First District candidates are weighing in on Meijer's proposal to add a 190,000-square-foot store to the proposed Drexel Town Square development.
While Shawn Vollmer is still adamantly opposed to the development, challenger Steven Kurkowski strongly favors the addition of Meijer. Kurkowski, however, believes incumbent Dan Jakubczyk didn't ask enough questions and won a gamble with the store's proposal.
"I am against it because I believe it was a bait-and-switch," Vollmer said. He was originally for the Drexel Town Square including a number of small-box stores, much like the Bayshore Town Center.
A business owner, Vollmer criticized Jakubczyk's and Drexel Town Square developer Wispark's concept that Meijer will be the anchor for smaller stores. He argues Meijer will not give the sense of community that a cluster of small-box retailers would provide. If elected, Vollmer said, he would vote "no" on any development of Drexel Town Square.
Kurkowski fully supports Meijer's proposal for Oak Creek, having shopped at Meijer while he was living in Michigan. He also cites the support shown for Meijer by grocery store Woodman's as a reason to back the proposal. While Kurkowski is pleased with Meijer from past experience, he is wary of both the lack of a floor plan for the City Hall and library portions of the project, as well as Wispark's proposal to bring medical offices to areas surrounding Meijer.
"I don't like the gamble, but now that Meijer is for certain, the other buildings have a much better chance of being occupied - but don't hang your hat on opening a doctor's office there because there's a lot of vacant medical offices in the city already," Kurkowski said. He added that if he was sitting in Jakubcyzk's seat, he would have voted "no" on the town square development until Meijer was a certainty.
Jacubczyk said he was against the idea until he met with Wispark and Oak Creek Mayor Richard Bolendar. The two convinced him the development would be good for Oak Creek in the long run.
"I had to agree with the mayor that the people who aren't looking at this aren't looking down the road and what it will mean to Oak Creek," he said.
He also cites Wispark's profit-sharing mechanism, which would give the city 35 percent of the profits from the development, as a reason for backing the deal.
While Vollmer chastised the city and current alderman on what he says is a lack of public communication, both Kurkowski and Jakubczyk believe it is up to the public to inform themselves about current issues. The two cited the city's use of its website to put agendas online, the Common Council's Channel 25 and 99 and the city newsletter, the Acorn, as means for the city to put out information.
Vollmer plans to use Facebook, Twitter and his personal website to take public comments and criticisms from those unable to attend meetings or watch the broadcasts.
Jakubczyk will host a question-and-answer session in the Common Council meeting room at City Hall from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Lowdown on voting
Due to three candidates running for the 1st District seat, a primary will be held. Voting in the primary takes place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 19. Early voting starts Feb. 4 and runs to Feb. 15. Those currently registered to vote can do so at their district polling station. To find out where to vote, visit MyVote.wi.gov.
Voter registration can take place at a local polling site if the voter brings a state-issued ID listing his or her current address. If the ID doesn't have the address on it, a current utility bill or rental agreement can be used as proof of residency.
The primary will eliminate one candidate, pitting the other two against each other in the April 2 election.
Where do I vote?
District 1: School Administration Building, 7630 S. 10th St.
District 2: West Middle School, 8401 S. 13th St.
District 3: East Middle School, 9330 S. Shepard Ave.
District 4: Deerfield Elementary School, 3871 E. Bluestem Drive
District 5: Parkway Church, 10940 S. Nicholson Road
District 6: Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Ave.
ADDRESS: 1110 E. Milwaukee Ave.
RESIDENCY IN DISTRICT:15 years
OCCUPATION: retired special agent from U.S. Department of Homeland Security
EDUCATION: two years at Saginaw Valley State University
MILITARY SERVICE: U.S. Coast Guard
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: previous board member of Oak Creek Little League; active in Hales Corners Lutheran Church
FAMILY: wife, Rebecca; children, Micah, 17, and Seth, 15
CONTACT: (414) 336-0125;
ADDRESS: 7441 S. Logan Ave.
RESIDENCY IN DISTRICT:43 years
OCCUPATION: retired engineer
EDUCATION:associate degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: alderman since 2009
MILITARY SERVICE: U.S. Air Force during Vietnam War
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Veterans of Foreign Wars
FAMILY: wife, Bonnie; adult children, Dennis and Nancy
CONTACT: (414) 764-6752
ADDRESS: 7324 S. Logan Ave.
RESIDENCY IN DISTRICT: five years
OCCUPATION: owner of Three Cellars
EDUCATION: bachelor's degree in criminal justice from University of Wisconsin-Parkside
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: none
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:Pack 221 Cub Scouts, has volunteered at Edgewood Elementary
FAMILY: wife, Kristina; children, Ariana, 10, and Aidan, 8
CONTACT: (414) 745-3090, email@example.com
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