April 16. 2012 9:00AM

Suburban voters elect new mayors


By Steve Jagler


Voters in the suburban municipalities of Wauwatosa, Oak Creek, St. Francis, Cedarburg and Port Washington recently elected new mayors.

In Wauwatosa, Kathy Ehley, executive director of the Village of Wauwatosa Business Improvement District, defeated Alderman Peter Donegan, a retired insurance executive.

Ehley, 64, will succeed Jill Didier, who resigned Dec. 15 to become economic development coordinator for Milwaukee County.

When asked about her priorities as mayor by WauwatosaPatch.com, Ehley responded, "We are facing the huge challenges of rebuilding the aged, failing sewer system and how to fund this. The city staff is currently pulling together the data and analysis which will provide information and options for the Council to consider when making decisions on how to deal with and fund this major problem. As mayor I will work with the staff to ready and communicate this information to the council members and the residents of Wauwatosa and provide leadership in determining the best solutions."

In Oak Creek, Alderman Steve Scaffidi, 53, easily beat former Alderman Mark Verhalen to become the city's next mayor, succeeding Richard Bolender, who passed away in December.

Oak Creek is at an historical crossroads in many respects, with the redevelopment of the former Delphi plant site, the development of a new business park on South Howell Avenue and Oakwood Road, the development of vacant lakefront properties and the development of a Drexel Avenue Interstate 94 interchange.

"I'm honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next Mayor of Oak Creek. We are beginning the process of moving the city forward on several fronts and I'm excited about the future," Scaffidi said.

"The Delphi property on Drexel Avenue will be transitioning from a former automotive manufacturing plant to the future location of a new city center and library with retail, restaurants, and other mixed uses close to the new interchange at Drexel Avenue and I-94. This site has the potential to be a destination development on the southern end of Milwaukee County, expanding the job base in our city, as well as attracting retailers looking to be a part of a unique, upscale development," said Scaffidi, who is a special projects field manager for The Nielsen Co. "The Oakwood and Howell Avenue business park is positioned close to key transportation hubs in southeastern Wisconsin, and will add to the business opportunities in Oak Creek already realized by companies like Caterpillar Mining, Yaskawa America, and Crothall Laundry Services. It's set to be a catalyst for business on the southern edge of our city, and has already attracted interest from several companies looking to re-locate to Oak Creek."
In St. Francis, voters elected CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls mayor over former Alderman Jeffrey Mayer.

St. Marie-Carls, 50, is the former public information officer for the City of Kenosha and former executive director of the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce. She will succeed Mayor Al Richards, who is retiring after two terms.

In Cedarburg, voters elected former Alderman Kip Kinzel mayor over Alderman Paul Radtke. Kinzel had served nine years on the Common Council and will succeed Greg Meyers, who reached the end of a three-term limit.

Port Washington voters elected Tom Mlada mayor, defeating Alderman Jim Vollmar. This was Mlada's first race for public office. Mayor Scott Huebner did not seek re-election.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett easily won re-election, even though he also is a candidate for governor.

Veteran south side Milwaukee Alderman Jim Witkowiak was ousted by challenger Jose Perez, while Aldermen Robert Donovan and Robert Puente survived challenges.


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