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A decade ago I wouldn't have pictured myself writing anything good about our 4th District Alderman in Waukesha. Jim was my foe before becoming my friend, and that is why something should be said on his passing.
After his years of service in the U.S. Air Force and 32 years of service at G. E., Jim served 6 more years the citizens of Waukesha and the Fourth District where we live. I was the only one to oppose him on the spring 2001 ballot. Of course, he was reelected for three more years in office.
I don't want to get into why I ran. I didn't really have a problem with what I saw Jim doing. It was something I thought I'd like to try some day. I knew that day came when I mentioned it to someone then read a column in the Journal Sentinel by Laurel Walker a few minutes later mentioning the time frame for getting signatures and paperwork turned in for Waukesha alderperson. The article was a clear sign.
Jim wasn't the best alderman the city's ever had, but who was? He gave it his best from his own unique perspective. He was criticized for his views on Moor Downs when the land was needed for another county jail expansion and for the ordinance regarding alcohol permits in city parks. This district consists of a variety of families and individuals in all life stages. I didn't always see eye to eye with Jim, but also didn't have his perspective on limited income, retired folk like him either.
I got along well with Jim after his service to the city. He moved from the neighborhood, but stayed in the district he so cared about. It was only a few weeks ago I saw him last, didn't even know he was ill.
"The family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Berman and the Oncology nursing staff at Waukesha Memorial Hospital and a special thank you to anyone that donates blood since Jim was a regular recipient of everyone's kindness over the past year."
Jim is yet another reason I'm proud to be a regular blood donor.