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New Berlin mayoral race voter's guide

Voter's guide for Tuesday, Feb. 19, primary election Voter's guide for Tuesday, Feb. 19, primary election

Feb. 5, 2013

DAVID AMENT

AGE:61

ADDRESS: 18330 Lynette Lane

CONTACT: (262) 544-4534; dave@amentindustrial.com

LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN CITY: since 1954

OCCUPATION: owner of Ament Industrial Truck, 2140 S. Calhoun Road, New Berlin

EDUCATION: graduated from New Berlin West High School; certificates in auto mechanics and electric forklifts and internal combustion forklifts from Allis Chalmers and WCTC

PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: elected alderman in 2001; Plan Commission, Board of Public Works, Finance Committee, Utility Committee, Fourth of July Commission, all for 12 years; chairman of Board of Public Works; legislative liaison to Madison

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: on the board of directors of the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau and the Weston Antique Apple Orchard Foundation

FAMILY:wife, Peggy, children Matthew, 29; Sherry, 42; and Beth, 43

With the revenue constraints from Madison, what is the best way to take care of the city's needs?

The key word in your question is "needs." Our mayor must have the experience to identify and prioritize the needs, then use our resources where they are most cost effective. Using sound fiscal purchasing policies to control spending, rather than raising taxes, is the best way to provide quality services at a cost the taxpayers can afford.

What strengths would you bring to the office of mayor?

My wife, Peggy, and I are lifelong residents of New Berlin. I know what we expect from our city government. I know how important it is that our local government understands that it's here to serve the residents and businesses of New Berlin and not special interests. As mayor, I will use my 12 years of experience as an alderman to represent the entire city in the same way I have as alderman.

How would you balance new development that increases the tax base with maintaining the rural flavor of western New Berlin , or do you even think that is necessary?

While growth is important to expanding the tax base, it should not come at the expense of the quality of life that attracted residents to New Berlin in the first place. Instead of encouraging urban sprawl, either in the suburban or the rural areas, we must focus our resources on redeveloping existing areas that have lost their economic vitality. That will increase the tax base while not destroying the rural charm of New Berlin.

JACK CHIOVATERO (i)

AGE:52

ADDRESS: 3485 S. Long Acre Drive

CONTACT: (262) 789-8259; jchiovater@aol.com

LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN CITY: 22 years

OCCUPATION: mayor

EDUCATION: studied architecture and engineering, University of Illinois-Chicago; Moraine Valley Community College, associate degree in math and science; graduate, Dale Carnegie training

PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: Alderman District 6 for two terms, 1995-2005; elected to two terms as mayor; numerous city commissions and boards; former chairman of Waukesha County Cooperation Council and current participant; participant in League of Wisconsin Municipalities lobby corps and urban alliance

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: member and involved with annual festival of Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church; on the boards of directors of Moving New Berlin Forward, New Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau and the New Berlin Veterans Memorial Society; member of New Berlin Police Citizens Academy Alumni Association

FAMILY:wife, Sue; daughter Katie, 25; twins Kelly and Mike, both 23; and stepsons Nick, 24; Michael, 18; and Jeremy, 32

With the revenue constraints from Madison, what is the best way to take care of the city's needs?

There are only three ways: reduce services, increase revenue or raise taxes. The latter is not an option. In the last four years I have downsized City Hall without reducing services. This was done by rebuilding and consolidating duplicate services within the city, saving $1.3 million just in 2011 alone. Building our revenue with solid quality tax base is another way. Our tax base has increased by $326,174,300, which equates to $5,544,958 in reduced taxes.

What strengths would you bring to the office of mayor?

In eight years I have proven many of the strengths needed. I have upheld strong fiscal responsibilities, making New Berlin business friendly while placing a strong focus on public safety. These leadership skills brought the quality of life to a higher level, keeping our taxes in check and providing services at a high level. I will continue that commitment and continue to work with our staff to keep New Berlin a favorable place to live.

How would you balance new development that increases the tax base with maintaining the rural flavor of western New Berlin, or do you even think that is necessary?

New Berlin is unique in this area. Our Comprehensive Plan already addresses this and we must keep following that plan as closely as possible. I would continue to be proactive in attracting strong, healthy business to our Section 35 south of I-43. I will continue to have practical quality residential on our rural west side through subdivisions that preserve our natural resources while maintaining the rural atmosphere that is present and important to New Berlin.

MARY CLAIRE LANSER

AGE:59

ADDRESS: 14550 W. Meadowshire Drive

CONTACT: (262) 613-5670; mc@lanserformayor.com

LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN CITY: 29 years

OCCUPATION: owner, Lanser Public Affairs; registered nurse, VA Medical Center; previously served in the military as a lieutenant commander, U.S. Navy Reserves, nurse corps and public affairs

EDUCATION: bachelor's degree in nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; master's degree in administration, Marquette University; Defense Information School, United States Military

PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: New Berlin mayor, 1993-1997; 1st District New Berlin alderwoman, 1989 - 1993

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: TEMPO (executive women's organization) 1995 to present; New Berlin Special Projects Committee 2004 to present; Cathedral of St. John Evangelist Development Committee 2008 to present; Waukesha County Business Alliance 2010 to present; Friends of Reclaiming our Heritage (military history preservation) 2011 to present

FAMILY:husband, Al; grown sons Adam, Nick and Joe; seven grandchildren

With the revenue constraints from Madison, what is the best way to take care of the city's needs?

