Mayoral race will go to primary

District 1 seat also generates interest

Jan. 9, 2008

The race to lead St. Francis is under way. A primary will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19, for the positions of mayor and 1st District alderman.

James Czerwinski and David Sopolinski are challenging incumbent Al Richards as he vies for his second four-year term as mayor.

Meanwhile, Sue Bostedt and Steven Wattawa are opposing incumbent Dennis Lillrose for the 1st District seat.

Incumbents for 2nd and 3rd district seats on the Common Council, the municipal judge seat and one School Board seat are running unopposed in the general election Tuesday, April 1.

Donald Brickner is running for 2nd District alderman and Debbie Fliss is running for 3rd district alderwoman.

Council members serve four-year terms.

Peter Hemmer is seeking re-election as municipal judge, a two-year-term, and Robert Boknevitz is seeking a third three-year School Board term.

The annual salaries for the elected positions are: mayor (part-time), $8,174.66; Common Council, $5,129, municipal judge (part-time), $6,067; School Board, $2,400.

Mayoral race

Czerwinski said he is running to make a positive change in the city and make it more aesthetically pleasing.

"There's things I haven't seen done since I moved in the community 10 years ago that I think could be done with little money and some creativity," he said.

The fiscally conservative businessman wants to see a reduction in the number of used car lots, the replacement of single lights along city roads, and more green space and trees on Kinnickinnic Avenue.

"I'm a very honest and principled person, and that's why I'm running," he said. "I'm looking to make a positive difference without putting the tax load on the community."

Richards has served as mayor since 2004. He said he is in the race to continue implementing developments outlined in the city's smart growth plan.

"The blueprint is put together," he said. "Now, it's just a matter of finishing it."

Richards said plans in the city's tax-incremental finance district are laid out, and the infrastructure for Howard, Packard and Sivyer avenues has been moving forward, but the national economy has been preventing developments from moving forward.

If re-elected, Richards said he will ensure St. Francis will become a better place to live and raise families.

Sopolinski's goals for the city include drafting a well-balanced budget that offers the best services possible.

"I want to promote business and industry, but not at the cost of the environment," he said.

If elected, Sopolinski said he wants to see construction "stay on track."

District 1 council race

Bostedt touts her involvement in the community.

"Just give me a call, and I'm there," she said.

If elected, she said she will work to bring more single-family homes to St. Francis rather than condominium developments.

Lillrose said planning for the city's TIF district has been a slow process, and he hopes to see it come to life in the near future.

If re-elected, he said he will make it a priority to speed up proposed developments in the TIF district.

Wattawa did not respond to interview requests by South Shore NOW's deadline.

Chantel Balzell can be reached at or (262) 446-6602.

Mayoral race

WHO: James Czerwinski

AGE: 45

ADDRESS: 2641 E. Whittaker Ave.

EDUCATION: master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

JOB: owner of R.J. Builders

CONTACT: (414) 769-1328

WHO: Al Richards (i)

AGE: 65

ADDRESS: 4103 S. Lipton Ave.

EDUCATION: master's degree from UWM

JOB: president and chief executive officer of Engelsberg-Strem

CONTACT: (414) 744-6552

WHO: David C. Sopolinski

AGE: 62

ADDRESS: 3916 S. Kirkwood Ave.

EDUCATION: diploma from Bay View High School

JOB: operations and dispatch supervisor for Baldwin Transfer

CONTACT: (414) 481-5878

District 1 council race

WHO: Sue Bostedt

AGE: 46

ADDRESS: 2105 E. LeRoy Ave.

EDUCATION: associate degree from Milwaukee Area Technical College

JOB: paralegal at Krawczyk, Duginski & Rohr

CONTACT: (414) 481-6998

WHO: Dennis V. Lillrose (i)

AGE: 57

ADDRESS: 1201 E. Norwich Ave.

EDUCATION: diploma from Washington High School

JOB: director of security for Silverhawk Investigations

CONTACT: (414) 331-5727

WHO: Steven D. Wattawa

AGE: 51

ADDRESS: 4343 S. Iowa Ave.

CONTACT: (414) 481-7033

District 2 council race

WHO: Donald Brickner (i)

AGE: 46

ADDRESS: 2738 E. Denton Ave.

CONTACT: (414) 482-0514

District 3 council race

WHO: Debbie J. Fliss (i)

AGE: 51

ADDRESS: 3800 S. Hill Place

CONTACT: (414) 481-6943

Municipal judge race

WHO: Peter C. Hemmer (i)

AGE: 52

ADDRESS: 2828 E. Koenig Ave.

CONTACT: (414) 769-8686

School Board race

WHO: Robert Boknevitz (i)

AGE: 43

ADDRESS: 4152 Lipton Ave.

CONTACT: (414) 481-8521

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