Inside New Berlin has been a Community Voices regular blog on New Berlin NOW for several years. During that time, I have blogged about many different issues, including political topics.
But let’s be clear: Inside New Berlin is my blog—it reflects my viewpoint. It is not a political action committee or group’s blog.
Last time I checked with the City Clerk’s office, three political organizations (in addition to candidate’s personal campaign committees) were registered as being active in this year’s New Berlin elections: NBCRG, We Care New Berlin, and TBOC.
One of them, NBCRG, has had a regular blog on NOW urging voters to elect certain specified candidates being supported by their organization in the 2010 election.
NBCRG claims the aldermanic incumbents they are supporting “have set priorities to control spending”.
Do their “priorities to control spending" include the large sums of money New Berlin aldermen have wasted on avoidable, embarrassing lawsuits? Does NBCRG think aldermen were being fiscally responsible when they disregarded the legal opinion of our taxpayer-funded City Attorney?
Those lawsuits include the costly Greek Orthodox Church debacle! After the Council refused to heed City Attorney Paul Reilly (who later became a judge) and chose to defy Federal law, a lawsuit was ultimately brought against the City. The City retained a special high-priced lawyer to fight it and still lost the case!
New Berlin Citizens for Responsible Government also omits to mention on their blog that NBCRG-supported aldermen have disregarded the recommendations and advice of legal, financial, engineering, and traffic experts.
Should we be thrilled that our part-time aldermen think they know better than the professionals and ignore advice and recommendations from experts when it suits them?
In one of their recent antics, New Berlin aldermen chose to withdraw $1.8 million from the reserve fund, jeopardizing the City’s bond rating (which could significantly drive up costs in future borrowing), and adding to a projected over $2.5 million 2011 budget shortfall. But hey, they are politicians and for the incumbents, getting re-elected is of primary importance. So, they care about today and not much about tommorrow. Their political stunt enabled the incumbents to campaign that they’d delivered a zero percent tax increase. Of course, they don’t boast about the negative aspects of their action or that what they did went against the advice of the financial expert consultant firm that our tax dollars are paying to advise the City.
As for the New Berlin School Board race, there are three school board candidates running for three seats, so there is no contest. NBCRG chose to endorse the three candidates anyway (Tom David, Keith Hastings, and incumbent John Kegel). When one of those candidates, Keith Hastings, ran for school board last year, NBCRG chose not to support him. It supported Hastings opponents.
In his brief blog on NOW earlier this year, Hastings announced his candidacy for the 2010 election. He stressed he was an independent candidate. Hastings certainly gave the impression that he neither wanted nor sought any group’s endorsement.
And this time around, NBCRG is supporting Ald. John Hopkins. Hopkins has been a District 1 alderman since 2004 and is currently seeking a third term. NBCRG did not support Hopkins the first two times he had successfully run for the aldermanic office.
Ald. John Hopkins and Dave Ament, two of the incumbents NBCRG is endorsing--- voted in 2006 to restrict City Hall use to government units. As a result, citizen groups are not permitted to use City Hall and there have been no more voters forums held there. The NBCRG-supported aldermen treat City Hall like it is THEIR facility not ours. Some aldermen, such as Ament and Ron Seidl, don’t hesitate to use City Hall for their own purposes (open meetings with constituents) and yet taxpaying residents/citizens are kept from using the facility for their group meetings.
Spring elections tend to have low voter turnouts. Don't forget to vote.