to vote for you?

I will be responsible and responsive. I will be responsible as a good steward of our tax dollars. I will be responsive to the concerns of all: citizens, businesses and the community as a whole. As I go door-to-door campaigning, I have the opportunity to talk to voters. What I hear is that an alderman must be responsive to the community. I am providing my cell phone number, (414) 704-1164, so that voters will know I will be responsive to citizen and community issues.

GERALD MATTER

Age: 71

Address: 11426 W. Montana Ave.

Years in community: 71

Employer/occupation: president of Gunite Contracting Corp.

Education: graduated from West Allis Central High School

Political history: unsuccessful bid for 5th District alderman in 2006

Community involvement: chairman of West Allis Community Development Authority and the West Allis Economic Development Committee; board member of the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation

Family: wife, Sharon; son, Dan, 46; daughter, Leslie 44

Contact: cellphone (414) 550-0431; gerrymatter@outlook.com

What is the biggest challenge facing West Allis and how would you address it?

Redevelopment of vacant and underutilized properties is the largest challenge. As chairman of the Community Development Authority, I have actively supported initiatives to address these issues. The recent expansion of programs to assist low- to moderate-income families on the east side to maintain the appearance of their homes and to correct code violations is an example of this effort. We have been successful in attracting a new hotel to West Allis and a proposed light industrial development on the Yellow Freight site. We must continue to promote West Allis as a great place to live and work.

What are the best reasons for people to vote for you?

I am a lifelong local resident and property owner. I am thoroughly familiar with the city and the problems facing us. It has been my pleasure to serve West Allis as chairman of the Community Development Authority and as a member of many other West Allis committees over the years. My years of running a small business have honed my management skills and given me insight to the problems facing small businesses. I will use these tools to provide a continued high level of service that the 5th District and West Allis deserve.

JIM BLASK

Age: 70

Address: 2045 S. 104th St.

Years in community: 70

Employer/occupation: attorney at law "emeritus" honor by State Bar of Wisconsin, December 2013

Education: law degree, Marquette Law School, 1972; bachelor's degree, University of Wisconsin-Madison; certificate from the American Institute of Banking, Milwaukee

Political history: West Allis alderman, 1972-1976; West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board, 1979-82 and 1989-92; district attorney for Lincoln County, 1995-96

Community involvement: president, West Allis-West Milwaukee Oldtimers Baseball, 2012-13; pro bono nominee for 2010 Lawyer of the Year for work on behalf of elderly victims of repair scams; volunteer for Sister Geri's for the Sisters of St. Francis and St. Ben's meal program

Family: wife, Carol, six adult children

Contact: (414) 327-0811; blasks@gmail.com

What is the biggest challenge facing West Allis and how would you address it?

The community needs jobs. As an alderman, I would emphasize a policy that encourages our public employee residents. Public service jobs are a privilege. Our community has a surplus of affordable homes and rentals. We cannot sustain a tax drain of hundreds of thousands to support the pensions and insurance of nonresident public employees. In return our employees should expect fair employment practices and respect. We must remedy the blight of empty houses and vacant businesses. An alderman must work toward a fair tax balance without favoritism.

What are the best reasons for people to vote for you?

I am a good listener. I can convert ideas for the good of the community into my actions and beliefs. My wife and I chose to live in West Allis. I pledge to work for the common good. Our community has been "knocked down" by hard social and economic blows, but we will persevere and rebound. I am open to explore and expand information technology, reducing resident utility bills and recruiting business and industry. I promise good governance at a reasonable cost.

DIANE BRANDT

Age: 53

Address: 2936 S. 93rd St.

Years in community: 53

Employer/occupation: executive director of the West Allis-West Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce

Education: Nathan Hale High School, 1978

Political history: none

Community involvement: member of West Allis Community Block Grant Committee, Economic Development Partnership Committee, Candy Cane Lane Committee, West Allis Christmas Parade Committee; former board member of the Downtown West Allis Business Improvement District; co-creator of Sisterhood of WAWM and of Operation Family First

Family: husband, Victor; daughter, Natasha

Contact: cell (414) 732-7240; dianelynnbrandt@gmail.com

What is the biggest challenge facing West Allis and how would you address it?

Our top concern is to control property taxes and stimulate economic growth. I will work with the Department of Development on programs that will bring in new businesses to reduce taxes and create jobs for our residenyd while continuing to support our existing businesses during these challenging times. With aging demographics we need to replace our experienced workers when they retire while preparing our youth for the professional and technical jobs in our community. We need to attract young professionals, families and businesses by promoting the value of West Allis and enhancing our community image.

What are the best reasons for people to vote for you?

I am an energetic, results oriented resident of West Allis who will listen to community needs and facilitate results. I work well with individual citizens in West Allis, as well as with the wide range of city leadership. Additionally, I have strong community involvement. In my role as executive director of the WAWM Chamber of Commerce I represent and speak on behalf of the people I serve and value the ability to help both businesses and citizens in our communities. I will utilize my experience and knowledge from this position to serve in a leadership role as alderperson.

WAYNE CLARK

Age: 75

Address: 12112 W. Holt Ave.

Years in community: 36

Employer/occupation: owner management consulting firm of Clark Associates; former owner of consulting firm Outplacement International; former managing principal and senior vice president of Right Management Consultants.

Education: master's degree in industrial relations, University of Wisconsin-Madison; bachelor's degree with distinction, Stout State University, Menomonie.

Political history: appointed to fill a vacancy on the West All-West Milwaukee School Board

Community involvement: West Allis Community Development Authority, vice chair; Plan Commission; Joint Review Board; West Allis Police and Fire Commission; Aurora West Allis Medical Center; West Allis Centennial Celebration executive board, and Aurora Metro Health Care and St. Luke's Medical Center boards of directors

Family: wife, Agnes; seven children

Contact: cellphone (414) 573-2323; wayne@electwayneclark.com

What is the biggest challenge facing West Allis and how would you address it?

Our vitality as a city depends on fair, responsible tax policies, support for public safety, commitment to development, our ability to apply the tools of continuous improvement to all aspects of government and our success in harnessing the strengths of a concerned base of residents. I am excited about bringing my skills as a leader, listener and consensus builder to the tasks at hand.

What are the best reasons for people to vote for you?

I've been active member in West Allis for almost 40 years. I've come to know our community's strengths and have a vision for its future. As a parent and grandparent, I know this is an exceptional place to raise a family. And, as a volunteer and leader on numerous boards, I know I'm not alone in my pride for this incredible place. I am hopeful that our community will recognize the strengths I bring as a business leader, entrepreneur, consultant and industry professional.

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