Alderwoman Nikcevich Not Seeking Re-election; Could Run for Mayor
She plans to step down from council after one term, but is exploring possibility of mayoral candidacy.
Alderwoman Linda Nikcevich plans to step down from the Wauwatosa Common Council when her term ends in April, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's leaving city politics.
In fact, Nikcevich said she is considering a run for mayor this spring — among other options.
"I’ve done an exploratory (look), but right now I’m not willing to commit to anything," she said.
Running for mayor is "part of the mix, but I’ve been looking at a lot of different things," she told Wauwatosa Patch Tuesday.
Nikcevich said she has researched the option of running for mayor, but also is looking at other positions in city government or community organizations.
Mayor Jill Didier's term also expires in April and she has not yet announced whether she will seek re-election. So far, the only person to enter the mayoral race is John Pokrandt, an account manager for a Waukesha printing company.
Looking ahead, the only thing Nikcevich said she is sure about is that she will stay in Wauwatosa.
"I'm not leaving Wauwatosa," she said. "I think it's a great community with wonderful people and opportunities. I'm a proactive person and I want to do my part as much as I can."
Nikcevich, who will step down after serving one four-year term, submitted her non-candidacy papers to the city clerk on Friday, with the intention of giving other potential candidates plenty of time to decide to run.
"It’s been a thought for the last couple of months — trying to decide if I should run (for alderman) or not," Nikcevich said. "I felt the sooner I let people know, the more possibilities there were to find new candidates."
Nikcevich said she was often frustrated by long processes and rules on the council that made it harder for her to accomplish her goals. She said she hopes to be more effective in other positions.
"You see something and you want to make changes, but you’re limited because of the discourse. You can’t just freely converse with a lot of alders. You have to take it through processes that are sometimes cumbersome," she said.
Nikcevich said the government could be more effective with a different structure that empowers the mayor and creates a smaller Common Council. In the past she has argued for a higher salary for the mayor than the current $22,500 that was set in 1984.
"Right now we have a weak mayor system, and I think the city has to look at potentially a new form of government," Nikcevich said. "There’s just not a lot of direction coming from it. Wauwatosa should be a bigger player ... It used to be a big small town, but now it’s really a small big town. I don't think the government made the shift it needed to."
Reflecting on her time on the council, Nikcevich said one of her most important causes has been advocating for businesses.
Alderman Peter Donegan, who represents District 1 along with Nikcevich, agreed on that point.
"The interests she was most keen about pertained to economic development," Donegan said. "And she was very responsive to constituents' complaints."