Monday, May 20th, 2019

Mayor’s race heating up; teacher’s rhetoric goes cold


Summertime quick-hitters

Mayor’s race heating up; teacher’s rhetoric goes cold

Waukesha Freeman Opinion Page A6, 7/25/2013


Some quick hits before your summer vacations start. Don’t forget to pack the bug spray.


* * * Mayor Jeff Scrima, should he choose to run for re-election, has another solid opponent.

Alderman Terry Thieme is smart and certainly knowledgeable about the city. As president of the Common Council, Thieme is wellplaced to stake out positions on issues that are clearly different than the mayor’s.

Where Thieme will have to make his mark is in this year’s budget process. In the past it’s been nearly impossible to get an opinion from the mayor on the budget until very late in the process. The one exception was Scrima’s illfated proposed garbage fee.

Thieme can announce clear goals for the budget process and name specific changes he would like to see made. By leading on the budget, he can show voters the kind of mayor he would be and provide a contrast between himself and the mayor.

On the flip side, Thieme is on the record, and will be on the record all the way up until the election. If Scrima does run for re-election, his supporters will comb through every vote ever cast by Thieme in the council looking for controversy.

I know from personal experience Scrima’s supporters will also comb through every aspect of Thieme’s personal life. I hope he considered that when praying about his decision to run.


* * * Scrima has not indicated whether he is running for re-election, telling the Waukesha Freeman it’s too early to say.

When Scrima used city funds to further his personal education at the city’s expense at a Harvard Business School seminar, people asked me if that was a sign he was preparing for a career after being mayor. I am not going to guess as I’m not privy to the discussions at the dinner table at the Scrima family home.

Regardless of Scrima’s decision, the city already has two solid candidates running for mayor, Thieme and local attorney Shawn Reilly. It’s likely the city will have more declared candidates before nomination papers need to be circulated in December.


* * * In the Waukesha Freeman’s coverage of the Waukesha School District’s new salary plan, teacher Jill Andersen was quoted saying she needed two part-time jobs to maintain her middle- class status.

Unfortunately, the newspaper neglected to report that one of Andersen’s jobs is as an official with the local teachers union. That would have added some needed context to the story.

Also, Andersen earns over $60,500 as a teacher for the district, over the median household income for residents of the Waukesha School District. When you add in that she has the summer off to work another part-time job if she wants, her extra part-time jobs are not the burden it appeared in the newspaper.

As for Andersen’s claim that she has lost $10,000 since the passage of Act 10, according to Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray, “The only person who lost $10,000 is me.”


* * * Before you head off to the furthest points on the compass on your summer vacations, take a moment to mark down two dates that could save someone’s life.

The Republican Party of Waukesha is having their annual blood drive August 10 at the county GOP’s office, 1701 Pearl Street.

For those looking for a less-partisan opportunity to give, the village of Wales is hosting another blood drive on Aug. 15 at the Wales-Genesee Fire Station, 600 South Wales Road, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

If you want to ever catch me strapped down unable to escape, I’ll be at the Wales blood drive around dinner time. I’m a sucker for the free apple juice.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)

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