Recently, the Landmark endorsed Mike Towner for village president, citing the “aggressiveness” he possesses. Towner was a member of the PEP Party for seven and a half years, but wasn’t slated to run with them.
Why didn’t the party slate him? Because of his “aggressiveness” displayed publicly all too often, and his views that were not in line with the village board majority, and even more so, not in line with the majority of the residents.
Mike Towner has shown his “aggressiveness” when his ideas are not accepted. When village revenues plummeted, costs increased and pensions skyrocketed, Brookfield was facing a budget deficit over $1 million. Towner’s solution? Raise property taxes. The board majority took a different approach, and made some very tough decisions. Salaries were cut almost $1.5 million. The focus was placed on the core services our village offers, and we were able to balance the budget.
Yet, Towner pushes on with his view on property taxes. In the Feb. 20 Landmark, Towner stated he felt the residents were getting a “bargain for the taxes they pay, and should be open for an increase,” even going so far as to propose what would amount to (using his own numbers) a 27-percent property tax increase.
Last week in the Landmark, Towner mocked my recent debate comment that we need to focus on the expense side, and not just the revenue side, of village finances. To Towner, it is easier to just ask the residents for more money. Doesn’t he realize that “revenue” is real money that has to come from someone’s pocket?
When Towner pushed for permanent, village-wide, one-side-of-the-street parking, the board majority and the residents who we heard from disagreed. Towner didn’t care — he just felt this was something he wanted to do, and accused the majority of not pursuing this.
There was no listening from Towner, nor was there working as a team. In the Feb. 20 Landmark, Towner says he would still like to do this. This is the type of “aggressiveness” that would allow your village president to work with the board and staff and the residents?
During my first year on the village board 10 years ago, I wanted to change the whole world — and do it in a day! I’ve learned over my past 10 years on the board, from my over 25 years in business and my 20 years as a parent, “aggressiveness” goes only so far if you are looking for long term results by working with others.
Brookfield needs a president who can lead our village, and who can work together with the board, staff, and the residents to achieve real results. There is no room for big egos or self-promotion.
I thank the Landmark for their comments that “they have no doubt that [I] would make a fine village president” and that I “would be a valuable and rational voice on the board” either way.
Personally, I would take that over possessing “aggressiveness” that dictates to others.