Michael Horne
House Confidential

Fire Fighter Lives Far Far Away

Union leader Seager lives In McMansion Jr.-style home worth $475,000 in Town of Jackson.

By - Nov 6th, 2017 02:41 pm
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A Half Million Dollar McMansion Jr. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A Half Million Dollar McMansion Jr. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Unions representing police and firefighters occupy a privileged position among government employees in Wisconsin, thanks in part to the dogged efforts of officials like David R. Seager, Jr., who has been the head of the 1,000-member, Milwaukee’s Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 215 since January 2010.

The union endorsed Scott Walker, and Seager starred in an advertisement for the Republican candidate. Upon Walker’s election as governor, the union was exempted from the collective bargaining restrictions faced by all non-public safety government workers. When an unsuccessful recall attempt was made against two-time Walker challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, earlier this year, the union lent its support.

A Journal Sentinel article by Dan Bice from May 2011 had this to say, adding that “nobody seems to know more about … the Milwaukee residency legislation than Seager does.”:

Mayor Tom Barrett’s chief of staff, Patrick Curley, said [a union memo] showed Seager cutting “backdoor deals” with the Walker administration and Republican legislative leaders in exchange for his union’s political support last fall.

“He’s bragging that he’s going to cash in on these political favors at the expense of Milwaukee residents and taxpayers,” said Curley, whose boss is vigorously fighting the residency bill.

When the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in June 2016 that Milwaukee could no longer enforce the requirement that public employees live in the city, it was a victory for Seager, who had long lobbied for just such a change, and who then set forth to find a new house for himself.

I’m Goin’ to Jackson

Well now, we got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout,
We’ve been talkin’ ’bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out.
I’m goin’ to Jackson, and that’s a fact.
Yeah, we’re goin’ to Jackson, ain’t never comin’ back.

Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash

Eight months after the residency change, Seager found his dream home in the 34-square mile Washington County Town of Jackson, which surrounds the three square mile Village of Jackson on three sides. In 1970, around the time he was born, the town population was only 561. Today it is estimated to be nearly ten times that number. As part of the most Republican county in the most Republican congressional district in the nation, the Town of Jackson is an outlier, casting 2,125 votes for Trump and 573 for Clinton in the 2016 election. The 75 percent of the votes that went to Trump dwarf the mere 60 percent of votes he got countywide.

Development in Jackson is newer, and allied very much with the interests of Scott Walker. Automobiles are mandatory, public transit is non-existent, walkable neighborhoods and mixed use real estate is forbidden by law. Public services here tend to be of the “do it yourself” nature. You can haul your garbage and recyclables to the town dump yourself upon payment of an annual fee. Now that’s convenience.

Likewise, the taxpayers are not burdened with a full time professional fire fighting department, relying instead on a pay-per-call system of civic-minded volunteers ready to abandon their plows on moment’s notice when the alarm sounds. Their fire fighting apparatus can then weave through the convoluted culs de sacs of this burgeoning community. Fortunately, the Seager residence has municipal water and sewer service thanks to the adjacent village government.

A Half Million Dollar McMansion Jr.

So what kind of a house do you get for a half a million bucks in the Town of Jackson? The Seager residence is located on a half-acre lot that is valued at $105,000, or $4.82 per square foot. That’s somewhat between the average value of a lot in Brewers Hill and Riverwest, but not bad for a converted cornfield. The 4,177 square foot home, built in 2003, is assessed at $398,300, for a total assessed valuation of $503,300. Seager and his wife Heather bought the place for $475,000 on February 27th, 2017.

It is in the Twin Creeks subdivision, created by the Dittmar Realty Co. and located in the Germantown school district. Listen to the words of the real estate poet:

Twin Creeks is nestled quietly amidst nature, creatively planned around 38 acres of open space in Jackson, Wisconsin. Walking trails meander throughout your neighborhood of oversized residential home lots creating an atmosphere of true country living. The conveniences of modern life are just minutes away in the surrounding communities of Germantown, Cedarburg and Mequon.

Germantown! Cedarburg! Mequon! The “conveniences of modern life” at Twin Creeks are all located elsewhere, none of which is Milwaukee. And meandering walking trails are not quite the same as sidewalks that actually lead to a destination. The only “true country living” in this manufactured suburb lies in the farmland you have to pass to get anywhere else.

Each and every home built in Twin Creeks must pass an architectural review board apparently composed of people who have something against architecture.

The neighborhood association is quite particular about such things as minimum roof pitch (8/12, very impressive and imposing), facade materials (natural only), square footage (minimum 2,400 for a two story Phase 5 home) and such other minutiae as a “Pre-designed mailbox and front yard light post required for each home.” When people start expressing their individuality through non-pre-designed mailboxes and front yard posts, nonconformity is sure to follow, with chaos soon nipping on its heels. Before you know it, they’re voting Democrat.

