This election is different from the last four elections in Brookfield, because there is only one party running and everyone else is running independent. Most independent candidates are focusing on the issues instead of personalities.
The PEP Party once again is making me the issue, to divert attention from their poor record in office the past eight years. All of my literature focuses on what I will do when I am village president and what the issues are and nothing negative. The fighting on the village board has to stop and everybody has to start working together for the residents. This is all about the people, not politics.
Based on my background and experience, and looking at all the issues, it should be clear that I would be the person best-suited to lead Brookfield as president.
When I served as village president from 2001-2005, I had a long list of accomplishments that made Brookfield a better place to live, work and raise a family. Some of my major public achievements were a departure from the Special Service Area tax when rebuilding streets, a major acquisition of land for open space in Jaycee Park, a large-scale improvement at Jaycee Park, a deliberate and consistent approach to road and alley improvements without taxing the residents for them.
I supported a successful public safety referendum which added more police and fire personnel, updated the 911 call center from reel to reel tapes to the present digital system and I bought a major franchise to Brookfield — the CVS Pharmacy chain.
I would work with the village board to make the building department more resident/business-friendly and professional. Past administrations have made mistakes, including mine, but we all learn from our past mistakes and become better people. We need to institute hiring policies to prevent politics from playing a role in hiring. We need to continue overhauling the technology at the village hall and find ways to get the staff to work more efficiently and be friendlier to residents.
The board has to work together to provide more oversight and critical inquiry regarding the state of village finances and has to hold staff accountable for costly errors that impede funding village services. We need a complete audit of every department and cut waste and unnecessary spending.
I am an independent thinker and have always been an advocate for residents, seniors, recreation and an enthusiastic booster of conservation and beautification efforts in the village.
I would not be afraid to ask tough questions and would bring a different perspective to a board that is too content to let village management set its own course. I am very enthusiastic about being involved in village government again.
We need to update our village website which is a conduit for information, make more information about village government available to our residents. People want more village financial information, want to see village codes, ordinances, minutes for all meetings, planning documents and current properties available for development all online.
Bill Russ is a candidate for Brookfield village president.