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Skinner, Vitale square off again for District 8 seat

March 26, 2013

Emanuele Vitale misses being an alderman.

Alderman Vance Skinner, however, feels like he is just getting started after winning the District 8 aldermanic seat in 2010.

Skinner defeated Vitale that year and will face him once again Tuesday in one of two districts in the city that will see a rematch from three years ago.

Will Vitale, who had served on the Common Council for 18 years before Skinner upended him, recapture the voters?

Or will Skinner, a new Waukesha business owner, continue to lead the district that features part of Carroll University on the west side along with STEM Academy's Randall Campus, Catholic Memorial High School and Buchner Park in the central part and Fire Station No. 2 on the far east side?

We asked each candidate questions leading up to next week's election.

Vance Skinner

Why should you be re-elected to the council?

I've been proactive from Day 1 with a newsletter that continues to grow in distribution, keeping constituents informed. I'm responsive and readily available, often responding the same day. I'm educated on the issues and complexities. I'm consistent with supporting the highest level of service at the most sensible cost with an eye for continual improvement. I understand budgeting given my role as an operations manager and local business owner. My skills have given me a unique ability to look for operational opportunities and service efficiencies.

What will be your main goals if you're re-elected?

First and foremost is ensuring our current effort to secure a long term sustainable water supply via the Great Lakes and Oak Creek is finalized. This is essential to the future success of our community and mitigating the health risks we now face. Additionally, I would like to continue to build on the proactive work I started three years ago. I enjoy collaborating on the issues impacting ourneighborhoods such as crime, parking and other items such as the spring neighborhood cleanup, which was started in partnership with Carroll University.

How have you contributed to the council?

An effective consensus builder, while having the ability to debate in a constructive and professional manner. I apply myself and do the due diligence needed to understand complex issues and how this applies now and in the future. I've developed trusted relationships with my peers at the council and on the various committees I serve and chair.

How have you addressed any issues with Carroll University?

I've fostered a partnership with Carroll University uponbeing elected given the challenges before my election. Over the past three years, we've worked to establish better communication on safety and parking issues among other things. The Waukesha Police Department and Carroll Campus Safety are now directly connected to one another and work collaboratively on various matters throughout the larger neighborhood.

You are on the downtown BID Board. What are your thoughts on downtown?

We have the longest tenured BID in the state. It has been and remains instrumental in many of the successes that have occurred in the heart of our community. I advocate for the BID each and every day. Without the BID, significant challenges will occur. However, the downtown business owners (tax payers) and merchants (pay rent that goes toward taxes) will determine its fate, not the council. The council, including me should continue to advocate for its existence as well as unique importance. If dissolved, volunteer organizations may fill some of the void.

Emanuele Vitale

Why do you want the aldermanic seat again?

I miss helping my constituents and I did a lot of that when I was alderman. I have a lot of energy and I think I can do a good job of taking care of my constituents. I know my district quite well and they know me. I have done so many things in my 18 years to protect my constituents and to help them. I was veryproactive. I took care of a lot of complaints from my constituents and I would go right to their home and discuss it with them.

Specifically, though, what would be your top goal?

My No. 1 goal right now is the water situation. I want to make sure the city is well represented when it deals with Oak Creek. And we as residents of Waukesha will have good water for many years to come. I was not in favor of dealing with the City of Milwaukee. Their demands on Waukesha was excessive and if we would have gone with Milwaukee the city would have lost its sovereignty.

Why should you get voted back on the council?

I did a lot of great things when I was on the council. We had quite a few problems with alcoholics, especially in Frame Park. That was all corrected as I spearheaded the denying of alcohol in all city parks unless you had a permit. I was always an active alderman. I always participated in the debates. I always enjoyed the debating part. I was very proud I very seldom missed a meeting and I would continue to do that if elected. I want to make sure people in my district are well protected as their best interests are concerned as well as the city as a whole.

Other issues that need to be addressed?

The downtown Business Improvement District. I am not in favor of dissolving the BID. We should keep it. The BID is great for downtown. The whole purpose of the BID was to enhance their businesses. I was always in favor of that because every city should have a viable downtown and for a while our downtown wasn't viable. It was all one-way streets. It was a nightmare.

Other items on your radar if you got elected?

We have a serious epidemic in Waukesha: speeding. I'm on Broadway in the mornings and it's horrible. I want to work with the Police Department on this if I get elected to see if (we) can have more radar. This is going on all over the city, not just my area. It's terrible and I would like to see that corrected. I would like to see more police radar there. I know police can't be everywhere, but the problem is we don't have enough radar.

Vance Skinner

Age: 43

Address: 200 McCall St.

Years of residency in the district: 10 years

Occupation: IT operations manager

Education: Attended Carroll University, UW-Milwaukee graduate (urban planning studies)

Previous political experience or other related experience: Alderman in District 8 since 2010, Planning Commission, IT Advisory Chair, Human Resources Committee, Carroll University Presidents Advisory Council and Landmarks Commission

Military experience: None

Family: Spouse of 13 years, daughters attending Waukesha STEM Academy, dogs Luna and Roxie and extended family at St Luke's

Contact information (phone number, email): (262) 701-7105, vanceskinner@gmail.com, aldermanskinner.com

Emanuele Vitale

Age: 77

Address: 807 E. Broadway

Years of residency in the district: 65

Occupation: Retired senior design draftsman

Education: Waukesha High School, Real Estate School, broker license

Previous political experience or other related experience: Served 18 years on the Common Council (1992-2010)

Military experience: Navy for two years

Family: Wife, Carrie, three adult sons

Contact information: (262) 544-5850, (262) 617-2158; aldermanv@aol.com

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