Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Constituent Controversy Brews After 8th Aldermanic Candidates Asked To Leave Public Forum By SOC

Photos: HNG

Several aldermanic candidates had to be brought back into the public forum after leaving event.

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 15, 2012

Milwaukee - On Wednesday, the Southside Organizing Committee (SOC) and several other organizations sponsoring a public job interview at the Murguia Campus for 8th Aldermanic candidates had to upruptly change their rules at the last minute. SOC had planned to keep candidates from hearing what four of them had to say during the two hour event. 
SOC asked for the candidates to leave the event to another room to keep each other from listening to what each one had to say during the forum. Organizers tried to defend their decision, but were forced to allow all of the four candidates present while each one answered questions. More than 140 people attended the forum.
Alderman Robert "Bob" Donovan, who is running for re-election refused to leave claiming he wanted to be present to hear what each candidate had to say, claiming it was a public event and his right as a U.S. citizen. Other constituents agreed with Donovan.
The candidates that participated at the event were Donovan, Benjamin Juarez, Jennifer Morales and Chez Ordoñez. Donovan cited his 12-year experience as alderman. He publicly challenged SOC and the other groups that organized the event to unite and go fight for the needed district funds from the federal government. Donovan said, he would join in the fight along with the groups because the feds every year provide millions of dollars for housing in Milwaukee, but come with strict restrictions.
Donovan pointed out that he helped bring the Neighborhood Ambassador project, Operation Impact, which gets private business funding to help pay for beat cops along Lincoln Ave. and video surveillance cameras throughout the business and residential areas. Donovan said, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated by local businesses to operate the projects.
He also makes it a priority to be accessible to the residents and walks twice week in the district along with a staff worker from Nieghborhood Services and a police officer to target issues affecting the neighborhood.
He has pushed for Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn and the department to be accountable to constituents. He also has pushed for Chief Flynn to fill police positions that have not been filled. Donovan would like to be re-elected to continue to fight for the district.
Juarez on the contrary wants to focus on economic development to raise the tax base in the district. He would like to see portions of Becher Street repaved. Juarez says, police response to district calls is very slow and police takes longer to response blaming city budget cuts and unfilled police positions.
He likes to see better street lighting in certain areas. Juarez, if elected would focus on economic development.
Morales has a different approach, she would work with constituents to focus on issues affecting them. Morales says, that the city owns more than 3,000 homes and it needs to put them back on the market. She will seek volunteers and donations to help get resources for residents to use in fixing their homes.
Police work on preventive measures to help prevent crime in the area, but police response in slow. Some officers have attitutes, which affects their job in the district, according to Morales. She would like to see business growth in the district and spent money, including investments should be kept in the area longer to help the economic growth thoughout the area.
Ordoñez focused on poor police response, abandon business store fronts on Muskego Ave. and National Ave. The district has some areas that need cleaning and problems with parking. He also says that police have a slow response to calls in the district. There is a neighborhood block watch captain program from the 2nd Police District Station, but the department doesn't empower or provide resources to help block captains to prevent or fight crime. Ordoñez also mentioned people in the district need financial help to keep their homes. Flood issues and freshwater drainage hookups to the sewer system was another costly issue that needs to be dealt with, according to Ordoñez.
He says that if elected, he will deal with the prostitution problem in the area and would focus on economic development as a jobs and business creation in the 8th Aldermanic District.
All four candidates are more than well qualified to become alderman and are highly educated. Donovan is the only alderman in Milwaukee that makes it his job to walk the neighborhood twice a week to target issues. He is known and has earned the "Crimefighting Bob" label in the 8th Aldermanic District, according to residents. Now, constituents are left to pick and vote for the best candidate to represent them.
Will Donovan get re-elected? The Primary Election is February 21 and General Election is on April 3.

Connected by MOTOBLUR™ on T-Mobile

No comments: