In a village where candidates for office are mainly of the perennial variety and have served long periods of time, there isn’t much voters don’t know about them.
Brookfield voters have seen their past and present village leaders do good things and, at other times, stumble. They know their pet projects, their approach to problems and generally how they like to govern.
Having seen four of the six candidates in this race for a decade or more, this newspaper has also recognized traits it likes and dislikes about the perennials. The paper has also seen how each approaches the village’s traditional stumbling blocks – like road improvements, economic development, planning.
While no well-known candidate in this village board race is perfect, we believe that those best suited to addressing the village’s problems in a forward-thinking manner are Kit Ketchmark and C.P. Hall. We endorse them over Bill Russ and Wil Brennan.
Ketchmark and Hall have their flaws. Ketchmark was the village board finance chairman during a time when the board needed strong financial expertise. With no full-time finance director in place, he should have realized staff’s limitations. The lack of expertise helped lead to a tax levy error for the library and uncertainty on how to handle new special assessments.
At times in recent years Hall has seemed to pull back from the job, but fundamentally his judgment is sound and we believe him to be fair and to recognize solutions that will benefit the village.
For all the criticism of village management’s unresponsiveness and unfriendliness to residents, it is board members like Ketchmark and Hall that agreed to hire administrators who have made sweeping changes – for the good – in the way the village handles building and zoning issues, budgeting (now with a solid finance director on board), contract negotiations, infrastructure improvements and, yes, economic development.
Can they do better? No doubt. This board needs to make sure management is held accountable and follows through on procedures put in place.
Further, we enthusiastically endorse Ryan Evans, one of two new candidates in the field. Evans will bring a passion and independence to the board. Unafraid to advocate strongly for his positions and familiar with the issues confronting the village, we think he will be a leader among trustees.
Doug Tremper is not endorsed. We don’t feel Tremper has a firm grasp on issues confronting the village, and he needs to get better acquainted with the office he seeks to occupy.