The best way to keep taxes low while maintaining services is to reduce borrowing, increase tax base, involve citizens in upcoming strategic planning about increasing productivity and cost effectiveness and partner with our business community. Specific considerations may include consolidation, outsourcing and streamlining existing services without affecting quality expected by residents.

What strengths would you bring to the office of mayor?

Education (nursing degree, graduate degree in administration, military officer school); experience (advanced practice nurse, alderman and mayor, small business owner, economic development, familiarity with the job and best practices); leadership (mother and grandmother, Navy officer, mentor); commitment (volunteer, member of civic, professional, and veterans' organizations); faith (involved member of St. John the Evangelist Cathedral); attitude (respect, energy, collaboration, strong moral compass and work ethic); priorities (residents and businesses, colleagues, staff, communication, fairness, accessibility, straight talk)

How would you balance new development that increases the tax base with maintaining the rural flavor of western New Berlin, or do you even think that is necessary?

The city's Comprehensive Plan provides guidance on where desirable nonresidential development should go, essentially in "nodes" in the city's suburban east side, served by public infrastructure. Residential development in the rural west side is governed by the Conservation Subdivision Ordinance, exceeding regional standards with a minimum 5-acre lot size and 75 percent green space. New Berlin can maintain and balance these development patterns through slow, managed growth that provides both tax base and open space.

JANET SCHULZ

AGE:41

ADDRESS: 16020 W. St. Francis Drive

CONTACT: (262) 641-5184; janetformayornewberlin@gmail.com; web page janetformayornewberlin.org

LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN CITY: nearly 10 years

OCCUPATION: customer service representative in employee benefits at Security Insurance Services, New Berlin

EDUCATION: bachelor's degree in economics and political science, master's degree in human resources and labor relations, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Wisconsin Health and Life Insurance Licenses.

PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: internship at United States Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: served in various leadership positions at Elmbrook Church including coordinator of a women's ministry; also coaches cheerleading at Elmbrook; served in the children's ministry

FAMILY:husband Marc, three children, David, 13; Elizabeth, 10; and Rachel, 7

With the revenue constraints from Madison, what is the best way to take care of the city's needs?

Careful stewardship of taxpayers' money is crucial to keeping taxes low without cutting necessary services and programs. Living in New Berlin should be affordable to all. We do this with careful cost benefit analysis of expenditures, wise decision-making that avoids costly lawsuits and a focus on growing the tax base by filling vacant buildings and supporting new development.

What strengths would you bring to the office of mayor?

I offer a fresh perspective with no ties to our city's past political missteps. My human resources experience is about working with people. I am willing to work with anyone and consider any and all options. I ask questions and listen before making decisions. I understand how the economy and government should work. I have earned a reputation for being a reliable self-starter and for following through.

How would you balance new development that increases the tax base with maintaining the rural flavor of western New Berlin, or do you even think that is necessary?

We should maintain our attractive rural flavor while balancing new development. By working together, we will form a long term plan that designates business areas near main roads and highways and clearly separate residential from business with "buffer zones," such as wooded areas. Also put multifamily housing and lighter business between residential and large commercial. Work with developers to keep building designs and landscaping consistent with the feeling of "a touch of country."

JOSEPH WIENEKE

AGE:48

ADDRESS: 18200 W. Lynette Lane

CONTACT: (414) 303-4104; jwieneke@rocketmail.com

LENGTH OF RESIDENCY IN CITY: seven years

OCCUPATION: sales manager for a construction equipment distributor

EDUCATION: bachelor's degree in management, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: none

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: volunteer for youth sports programs in New Berlin including coaching in the New Berlin West youth football program and New Berlin West select basketball program

FAMILY:wife, Holly; children Madison, 13; and twins Allison and Jake, both 11

With the revenue constraints from Madison, what is the best way to take care of the city's needs?

There is no magic wand; it requires a comprehensive plan that avoids raising taxes. We need to find new revenue streams through designed business growth. Analyze and strategically rethink our residual value of city capital goods. Procurement needs to be incentivized to continually act in the best interest of city funds. We need to reach out to businesses for sponsorships. Recognize any available institutional funds and/or county, state and federal government grants, etc.

What strengths would you bring to the office of mayor?

The city is a business, and I have experience running a multi-location as well as a multi-department business. I have the ability to communicate and will put effort into reaching out to partner with citizens and corporations alike. Whether it's running a business, coaching a sport, or leading our city - I do it with excellence, determination, and am a get-it-done kind of person. For more information, visit my website: joewformayor.com

How would you balance new development that increases the tax base with maintaining the rural flavor of western New Berlin, or do you even think that is necessary?

It is necessary - I live in western New Berlin on 12 acres - so I appreciate the rural atmosphere. However, it is necessary to grow revenue through smart, planned business expansion. There are areas for development without imposing on western New Berlin. Our problem has been that we have had no cohesive long-term plan or vision for the city nor have we had a city government with the internal fortitude to stick with a plan.

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