BROOKFIELD – As a longtime village official, Kit Ketchmark believes Brookfield has been moving in the right direction.
The leadership provided by former Village President Michael Garvey and members of the Village Board have left Brookfield in good shape fiscally, Ketchmark said. This has allowed them to proceed with important projects that will benefit the community, he said.
This foundation will serve Ketchmark well. After serving as a trustee for 10 years, he took the oath of office May 13 as village president.
“I wanted to continue on with what we had started, what I had worked on as a member of the board,” Ketchmark said when asked what prompted him to run for village president this year. “The village is in stable condition, and I wanted to see that continue.”
According to a village ordinance, individuals are prohibited from holding elective office in Brookfield for more than two consecutive terms. However, they may serve in the same position for multiple two-year terms as long as those tenures are not consecutive.
Ketchmark, for example, was first elected to the Brookfield Village Board in 2001. He served until 2009 and was off the board for two years. Re-elected in 2011, Ketchmark was in the middle of his third term.
Previously elected as a trustee, Garvey was unable to run for village president this year because he had served two consecutive terms. So he ran for re-election as a member of the Village Board.
Trustees Cathy Colgrass-Edwards and Michael Towner as well as Village Clerk Brigid Weber also served their two consecutive terms and could not run for re-election to their seats. Colgrass-Edwards ran unopposed as village clerk while Towner ran against Ketchmark and Bill Russ for village president.
The PEP Party slate of Ketchmark, Colgrass-Edwards, Garvey, Nicole Gilhooley and incumbent Trustee Brian Oberhauser swept the April 9 consolidated election. The PEP Party has won every municipal election in Brookfield since 2005. Towner, who was previously affiliated with the PEP Party, ran for village president as an independent when Ketchmark was slated to run this year instead of him.
With the election behind them, village officials can focus on issues such as Brookfield’s roadways and enhancing the business community, Ketchmark said.
“We have a long-term infrastructure plan. There are a lot of streets that need attention,” Ketchmark said. “Staff members put together a street survey, which lists the condition of our streets. This way we can prioritize what we need do to first.”
Officials are working on a marketing strategy to entice developers to come to Brookfield, Ketchmark said. This plan will show what the village has to offer and should spur economic development, he said.
“One goal is to make Ogden Avenue the sales tax generator that it can be,” Ketchmark said. “I’m certainly very optimistic about the village’s future. Much of what we’ve been doing these last few years will help us move forward.”