What a great village we live in! Take a look around on any given day and you will see so much community pride on display in our village in the work being done and the fun being had. From art festivals to car shows and cruise nights, to street dances and duck races, farmers markets and community art, movie nights, concerts in the park, senior socials, little league baseball and softball games and biking events, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.
As your elected officials, our job is to continue to find ways to improve quality of life for our residents.
The PEP Party has been hard at work making improvements in Brookfield. With nearly $35 million so far in street and sewer improvements including close to $7 million set for 2017, we’re also making advances in street lighting improvements, technological improvements in overall operations, train station upgrades and more, all to better the community we live in.
We’ve invested nearly $4 million in our parks to support culture and recreation needs of our residents. The recently completed renovation of Kiwanis Park is a good example of a grant-funded project that shows our commitment to maintaining and enhancing our outdoor spaces and resources for all to enjoy. With a new band stage for summer concerts and other events like the Art Festival, walking paths, exercise equipment, nature trails, volleyball and basketball courts and frisbee golf—all in a beautiful setting—Kiwanis Park attracts visitors both local and from neighboring communities. The upcoming canoe launch project will be a welcome addition for outdoor enthusiasts as well.
Much of the capital work we have been able to accomplish can be attributed to the successes we have had in obtaining grant funds from the county, state and federal governments—over $6.1 million in just the past 36 months. Under PEP's leadership, the Village received over $18 million in grant funds overall! This can only happen with professional and knowledgeable in-house staff, good relationships with state and federal partners, and the backing of our board. Every dollar in grant money we receive is your county, state and federal tax dollars coming back to Brookfield.
Our Village continues to live within its means, but this is not easy, there is always more work to be done. However, with proper planning and good decision making by your Village board and staff, policies and procedures have been put in place that have had very positive effects. The Village of Brookfield maintains a balanced budget, consistently files on-time financial audits, and continues to make timely pension payments. General fund cash reserves are healthy and we consistently receive awards for our financial reporting. Brookfield has also seen increases in new residential and commercial development. With more and more businesses willing to invest in Brookfield, we’ve earned record sales tax dollars in 2016, and in 3 of the past 4 years.
This spring, residents will once again have an opportunity to vote for those who they believe are best suited to lead our Village. I commend all candidates, from all sides, who are interested in being part of the process in governing our Village. I do hope all candidates take the time to understand the issues, get involved in our community, and know the facts. It’s one thing to say something and make promises at election time just to get elected. It’s another thing to follow through. The PEP Party has been bringing real change and achieving real results and we are happy to share some of those results with you in our February Monitor.
As a Village board, there is much more work to do in continuing our course of good financial planning, making upgrades to our infrastructure, implementing plans to bring new business in and helping existing businesses to become more successful. It is difficult to know what truly lies ahead, and what decisions a Village board will have to make. That is why it is so important our residents choose the leaders that can make tough decisions when needed. It’s about leadership. It’s about dedication. It’s about trust.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve Brookfield. We look forward to your continued support.
Kit P. Ketchmark, Village President