Menomonee Falls trustee frustrated by the lack of transparency in village government

VILLAGE OF MENOMONEE FALLS – When village Trustee Paul Tadda received a letter of concern from one of his constituents, he said it was a call to action.

The letter was from an overseas service member on a 10-month deployment. His wife lives in a Menomonee Falls home near the site of a December crime that Tadda described as “brazen.”

Two juveniles attempted to grab a woman’s purse in broad daylight while she was walking close to her house in the 9500 block of Joper Road. The serviceman said this made his wife uncertain of her safety.

Although crime is down throughout the village, Tadda said he’s having a difficult time responding to residents who bring it up to him as a concern.

“I just want information, to see where I can help and find out how to address resident fears,” he said. “It’s about having an inactive board member mindset vs. an active one.”

This led him and fellow Trustee Jeremy Walz to ask for additional information from village staff on Jan. 21. Those requests were: to have the board review and approve its yearly calendar of scheduled meetings, to receive a yearly report on emergency services and to set up a meeting with representatives of local retailers — including Woodman’s grocery store — to discuss ways to curb criminal activity on their premises.

But those requests didn’t go over well with other board members. Trustees Randy Van Alstyne, Bonnie Lemmer and Village President Dave Glasgow voted against each one.

“When oversight isn’t robust, bad things happen,” said Tadda, who is up for re-election this spring. “From what I saw, the other board members are happy with the amount of information they’re getting now, which is basically the same amount of information the public gets.”

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