Village President Pritchard
At tonight's Village Trustee meeting, President Katie Pritchard and Trustee Thomas Fehring announced that they would not run for re-election in April. Both are huge losses.
Months ago, for Pritchard, I was inclined to think that tonight's specific meeting would contain this announcement. Why? Firstly, because 9 years is a long time to serve. This is a volunteer gig. Lots of hours, and beyond getting to throw candy in a few parades, the compensation is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1/hour.
Secondly, the timing is completely expected. Good public servants, with an eye on the future, announce their intentions early. The nomination period began last week, and this announcement gives the community the most time to find willing candidates.
Trustee Tom Fehring
I was disappointed to hear my friend Tom Fehring's decision not to run. I take partial credit in goading him into running 3 years ago, as he and I exchanged emails in the early days of Village Spillage. I thought he'd make a great Trustee, and he really did. Tom has been a meticulous steward and will be greatly missed. As a Trustee, I really wanted him to stay. As a friend, I get his decision.
Whitefish Bay is losing a large chunk of its leadership. First, 20+ year Treasurer Barb Patin, then 9 year Village Manager Jim Grassman, and now Katie Pritchard, all exiting in a one year span. If you add up all the years of experience in the top posts and Board, we're going from ~72 years down to 25 by April.
I've been very worried about this day, because I do not know if anyone in the community will answer the call. The recent Village and School Board elections have seen mostly unopposed races with almost zero new entrants stepping in to lead. Now we have two gaping holes, and 4 weeks to fill them.
Who has the sense of civic duty, poise, and intellect to lead our Village?
In the past year, there has been an ample supply of critical comments about Village leadership, with the tone that they could do better. Well, now's the time to raise your hand. You can be the guy yelling at the coach from the stands, or you can volunteer to coach the team.
Long time Village Spillage readers know I was that guy, yelling from the stands. Once you're on the field, you realize it is a tough gig, but the 6 others on your team are pretty solid citizens, trying to move together in the best direction -- a rarity in today's political atmosphere.
Here are the steps to come down on the field and run for office:
2. Submit GAB-1 to Village Hall. Form here.
3. Gather nomination signatures. GAB-169 20 signatures needed.
4. Submit with GAB-162 - Declaration of Candidacy by Tuesday, Jan 4th.
If you are interested and want to know about what the offices entail, I'd be happy to chat with you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone.