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3rd District Aldermanic Race: Carole Wehner

interviewed by Sonya Jongsma Knauss

Carole Wehner was born in Kenosha and moved to Milwaukee with her family at age 5. She grew up in Shorewood and attended UWM, UW-Madison, and MIAD before returning to UWM to graduate with a psychology degree. She has lived on the East Side for 28 years. “I have experienced it all,” she said in a recent interview at Bremen Cafe in Riverwest. “I’ve had money and I’ve been poor, I’ve done so many things — that really has helped me see things differently, understand where all kinds of people are coming from, and accept them for who they are.” Wehner has aspired at various times in her life to be a chef, an artist, and run a greenhouse, among other things. Her eclectic experience and knowledge is evidenced by the fact that she has held, in her estimate, “about 50 jobs” over the course of her working life. Wehner, 44, is a broker for Realty Executives. She specializes in duplex sales and owns seven of them, one of which she lives in with her dog Jack, a yellow lab/husky mix. (She says hopes to support dog park efforts in the 3rd District area if elected). She volunteers that any code violations on the 12 properties she owns are standard, city-issued orders that were, for the most part, pre-existing when she bought the houses. Wehner says she’s running for Common Council because she believes all people deserve equal representation. “Aldermen should be working for the people,” she says. “They should get as much information as possible to their constituents.” Wehner says if elected, she will keep the promises she makes to business owners and constituents. Regarding working with the 6th District alderperson, she says, “We need to work together. We have the same housing and crime issues… whether that means getting together once a week to talk about important issues, or whatever, it needs to be done.” Wehner is in favor of changing the “three-person” rule for houses on and near the UWM Campus. “It only makes sense if a house has four rooms to allow four unrelated people to live there,” she says. “We’re redefining family right now with issues of gay marriage, so why can’t we consider several students who live together a family? It’s easier on their budgets and it’s easier for the landlords, who are not making any money because of the outrageous property taxes.” She adds that while Ald. Mike D’Amato points to a minimal increase in property tax in the time he’s been in office, many of the services that used to be covered by those taxes are now billed as a separate fee, which she says makes the tax increase look artificially low. “At least if it was on our property taxes, we could write it off!” she says. What can people expect if Carole Wehner is elected? “What you expect is what you’ll get,” she says. “I will listen to the people of this district. And if there are disagreements we need to ask more questions and mediate some kind of solution.” Wehner has an office at 826 E. Center St. where she holds “Souper Sundays” with live Reggae music by David Robinson from noon to 5 p.m. every Sunday until the April 6 general election.
interviewed by Sonya Jongsma Knauss