The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Meet the recently elected Shorewood officials

Election results for the Shorewood municipality were released on April 2, 2024. With a total voter turnout of 52.25% in the Shorewood municipality, citizens elected Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary election and Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary election. David Crowley was re-elected as County Executive and Liz Sumner was re-elected as County Comptroller. Anne O’Connor was elected for the first time as County Supervisor in District 1. Thirteen judges were elected, twelve of their elections uncontested: Marisabel Cabrera was elected over Rochelle N. Johnson-Bent as a Branch 43 Circuit Court Judge. Both of the two constitutional amendments, concerning the use of private funds in elections and with election officials, did not pass in Shorewood nor in Milwaukee, but passed in the state election. 

In the village of Shorewood, Ann McKaig ran uncontested for Village President, as did Municipal Judge Margo Kirchner. Incumbent Ellen Eckman was re-elected for vice president of the school board, along with Jim Arndorfer and Matt McGovern as Village Trustee. Ripples interviewed winners in the contested Shorewood elections. 


Ellen Eckman, School Board Vice President

For Eckman, running for reelection was a carefully made decision for this upcoming term. 

“I felt at the time when [I was making] the decision that the school board was taking on some very difficult decisions and making decisions in a very systematic process oriented way,” Eckman said. “I felt like I have the skill set and the educational background to help.” 

Being a part of the school board requires commitment and dedication to the meetings, but also to the community as a whole. 

“You need to come to the meetings prepared, you need to read all of the packets, you need to read them early enough so [that] if you have a question, you can send it to the appropriate administrator to have them clarify it so they don’t come into a meeting unprepared for the questions,” Eckman said. 

Additionally, the school board is heavily involved in the community members, getting feedback through meetings with students and families throughout the community. Eckman encourages community outreach and for members of Shorewood to understand new things happening in the village. 

Eckman’s opponents, Heather Cook Elliot and Andrew Frey, were against passing the recent operating referendum.

“I think the clearest difference was that I supported the referendum, the operating referendum that passed in 2023… [Frey and Cook Elliot] didn’t see that the school needed the kind of money that those on the school board and the community realized that we needed,” Eckman said. 

Eckman’s main concern as vice president has always been focused on getting public schools adequate funding. She believes the state legislature does not give public schools enough money to function as they should, and plans to continue to be an advocate for more funding for the community. 

“[People don’t] seem to understand the fiscal crisis that’s affecting school districts across the state and that it is a real, major financial crisis,” Eckman said. 

Over the last decade the issue of technology has become increasingly prevalent in school districts world-wide. Dealing with the widespread use of phones and devices in class, as well as the use of AI and ChatGPT, Eckman expects technology policies to be the greatest challenge for her next term. 

“I think it’s going to take some real thoughtful analysis because I think technology offers great teaching opportunities, but we need to have a balance,” Eckman said. 

Overall, the goal of the school board is to continue advocating for proper funding, and to support the Shorewood community as a whole. 

“I always want to have successful school experiences for all of our students from kindergarten through twelfth grade… and to have our students be successful, have lots of opportunities, lots of growth, lots of achievement, and go on to what they wanna do, be it college or any other experiences,” Eckman said. 


Matt McGovern, Village Trustee

Matt McGovern, a Shorewood parent and self-proclaimed public policy nerd, entered his first term as Village Trustee this election cycle. He prioritized clean energy, safe roads, and affordable housing during his campaign. 

McGovern, a former Ripples writer, grew up in Shorewood and attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He worked around the United States, including Washington D.C. and San Francisco, before returning to Shorewood in 2017 to send his daughter to Shorewood schools.

“[Shorewood’s] really a great place to live,” McGovern said. “My hope is just that we build on what we have, and make it easier for people to afford to live here, make the streets safer and more pleasant, and make it a greener village.”

McGovern is a member of the citizen-run village conservation committee, which promotes solar panels to Shorewood families and assisted the fire department in adding solar panels to its roofing last year. Now, as trustee, McGovern is considering transitioning the police fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles as part of his clean energy platform.

