Elections this coming April in Franklin will put on the ballot aldermen from districts 3, 4, and 6 as well as office of the mayor. My district's alderman, Kristen Wilhelm, has decided to run again for the seat.
This is good news: As a resident of the 3rd District -- as well as a volunteer on various city committees and commissions -- I can say without hesitation that her energy and efforts have resulted in positive change for Franklin. And, as an attendee at various common council meetings, I can also say that she has changed for the better the character of what was once an insular "old boys club."
Perhaps the best endorsement for Ms. Wilhelm is the fact that, at the beginning of her term, a few of the "old guard" aldermen had been observed expressing frustration that she'd "slowed" certain meetings by asking questions and seeking clear explanations. You only have to see that once to realize that her presence has required complacent members to step up their game -- AND made them put away the rubber stamp.
On a personal note, Alderman Wilhelm worked with me to write a successful Safe Routes to School grant for the city, was instrumental in getting the grant that made the sidewalk on 51st Street possible, and helped make our Walking Workshop a huge success. She makes sure the residents of the 3rd District are the most well-informed in the city via regular email updates and notices.
Let me put this in bold, because I mean this emphatically: Kristen Wilhelm's hard work, creativity, attention to detail, preparation and accessibility has, without a doubt, raised the bar for the entire common council. We are lucky to have her working on behalf of the city, and fortunate that she is a glutton for punishment and has decided to continue.
So, yes, this is an endorsement.
I've pasted below her candidacy announcement.
December 22, 2010
I am officially announcing my candidacy for 3rd District Alderman this spring. It has been a privilege to represent you and serve the city of Franklin.
Since 2008, I have worked hard to represent you and be responsive to your needs in a timely manner. By informing and connecting people to city government, a stronger voice on city decisions has been achieved and this has strengthened our sense of community. On that topic, I’ve endeavored to support local businesses and make you aware of issues and events as often as possible.
It is not easy making progress given the pace of government. There is more to accomplish, including finishing several tasks requested by constituents that are in process. I fully intend to continue my tenacity to bring the results you expect and that best serve our city.
Looking to the future, I’ll continue to provide Real Representation, maintain Effective Communication, create more Process Transparency, and remain Accountable to you!
• Continuing to engage in meaningful dialogue.
• Being available to hear your concerns.
• Following through on issues that matter to you.
• Getting the word out to as many of you as possible in these busy and trying times.
I ask for your support so that I may continue representing you as your Alderman in this great community!
Best Wishes for the Holidays!
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Authorized by Kristen Wilhelm, Delene Hanson Treasurer