Jefferson Davis is a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls. He is the proud parent of two wonderful boys. He enjoys singing, volunteering, reading, gardening, politics, antiques, history, guitar, violin, piano, officiating, helping neighbors and yard work. He served as Village President of Menomonee Falls from 2003-05. He is a member of Northbrook Church and serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center. He is an independent registered representative practicing in the areas of insurance, investments and retirement.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have asked for this time and space from The Vanguard to submit a communication that I received regarding the Village President's Race in Menomonee Falls.
I have attended Voter VIP Meetings hosted by Jefferson E. Davis. These meetings are eye opening and extremely informative. Too bad the press won't attend or report on them.
One of the many subjects that we were allowed to ask questions about without any time limits or editing was the questionable practices of Village Board Members and their dealings with business people, citizens and non-profit organizations some of which are in this posting.
If any of this stuff is true, which it appears to be after looking at the Village documents presented at the Voter VIP Meetings with the press present, then the voters of Menomonee Falls need to know this before the election so they can make an informed decision as to who it is that they believe will end this type of behavior by Board Members and stop the extortion of businesses for real estate, cash, bartering, referrals, campaign contributions or political favors in exchange for Board Member votes.
I would also hope that law enforcement officials would take a look at this stuff as well which is their duty under a sworn oath of office.
Yes, I too have information from State Election Officials that permit me to be a guest blogger for this posting. I too, hope the Village Clerk will not continue filing complaints, but will use the taxpayer's time, money and resources for better purposes than to monitor this innocent blog.
Please contact your Village Board to let them know you want this type of behavior to stop immediately and that you support a complete and thorough ethical review of these dealings at the following Village Board contact link (http://www.menomonee-falls.org/index.asp?nid=292).
Randy Newman is the only Village Board Member that does not list a phone number on the Village Website. He can only be contacted through email.
Menomonee Falls Village President Candidate Jefferson E. Davis Calls for Ethical Review of Board Member Dealings
Menomonee Falls - Village President Candidate Jefferson E. Davis today called for an "ethical review" of current and past dealings with Village Board Members involving many businessmen, real estate transactions, taxpayer's money, personal gain, non-profit organization preferred treatment, Board votes, cash, political favors and has asked his opponent to join him in asking for the review.
Davis is running for the Village President Open Seat in Menomonee Falls as the current office holder is stepping down after 4 years. His opponent is Trustee Randy Newman. The Village President Election is Tuesday, April 7th.
In asking for the review Davis said,
"It has been known for quite some time that questionable and perhaps illegal transactions were going on because of actions by Village Board Members at the expense of good business people and taxpayers in Menomonee Falls.
It is unfortunate that this apparent type of behavior by public officials has been tolerated for so long often times costing the taxpayers and business people for what appears to be the benefit of just a few people while my opponent has been on the Village Board since 2005.
Business people should not have to concern themselves with having to "play the game" in order to get their projects approved by the Village Board in exchange for real estate, cash or political favors.
Business proposals in reality, should almost be nameless and faceless in order to be approved by the Village Board while being based on their merit and if it is the right thing to do for Menomonee Falls, not for the benefit of a few.
When things like this become known, the Village President, as a leader, has the obligation of their sworn oath of office to legally do something about these types of things and not just look the other way or even be part of them.
Business people have become fearful of not getting their proposals approved by the Village Board if they don't "play the game". That is wrong, probably illegal, and it will immediately stop on April 8th if I am fortunate enough to be elected Village President."
In making the announcement, Davis cited just a few of the following examples of what has been brought to his attention by various business people and individuals since 2003:
Redmond Construction purchased a private residence in 2002 at the request of former Village President Joe Greco in order to get their proposal for Cousin Subs approved by the Planning Commission, which included current Village President Rick Rechlicz at the time, and Village Board. The "deal" was later nixed by Greco because another neighbor complained and a trustee candidate appeared to object because of his restaurant being located there. Redmond was left with a private residence they did not want and later sold the home after Greco made sure Cousin's would not build their store at Silver Spring and Pilgrim Roads. The CEO for Cousin's sent Greco a very "unpleasant" letter in 2003 sharing their frustration about their experience with him and the Village.
