Two years ago when I was appointed to the village board, I met with the village president and village manager for an orientation on Brookfield’s policies, plans, goals and accomplishments. As an urban planner, an active chamber member and a lead organizer of the Brookfield Farmers Market, I was particularly interested in the village’s approach to community and economic development. 

The village’s community and economic development activities have been continuously guided by Brookfield’s 2020 Master Plan. The 2020 Master Plan is what’s called a “comprehensive plan.” A comprehensive plan presents a detailed future vision, as well as specific goals and objectives for these very important and interrelated elements of a community: 

  • Economic development 
  • Land use 
  • Image and identity 
  • Transportation 
  • Housing 
  • Natural resources and
  • Community facilities. 

By planning these elements comprehensively through one document, our community’s goals were integrated and decisions requiring trade-offs were made. The 2020 Master Plan also includes a detailed action agenda of steps aimed specifically at implementing the plan’s recommendations.

The village has accomplished a great deal toward the 2020 Master Plan under the PEP Party’s leadership, and has worked successfully to increase its attractiveness to businesses and new residents. 

Brookfield has demonstrated professionalism and political stability to prospective investors. The village has streamlined and clarified the permit and review processes. The village board has selectively acquired property for redevelopment, established TIF districts and TIF governing policies, and modernized our building codes. 

We have made infrastructure and capital improvements. We have improved our parks. We have developed relationships with developers and strengthened village-chamber relations. We continue to restructure village government to better serve residents and the business community. 

Brookfield is doing well despite the economic recession, in large part because of PEP’s responsible leadership and hard work. During the past two years, Brookfield experienced a record amount of sales tax dollars, along with three national franchises and 15 other new local businesses. 

Investments in land acquisition and the TIF districts are beginning to pay off. Housing values are beginning to trend upward again, and homes are being newly built and modernized. Our local schools remain highly ranked. The village, the chamber and our local bars provide lively community-wide events. Youth summer sport leagues continue to thrive. Brookfield continues to be a friendly and cohesive community. 

Brookfield is entering an exciting era of our community and economic development. A key next step this year will be for the community to come together to develop an updated comprehensive plan. It is important that Brookfield maintain a dedicated and constructive village board to guide this effort and to move forward with the great course that we are on. 

If elected trustee, I would look forward to working with the board to develop a strong, comprehensive plan for our future, engage many residents and businesses in the planning process and implementation, and to contribute thoughtfully and constructively on all village matters.

Michelle Ryan is a Brookfield village trustee candidate for the PEP Party.