Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Questions left in my notebook


WISN’s Mark Belling endorsed Jeff Scrima because of Mayor Larry Nelson’s support for the RTA. Does anyone know Scrima’s actual position on the issue? Or is he still listening?

Here’s another good question. If Mayor Larry Nelson loses to Jeff Scrima in conservative Waukesha in part because of the shoes he wears, will Dave Westlake get rid of the blaze orange?

Now that Jeff Scrima has said that it’s okay to explore getting water from Milwaukee, does that mean that no alderman will have an excuse on April 8th to vote against pursuing Lake Michigan water? Will the vote be unanimous regardless of the election on April 6th?

On the other hand, if Nelson wins, could some aldermen decide that they don’t trust Nelson and therefore it would not be safe to even explore getting Milwaukee water while Nelson is in office? (Yes, this is the counter-intuitive Mickey Kaus question. I’ll be talking to a phantom editor next.)

Why is it okay for Jeff Scrima to avoid talking about the future of city staff, including City Administrator Lori Luther, when every mayoral candidate talked at length about the city administrator four years ago?

If Jeff Scrima attends an event for Scott Walker and for Assembly candidate Chris Kapenga (this Saturday, Scrima is the “special guest”), isn’t that even worse than Nelson attending Democratic events? After all, Nelson may attend partisan events, but he didn’t go so far as to take sides in a primary, did he?.*

Scrima has repeatedly stated that even if Waukesha gets water from Milwaukee without strings attached, the agreements would always subject to renegotiation at the time of renewal, and the strings could be attached then. Given that wariness, shouldn’t Scrima say Milwaukee water is completely off the table? Why is it acceptable as an option if any deal agreed to by both Common Councils will be undermined later?

Who are these people that will manage Jeff Scrima if he gets elected? Are they members of his shadow cabinet?

Why are there so few major endorsements in this race? Shouldn’t the local Republican Party want to see Nelson go? So why is it that the only kind words Don Taylor has had is for Larry Nelson?

Can Nelson contain his temper between now and election day?

What could possibly be keeping Jeff Scrima from making a repeat performance at Carroll University on Tuesday? When the organizers proposed moving it up a day, why did Scrima wait until Thursday to decline? What could a candidate possibly be doing one week before election day? Is he afraid of returning to the scene of some of his biggest gaffes of the campaign? Afraid he’ll make another?

With how many other city staff people did Scrima have one-on-one conversations? If he is elected, will the staff at City Hall always insist on having witnesses present when they discuss city business?

Does anyone really expect the Common Council to go against the staff’s recommendations on April 8th, regardless of who wins the election? If Scrima wins and the aldermen decide to ignore him two days after the election, will it set up Scrima to be steamrolled by the Council his entire term?

Scrima says he wants smaller buses that can go onto the smaller side streets to provide more personal service. More personal service on the side streets, of course, would necessitate more routes. More routes would cost more, negating any cost savings he believes he will achieve from fuel efficiency, cost savings already disputed by Nelson. Making matters worse, even smaller buses would have to drive more slowly on the side streets, meaning slower routes, discouraging ridership. Of course it all sounds good, but the whole idea of living on a side street is to avoid the bustle of the main streets. How many homeowners in Waukesha really want a city bus driving down their narrow street? How many homeowners will really want a bus stop in front of their house? After all, Pete Kennedy (or worse) might decide to get off. It’s new urbanism meets hey-kids-get-off-my-lawn. Guess who wins?

Why is it okay for Scrima to demand we know exactly how much it will cost to pump water from Lake Michigan when he can’t tell us the specifics of how much Waukesha will save by mixing the bus lengths and getting some smaller buses, just like in Chattanooga? We can’t possibly know how much exactly the pipeline and return of water will cost unless the Common Council moves forward on April 8th. At least Dan Duchniak was honest with his fudge factor. But Scrima has his Chattanooga model. What is Scrima’s fudge factor, or didn’t he learn that by staying in a Holiday Inn when he traveled around the country?

What is the logic behind the number Scrima is using for his salary if he is elected? Why that particular dollar amount? Will that cover his student loans at the Wharton School of Continuing Credits?

Isn’t the one person most qualified to be mayor at this point Dan Duchniak?

What is each candidate’s position on repealing the law banning the use of backyard firepits after midnight?

How many more Huelsman people can we stuff into the BID structure? Shouldn’t that be an issue?

Which aldermen regret not running for mayor? (answer: all of them except the one that did.)

In two years we will be in another presidential campaign cycle. Will both mayoral candidates welcome presidential candidates to Waukesha with open arms? Or will they grouse about how much money it will cost? Is a presidential candidate visit a good thing or a bad thing? Does it matter what party?

Since Scrima has learned so much in his travels (as he claims at candidate forums) does he think the mayor’s travel budget should be increased or decreased? What about his memberships and those fees?

Does Scrima favor continued participation with Sewrpc, the Milwaukee 7, and other regional organizations?

Why didn’t WTMJ’s Jeff Wagner come to Waukesha as the moderator for any of the candidate forums?

And a question I haven’t answered, which candidate will provide me with more copy?

* Somebody in the research department check, but Nelson may have endorsed Ruth page Jones over Steve Schmuki. If that’s the case, no wonder the local environmentalists are not on Nelson’s side. Maybe he should become a Republican!

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