Officials casual in filling CDA vacancies

Jan. 21, 2009

Two seats have long been vacant on the St. Francis Community Development Authority, but there’s no urgency to fill them, officials say.

“It’s not a huge rush,” said CDA President Bob Carr. “But it would be nice to get it done.”

Both seats have been vacant since 2007. They were occupied by Larry Burazin, a former mayor now deceased, and Craig Ellsworth, an architect who held the seat reserved for a “professional,” Mayor Al Richards said.

Richards, who is responsible for making appointments subject to Common Council confirmation, said he is looking for someone with experience in architecture and development to fill Ellsworth’s former position.

Someone with a technical or professional background is desired by the mayor to fill the seat formerly occupied by Burazin.

Richards said he hopes to fill the latter seat once a decision is made on the proposal to construct a Cardinal Stritch University campus at the Cousins Center, 3501 S. Lake Drive.

The CDA has “the exclusive power to proceed to carry on blight elimination, slum clearance and urban renewal projects,” according to a city ordinance. The committee can also issue bonds.

There currently are five members on the CDA, including council members Debbie Fliss and Ted Jarosh. City Administrator Ralph Voltner is also on the panel.

The city’s ordinance calls for seven members with backgrounds in urban renewal, community development and housing.

Carr, an engineer, said no one with a background in architecture, real estate or development has come forward to fill the seat that must be held by “a professional.”

Five residents — Ray Klug, Steven Wattawa, Terrence Junker, Richard Paradowski and Peter Bayerl — have expressed an interest in serving on the committee, Carr said.

Klug is a member of Friends of St. Francis Green Space. Junker is involved with the St. Francis School District’s PTO.

Both Paradowski and Bayerl are retired city workers. Wattawa, a member of the St. Francis Zoning Board of Appeals, served on the School Board from 2001 to 2003.

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

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