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Is there a rumor you’d like tracked down? Geoff Bruce answers some of the mysteries of life in Brookfield and Elm Grove and helps solve everyday problems. Send your questions to geoff.bruce@jrn.com.

I see that the town of Brookfield hired a new town administrator and I know that Elm Grove also uses a village manager. Has the city of Brookfield ever considered hiring someone similar? What would Mayor Ponto think of that idea?
 

Answer:  As mayor, Steve Ponto — in his own words — "Has a lot of responsibility."

And that's the way he likes it.

"I think that we have a really good system," Ponto said. "I think with the way we shape it, the mayor has the means of really effectively leading the city."

Ponto, who served as a city alderman prior to being elected mayor in 2010, says that he can recall the topic of a city administrator coming up but that the idea was short-lived.

"I think there has been some brief thought given to that in the past. Back when I was an alderman there was brief mention to that idea," Ponto said. "I've been involved in the city for 19 years and I've always been against that."

The city of Brookfield currently has 10 department heads who report directly to the mayor's office. Ponto noted that he observes a variety of organizational systems when attending national conferences for mayors.

"There's a tremendous variety of arrangements but I think most of them would really like to have the arrangement that we have where the mayor not only has the political responsibilities and the public relations responsibilities but also the administrative responsibilities," Ponto said. "I think really the mayor is going to be held accountable for both the successes or the failures and I think the mayor should be in a position to do something about it."

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