SEVEN apply for Village Trustee position

Brennan, Election, Trustees, Village Board

Ok.. now that the primary is over, we can get back to WFB issues!

I have the list of Villagers who have applied for Trustee Jim Brennan's position.  Brennan resigned about a month ago.

From what I've pieced together, these seven applicants will be interviewed by the board later this month, with the Trustees picking one.  With seven candidates, I can imagine several rounds of voting to reach a majority on one individual.

It's interesting that, last April 2008, we had to beat the bushes to come up with 3 candidates for 2 Trustee positions.   Now we've got SEVEN applicants for 1 spot.  

Is there a new surge of people who want to lead?  Or is this because people would rather be appointed, instead of running for election?  If so .. whoever gets appointed is going to have to get really good at running campaigns, real quick, if they wish to keep their seat.

Why?   This appointment  is for 6 months, and will go until April 2009, at which time, there will be an election for the position.  Trustees Schmidt and Cheng will be up for re-election in April 2009, for 3 year term, but also, the appointed Trustee's position will be up for re-election to "fill out" the original term of Brennan, which ends in April 2010.

So the newly appointed Trustee will need to run two campaigns, one in 2009, and again in 2010, which takes them to 2013.

I want to commend all seven of these villagers for stepping forward:

  • Chad Wiener,  N. Cumberland, Attorney (website)
  • Sean M. Finnigan,  N. Shoreland, Attorney (website)
  • Julie K. Gilpin,  N. Sheffield, HR Manager
  • Richard Foster,  N. Murray, Retired -- former Editorial Writer, Milwaukee J-S (Click for list of editorials)
  • Thomas L. Williams,  N. Santa Monica, Interim Minister
  • Heather Nill,  N. Elkhart, Sales Manager
  • Kevin McMahon,  E. Beaumont, Stay-at-home Dad

I tried to do some google searches on each person, couldn't find much .. linked to their bios or, in Fosters' case, a list of editorials he wrote for the Journal Sentinel. 

Foster may sound familiar, as he ran for Trustee in April 2007.  Thomas Williams ran for Trustee, back in 2004.  Both Williams and Foster lost races to Brennan, whose very spot they are now trying to gain again.

It will be interesting how many Trustees will need to recuse themselves, during questioning and voting, because of close relationships with applicants.  It's one thing to appoint someone to a committee who is your friend, it's quite another to have them join you on the Village Board of Trustees.    Clearly, many Trustees have a wide spectrum of friends and acquaintances because of their time in the Village, so lines need to be drawn somewhere or you might not have any impartial votes.  In the end, the Board needs diversity of opinion, not a good ol' boys/gals club.

And .. one wonders what the Trustees will ask in their interviews.

Here are a few questions I'd want to know from each .. feel free to add more in the comment section:

1. What skills and ideas will you bring to the table to help revitalize Silver Spring? 

2. How respectful are you of homeowner rights?   Will you pass codes that restrict homeowners and what  they can do with their property? 

3. Name three ordinances that you'd like to see changed, removed, or added in Whitefish Bay.

If any of the seven candidates wishes to have an opportunity to describe their candidacy to the public, please email me at ..

Finally .. to the hundreds of new readers of this blog .. welcome!  The past few weeks have been dedicated to the 22nd race .. future entries will mostly be about Whitefish Bay.  Stick around!   Even better .. no need to check the blog every day to see if something has been written ..  Have it delivered to your inbox, so you won't miss anything.  Free.  Click here.


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