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Greenfield election filings spark interesting challenge

Voters will see at least one interesting race for aldermanic seat

Dec. 3, 2013

Greenfield — As the filing period begins for local city and school April elections, one interesting aldermanic race has already emerged in Greenfield.

There could be fireworks in the 2nd Aldermanic District as Greenfield School Board President Bruce Bailey challenges long-time alderman Tom Pietrowski for his Common Council seat.

The filing deadline for all candidates is 5 p.m. Jan. 7. City candidates will file at the City Hall, 7325 W. Forest Home Ave. School Board candidates will file at the Greenfield district office, 4850 S. 60th St., or at the Whitnall district office, 5000 S. 116th St., Greenfield.

Incumbents have until Dec. 27 to file notifications that they don't intend to seek re-election.

The spring election will be April 1 and a primary, if needed, would be Feb. 18.

City seats

Bailey is in his second three-year term on the School Board and has served the last three as its president. Pietrowski is in his fourth term on the Common Council has served as its president and will seek his fifth term.

"I'd like to try to city side," Bailey said.

He said his decision rests in mainly on his view that the Greenfield School District is now on the road to success.

"I think the district is in good hands now — I'm real positive about (its) future," Bailey said, noting the the district has new leadership and new programs that show promise.

But he acknowledges that running against a four-term incumbent is an uphill battle.

"Anytime you run against an incumbent, it's tough," Bailey said.

He ought to know because years ago he tried unsuccessfully to unseat Donald Almquist, who represented part of what is now the 2nd District before the redistricting of 2000.

Pietrowski said he is puzzled by Bailey's decision.

"I don't know if I've not been doing a good job" in Bailey's opinion, Pietrowski said.

Also, the 1st District seat held by Linda Lubotsky, in her second term, is up election.

In addition to the aldermanic terms expiring, that of longtime municipal judge Thomas Wilkoski will be up in April. He has been municipal judge since about 1983 and he intends to run for re-election.

School seats

The term of Greenfield School Board member Pam Sierzchulski also will expire in April. Sierzchulski had previously served seven years before she lost a re-election bid in 2010, but regained her seat three years ago.

Neither she nor Lubotsky could be reached by the NOW deadline for comment on whether they intend to seek re-election.

In the Whitnall School District, three-term School Board member T.J. Anderson said he won't seek re-election, mainly because he now feels out of step.

"They want to take the district in a different direction," Anderson said.

He declined to be more specific, although one thing he said nettled him was the majority of the board voting not to apply extra money from the state this fall to property tax relief.

"Our School Board decided to keep it rather than sending it on to the taxpayers," Anderson said. "I've always spoken from the taxpayer perspective."

School Board President Bernard Shaw is also up for re-election. He is in his second term and said he hasn't decided whether to seek a third term.

The term of Nancy Zaborski also will expire in April. She could not be reached as of deadline to comment on her intentions.

School Board and aldermanic terms are three years and the municipal judge term is four years. Aldermen receive $6,300 annually, the municipal judge receives $26,016 a year and School Board members, $4,200.

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