Ninety-one half-acre lots remain available at prices ranging from $69,000 to $89,000. Surely there must be other Milwaukee firefighters eager to make this big move.

Let’s Take a Look Around

Thanks to a real estate listing that remains on the internet a few details about the home are apparent. The public rooms have tall ceilings, which tend to be coved or otherwise heavily detailed. A crystal chandelier hangs above the master bed, and a glass double door there leads out to a deck in the back. The kitchen has columns, and opens to the living room with a wood-burning fireplace, a perfect place to boil up a pot of firehouse chili. There is granite in that kitchen, you can be sure, and plenty of angles in the ceiling, reflecting the 8/12 pitch of the roof above. A butler’s pantry leads to the dining room. Now that’s classy! The laundry room has more coat hooks than an elementary school corridor, and a handy bench below can hold dozens of pairs of boots and an Olympic team’s worth of Nordic skis. There are four bedrooms and three full baths.

Downstairs, the basement is an open one, thanks to the hilly terrain that leads downhill toward Cedar Creek, which is just getting its footing hereabouts. The basement seems well outfitted with a wet bar, a soundproof glassed-in booth, a movie room, a fireplace and an indoor pool.

The home is freshly landscaped, with a red Knockout rose providing an accent for a decorative fire hydrant located next to the garage door.

About David Seager, Jr.

As my colleague Bruce Murphy wrote in a September story for Urban Milwaukee, Seager is the “city’s most curious lobbyist.” He first lobbied for, and then successfully against the development of a high rise apartment building overlooking Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, some 30 miles from his home in Jackson. That’s quite a distance away, even with the lights flashing and the siren blaring.

As the story noted, Seager earned $5,000 for lobbying for the project, and has since earned an undisclosed amount for lobbying on the other side. He did his lobbying the second time using the Fire Fighters Association name, and it is not clear whether his fees for that will be shared with the association, or how the board feels about this. Seager became president of Local 215 in January 2010.

His union job, according to Article 45 of the labor agreement, is a full-time position. But the city pays his salary, and since he was promoted to Captain by the Fire and Police Commission on December 15th, 2015, he earns a bi-weekly salary of $3726.16, or $96,880 annually. Additionally, union officers are compensated by the organization, but that amount could not be determined.

Photos

The Rundown

  • Owner: David Richard Seager, Jr., Heather L. Seager
  • Location: Town of Jackson
  • Neighborhood: None
  • Subdivision: Twin Creeks
  • Year Built: 2003
  • Architect: None Found
  • Style: McMansion Jr.
  • Size: 4,177 square feet finished living area
  • Fireplaces: 3
  • Bedrooms: 4
  • Bathrooms: 3 Full
  • Rec room: Oh my, yes! With a wet bar, fireplace, studio space and a swimming pool
  • Assessment: The 21,780 square foot lot is valued at $105,000 [$4.82/s.f.] and the improvement is valued at $398,300 for a total assessed valuation of $503,300. Owner purchased property on February 27th, 2017 for $475,000
  • Taxes: Tax balance $7,018.58 Paid in Full.
  • Garbage Collection Route: Town of Jackson residents can transport garbage and recyclables to the Town Transfer Station with an annual paid permit.
  • Polling Location: The Jackson Town Hall is a former country club located at 3146 Division Road
  • Aldermanic District: N/A Town Board
  • County Supervisory District: Washington County 14th, Ray Heidtke
  • Walk Score: 0 out of 100. Car-dependent. Almost all errands require a car. Milwaukee city average 62 out of 100.
  • Transit Score: 0 out of 100. No public transit options. Milwaukee city average 49 out of 100.
  • Nearest Fire Station: The Village of Jackson Volunteer Fire Department has a station about a mile and a half away.

How Milwaukee is it? Not at all. The residence lies about 34 miles northwest of Milwaukee City Hall.

42 thoughts on “House Confidential: Fire Fighter Lives Far Far Away”

  1. Tim says:

    So the state of WI didn’t remove residency restrictions entirely but said that workers still must live within 15 miles of city limits.

    I’m not trying to be a snoopy Sam, but does this person live within 15 miles of the city of Milwaukee?

  2. Jason says:

    Disgusting smug hit piece that smacks of jealousy and class envy.

  3. Kyle says:

    Whoever stalked this man and wrote this article should be ashamed of themselves. This isn’t news, it’s harassing someone you disagree with politically, which is evidenced in the documentation of voting in this article. What a disgusting waste of journalistic effort.

  4. John Doe says:

    Wow you guys are pieces of shit for getting personal with this guy. Where he lives, size of his house, etc etc is his personal life. Milwaukee is a shit hole city, so of course people are going to bail once the residency requirement is lifted. I know fire fighters and police officers who bailed as soon as they could. Would you want to live in a crime ridden city where you cant walk down the street?

