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Candidates both look for ways to draw businesses to city

Adams, Anderson squaring off April 3 for council seat

Feb. 29, 2012

Mequon - Incumbent Pam Adams thinks her leadership skills will help move the city in a direction desired by its residents and business owners. Her challenger for the District 8 seat on the Common Council, Nancy Anderson, believes in "sensible growth" and says she is the person who can help move toward that goal. The two square off in the April 3 election for the council seat.

Anderson has been a volunteer in various organizations during her 22 years in the city, most recently serving as co-chairman of the Community Conversation Task Force. Adams grew up in Mequon, attended its schools and has served on the council since 1994.

Those experiences have led them to remarkably similar places.

"I feel we can move forward without changing our quality and allure," Anderson said. She would take a more aggressive approach to fill empty businesses and storefronts.

"We should find out what the residents want in a vacant place like the empty Pick 'n Save and then see if we can find that business," Anderson said. "I want to promote business but have it be the kind of business Mequon people would want to use and support."

Adams is a member of the Economic Development Board which is looking at how other communities have spurred development. She wants to keep current businesses strong while positioning the city to bring in new business as the economy turns around.

The Community Conversation Task Force report recommended the city look at developing housing that would appeal to families with children, which would help declining enrollment in the Mequon-Thiensville School.

Resident survey needed

Noting that communitywide surveys have been effective in the past in determining the residents viewpoints, Adams said it's time for another survey to validate - or not - some of the task force recommendations.

"Up until now the housing policy has reflected what we heard from residents on the surveys," she said. "It there is a desire for change I would support that as long as it would be high quality. It would need to be introduced in a slow, balanced approach."

Anderson is concerned that voters may associate her personal beliefs with those of the task force recommendations.

Her role was that of a facilitator, she said, helping move groups along in their work. For instance, on the issue of creating more family-friendly housing, she thinks the city needs some so families won't skip Mequon and move north or west, to Grafton or Germantown.

Analytical thinker

"I am a conservative CPA," Anderson said. "I don't do radical changes. I am an analyzer and logical thinker and might favor one subdivision that is more dense but not many of them all over the city."

She has a perspective from her years as a volunteer in the schools but she said she is a good listener and a quick learner.

"I do have the perspective from the schools but we need to work with the community," she said. "Only 20 percent of the residents have kids in (public) school."

Adams said she would continue to work to maintain low taxes. City taxes dropped slightly this year even as the council found ways to increase its fund balance and keep its bond rating strong, following a warning from Moody's several years ago.

In addition to the development and housing, Adams said she would use her background in city government to continue to work on drainage issues in the district and the continued emphasis on the maintenance of infrastructure such as roads and sewers.

Adams has been undergoing chemotherapy after a diagnosis of cancer and surgery in December. She has been able to continue her duties for the city and hopes to get a clean bill of health by the summer.

Adams and Anderson will join District 7 candidate John Nerbun and District 6 candidate John Hawkins at an Alderman Forum at the Donges Bay School PTO meeting at 6:30 p.m. March 21. Nerbun and Hawkins are running uncontested for their seats.

Pam Adams (i)

AGE:53

ADDRESS: 10102 N Spruce Lane

FAMILY: divorced, three sons (two surviving)

EDUCATION: UW-Madison, BS degree in finance and marketing

JOB: CME Resources, marketing program

PREVIOUS ELECTED EXPERIENCE: served continuously since first elected in 1994

Nancy Anderson

AGE:52

ADDRESS: 119 W. Ravine Court

FAMILY: married, three children

EDUCATION: BA in Accounting, University of Iowa, Iowa City

JOB: worked in public accounting, most recently at Von Briesen and Roper law firm in Mequon; currently not working

PREVIOUS ELECTED EXPERIENCE: none

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