I believe people in Brookfield want change. People want an open, honest and transparent government. They want the board to work together and stop fighting.

We all know there are many issues in Brookfield, when you cut through the red tape created by the politics of the village and seek out basic principles. Village government has to be able to articulate a clear set of goals and provide a set of guidelines that will make those goals achievable.

Whether it’s budgeting for the long-term financial conditions of the village, repairing streets, infrastructure, economic or residential development, the village needs a recognizable strategy or long-term plan for implementing change.

Because of my experience, I feel that I am the best qualified to responsibly lead Brookfield toward that kind of comprehensive approach to village government. I would work with the board to make village government more transparent to residents.

I would work to create a budgeting process that sets clear priorities and acts to fund them. I will work to implement a new street resurfacing program, and I would insist on depoliticizing village hall by hiring qualified professionals to handle the day-to-day operations of Brookfield.

As an independent, I would have the ability to work across party lines and seek diverging input on issues. I will not view differences of opinion as personal attacks, but as opportunities for discuss. I am glad that other independents are running for office, because we are getting rid of the politics associated with party loyalty.

As president I would seek to debate freely, in order to find solutions that made long-term sense. Less grandstanding, speechmaking, more governing.

The fact is that the current administration has enjoyed a solid board majority for over eight years! But instead of using that majority to implement comprehensive solutions, it has used that majority to act punitively against any difference of opinion and to push through politically divisive measures.

After eight years of a solid majority, there should be a comprehensive plan to fund street repairs but there is none. After hiring a new finance director four years ago, there should be more financial information available to board members and the public but there is less.

After budgeting for and supporting the creation of an TIF district on Ogden Avenue to begin its revitalization over five years ago, hardly any new business has come into Brookfield.

Staffing within the village manager’s office has to be cut. We do not need an assistant village manager. These are decisions that affect residents directly and negatively. The reason these things happen and will continue to happen under the current administration is that there is no strategic plan to guide decisions. Politics guides decision-making.

There is no doubt that Brookfield has seen a little change and a little progress, in the last eight years under the current administration. Progress can only be tracked by how each decision fits into a long-term plan. That sense of the long term is lacking from the current administration.

Bill Russ is a candidate for Brookfield village president.

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