Drexel Town Square center point of Oak Creek aldermanic race
Incumbents disagree on value of new government center
Oak Creek - The 1st District will see a three-way struggle for its aldermanic seat, forcing a primary election Feb. 12.
Incumbent Dan Jakubczyk faces challengers Shawn Vollmer and Steven Kurkowski.
The three differ in their views about Drexel Town Square, the planned home of a new City Hall, library and, potentially, fire station.
Jakubczyk has voiced a strong support of the development. He was alderman when former-mayor Richard Bolender pushed for Drexel Town Square, and said Bolender convinced him Oak Creek needs the new buildings.
Citing that Oak Creek's population was 16,000 when he moved in in the mid-1960s and that the population now hovers at more than 35,000, Jakubczyk said: "I told Mayor Bolender at the time, 'Fifteen years down the road probably both of us will be pushing up daisies, but I hope people look back and think that we knew what we were doing when we built this.' I think the citizens of Oak Creek are going to be proud of that complex we have planned for going in on the old Delphi plant."
His views aren't shared by his opponents, especially Shawn Vollmer.
Vollmer is rather new to the community, having bought a home in Oak Creek five years ago. But he said he's in Oak Creek for the long haul, and he's adamantly opposed to the development of Drexel Town Square.
While collecting signatures for his candidacy, Vollmer said, many constituents in the 1st District told him they want to see roads and sidewalks repaired before money is spent on a new town square.
"I don't believe a new City Hall and a new library is a necessity," he said.
Kurkowski, who has lived in Oak Creek 15 years, has mixed feelings about the development. While he knows there are other issues facing 1st District constituents, he said, he believes the project has progressed too far to stop it. Still, he wants the site to be further scrutinized before going forward with the development.
Plans call for the library to be between 50,000 and 60,000 square feet.
"That may be too much or not enough because technology is going so paperless. Are we building a library that is going to be too large or are we building the right size? I'm concerned that we don't overbuild and overspend," Kurkowski said.
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 University Center of Michigan
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: none
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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