Response to Falls Taxpayer Association Flyer
Updated: Mar 18, 2018
It was very sad and disturbing to learn this past weekend that my opponent and his endorser, a radical libertarian special interest group called the Menomonee Falls Taxpayers Association, passed out flyers throughout the community containing lies and distortions about me. The flyer listed the following statements:
1. Tax and spend - false. My decisions have always been geared toward maintaining our low tax rate. The Village has enjoyed a low rate for 12+ years due to conservative decision-making and controlled economic development. This development has made it possible to keep our tax base strong and our tax rate low and steady.
2. I have not served a complete term – I have been on the Village Board since 2015 and have shown a continual, pro-active interest in our community and care for our residents. Many have told me that I've done more in almost 3 years than some Trustees have done in multiple terms. However, being on the board for any length of time does not equate to ability, expertise, or achievement. It's only the desire to serve combined with the skills and abilities to serve that define effectiveness. My opponent told me last November that he believed he deserved to become President because he has been on the board longer (and he wanted more money). That grieves me. The way I see it - it's not about me but about our community.
3. I haven't chaired any committee - a. my opponent blocked Village President Joe Helm's chair appointments preventing me from assuming a chair position so that he could protect his own committee chairman role and that of his Taxpayer Association friends on the board, b. a committee chairman's sole responsibility is to ensure the agenda is followed. It's extremely simple and does not require any special skills, c. By virtue of my 30+ years business experience, I've run countless domestic and global meetings spanning multiple functions and issues. Trust me, if all of my work meetings were as easy and as straightforward as committee meetings, I would be extremely happy.
4. I voted for a large tax increase - Our tax rate is one of the lowest in the entire State of Wisconsin. In 2015 our tax rate was 5.20. In 2016, due to transferring our police dispatch operations to Waukesha County, we reduced the rate to 5.17. In 2017 we readjusted the rate slightly and allowable by state law to 5.23 where it needed to be to be able to cover significant impending project costs for much needed road, sewer and water, and for new police and fire personnel due to our rapidly growing community. In simple terms, for an average assessed home value of $250,000, taxes increased by $15/year. And our 2018 rate of 5.23 is only .01 over our rate in 2009 (5.22). Nowhere near a large tax increase but just enough for us to fulfill the needs of one of the fastest growing communities in the State. My opponent knew all of this and agreed with me in private that this was necessary but voted to attempt to block the 2017 budget in solidarity with the other 2 Taxpayer Association Trustees. Extremely irresponsible as this would have severely impacted our operations. I was informed that my opponent, who also serves on the Waukesha County Supervisor Board, approved a significant tax increase late last year and voted to approve a $1 million park upgrade project. Why doesn't he treat his own community with the same commitment?
5. I was the deciding vote on the River Walk apartment property in the downtown area, a $4 million giveaway. Flat out lie - 4 of us voted in favor of revitalizing an extremely blighted area to improve the viability of the downtown area. No one specific individual can be a deciding vote. Additionally, not one cent has been given to the developer and there is no village financing and no burden to the taxpayer. The comment about this being similar to the Radisson Hotel 10+ years ago is reckless and a defamation of both the reputation of our Village and Wimmer, the developer.
This is plain and simple an intentional distortion of the facts to influence the election. This election is critical and the community needs to know what we are up against with my opponent working hand-in-hand with the Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association to deceptively act against the best interests and economic progress of the Falls, one of the most successful communities in the area.
"Some people are brought into this life to build, others to tear down" Author unknown.