District 6 incumbent Dan Becker will be challenged by John Sigwart in the April 4 election for a spot on the Port Washington Common Council.
The council will see at least one new face, regardless of the result in District 7. In the February primary for District 3, newcomers Michael Gasper and Don Consentine finished in the top two spots, eliminating incumbent Bill Driscoll.
Ozaukee Now asked Becker and Sigwart about their campaigns and how they would serve the city of Port Washington.
How does your experience qualify you to serve on the common council?
Becker: My education, work history and past political experience all contribute to my qualifications for the common council. Plus, I grew up and raised my family in Port Washington, so I have a unique perspective in relation to the city and its history.
Sigwart: I served six years as director of public works for Port, have always held leadership roles and chaired the site selection committee for the senior center for two years. I am also familiar with the community development authority, plan commission, board of public works and finance committee roles.
The primary election for the District 3 seat was divided by the debate on development projects, specifically the Blues Factory project. What would you like to see going forward with these types of projects in the city?
Becker: I think that the city has handled The Blues Factory and other development projects responsibly and judiciously. I believe the city should continue to do what it has done. City government has engaged the public on these projects and has moved forward with them in a deliberate and conscientious manner.
Sigwart: I would like to see much more discussion on the floor of the council meetings. In the past, I have asked the aldermen to hold “listening sessions” in their districts whenever a major development is proposed. It is important to “reach out to your constituents” to gather input early in the review process, not at the plan commission or council meetings when a decision is imminent.
What other other topics and issues would you like to see the council address in the city?
Becker: I’d like to see the council continue to address development in the downtown and marina district, as well as the city-owned 44 acres south of WE Energies. The city should also continue to keep taxes down while maintaining and growing city services. I’d like the city to continue to be aggressive on addressing streets in need of repair and replacement. I want the city to continue attracting more commercial, retail and manufacturing businesses in order to help grow the tax base.
Sigwart: The city has slighted long-range planning in recent years. I would like to see the city step back and expend energy and money to develop a “long-term vision” for what the majority of the residents (through representation by their aldermen) would like to see. The development of Coal Dock Park and planning for a multi-generational community center should be given a higher priority.
Address: 916 N. Grant St.
Political history: Ozaukee County supervisor since 2004, alderman district 7, city of Port Washington since 2009. Current council president for city of Port Washington
Phone number: 262-284-6043
Address: 230 West Theis St.
Political history: Director of Public Works (six years)
Phone number: 920-946-0215