On March 9, Concordia University Wisconsin hosted a debate between the two Mequon mayoral candidates, Dan Abenroth and Aaron Armstrong.
Abenroth, the incumbent, is a former firefighter and retired Manager of Operations at Milwaukee Transport Services. Armstrong teaches at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Barbara Hunt mediated the debate. Hunt is a member of the League of Women Voters of Ozaukee County––a nonpartisan group.
President Ferry attended the event as well as Dr. Van Mobley, who as a CUW professor and president of Thiensville, said it was important for the mayor to, “set clear, firm, policy direction.”
As the incumbent, Abenroth was forced to defend his policy decisions.
“People have argued that the current mayor is not very fiscally conservative,” former President of the Concordia Republicans and President of Young Americans for Liberty Abby Syron said.
Abenroth is seen as “anti-Concordia,” according to Syron. Conversely, Armstrong repeatedly said he thought the community had been unappreciative of the university.
“Concordia is really a jewel in our community,” said Armstrong. “I don’t think Concordia has been welcomed in our community. If I were a college student and I were looking at colleges, I think that would be a definite negative… When I drive down highland road and I see signs that––I think––are slandering Concordia, that really upsets me.”
Armstrong said he would like to add a public bike trail on the CUW campus.
Abenroth said his priority was to continue keeping taxes low in Mequon. “I’ve never voted to increase taxes. Never. That’s the number one issue,” Abenroth said. “We have kept taxes low. We have the lowest taxes in the state. And we have not had an increase in seven years.”
There were areas of agreement between Armstrong and Abenroth.
Both candidates said the east side sewer was a problem that needed to be addressed in Mequon.
The next candidate forum is on March 23 at Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Mequon lecture hall. Voting begins on April 5.