The key to City Hall

Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett was elected to the state Senate in 1984, and then began a five-term run as a U.S. senator in 1989, representing the area that includes Marquette. He ran against Gov. Jim Doyle for the Democratic nomination in 2000, but lost the primary. He has been practicing law in Milwaukee since January, but said the "fire (for public service) still raged within me."

Parking: He said the city "should be looking at" whether meters offer students and shoppers enough time to do what they have to do. He said there would probably be no change to overnight parking restrictions during his term in office, but said he would look into changing restrictions on streets that don't allow parking from December to the end of March, possibly only restricting parking when there's snow.

Safety: Barrett said he would work to get federal money to start new police programs and to hire more officers. He said his years as a senator made him comfortable with and good at securing federal dollars for the city. He also said he wants to get the police to come into the neighborhoods because "it's the residents who know where the drug houses are, where the gangs hang out" and where the high-crime areas are.

Downtown Development: He said the mayor is the primary "cheerleader and salesman" for the city. The city has to first retain current business, second, bring more business in and third, "aggressively go after Washington to get federal money for economic development," he said.

Vince Bobot

Vince Bobot worked as an officer on the Milwaukee Police Department for 21 years, spent seven years working in various city positions and was a municipal court judge for four years. Bobot left the $113,000-a-year job as a judge in August to focus on the mayoral race, he said.

Parking: Bobot has a parking plan that would eliminate parking meters and install coin boxes that allow parkers to pay with paper money, credit cards, coins or pre-paid parking cards. He said the boxes are proven to collect more revenue. With tickets, Bobot would "reward responsible behavior" by cutting ticket fines in half if they are paid within the first five days of receiving the ticket. He would also push back late-payment increases to 28 days after receiving the ticket, instead of the current 10-day limit. He said his plan also allows a 15-minute grace period in restricted areas.

Safety: Bobot said he would propose a citizen volunteer program in which MPD officers could choose citizen volunteers, train them on what to look for and give them phone numbers of officers in their area so they could call the police at the first sign of crime. He said he also would push MPD to have a two-minute response time for all emergency 911 calls.

Downtown Development: Bobot said he would encourage business development by having "one-stop shopping" in city hall. He would have one person in city hall be the only person businesses need to deal with to get all permits for development.

Arthur Jones

Arthur Jones worked for the Milwaukee Police Department for 36 years, the last seven of which he was chief of the department. This is his first time running for political office. He said his ability to keep the department afloat for seven years on a budget that was never increased gives him an advantage.

Parking: "The old mayor removed the parking checkers from my department because he said I wasn't generating enough revenue," Jones said. He said one-hour meters around areas like Marquette were designed to generate revenue. Jones would adjust time limits on meters in areas where parkers needed more time, eliminate fees for night parking permits, but continue alternate side parking requirements.

Safety: "Marquette is an urban university," Jones said. "That brings unique problems and safety issues." He said he would encourage Police Chief Nan Hegerty to have the same collaborative relationship with the university and Department of Public Safety that he had. He would also encourage students and faculty to be involved and to voice their concerns.

Downtown Development: Jones said he would bring entrepreneurs into the city and have them sit down with students and residents to determine what industries they want. However, he said the market would primarily drive what types of businesses come into downtown. He did say he was opposed to strip malls and would like to see businesses work with existing buildings to avoid demolishing buildings with unique and historic architecture.

John Pitta

John Pitta is a Milwaukee Public School teacher and previously worked for 10 years in the private sector. This is Pitta's first time running for political office. During his term, Pitta said he would, "donate 20 scholarships to MPS students for $1,000 from my salary as mayor."

Parking: Pitta said he would look at "developing a strategic plan to reduce city government's reliance on parking tickets for revenue." He said this includes looking at extending meter time in areas where people may need more time, possibly replacing meters with more modern equipment that would accept paper money or credit cards, removing night parking permit fees and changing alternate side parking requirements so residents only have to worry about alternate side parking on the nights street sweepers or plows actually go down their block.

Safety: Pitta has a three-point crime plan. First, he would purpose a year-round 10 p.m. curfew for children. Second, he would re-draw police district boundaries, which he said were drawn 50 years ago, to "put more resources in areas that need them." Finally, he would work with Police Chief Nan Hegerty to de-centralize power, giving district captains more power in their area.

Downtown Development: "Making Milwaukee a world-class city" is Pitta's over-all plan, he said. He said he would work with and obtain ideas from businesses and mayors in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta to improve Milwaukee's national image and bring more business to the city.

Marvin Pratt

Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt took over the position at the beginning of 2004 when former Mayor John O. Norquist left office to head the Congress for the New Urbanism. Pratt was alderman of the 1st district for 17 years, served as chair of several Common Council committees and has been the Common Council president since April 2000.

Parking: He said he has assigned someone in the mayor's office to examine meter time limits. Pratt said he did not think alternate side parking would change. He said he introduced an ordinance to the Common Council five years ago to eliminate night parking restrictions but it did not pass. He said he also would have the Department of Public Works look into moving parking checkers from their department back to the police department.

Safety: Pratt said he would allow the police department more autonomy and encourage more autonomy for district captains. He said he thought there was a good collaboration between MPD and the Department of Public Safety, but if there wasn't he would work to make it better.

Downtown Development: "We have to generate some buzz and interest" in the downtown area, Pratt said. He said he would continue the Blue Light program, which encourages hi-tech industries to come to the city. Pratt also said he has been meeting with the parties involved in the Pabst City development (in Marquette's aldermanic district) to make the old brewery into a "sports and entertainment" area for students and city residents.