 “Climate change is the big problem that communities all across the country are facing. I would like to see Shorewood be part of the solutions to all of that,” McGovern said..

McGovern was elected over incumbent Melissa Bauldaff. They were in agreement over most policies, but differed on their zoning policies. In particular, he favored a zoning policy which would change the number of parking spaces required per single apartment unit from 1.75 spaces to 1, as well as a commercial zoning code that he said would simplify the process of applying to build housing. 

“[The parking space requirement] has the effect of making [apartments] really expensive to build, because if you’re a developer, you have to build a parking garage or tear down a building next to you to make way for parking,” McGovern said.

In the next few years, McGovern predicted that the Department of Public Works (DPW) building will become an issue of greater importance. He emphasizes that three studies over the past 20 years found that the building infrastructure was outdated and in need of redevelopment. If the DPW is relocated, McGovern hopes to use the land to build affordable and market-rate housing. 

McGovern also wanted to limit reckless driving, citing Milwaukee mayor Cavalier Johnson as his inspiration for improving road safety.

“I saw that the problem of reckless driving has gotten a lot worse, especially since the pandemic… and I saw how quickly Milwaukee was able to make some improvements when they had a new mayor come in,” McGovern said. “I wanted to get in there and try to help solve that problem.”

In his upcoming term, McGovern hopes to continue past village initiatives while emphasizing the importance of the issues that he based his campaign on: energy, road safety, and housing.

“A successful term for me would be progress on all the things that I ran for: improvements in the safety of the streets, progress on getting more housing here, and progress on making Shorewood a green village,” McGovern said.

McGovern looks forward to collaborating with the Village Board during his three-year term. 

“We’ve got a lot of great people on the staff that put in long hours and do a really good job of providing the government essentials that we need, like fixing the sewers, running the police department, helping us stay safe… there are a lot of great people, both on the board and working in Shorewood, that I’m really looking forward to working with,” McGovern said.


Jim Arndorfer, Village Trustee

Jim Arndorfer, parent of two Shorewood students, was elected for his second term as Village Trustee during this election cycle. Arndorfer hopes to carry on the work that he started during his last term, citing the potential relocation of the Department of Public Works building and pedestrian and cyclist safety as top priorities.

“I enjoyed serving as a trustee…I think we’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of areas over the past three years,” Arndorfer said. “I think we have some work that we started that we need to finish and I ran again largely in part because I wanted to help see that through.”

Like McGovern, Arndorfer emphasized the similarities between the three candidates who ran for trustee.

“There may have been differences [in candidates] by degree, but honestly, I think we were all pretty aligned in terms of the things we wanted to accomplish, and the things that we were running on; to try to make sure [Shorewood’s] a great place and wanting to try to make it better,” Arndorfer said.

Arndorfer also wants to lower the costs of lead lateral replacement for citizens’ houses. He is pursuing potentially subsidizing the replacements with money from the federal government. Arndorfer also talked about lowering tax burdens for village citizens, a frequently heard complaint when he knocked on doors to campaign.

“I spent a lot of time during the campaign knocking on doors and talking to people and I found that really energizing,” Arndorfer said. “I learned a lot from just talking to people and [I] definitely plan to bring some of the things I heard to the village. People’s feedback informs how I’ll approach my job over the next three years.”

Traffic safety is a priority for Arndorfer as well as McGovern. During the next term, roadwork will be finished on Downer with new bump outs and traffic calming measures. The same traffic calming measures, Arndorfer hopes, will be replicated in similar projects on the north end of Capitol Drive and Lake Drive.

Overall, Arndorfer looks forward to the upcoming term. 

“Shorewood is a great place to live,” Arndorfer said. “It’s a great multi-generational community. I just want to help the village evolve so it can continue to be the great place that it is, a community that welcomes everybody and a community that continues to grow in the future.  I think we’ve got a big three years ahead of us, so I’m excited to get started.”