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Werner to resign alderman post

Recall effort goes forward despite decision

May 7, 2012

Muskego - Muskego Alderman Keith Werner, who is a subject of a recall effort, has announced his intention to resign effective June 2.

In a letter to Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti, Werner explained that the decision is tied to his work schedule. He did not mention the recall effort, which a representative from the group trying to collect enough signatures says will continue.

"During the course of the month of May, I will be taking on additional responsibilities with my full-time employer, which may reduce my availability to represent the constituents of District 4," he wrote.

Chiaverotti, also a target of a recall effort, said Werner has been struggling for months to make Common Council meetings after his work schedule changed to evenings.

Werner was elected last year to a two-year term representing District 4, and it is unclear how the vacancy will be filled. Ordinarily, the council would appoint a successor. But the recall effort might change that, Chiaverotti said.

The recall effort is tied to the controversial park proposal for Little Muskego Park - specifically, the fact that Werner and other aldermen declined to bring the issue to a public referendum despite a petition signed by more than 3,400 residents.

Despite the announcement, Muskego for Ethical Government is proceeding with the recall, said Lorie Oliver, group spokesman.

"This changes nothing. We are going forward," she said.

Some wondered if this is a way to duck the recall, or if Werner would have a change of heart if the recall effort fails to get enough signatures. The recall petitions must be completed by the end of May and his resignation would not take effect June 2.

Alderman Kert Harenda, who opposed the lake park proposal, noted simply, "Keith could rescind his resignation."

But Werner, who could not be reached for additional comment, gave no such indication of that in his letter.

"It has been a privilege to represent the constituents and the citizens of the city of Muskego," he wrote. "In my last five plus years on council, many decisions were made as a representative government that were in the best interest of the community. We are reaping the benefits of those decisions now. I am proud of my tenure."

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