Updated Sept. 25, 2012 – 8:50 p.m.
Brookfield’s PEP Party opted for mostly familiar faces in choosing its slate for the 2013 village election.
Mark Weber, the political party’s president, as expected, announced on Sept. 19 that Kit Ketchmark would be PEP’s nominee for village president. Ketchmark presently serves as a village trustee, having been elected in 2011.
The party also chose to slate two other members of the current village board – Trustee Brian Oberhauser and Village President Michael Garvey – as two of its three candidates for trustee.
PEP’s other nominee for trustee is Nicole Gilhooley, who has been a member of the Brookfield Beautification Commission for the past five years, several of those as its president.
Outgoing Trustee Cathy Colgrass Edwards is the party’s nominee for village clerk.
“This isn’t a group of candidates who just show up at election time,” said Ketchmark during his address to supporters after his nomination. “It’s a group of individuals who are anxious to come together as a team and take our town to the playoffs.”
Just how PEP would arrange its slate for the 2013 election was hard to predict, since three of the party’s four incumbents – Garvey, Edwards and Village Clerk Brigid Weber – had served two terms in office, meaning they couldn’t run for a third consecutively. A fourth PEP Party candidate who won election in 2009, Michael Towner, also was forced to leave his position as trustee due to term limits.
Towner on Sept. 16 broke with the party completely after PEP did not slate him as its nominee for president. Towner announced on Sept. 17 that he would run against Ketchmark as an independent.
There could be as many as four candidates for village president. In addition to Towner and Ketchmark, former Village President Bill Russ has reportedly told supporters that he will run for president. Reached Sept. 20, Russ refused to deny or confirm those rumors.
Josh Jones, who made a bid for village trustee in 2011 before having his name tossed off the ballot after a PEP supporter challenged his nominating petitions, told the Landmark in a recent interview that he is still contemplating a run for president in 2013.
Candidates were able to begin circulating nominating petitions on Tuesday, so residents can expect to see candidates and their supporters knocking on doors and obtaining signatures in the coming weeks.
Ketchmark in his address to supporters on Sept. 19 touted PEP’s record under Garvey, who was first elected president in 2005, highlighting $25 million in village infrastructure improvements funded in part by $10 million in grants.
He also talked about technological improvements since 2005 and the village’s efforts in the last three years to build a general operating fund cash reserve.
“Quite simply,” said Ketchmark, who also served as village trustee from 2001 to 2009, “Brookfield has shown great progress in the last seven and a half years under Mike Garvey and his administration.”
If elected president, Ketchmark said he would focus on economic development, communication between village hall and residents and seeking out more ways to streamline village operations.
“Are we there yet?” Ketchmark asked. “We’re not here yet. … There have been inevitable stops and detours along the way. But the attention that has been focused on dealing with the tough economic times, on dealing with improving management at village hall, can now start dealing with other areas.”