On Aug. 9, Matt Cmeyla was sworn in as the newest member of the Sussex Village Board, replacing longtime Trustee Fred Gallant.
Cmeyla, 40, has lived in the village for six years and chose to move here because of the quality of the schools and less congestion than his native Wauwatosa. And as a married father of two and director of marketing at Sharp Packaging, Cmeyla said he’s ready to help out and make the area a great place to live for years to come.
- Why did you apply to be a village trustee? I really wanted to understand our local government and I’ve always wanted to be more involved in the village and the community.
- Are you involved in any other local organizations? No, this is it. But I am an usher at our church, St. James.
- After sitting through your first two meetings, has the experience lived up to your expectations? I really didn’t have any expectations, but that’s even better because you don’t know what to expect. But I would say they’ve met my expectations as far as meetings go. There has been nothing controversial, just somewhat simple issues. But I am going to be on the Public Safety Committee and we’re going to be going over the concealed carry and sexual predator ordinances, so that’s going to be a challenge to meet everyone’s needs and fears, I guess.
- While you serve on the board, what do you hope to impact going forward? Obviously, planning for future growth and having the infrastructure to do that and not have to catch up. Also, being a progressive village and having long term plans as well as a safe, good environment for children to grow up in because that’s why we moved here and we want to maintain that quality of life. When you live in a small town you feel more close-knit and I like that.
- Did you ever expect you would hold a public office in your life? Actually, I wanted to. Back in the day I wanted to be a lawyer and then go into political science and get into politics. I ended up taking a different route, so it’s a back-end passion for me.
- When you approach an issue or an ordinance, how do you look at it before you cast a vote or decide you position? I like to take a step back, look at it from 10,000 feet away and then dive in. You have to know all of the issues before you make a judgment and keep emotions out of it. You have to take a step back and look at it logically, the cause and effects that will happen.
- Obviously the people of Sussex really don’t know you yet. But as time goes on, what is it you hope they realize about you personally or professionally about how you conduct yourself as a trustee? I’m definitely passionate about what I do and I give 110 percent. I’ve done that with my career, working 80, 90 hours per week and I used to travel 300,000 air miles per year. When I do something, it’s all-in, but I have fun doing it.