Tuesday is election day, and I ask you all to do your civic duty and vote.
Here are the locally contested races you’ll see on the ballot:
- Mayor: Incumbent Tom Zepecki vs. Richard Raduenz
- City Clerk: Incumbent Kathleen Lisowski vs. Alderman Jim Shelenske
- South Milwaukee School Board: Incumbent Therese C. Travia vs. write-in candidates Nick Szablewski, Joseph Weirich and Carol Dufek (for two seats)
City Treasurer Karen Skowronski, City Attorney Joseph Murphy and Municipal Judge William Fenger are all running unopposed on Tuesday.
And don’t forget about the reduction in the number of polling places starting with this election. All South Milwaukee residents will vote at one of four sites on Tuesday:
- District 1: South Milwaukee Public Library, 1907 10th Avenue
- District 2: Lakeview School, 711 Marion Avenue
- District 3: City Hall, 2424 15th Avenue
- District 4: Rawson School, 1410 Rawson Avenue
I encourage everyone to get to the polls, no matter who you vote for.
For me, the most intriguing race of all is for city clerk.
I have no major issues with the job Kathleen Lisowski has done as clerk, but I plan on voting for Jim Shelenske. And here’s why: He is South Milwaukee’s most tireless advocate, and he believes in what I believe in.
Experience. Involvement. Leadership. Service. Jim lists those four traits on his campaign website, and I think he embodies all of them.
But he continues to amaze me with the last one — service. Jim is constantly finding new and innovative ways to give back to his hometown. Consider what he’s done in the past year alone, since I was elected alderman:
- He developed, launched and helped lead the South Milwaukee Downtown Market and remains just as committed to this wonderful community event as ever.
- Working with the South Milwaukee Police Department, he led an effort to create a crime alert email service for area businesses.
- As an example of his strong involvement in the Lions Club, Jim served as chairman of the South Milwaukee Christmas Parade, taking an event that nearly ended in 2008 and making it a community celebration to be proud of once again.
Then there were his efforts around the recent water emergency. He, like dozens of others, including me, helped in the hours immediately after the water main broke, but Jim’s actions after the crisis subsided impressed me most of all.
I remember the situation clearly. I was tired after helping with the water distribution effort Friday night and writing a press release on Saturday, and I was looking forward to spending a relaxing weekend with my familiy after we were told the water was safe to drink.
The crisis was winding down. I was ready to go out of town. Then Jim called.
“Hey, Erik, why don’t we do something to help bars and restaurants affected by this?” he asked. “And let’s do it quickly.”
So Fresh Water Days was born. If you don’t recall, this was the effort, a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, to drive customers to South Milwaukee establishments who lost business due to the water problems. We encouraged people to eat out by offering gift certifates and other prizes and led a strong media effort that had every area television station broadcasting live from South Milwaukee restaurants during the two-day run.
By all accounts, the promotion was a huge success … and it was a success because of Jim.
It’s because of ideas and action like this that I support Jim for City Clerk. He is committed to positive change and, more importantly, doing the work necessary to make that change happen.
His campaign platform emphasizes this, with his pledge to find new ways to use technology to improve efficiencies and find new and better ways to communicate with our residents.
These are things I believe in, and I hope you do, too.
Simply, Jim wants to do his part to make South Milwaukee a better place to live, work and play — a promise that comes through loud and clear every time you talk to him.
That’s why I’ll be supporting Jim on Tuesday. I wish him the best of luck.