Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Statement re: New Berlin City Center Controversy

From the very beginning, I have vehemently opposed a planned multifamily and senior housing development for the New Berlin City Center. After learning the details about the housing development, I immediately determined they are inconsistent and incompatible with the theme of the economic development planned for the City Center area.

On March 3, 2010, I was contacted by Dan Kassis, Project Manager for
MSP Real Estate, Inc. Kassis informed me that MSP was applying to the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) for use of low income housing credits. Kassis asked me to sign a letter of support for the project and supplied two sample letters to consider. I refused to sign the letters and refused to support the project.

About one week later, I learned that state Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and state Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) had also been approached by MSP and sent letters of support for the project to WHEDA. It angers and concerns me deeply that the developers, upon failing to garner sufficient local support, would turn to Democrats from Dane County to endorse a New Berlin project the New Berlin community clearly and rightly opposed.

New Berlin mayor Jack Chiovatero’s e-mail comment that “
Our city is filled with prejudice and bigoted people” was inappropriate, ill-advised, and untrue. New Berlin is a respectful community with a deep sense of honor and pride, completely undeserving of the mayor’s e-mail characterization. The mayor’s subsequent apology to the good citizens of New Berlin was warranted.

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