Brookfield: Want to run for mayor?

Formerly elected municipal judge Dick Steinberg asked that question on his blog. He offered a few paragraphs of advice. I’m about to do the same.

I can’t stress strongly enough how much the incumbent and certain members of his staff will lie to keep his elected employment. Four years ago Speaker was wanting to be vested in the state pension, this time he’ll realize he can’t afford to retire, especially with the economic slump and his slumlord holdings diverting income. However, his uselessness is becoming more apparent, and the Republican party is reportedly no longer impressed.

(FYI, and this is new, if the Waukesha Republican party were to “unofficially” tap me to run, I would consider it. Fat chance of that happening, though, so it’s a pretty safe statement.)

Always, always keep in mind that city staff likes Jeff Speaker because he’s not smart enough to think for himself and thus anything that staff wants, staff gets.

The main issue I would still hit very hard is how staff continues to manage the city’s tax situation so that almost every dollar allowed to be taxed by law is spent. This city has millions of dollars stashed, but the cry amongst elected, including that gutless wonder Scott Berg, will be that Brookfield is struggling so under the current economy. (Cue hankie and bite knuckle in despair!)

It takes a great deal of effort to understand the complicated budget Finance Director Robert Scott puts together, but it can be done. Unfortunately, most alderpeople won’t bother. A mayoral candidate should know it inside out.

The other bit of wisdom I’d offer a future candidate is that Dean Marquardt is nobody’s friend. Run like hell if he offers you help or advice: he’ll turn on you faster than a rattlesnake.

Keep in mind the press won’t exist for this next election. Lisa Sink sputtered into oblivion. No great loss there because she rarely wrote more than a he said/she said story designed to secure access at city hall, but don’t expect the MJS to rise to the occasion. There will be a little BrookfieldNOW coverage, but it will be staged and weak.

A candidate has a better chance than ever at keeping his or her own message focused. Steinberg thinks it could take $50,000 to win, and he might be right. Mayor Jeff Speaker currently has $3,842.98 in his campaign account. He hasn’t raised a dime since the last election according to his filing statements. If, however, developers want freebies, he can pick up money very quickly as he’s proven over and over again that the right to develop in Brookfield is for sale to the highest bidder.

I’ll also mention that if you have skin thick enough to survive Brookfield’s cut-throat tactics, you probably aren’t human.


  1. I’ll run!

  2. No, I’m too young. Cindy, you should consider running for Mayor. You’ve got a strong following already and great poltical viewpoints. You would probably win if you ran.

  3. Marquardt’s previous highest-level employment was driving a fuel-oil delivery truck.

    Proving that pondscum rises to the top!

  4. You made me mess up my computer screen Dad29. We don’t agree on everything, but we sure agree on that one.

  5. The Lorax says:

    Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t live in Brookfield anymore…

    Could you maybe put together your list of people who may be mulling over a run?

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Dan Sutton might be on that list. What about our perennial candidates?

  6. I revealed five possible over the course of a few weeks:

    Jeff Speaker
    Scott Berg
    Bob Reddin
    Rick Owen
    Lisa Mellone

    Berg’s a fool if he tries. Reddin and Mellone have serious ability. Owen would have very little that differentiates from the Mayor; that likely would be a problem.

    Sutton’s well-paid for what he does, so it would surprise me if he’d consider it.

    Berg’s had trouble keeping a job. Reddin’s been furloughed off and on. Owen owns his own Pewaukee sign company. Mellone’s been home raising a family and might be prime to re-enter the work force. I hear Jeff Speaker has some apartments he’s trying to rehab.

    There’s always the chance we could see someone like Dave Marcello jump in. If Ted Kanavas was smart, he’d pick up the job for 3 terms or so. Pay and benefits are great. He’d be able to boost the final dollars before drawing a state pension. Commute would certainly be better. God bless Ted – he’s harmless enough. I could live with him in the post. At least there’d be a smidgen more brains and a whole lot more class!

    Heck, I think Brookfield’s mayor pays much closer to the governor’s job than any other mayor around besides Milwaukee.

  7. The Lorax says:

    You’re right about well-paid Sutton. Hm. Rick Owen is… well, you know.

    I was thinking about Bob Reddin and Lisa Mellone, myself. I like them both.

  8. – Available to a good home… 🙂

  9. Very tempting…

  10. DICK STEINBERG says:

    Is it necessary for a mayoral candidate to come from city hall , the common council or some other political/government office ?

  11. Oh, no. But the burden the office creates is brutal from the outside, and it’s hard to imagine someone rising to the position without some type of preliminary training.

    Speaker was a great unknown, and look where that got us.