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PRESS RELEASE: 1-31-18 – CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls
Mayor’s Complete Answers as provided to South NOW Reporter’s questions
(article appeared In South Now 1-31-2018, by Eric Hanley)
Mayor CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls,
Information direct at www.news4stfrancis.com Home Phone: 414-255-8555
Thanks again for reaching out.
Here are my answers to your questions:
-How does it make you feel that this many residents signed a recall petition? Why do you think they did?
Citizens in Wisconsin have the right to recall those they elect. Some that signed the petition are interested in having another opportunity to assess my qualifications and leadership for the job as their Mayor. Others signed because of things they were told about me by the group of circulators. I can’t control the political opinions that are out there to discredit me. All I know as I have done a good job for St. Francis. Our City is moving forward.
-Do you have anything you’d like to say to the residents (both those that signed and those that didn’t)?
I thank the taxpayers who united for our positive future against negativity and misleading political opinions spread in the community. I hope those that signed the petition realize the woman who started the petition never contacted me with any concerns. She told a lot of people how unprofessional she thought I was, however she herself did not have the professional courtesy to contact me. The group of people who circulated the petition connected their personal vendettas with the duties and function of the Mayor which has created a disconnect with some citizens. The petition showed there are more people who I need to reach out to so they find out really who I am and what I stand for. The Mayor, by State Statute 62, is charged to see that “all officers and employees of the City discharge their duties” and “shall be the Chief Executive Officer”. Those who know me know I ask tough questions to get answers needed to respond to citizen concerns and take action on their behalf.
–You’d mentioned “special interests” in the past, what else do you think led to this happening?
The interests out there circulating this petition promoted personal agendas, vendettas and political opinion that targeted me as Mayor and insinuated a malfunctioning City government. Our City is functioning as citizens expect, and at a high level, as we address the challenges that all municipalities face in Milwaukee County. Our taxes went down and services were maintained at a high level. My concern with private and personal interests is that when it comes to St. Francis the focus should be the common good and celebrating all that is good in our community as the number one priority, not personalities, political and private agendas. St. Francis is a community of good hard working people who want our City’s best foot forward. I spend the majority of my Mayor’s stipend of $11,000 doing what I can to provide recognition and promotion to St. Francis as where my heart remains. My dad Delbert was a hard working community minded guy that raised me with Catholic values to give back and pay it forward.
-Has this recall petition changed your perspective or approach to your position as mayor?
My approach has been and still is to serve the people not the political environment. I am a leader who leads to get resolution by collaboration and citizen input. I remain an independent thinker that steps up to the job of Mayor for St. Francis and takes responsibility for accountability and progress and not “status quo” or business as usual. There will always be naysayers critical of a leader with this stance. However in the case of Facebook misinformation in St. Francis, “anything you say can and will be used against you” and I expect everything from this interview when posted on social media will be twisted, that is a shame for our community and its image. My question is? How will we advance our City when one sided information is consistently projected on social media without balance.
-You said in a robo call there are “no problems” and the “innuendos and negativity” can be worked out — how do you propose that happen/how does the city move forward?
I always want to assure our good people of St. Francis that our City is functioning as it should and we are adapting to the environment of change around us so we are not left behind. If we all place “citizens first” as a principal of doing our jobs our personal opinions and issues of political disagreement will be left behind as secondary.
–IF PETITION SUCCESSFUL: Any thoughts on facing Ald. Tutaj for the mayor seat?
There are a lot of expectations of a Mayor and I am a servant leader and always want to overcommunicate to get more citizen input, and Council members over the years have also started to seek to understand and to be understood. In 2017 we provided more opportunities for citizen input than we have at anytime in the past, with the exception of the open house events we held leading to the construction of the new Civic Center. This petition effort oddity was that a seated Alderman, Ken Tutaj, put in the lion’s share of the effort. The petition did not focus on public interests or needs. If that same effort would have been put into citizen input toward our City goals, so much could have been accomplished. Citizens are frustrated about lack of development on the triangle and the energy that has been expended could have been directed toward development, marketing, and addressing citizens actual frustrations. Alderman have as much opportunity as the Mayor to make a difference!
Alderman Ken Tutaj’s name appeared as the circulator on over 63 sheets of the petition. I believe he put his personal agenda above public interest. I hope citizens come to understand that Alderman Tutaj did not let me know his disagreements and political opinions of me prior to this petition. As a Council it is our duty and obligation to get the work of the City done and that means working to solve our differences. Elected officials who solve political disagreements civilly toward collaboration do good work for the City. This is the type of collaboration I strive for as Mayor and is what citizens deserve and expect.
Right now, work is being done together in the public interest and differences are being resolved professionally. I look forward to working hard toward our 2018 goals and getting to know new candidates participating in campaigns for Alderman. Our Council along with myself as Mayor, recently voted January 2nd to collaborate as a group on the “State of the City” presentation outlining our goals for 2018.
-Any final comments?
I have worked tirelessly to report and address the needs of the citizens and taxpayers of St. Francis and be accountable for results. Besides all the new events, awards, connections and Ad Hoc advisory groups I have worked to create, I have taken the lead in the City mission and vision statement development with citizen input. I sought out new volunteers for our City Economic Development Committee who are bringing forward ideas to attract new business to St. Francis because citizens have asked for more retail shopping and businesses. As a Council we have brought forward the concerns of health and safety of our citizens by taking a hard look into Mid America Steel Drum; which I helped initiate to get on the Council agenda in November.
Our City is highly functioning and uses its resources wisely resulting in lower taxes in 2017. I have been a leader for financial accountability for our City reviewing contractual services and expenses, asking for detailed TIF(Tax Incremental Financing) Budgets and pointing out the need to implement the important recommendations of our independent auditor. We are moving forward under my leadership and getting things done and I invite anyone to contact me anytime for details or questions.
Not all personalities blend with each other, but I know as your Mayor through experience and a track record of positive citizen engagement for our City, that our political differences can be put aside to get things done to move St. Francis toward a positive future.
Thank you for asking these questions. I appreciated the opportunity to provide the answers to you.
Let me know if anything needs clarification or you have further questions. ( I am available 5p.m to 6:30p.m. today by phone)
Erik S. Hanley
South Now Municipal Reporter
Oak Creek | Franklin | South Milwaukee | Cudahy | St. Francis
firstname.lastname@example.org (best contact method)
262-446-6608 (desk – please leave voicemail)