Lou Kowieski

Second District Alderman

(414) 875-7625

Tell us about yourself!

I am the Father of 4 wonderful kids, husband to an amazing wife and a resident of the City of Oconomowoc for more than 22 years. Raising our kids in this community as been amazing. I have been active at St. Jerome's Parish and School, serving on the School Board, Athletic Board and IT Committee. I have been active in our community since moving here. I have been part of Rotary, the Knights of Columbus, volunteered time to help with downtown events, Scouts with my sons, and currently serve on the OAF Board. I have been very active with the YMCA coaching, playing Santa, and volunteering time for events and on the facility and vision committees. I was blessed to receive volunteer of the year in 2017. Being active in our community is not something that has just started, it is something that defines me and our family. I also run a small business as a manufacturer rep of contract commercial furniture and work at 3barn providing companies with marketing services.

Why are you running for re-election to the Common Council?

I am running for another term as Alderman of District 2 because I have a passion for representing my community and the ability to provide leadership and vision for moving us forward.

What issues do you believe our city needs to address? What are your recommendations?

Infrastructure, continued balance of development, expanding the success of our downtown and connectivity are all low hanging fruitful opportunities that good policy can have both a short term and long term impact on. I think we have established a good path in addressing these issues through our city's strategic plan. Providing accurate information and listening to our citizens is the greatest recommendation I can think of as we lead the community into the future.

If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

I would use the money to initiate 2 projects. Fist being a splash pad the second being a new senior center. Helping to create a splash pad for the youth of our community would help strengthen our family friendly position and hopefully start the development of more aquatic style features including an aquatics center.
The current senior center space is not adequate to meet the senior community needs. That part of our community continues to grow and the need will grow with it.

What neighborhood do you live in? Why? Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?

I live in the Merchant's Plat area on Locust Street. It's the house we moved into when coming to the City and can't think of anywhere else I would rather call home. We moved to this location because of an opportunity of a friend of my Father-In-Law provided and it was truly a blessing. We had no idea how amazing it was. Favorite places include YMCA, Downtown, Nature Hill, Fowler Lake/Lake walk, Lac LaBelle... I can honestly say there isn't a place that I wouldn't love spending time.

What’s more important for our city right now: building new homes and commercial space or rehabbing/expanding/better utilizing our existing homes and storefronts?

Great question and one that has been a point of discussion for years. The successful approach in balancing those has been key to our City. Without new homes and commercial space it is hard to address the areas that need rehabbing. Homes in our city that have fallen into dis-repair are often purchased and restored quickly due to higher than average real estate prices. Our downtown remains vibrant and efforts to expand that success into our E Wisconsin Corridor have been started. All of that is due to a balanced approach. Short answer, it's a both/and instead of an either/or strategy.

What do you believe are the three (3) greatest strengths of the City of Oconomowoc?

1. The people are the greatest strength of the City. We are fortunate to have citizens who appreciate our natural resources, sense of community and quality of life. Through that appreciation we rally to support our community like no other.

2. The location of our City is also an asset. Being positioned between the 2 largest population centers in the state provides the opportunity to draw people on a regular basis to enjoy our events, natural resources and friendly residents.

3. Unique experiences. Our historic and vibrant downtown, Pabst Farms and the redevelopment of the Olympia area provide for 3 unique experiences for our residents and visitors.

A subpoint but extremely important is the safety of our community. Our Police Dept and WLFD provide top tier service and are supported by the City and the residents.

Please list below three (3) words you believe other members would use to describe you, your participation, or your leadership style.

thoughtful, community focused, common sense

What is the best way to address differences of opinion among the council members?

Ensuring facts are accurate to base opinions is a big way to address differences. Once a base line of approach and facts are established there still can be differences of opinion as to how and what is best for the community. Having respectful and thoughtful discussion to the impact on the community has been a successful method in addressing those differences in a productive and professional manner.

How will you communicate with and be accessible to the community you represent?

I have and will continue to hold open meetings in public spaces, social media via my political page and comment on posts to provide accurate information to topics of public interest, email, cell phone and text along with in-person visits impromptu and scheduled. I feel it is important to be available and engaged in as many forms as possible.

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