I have lived in the Falls since 1968. My great-great grandfather was one of the village founders. I have served the community in multiple ways: Firefighter, various boards and commissions and for many years was president of the Falls Cable Access Corp. Currently I own, and am active in, a restaurant equipment manufacturing company.
PEEKING BACK INTO HISTORY
from the files of the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
The tales of Jefferson Davis
Published: April 5, 2004
For Jefferson Davis, it's all about spin. The Menomonee Falls village president doesn't like the way his decisions and actions have been reported in the press, so he's come up with a typical Davis response: Hire a public relations consultant -- presumably with taxpayer money -- to make Davis look better. "Maybe then the Journal Sentinel will print some good articles about Menomonee Falls instead of the stuff that we've been reading about for the last two or three months," Davis said in a recent speech at a fund-raiser billed as a report on the state of the village. "I'm tired of that stuff; I'm tired of our community being trashed."
Davis is right when he says there has been a fair amount of negative press of late, but he's wrong about the subject. The articles haven't been about Menomonee Falls; they've been about Jefferson Davis. When this newspaper reports that village employees have accused the village president of harassment, that's about Davis. When it reports that Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher cited at least four and possibly eight serious violations of campaign finance laws by Davis, that's about Davis. When it reports that Davis was delinquent in paying his 2002 property taxes, that's about Davis. When it reports that a Journal Sentinel reporter was barred from a Davis fund-raiser that should have been open to the non-paying public, that's about Davis. And when it reports that Menomonee Falls has become polarized and politicized during Davis' short tenure as village president, that, too, is about Davis.
Davis would cloak himself in the aura of village president to make people think the media are trashing the village. But no one should be fooled. Every so-called negative article has been about the way Davis conducts himself and the village's business. And rather than consider that he may on occasion be wrong, Davis would prefer to hire a public relations consultant, apparently at public expense, to spin things his way and make all the bad news go away. In his speech at that fund-raiser, Davis made several references to the Journal Sentinel and said he was praying for its reporters. To paraphrase James Pepelnjak, a Journal Sentinel attorney who has filed a complaint about the meeting, we certainly appreciate anyone's prayers, but in this case we'd prefer access -- and a village president who would conduct himself according to the values and standards of what is and has always been a fine community.
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