Three Candidates For County Supervisor Seat Emerge
Trio is running for seat held by Paul Cesarz.
With Paul Cesarz in his final months as Milwaukee County supervisor, a trio of residents have expressed interest in taking his place.
Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor, sheriff's deputy Robert Ostrowski and Oak Creek Alderman Ken Gehl have taken out papers to run for the 9th District seat. The district includes much of Oak Creek, Franklin and Hales Corners. (Click here for a map)
Cesarz, the incumbent supervisor, filed a notification of noncandidacy on Friday. He had been under fire from constituents, other government officials and media outlets (including Oak Creek Patch) for unresponsiveness.
Supervisor candidates pointed to the lack of communication as a big factor in their decision to enter the race.
Ostrowski, an Oak Creek resident, said he is tired of the way county government is going and wants to play a role in changing it.
He said he sees the problems first-hand in his job with the sheriff's office, and has also seen the frustration from residents while collecting signatures for his nomination papers.
"I'm not a politician. I'm a working-class man. I'm just frustrated and tired of the system," he said. "This is a good county that has a lot to offer to people but we have to make it the best we can make it and do it the right way."
Gehl is an analyst for Robert W. Baird and in his second term on the Oak Creek Common Council.
He said many components of the Oak Creek community - like 13th Street, College Avenue and Bender Park - are under county jurisdiction, but the city does not have adequate representation on the board.
Especially with lakefront redevelopment plans moving forward, Gehl said the city needs more cooperation with the county.
"There's no catalyst or good advocate at the county level to push for those kinds of things," Gehl said.
Taylor, who works for Country Financial as a financial representative, has served on the Franklin Common Council since 2008.
Taylor believes that with the amount of money residents pay in county taxes, they "are not getting return on their investment." He said he is the candidate who would be the most ready on Day 1: he has about ten years total of experience in government, having previously served in La Crosse and East Lansing, Mich.
"I can do a better job than what the (incumbent) is doing and I decided that something needs to be done," Taylor said. "The county is definitely a mess."
Two other candidates took out papers but have since withdrawn from the race.
Zachary Johnson said his wife recently became pregnant and he would not have the time to commit to the full-time supervisor position. He will, however, run for a seat on the Oak Creek Common Council against Alderman Dan Bukiewicz.
William Wilkins, meanwhile, called his brief campaign a success after hearing that Cesarz would not run again.
"That was my main goal coming in, to see that he would not serve another term, even if I had to run against him myself," Wilkins said in an e-mail.
Supervisors are elected to a four-year term at a salary of $50,679.
Assuming all three candidates (or more) turn in the necessary paperwork, a primary will be held on Feb. 21. The top two vote-getters will be on the ballot in the general election April 3.
For more voting information, visit the Government Accountability Board website.