Douglas Yip will challenge incumbent Patricia Thorne for the District 6 seat on the Cedarburg Common Council in the April 4 election. Ozaukee Now asked the candidates about the St. Francis Borgia apartment plan and other topics.
What makes Cedarburg different from other communities when it comes to serving in public office?
Thome: Cedarburg residents are committed to the community. They participate. They are generous. They expect and deserve honest communication with their elected officials. They value representatives who represent a wide range of interests that impact the community as opposed to a single issue. I try to reflect those characteristics.
Yip: When I was a council member I did have members of my district call me and I was able to look at their problems. Be active, let your council member know your opinion, and find out what their opinions are on an important issue.
The SFB apartment development has been heavily debated by residents. How should the council continue to handle difficult decisions like this as it pertains to proposed development plans in the future?
Thome: Staff, plan commission and the council followed the process required by city code at each step regarding the SFB proposal. Approximately 23 hours of public comments were heard through various meetings. Votes were cast after listening and determining what’s best for the city. The same process should be followed with future proposals.
Yip: I think getting input from the community was the right thing to do. The key is to make sure they let that input guide their decision making process and vote accordingly. I think Cedarburg needs to look at what Grafton is doing by letting big-box stores and additional development come into Grafton. We need to look at selected development for our city to move forward to generate more income.
Some residents have complained about a lack of transparency between them and decisions made by the council. Is there a problem with communications? Why or why not?
Thome: Council communications and decisions are transparent. However, most issues have proponents and opponents — some will be disappointed with the final decision. Throughout my years of public service, I always have listened with an open mind to both sides of every issue responding honestly while always remaining considerate of others' perspectives.
Yip: City council meetings are always open to the public. Citizens should attend if interested, or read the meeting minutes on the Cedarburg city’s website. They can also provide electronic feedback to their council member via the website. I even had people call me with their concerns. I would recommend calling since you will actually leave a message or be able to talk to the individual.
Address: N68 W5760 Bridge Commons Court
Political history: Cedarburg Common Council, January 2014-present. Cedarburg Plan Commission 2012-2016. Cedarburg Landmarks Commission 2015-present. Cedarburg Ad Hoc Downtown Master Plan Committee 2009-2012. Cedarburg School Board 1995-2000. Cedar Creek Clean-Up Committee 2014-present.
Phone number: 262-377-7154
Address: W61 N673 Mequon Ave.
Political history: N/A
Phone number: 262-888-0672