City, Elmbrook and VK work on Swanson

An open records request produced an e-mail worth sharing. On January 28th City of Brookfield Director of Community Development Dan Ertl asked an assistant to help schedule a meeting:

Pleas (sic) check on Dean’s, Tom Grisa’s and my availability (through Sherry) to attend a Swanson Community group meeting sometime two or three weeks out. Then call Matt Gibson at … to coordinate with his offices. I suspect you will have to give Matt a few choices. I believe the Swanson Group meets at 7:30 a.m.-do not know what day of the week though. I suspect the meeting would be 1 1/2 hours. Thanks.

(Dean would be Mayor Jeff Speaker’s Director of Administration Dean Marquardt.)

It looks like the City is coordinating this development again. If you remember the Swanson swap, there was a dust up because Mayor Jeff Speaker swore the City wasn’t involved. Later a memo of understanding along with a couple of e-mails showed the Mayor’s office was very much involved. Speaker and Elmbrook Superintendent Matt Gibson had a brief public sparring over Speaker’s denial.


  1. The city really has to be at the center of this one, no?

  2. Kathryn, I’m not sure I understand your angle. Maybe you can try again?

  3. Last time around, the Swanson Swap, was primarily a school district issue involving school district property and some impact on the surrounding area. The district needed to be in the center of that discussion.

    This time, the question is one of a large development on private land and how it will impact the surrounding area–school district and the rest of us. The city has to be the coordinator of this one; I’d be really ticked if they weren’t paying attention.

    That isn’t an endorsement of the plan, just my sense of how the players line up.

  4. Lucky Lady says:

    I’m not surprised that the city is involved. My concern is that they have a preconceived agenda. If only they would come to the table with an open mind. It was obvious that they like the plan and weren’t looking for input from others. Once again, development is king.

  5. The city and Elmbrook in cahoots–now that’s scary.

  6. Glad I asked for a clarification.

    I feel the developer should be managing these first contacts. Here I see little more than the city acting as a personal secretary on the developer’s behalf. The city shouldn’t be advocating – only regulating.

  7. Well, that’s a good point, Cindy. I have to agree.

  8. Lucky Lady says:

    “The city shouldn’t be advocating – only regulating.” Could we get that printed up and placed in front of every city staff and the mayor? As it is now, they advocate for development and regulate the residents! Zoning regulations are repeatedly revised for the developers. You want higher density? Sure. Closer to the street? Sure. Need some daytime population numbers ignored? Sure. You want to fence your backyard? Nope.

  9. I figured out that fence thing. I put in a pool 🙂