February 3, 2009
Meet Tom Friedel
Alderman Tom Friedel is expected to be named interim mayor tonight. Here's some background on Friedel:
* 59 years old. Lives at 1904 Dwight St. He's worked at Twin Disc for 37 years. He's married to his wife, Linda. They have two children.
* Third-generation Racine resident who grew up up on the city's near north side.
* Graduated from St. Catherine's High School in 1968.
* Served with the Army in Vietnam for 23 months.
* Elected to the School Board in 1986 and served three-consecutive terms. Left the board in 1995.
* Elected to the City Council in 2000, beating Charmaine Harrison 537 to 330 in the 10th District race in 2000. He raised less than $1,000 in the election. He replaced now State Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, who left the council in 2000 after serving 12 years as alderman.
* Said in 2000 his main issue was taxes. He wanted to lower taxes by focusing on development. He also wanted to reduce crime and develop parks.
* Backed giving seniors their own center in 2000. (Local seniors, whho may lose their current home at the former Lakeview Community Center, are still looking for a permanent location.)
* Active in the city's redistricting debate in 2000. He tentatively backed creating a 16-member City Council. The council settled on a 15-member board, and it was Friedel's plan that avoided a court fight with the county.
* Defeated Keith Fair in 2002 to remain on the council. Has not had a serious challenge for re-election since.
* Backed a ban on train whistles in the city.
* Mayor Gary Becker appointed him chairman of the Finance Committee in 2003 - a move that six years later results in Friedel becoming interim mayor.
* Took on the president of the Racine Police Association in a 2005 commentary. He argued the president, William Chesen, intentionally confused the public on local budget issues.
* Served on a committee to hire Racine's first city administrator.
* Created the proposal to make Monument Square free for people to use.
* He has no record in CCAP.
* He's paid his property taxes every year.
* Current committees include: chairman, Finance and Personnel Committee; chairman, Economic Development Committee; commissioner, Water & Wastewater Commissions; president, Library Board of Trustees
* Past committees include: President of the City Council; Public Works; Safety and Licensing; Board of Health; Re-districting Committee.
* Volunteer for United Way of Racine County; Member of Root-Pike Watershed Initiative; Sustaining member of Riverbend Nature Center.