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Muskego mayoral candidates voice their positions

Chiaverotti and Dickmann discuss growth and other issues at forum

March 10, 2014

Muskego — The city's two mayoral candidates went head-to-head at a forum last week, with Kathy Chiaverotti emphasizing her accomplishments and her wish to add to them and challenger Scott Dickmann emphasizing his objectives and background.

The race is a rematch of the 2011 election. The forum, sponsored by the Muskego Woman's Club and the Chamber of Commerce, was held Thursday at City Hall to help voters be informed for the April 1 spring election.

At the forum, the candidates first provided an overview of their priorities.

Chiaverotti priorities

Chiaverotti emphasized her track record on budget issues in the past three years.

"I've kept my promise of sound fiscal practices," as well as growth, she said, noting that property tax levy increases have been nearly flat and below the increases the state allows.

To keep costs down, she said she spearheaded outsourcing building inspections and negotiated an agreement with Muskego police under which they pay toward pensions while other communities are still bargaining with their police unions, she said.

There also has been significant business growth, especially along the Moorland Road corridor, Chiaverotti said.

She said she also has taken the lead in fighting heroin and other drug use by forming a task force of community, school and law enforcement groups. She also supported adding a drug-sniffing dog to help police detect drugs at traffic stops and in schools, she said.

Dickmann priorities

Dickmann said the drug problem is a priority, calling it "a situation out of control." His approach would be the same — bringing all groups together in a coordinated effort, Dickmann said.

Another priority is to attract and keep business, and, as a business owner for more than 10 years, he said he has insight into that.

Dickmann also promised responsive government, saying that he would be a leader who motivates and gets people to rally around and solve problems. One of the first things he would do is build a community dialog with taxpayers, he said.

Dickmann was critical of Chiaverotti's leadership, saying she was almost recalled over the controversial lake park proposal that deeply divided the community.

Visionary views

Both candidates were asked about their visions for the city.

Chiaverotti said that vision lies within the people and is expressed in the city's comprehensive plan, based on neighborhood meetings and surveys.

Noting that everyone wants restaurants, she said: "I'm working on that."

Dickmann said his vision is to continue business growth and focus more on the eastern areas of the city that seem forgotten. The industrial park has seven or eight vacant locations, he noted.

He also would be careful to make sure residential lots are sized properly to avoid straining city services and maintaining the rural feel that residents want.

Leadership styles

In response to another question, the candidates described their leadership styles.

Chiaverotti said she takes a team approach, and listens and approves of healthy, respectful debate.

Dickmann said he is the kind of leader people come to with ideas. He also gives people freedom to do their jobs.

"I believe in letting people think for themselves," as long as they get the job done, he said.

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