Monthly Archives: February 2010

Lake Parkway Extension Issue Tops Tuesday’s South Milwaukee Council Agenda

It’s a relatively light agenda for Tuesday’s South Milwaukee City Council meeting, but there are a few interesting items we’ll be considering.

Two are related to the potential summer cycling events I wrote about earlier this week.

We’re also taking up a resolution requesting that the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission create a study committee to investigate the potential extension of the Lake Parkway south to Ryan Road or even Racine County.

This is an easy vote in mind, so I expect it will pass unanimously. This deserves a study, even if the project may not happen for 15 years or more.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Join us!

You can read the entire agenda here. And click here to read a press release about the 794 project from County Supervisor Pat Jursik.

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Some More Headlines of Interest …

Here are some headlines of note about South Milwaukee and the area …

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New South Milwaukee School Superintendent Named as Budget Struggles Mount

It didn’t take long to replace David Ewald as South Milwaukee School District superintendent.

A little over a month after Ewald announced his retirement, the School Board looked in-house to hire Dr. Rita Olson as its new leader.

Dr. Olson has served as the district’s director of instruction the past six years after spending more than 20 years in a variety of roles, ranging from German and French teacher to elementary principal. Learn more on the School District website.

Dr. Olson certainly has her work cut out for her.

The district also released its 2010-11 budget assumptions this week, and it’s not pretty.

The district is facing structural deficit of more than $900,000 this year after already having reuced staffing, programs and individual budgets by more than $6 million since the 2003-04 school year. Learn more here.

Of particular note in the document: The district is aiming to reduce its projected salary and benefit increases from $1.2 million to $600,000, but only if approved by the distict’s five unions and non-represented personnel. That certainly won’t be easy.

Without the $600,000 reduction, the district will have to consider a number of significant changes and cuts, including increasing student and athlete fees and eliminating orchestra, the high school golf team and a variety of teacher positions.

Congratulations, Dr. Olson. I don’t envy the tough decisions ahead of you.

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South Milwaukee: Cycling Capital?

I’ve said for quite a while that we need to find new and innovative ways to introduce people to South Milwaukee and let them know about all that South Milwaukee has to offer.

My contention is that when people learn more about our great city — and its safe streets, affordable housing, downtown opportunity good schools and great recreation opportunities — their perceptions of South Milwaukee will forever change.

So when you get the chance to bring thousands of visitors here, count me in.

That’s the opportunity we’re faced with this summer, as two large cycling events consider riding through South Milwaukee.

One, the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts, is a South Milwaukee regular. Its 25-mile route, the most popular of its five routes, winds through South Milwaukee every year, with an oasis stop in Grant Park. The Ride is looking to return again in 2010, bringing a couple thousand people into the park and onto the streets of our city on June 6. 

An even bigger opportunity, however, is the International Cycling Classic. This is a series of more than two weeks of races in communities throughout southeastern Wisconsin, and they want to stop in South Milwaukee the next three years.

This will bring hundreds more bicyclists to our city, and, more importantly, the chance to hold a true city celebration built around cycling.

My vision is the Food, Folks and Spokes event held annually to coincide with the Kenosha stop. It’s a great family festival that is a true community event, all built around the Classic. Why not consider doing something similar in South Milwaukee?

Of course, neither event, the Cycling Classic specifically, comes free. For instance, there is a $15,000 annual “site fee” for the Classic, which is seeking to come to South Milwaukee on July 19. That money has to be found somewhere — ideally through sponsorships, and no city tax dollars. 

The Miller Lite Ride and International Cycling Classic will be discussed at a joint meeting of the Public Works and Property and Finance committees at 6:15 p.m. on Monday. Click here for an agenda. I’ll keep you posted on what happens here.

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Harrowing, Saddening Story of South Milwaukee House Fire

Stories like this remind you to always be thankful of what you have … and recognize what’s really important. 

Fox 6 has a story of a South Milwaukee house fire late Monday morning that left nine people homeless. No one was hurt in the blaze at 3424 S. Chicago Avenue thanks in part to an observant three-year-old.

Check out the full story and video on Fox6Now.com. From the story:

The Herzog family had many to get out of the burning house. The kids had no school, and were home. All except one child who’s in a program for autism. Three-year-old Hannah was the first to see fire shooting out of the basement dryer. Another family was trapped on the upstairs porch of the duplex. Bobbie Herzog says, “The people outside were yelling. The girl’s standing out there yelling. ‘Get me down, get me down’ and we couldn’t find a ladder so he says ‘Slide over the side, I’ll just catch you’ So we all helped her down.”

The Herzogs have no renter’s insurance and have to start from scratch. There’s not much left to salvage.

At least they have their lives … and, hopefully, your prayers.

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A Note About When to Put Out Your Recycling Carts

This from the South Milwaukee city website

Attention:  Many residents have not been placing their recycling carts at the proper place for collection prior to 7:00 a.m. as required.  To ensure pick up of recyclables, please make sure to place your recycling cart at the appropriate place for collection after 7:00 p.m. on the evening before collection, and before 7:00 a.m. on the day of collection.  If you have any questions, please contact the Street Department at 768-8075.

I must admit I’ve been an occasional offender.

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South Milwaukee City Administrator Honored with Business Journal “40 Under 40″ Award

A hearty and well-deserved congratulations to South Milwaukee City Adminstrator Tami Mayzik, who has been named one of The Business Journal of Milwaukee’s 40 Under 40 Award recipients.

You can learn more about the award and see a list of the other honorees here.

Look for a profile of Tami in an upcoming edition of The Business Journal, and she and the other 39 will be honored at a reception April 12 at The Pfister.

Tami (who is 35) richly deserves this honor for her commitment to keeping the wheels of South Milwaukee government running remarkably smoothly — and her strong leadership during tough times, from the 2009 budget process to this month’s water emergency. This city is truly blessed to have her.

Well done!

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