    Ive lived in Jackson. Its peaceful, and quiet. Dont have to worry about your car getting stolen, or someone invading your home.

    Maybe you guys should write articles on real issues.

  5. kevin says:

    Insignificant story by insignificant people.

  6. Marge says:

    Maybe you should have posted pictures of his kids and pets if he has any so they could be harassed and stalked. Lucky for him he doesn’t have to live in the City where violence is rampant and nothing is being done about it.

  7. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry says:

    I love the butt hurt comments, I wonder if all the anonymous accounts were made Mr. Seager himself?

    “My word, how could those plebians dare talk down my newly founded estate. Hoi polloi are the worst!”

  8. Tim says:

    Who does this? Who cares where this man lives as long as he shows up to work and does the job he’s paid for? What the hell kind of “no news” story is this? Leftist junk. Anybody with the ability to move out of Milwaukee should start doing so immediately to save themselves before it’s too late for them.

  9. Architect says:

    Ha! The Town of Jackson denizens really came out for this one! 75% Trump voters, that explains more than a little about these citizens.

  10. Barbara says:

    Its obvious that this so called “journalist” writes his stories to promote his own political agenda. The city of Milwaukee’s far left government officials, and journalists want to bring anyone down that works hard for their money. Yet alone, anyone who wants to use that money for a better living outside of this corrupt, violent, and money wasting city.
    Poor, poor journalism.

  11. MKE kid says:

    To the people dissing on this article, remember, this guy is head of a public workers’ union and gets paid by taxpayers. Where’s the usual right wing outrage about those issues?

  12. Erin says:

    I dont see Chief Flynns or Chief Rohlfings homes on the list.
    Aren’t their homes actually in other states? Isn’t that where their families and wives live?
    Where’s the commitment to the community by the top dogs?

    I think that would be a better story, this is stalkerish and bitter.

  13. dk mke says:

    LOL, you people are hilarious!

  14. Michael Hayden says:

    Well done, Mr Seager. Enjoy every single bit of everything you EARNED. It’s funny hearing a libtard like this complain about union benefits. I thought they loved unions. Oh, wait, they only love unions when THEY get to decide how YOU spend the money you earned though YOUR had work. The libs just HAAAATE not being in charge of YOUR stuff. Until libs start caring about actually supporting the worker instead of supporting their own political racketeering, we, the people, won’t care about their lies. God, bless.

  15. Michael Hayden says:

    The City of Milwaukee wants to be the Company that employs you, that makes you shop at the Company Store, and makes you live in Company Housing, and be indoctrinated by Company Schools, that the Unions were founded to fight AGAINST!!! I love the sheep that libs are. Ignorance is bliss.

  16. Michael Hayden says:

    And, finally, Michael Horne is an amateurish, transparent, political hack who pretends that he’s a journalist, but is an innacurate, ineffective, horrible shot of a leftist hitman. He will say this is just “entertainment” while he stalks people in their homes in an attempt to intimidate them. Little does he know…he’s the little man, and everybody knows it. Michael Horne is such a little man that the only person he quotes in the article is his friend. Michael Horne is too tiny to actually talk to Dave Seager for even ONE comment. You see, that would require man parts. He’s the reason journalism is dead. He’s just a VERY cheap ad. And I mean VERY cheap. Probably makes himself look this stupid for free, even. Fight the power, Michael Horne. You’re a joke…with a very small punchline. Again, congratulations, David Seager.

  17. WashCoRepub says:

    Mr. Horne, are Mark Belling’s shades up or down this week? Or have you quit stalking him to focus on others now?

    Really creepy feature.

  18. JPKMKE says:

    Horne, you jumped the shark.

  19. TJ says:

    wow, Michael Horne really ruffled some feathers with this house confidential!! I wonder where this got cross-posted to draw these people out of the woodwork.

  20. will says:

    Suburbs are graying faster and will be a big burden on society. Just the facts. Cities are booming and the young are flocking to the future. I thought unions were bad? Just the old Trumpeters not getting the whole picture.

  21. Reader says:

    During the next collective bargaining agreement the city should require that the unions pay their leaders from their dues,not from tax payer funds. They should offer an incentive to those employees who live in the city they serve. The unions should pay more towards their pension and health care. Remember there are far more qualified applicants than available jobs.

  22. michael glabere says:

    thank you, it is good to know my gut impressions of this right wing jerk, and fake union leader are true. He should have no voice in what happens in our city.

  23. Congratulations are in order to Mr. Horne who single handedly brought in about 20 new readers/commenters (unless they are all aliases for one or two trolls) and increased UM’s advertising income accordingly!

    Hey newbies. Mr. Horne has gored plenty of elites…on both sides of the tracks…Mr. Seager just happens to be the latest and in this case perhaps least of them.

