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Mayoral race gets early start in Glendale

Kennedy, Wiese have filed papers to run in April 2015

Aug. 15, 2014

Glendale — It may only be August, but two candidates have already thrown their hats into the ring for the mayoral election in April.

The Glendale Clerk's Office has received declarations of candidacy from Fourth District Alderman Dick Wiese and Bryan Kennedy, who serves on the Glendale-River Hills School Board and the village's Fourth of July Committee.

Glendale has not held a mayoral election since former mayor Jerome Tepper resigned in February to be with his family in Virginia. Since Tepper's resignation, Common Council President JoAnn Shaw has served as acting mayor. The council recently decided to have Shaw continue in that role until April, when Tepper's term would have ended.

If no other candidates submit candidacy papers, Wiese and Kennedy will face off in a mayoral election on April 7. If more candidates enter the race, a primary election will have to be held on Feb. 17 to narrow the field down to two candidates, said Glendale Clerk Susanne Hanaman.

Although Wiese and Kennedy have both submitted their declarations of candidacy, they will not be able to start circulating nomination papers until December. Any candidates who want to appear on the spring 2015 ballot must submit their declaration of candidacy and nomination papers by Jan. 6.

Prior to being elected to the board, Wiese said he worked with a neighborhood group to research and advocate an ordinance requiring enhanced safety standards for residential care centers. After being appointed to the board in 2007 and elected in 2008, Wiese said he has worked with the Music in the Glen committee to decide to build a new outdoor stage, which would be located at a proposed sports complex on Bender Road. Wiese said he also facilitated the discussion about the future sports complex at Bender Road by making direct contact with former superintendent Rick Monroe.

In the future, Wiese said he would like to build upon the work the Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau has accomplished by promoting additional attractions, such as a convention center associated with one of the hotels. Wiese also said he would also like to see Glendale develop a greater sense of community by incorporating neighborhoods, businesses and community organizations in a future dialogue.

Kennedy, who is serving his eighth year on the Glendale-River Hills School Board, has been active in the community through the school district and volunteering in the community.

Kennedy was asked by Tepper in 2013 to revive Fourth of July celebrations in Glendale. Kennedy said he pulled together a group of eight to 10 people to organize a parade, musical acts, horses, clowns and other entertainment last year. This year, the festival committee of about 20 people organized a daylong event from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. that featured parades, games and live music.

Tepper has endorsed Kennedy in the mayoral election, as has his fellow School Board member Andrew Franklin and state Rep. Mandela Barnes.

If elected, Kennedy said he would strive to operate city government in a fiscally-responsible manner and promote a friendly but responsible business environment. He said the Fourth of July Committee's ability to raise $10,000 from local businesses is a testament to his ability to work with business leaders in the community.

Kennedy also said he doesn't believe businesses should be able to have their wishes met at the expense of local residents. He said the City Council's recent dialogue about a housing development at the former Prange's Greenhouse site is an example of how local residents were not involved in the conversation.

"We need to make sure that when there are developments in the city we are listening to city residents and not ramming things down people's throats," he said. "We need to listen to people, address their concerns and make sure the solution meets a business' needs as well as residents' concerns. It's just a matter of listening to people."

Kennedy has served as the state president of the American Federation of Teachers from 2007 to 2013 and currently serves on the executive committee of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He is currently the director of the Milwaukee Center for Independence.

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