Marcus Theaters had to sell their empty theater on Main Street to Falls Fest for $250,000, which was $700,000 under the assessed value, in 2003 in order to get 4 new movie screens approved by the Village Board at their new location on the Village's Northwest Side. Falls Fest is partially made up of Trustees Jeff Steliga, Jim Jeskewitz and former Village President Bob Steliga. Former Village President Joe Greco was also affiliated with the organization. Marcus turned down an accepted offer to purchase of $565,000 with check in hand from the shopping mall owner next to the theater at or about the same time they were asking for their expansion in 2002. Falls Fest is nearly without cash because of this transaction.
The Metcalfe Estate had their property next to Village Hall illegally delineated by the Village in the late '90's to prevent them from building on it because Mr. Metcalfe was not in "good favor" with the Village for 15 years. The Village wanted the property for free. Mr. Metcalfe had to hire his attorney to meet with SEWRPC to get the illegal act reversed in 2004 in order to build on his property. The project is still not completed.
Falls Fest, a non-profit organization made up of Trustees Jeskewitz, Steliga and former Village Presidents Greco and Steliga, has received over $600,000 in cash and real estate since the mid '90's from the taxpayers through the Village Board, which is or has been made up of the same people in Falls Fest. Falls Fest, by Village Board Resolution #1076-94 and several newspaper articles from early 1994, was required to repay the taxpayers and to date have not repaid any of the $600,000. Falls Fest also receives between $15,000 - $20,000 a year from the Chamber for rent, which is given to the Chamber by the taxpayers through the Village Board, which is made up of some of the same people on the Falls Fest Board. Trustees Steliga and Jeskewitz along with former Village Presidents Greco and Steliga are strong backers of Trustee Randy Newman for Village President.
Village President Dick Rechlicz, who has endorsed Trustee Randy Newman for Village President, has been using the Office of Village President since 2005 to apparently benefit himself and his law practice by "strongly suggesting" that business people have to use him as their attorney in order to get their proposals approved by the Village Board in exchange for bartering services, cash, campaign contributions or referrals. The partial list of business people include Don Arenson, JBJ Properties, Horizon Development and Sign-a-Rama. This practice is strictly prohibited by State Law.
Trustee Mike McDonald and former Municipal Judge Mike Hurt repeatedly asked a businessman for cash in exchange for votes if he wanted to get his highly visible and languishing proposal approved by the Village Board. The proposal has been on the books since at least 2005 and has been stymied for almost 5 years because apparently the businessperson wouldn't "play the game" with Trustee McDonald, but unfortunately gave the judge a lot of money for the judge's promise to get his proposal approved by the Village Board. The judge had to resign from the bench in 2006 because he was repeatedly caught by the disciplinary division of the Wisconsin Supreme Court for not disclosing his client list to the law firm he represented and for taking cash from clients without running it through the law firm. Trustee McDonald is a strong backer of Trustee Newman for Village President.
The IRS and Wisconsin Attorney General's Office have cited Falls Cable Access, which is under the purview of the Village Board by ordinance, since 2007 for not filing federal income tax returns on over $1 million in income and for violating Open Meeting and Public Records Law based on a 2008 Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling. Cable Access affiliates are supporters of Trustee Randy Newman for Village President.
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) cited the Village Clerk's Office on numerous State Election Law matters in 2008 for misapplying the law to Village Board Elections. The Village Clerk serves at the pleasure of the Village Board.
Davis concluded by saying,
"I sincerely hope my opponent will join me in asking for this review as we work toward having an open, honest and ethical government in Menomonee Falls.
Unfortunately, he is being supported by the same people who have apparently been involved in these questionable practices for some time now.
No matter who wins the election, the good people of Menomonee Falls at least deserve an ethical Village Board to represent them and their concerns when it comes to good government.
With so much news coverage of ethical and illegal lapses for so many government officials recently, let's keep government in Menomonee Falls clean to benefit the community at large and not just for the benefit of a few people."
March 11, 2009