Regarding the four election letters published in the March 14 edition of New Berlin NOW:
One letter is by Ralph Heun, president of New Berlin Citizens for Responsible Government.
NBCRG is a registered local political committee that seeks to influence elections and help elect candidates to public offices.
In his letter, Heun reminds us that Ament has been 7th District alderman since 2001 and claims Ament runs a successful New Berlin business. One paragraph is mainly about taxes and spending.
However, Heun's letter omits to mention that Ament Industrial Truck ( the New Berlin business owned by Ament) had delinquent personal property taxes owed to the City of New Berlin at least three times in recent years. See my March 7 blog, March 13 blog, and March 15 blog.
Vern Bentley and his wife Peg each contributed $250 to Ament's mayoral campaign, according to filed campaign reports. So, I wasn't surprised to see a letter backing Ament from Vern Bentley and another from his wife. Both contend that Ald. Ament keeps residents informed.
But neither one mentions that our New Berlin aldermen, including Ament, each get an annual $3,000 stipend. One would hope Ament would spend some of it on regular newsletters to residents in his district about issues affecting their neighborhoods.
Vern Bentley says if you want to know what is happening in your neighborhood before you read about it, vote for Ament for mayor. Hold on a minute. There are 7 New Berlin aldermen. Surely, he's not contending that the aldermen are failing to inform residents what is happening in their neighborhoods?
Hey, the mayor serves the entire city, not just one district. That's a lot of households and many people. Information to residents is communicated via the City Website. That is the most cost-effective method to convey information to so many individuals and it is easily accessible. People can also contact the mayor and City of New Berlin departments by phone, email or in person. Information is also communicated via mailings and press releases.
Peg Bentley’s letter praises Ament for having open office hours on the fourth Saturday of each month at City Hall. Whoopee. Once a month. At a time of HIS choosing.
And how hypocritical of Ament to make use of City Hall for his meetings after voting several years ago to deny citizen groups the use of City Hall for their meetings. Boy Scout troops can’t even hold meetings at City Hall, a facility we taxpayers paid to build and maintain.
Ron Koessler’s letter argues for “change”. He states, “ An incumbent mayor serving more than eight years in office can only offer more of the same.”
And aldermen don’t? New Berlin aldermen John Hopkins, Ken Harenda and Dave Ament have held office for more than eight years. Ament has been District 7 alderman for 12 years (four 3-yr terms). So, we should embrace change and kick them all out of office?
Ald. Ament is running for re-election, as well as for mayor. Hedging his bets? The letters from Heun, Koessler and the Bentleys published in the March 14 newspaper omit any reference to that aldermanic election.