Being an Alderman is More Than Just Voting Correctly

I am proud of my voting record as an alderman, but many of the most important things I did had nothing to do with votes.  I advocated for my district, and the people in my district, in many other ways.

Whoever is elected will most probably attend meetings and vote.  She or he might vote the right way.  But will that person use the office to make a real difference?

Here are some examples:

  • When the State of Wisconsin wanted to put a halfway home for a dozen violent sexual offenders on County Line Road, I notified residents, went on a letter writing campaign, organized our state and local representatives in opposition, researched and prepared position statements, and worked with homeowners’ groups to organize busloads of residents to protest at the state’s meeting.  I took weeks off of work to ensure this did not happen.
  • I distributed information about sex offenders.
  • I attended homeowners’ meetings either to update them on developments at City Hall or to discuss issues of concern.  Examples included a Neighborhood WATCH group along Cedarburg Road, multiple association board meetings and neighborhood informational meetings.
  • Some aldermen told me that County Line Road would never be resurfaced.  I was persistent, and finally succeeded.  Milwaukee wanted it to be a full business road with turn lanes and wide shoulders.  I lead the resistance to protect homeowners along the route, and to ensure that it did not attract more semi traffic and higher speeds.   I attended meetings with the City of Milwaukee and neighboring residents to ensure it was done right.
  • I successfully pushed for the reconstruction of neighborhood roads.  Previously, the City concentrated only on major and interconnecting roads.  For example, one road (Kathleen Lane) was so bad that, for years, I mentioned it during every single meeting at which roads were discussed.  I was so persistent that most members of the Council who served with me now know this 16-home road by name.
  • The southbound turn off of Mequon Road at Swan Road used to be incredibly dangerous.  I worked with City staff to have it redesigned by the State.
  • I worked with homeowners’ groups and residents to resolve many neighbor disputes.
  • I wrote the Mequon Water referendum question and edited the materials that were sent to residents.
  • I personally wrote dozens of resolutions and ordinances, and edited even more of them.  My professional background was used by the City.
  • I attended a meeting with Germantown officials and the DOT with Mayor Nuernberg to negotiate the reconstruction of Mequon Road.  If not for that meeting, the west side intersections would now have eight lanes.
  • I helped to organize a fundraiser for a family when their barn was destroyed.
  • I attended meetings with Mequon businesses who were concerned about Mequon’s business climate.
  • I intervened on behalf of businesses and residents when they were having trouble with city regulations.
  • I regularly asked the Mequon Police Department for extra neighborhood patrols.
  • I worked to ensure the long-term viability of the Mequon Nature Preserve so that it could be preserved for the future without burdening Mequon taxpayers.  I also organized aldermen to make a sizable personal contribution.
  • I donated one-third of my after-tax aldermanic pay to the Mequon Community Foundation for improvements at Lemke Park.
  • I gave presentations to school and scouting groups.
  • I attended a couple of school board meetings as a guest to exchange ideas and listen to concerns.
  • I pushed for, and ultimately succeeded in organizing, the first meeting in many years among the City of Mequon, the Village of Thiensville, and the Mequon-Thiensville School District.
  • I listened to residents, and communicated with residents through emails, meetings, telephone calls and flyers.  I developed an email list of over 1,000 residents to which I regularly sent updates.  There is an incredible shortage of communication in Mequon – most residents never hear from their alderman.  I never did before becoming an alderman or after leaving the Council. Every candidate says she or he will do it.  I actually did it.  I plan to do an even better job this time around.

This is a partial, off-the-top-of-my-head list.  Most aldermen do not do most of these things.  The 4th District’s did.  If you vote for me, you will again have an advocate in City Hall, and in our community.

3 thoughts on “Being an Alderman is More Than Just Voting Correctly”

  1. This is the flyer you should send out!
    As a mom of two, a person who grew up in Mequon, and a business owner in Mequon I want to say THANK YOU!

    Good lunch on April 5!

    District 4 residents need to get out and vote for John Wirth on April 5 . That is those who live in much of the area south of Mequon Road and west of the Milwaukee River (e.g., Huntington Park, Brighton Ridge, Knightsbridge, Hidden Creek, Essex Place, Bayberry, Windsor Estates, Council Hills, Baehr Road, the neighborhoods along Cedarburg Road and so forth).

  2. John, I am sad that we are no longer in your district due to redistricting but you continue to answer any questions I have, which just shows you go above and beyond. What an impressive list of accomplishments! Good luck with the election!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: