Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In brief with the mayor last night

After last night's candidate forum I had a chance to ask Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson a couple of questions.

First, the mayor offered a nit to pick with me. In this column, I referred to the mayor's statement during his campaign for election, "You can fight city hall." The mayor believes he only said that during his victory speech. I believe he said it during his debate with Ann Nischke, too. However, since neither of us are absolutely sure, I thought I would share. He also said he never claimed we could win, just that when we fight City Hall we'll be treated with respect. He pointed to the Frame Park debate as the example.

Speaking of which, Nelson also pointed out that shortly after I received word from Steve Edlund that he was suspending his campaign against the Frame Park baseball stadium, Nelson received the fifth open records request from Edlund looking for the verbal opinion of the city attorney in writing that no zoning issues are involved in the building of the stadium at Frame Park.

(Just for the record, Edlund's group is still opposing the stadium and has distributed some yard signs. I'm told how the zoning proceeds will determine if there's a lawsuit to stop the stadium.)

And if you want to see the funniest expression on Darryl Enriquez's face, ask the mayor to explain why "ballpark" and "stadium" are both acceptable terms. I suggest we change it to the proposed Frame Park enhanced entertainment complex, retail center and office park skyscraper. Starbucks at the park, anyone?

The Mayor is hoping construction can begin at Frame Park before the snow falls but after everything has been approved. The final agreement between the city and Chad Bauer's investment group should be on the agenda for the November 6th meeting.

Finally, the mayor passed along some interesting info about leaf pick up (hey, this is Waukesha). Nelson explained that the additional leaf pick up (pick up #3) has to be in bags (clear plastic or paper) not just because of the potential for snow but also because the leaf trucks will already be converted over to snow plow use.

And we all know, after the first snow storm during Nelson's term in office, he has been sensitive to the issue ever since. There's no way he would ask to have the retrofitting of the trucks wait until after the extra leaf pick up. Besides, as the mayor points out, the bags will be visible in the inevitable snow piles.

Nelson also pointed out this is the first year that crews will be picking up leaves from two aldermanic districts on the same day, speeding up the process. (The aldermanic district order rotates from year-to-year.)