  24. JoeMKE says:

    Looks like the house confidential series is over some people’s heads. Wow a Union chief paid by the tax payers of the hard working people of Milwaukee who, with Madison, pay for the rest of the state to have 4 lane highways and roundabouts in towns of 20k people.

  25. Fonzie says:

    Has winter come early, the snowflakes are out in abundance…. Public servant, public records, a little deductive reading b/n the lines, what’s the problem here, ehhhh!!!

  26. Observer says:

    Great article Michael. Keep up the good work. The caliper of dissenting remarks show you struck a nerve. Seager agreed to live in Milwaukee when he applied for his job. He could have applied for a firefighters job in Jackson if that is where he wanted to live. I hope to someday see this and all anti-Milwaukee laws overturned.

  27. John Sieger says:

    Half a million to live in a vinyl box the color of cat puke on what used to be a corn field?
    Wow!

  28. Tom Etten says:

    Garage Mahal. Those 3 garage doors on the front really shout “Class!”

  29. Carl says:

    Michael,

    You know you have done a good job when they have to attack you rather than the issues you have brought up. Nice work.

  30. Eat the Rich says:

    $475k? What a working class hero. Goldbricker and a thief.

  31. Jarod Kimber says:

    “Eat the rich”,
    Please explain to me how he’s a “goldbricker and a thief”??
    Or are you simply talking out of your ass?

  32. David Day says:

    Pretty nice house for a city employee. Especially for one that mostly just shows up to drug overdoses 6 minutes before the Ambulance.

    This is why the city has budget issues.

  33. Eat the rich says:

    Jarod, what does he do? Especially living in a millionaires house? This is not the house of a working man.

    Our fire department and police department need an enema. This shows all the rotten apples we got.

  34. John Q says:

    All of the people that think fire fighters are over paid must be correct.

    The city of Milwaukee has not had a list if peope to hire from in 10 years. On avg before this, the list was renewed every few years and the number of applications were around 7k. Now with 10 years since the last list only 3.7 k people have applied and half of them even bothered to sign up to actually start the process!

    So good luck with the talk of there being plenty of qualified people waiting to take a fire fighter job with Milwaukee. It’s so hard for the city to find qualified people that they have resorted to training people from the ground up. You do not need to have anything more then a high school diploma. The city pays for you to become an EMT to get your fire fighter 1 and 2 certificates to get heavy equipment operator license to become a paramedic to become an officer.

    So in the end new qualified candidates are becoming few and far between. Go ahead and keep cutting personal and fire houses, increasing their work, their medical cost, their payments to pension, the amount of calls they respond to and hiring unqualified new fire fighters.

  35. Reader says:

    The current employees are competent, capable, courageous and experienced. They are also replaceable. One constantly trains, educates, nurtures and promotes. That’s called the pipeline.
    At next collective bargaining for the “exempt from ACT 10” government unions, the city should bargain for union paying more for their pensions like other government unions. For those government union member who lives in the city the city could offer some more benefits or compensation.
    The members are not necessarily overpaid. With overtime, which most every union member wants a 6 figures range is quite doable. I

  36. Tyrell track master says:

    The angry comments here are hilarious. This column is genuinely interesting. This guy chose to live in a tasteless mcMansion completely removed from the community he claims to represent. That’s 100% news.

  37. Paul Trotter says:

    To this day I do not understand why the good taxpayers of Milwaukee pay this man’s salary – especially when he is always negotiating the best interest of the city.

  38. Wife of MKE LT says:

    I assume that my husband who is a MKE MFD LT will be listed next since we live in a secluded part of Port Washington and our home is valued MORE than Seager.

    Here is the part that you are missing that makes us ABLE to afford our home on a LT’s salary: I am the bread maker of our family making 6 times more than my husband’s LT salary. My husband will tell you his salary is “chump change” to my salary. When I married my husband, the residency restriction was in place so I ended up selling my $350k home and lived with him, which he already owned his home for 10 years. We don’t have any kids or pets. We own 4 cars, 2 Harley’s, and a boat- our car ranges from 2003-2009; our Harley’s are 6 years old, and our boat is 15 years old. We take 2 “major” trips a year. We clip coupons, go to $5 Tuesday night movies, buy things on sale, shop clearance section, shop at resale shops, garage sales, go to happy hour. We are an average WI couple.

  39. George S. Patton says:

    Unions representing police and firefighters should be outlawed.

  40. Paul Trotter says:

    Wife- your husband doesn’t get paid by the hard working taxpayers to negotiate against the best interests of the hard working taxpayers of Milwaukee like Seager.

  41. Paul Trotter says:

    Edit : To this day I do not understand why the good taxpayers of Milwaukee pay this man’s salary – especially when he is always negotiating AGAINST the best interests of the hard working taxpayers of Milwaukee.

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