Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Downtown Waukesha Committee for Mayoral Security


Earlier this month the Waukesha Common Council made the mistake of approving the mayor’s task force to address several issues of concern downtown. the committee is off to a terrible start already with the first meeting’s agenda.

The task force was formed to address issues concerning “downtown events such as the consumption of alcohol in public places, street closures, pedestrian safety, hours of operation, sound levels and parking violations.” It was not formed for the purpose of score-settling with former supporters of the mayor.

However, item 3e on the agenda appears to be solely concerned with attacking a pair of downtown residents, Tom and Vicky Hekkers, who were recently featured in the newspaper for the number of complaints they filed regarding what they see as violations of city ordnances in the community. but since they are no longer supporters of the mayor, he has apparently seen fit to target them with his new committee in an effort to shut them up.

Item 3e reads, “False and excessive complaints.” Now we know because of the recent publicity given the Hekkers (thanks to behind-the-scenes machinations by the mayor’s supporters) who would be the target of this line item.

However, even if this personal attack by Scrima was not completely outrageous (and it is), this agenda item reaches far beyond the intended scope of the committee and should be dropped by the task force immediately.

There are four aldermen on the committee and they should demand that this agenda item be dropped.

Ordinance & License Committee Chairman – Ald. Steve Johnson
Building & Grounds Committee Chairman – Ald. Eric Payne
Board of Public Works Representative – Ald. Joe Pieper
Downtown Alderman – Ald. Roger Patton

If the item is worth taking up at all, it should be taken up by the Ordinance & License committee. Otherwise the Common Council should just disband the task force and form its own special committee (preferably one with a little more balance).

This is a warning to the remaining supporters of Mayor Jeff Scrima: stay in line lest he turn on you, too.

Perhaps the mayor has finally gone too far. When you combine this kind of petty vindictiveness, the mayor’s encouragement of chaos and infighting downtown, and the secrecy and even the willful obstruction to reasonable inquiries regarding the Business Improvement District, I begin to wonder how much longer the public can tolerate Scrima in office, and if a recall may be necessary.

For those aldermen who were thinking about running for mayor, the time to start planning a campaign may be earlier than planned.

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