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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Good News for South Milwaukee: A Highly Profitable 2009 for Bucyrus International

Bucyrus International reported mixed quarterly results on Thursday.

Fourth-quarter 2009 sales were down, but profits were up for the mining equipment manufacturer that is so vital to our city.

For all of 2009, both profits and sales increased, as Bucyrus earned $312.7 million last year, the company reported, even as “all product lines were negatively impacted in 2009 as a result of current global economic conditions.”

Also of note from the release:

Capital expenditures for 2009 were $54.6 million, which included $13.4 million related to the expansion and additional renovation of Bucyrus’ South Milwaukee facilities. Bucyrus’ capital expenditures for 2010 are expected to be between $60 million and $70 million, which does not include its pending Terex Mining acquisition.

You can read the full earnings release here, and click here to see a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story.

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Mayoral Change Afoot in Cudahy?

In what is shaping up to be a fascinating race for mayor in Cudahy, newcomer Tony Day and incumbent Ryan McCue will advance to the general election on April 6. It’s far from great news for McCue, however. He finished second in Tuesday’s primary, and it wasn’t really that close.

Embattled incumbent Cudahy Municipal Court Judge John Zodrow also finished a distant second in his primary.

You can see the Journal Sentinel story here.

There were no primary races in South Milwaukee today. The three contested races on the April 6 ballot in South Milwaukee are mayor (incumbent Tom Zepecki vs. former Alderman Richard Raduenz), clerk (incumbent Kathleen Lisowski vs. Alderman Jim Shelenske) and School Board.

I’ll keep you posted on these local races as they draw nearer.

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Impressive Turnout: The Final Fresh Water Days Tally

It came together quickly … and it easily exceeded expectations.

Fresh Water Days drew patrons out to South Milwaukee restaurants and bars in big numbers last Thursday and Friday.

Want proof? Consider that more than 1,600 people entered to win the more than $600 in gift certificates given out as part of the promotion, prizes that ranged from free drinks to South Milwaukee Downtown Market gift certificates to tickets to a South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center performance.

Third District Alderman Jim Shelenske and I drew the winners on Monday. Visit SouthMilwaukee.org to see if you won.

Again, thanks to everyone who took part. I was proud to be a part of this.

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Previewing Tuesday’s Council Meeting

It’s a light agenda for Tuesday’s South Milwaukee Common Council meeting.

Here’s a quick preview:

  • The council will likely accept a Department of Homeland Security FEMA port security grant for $82,163 for the purchase of a replacement rescue boat for the South Milwaukee Fire Department. The grant requires a 25 percent, or $27,387, match. To help make up the difference, we are asking the St. Francis, Cudahy and Oak Creek fire departments to make a one-time investment of $6,800 each. The boat will be used to respond to emergencies off all of the communities’ shorelines, to assist the U.S. Coast Guard in search and resue sorties and to tow boats back to the docks of Bender Park and the South Milwaukee Yacht Club.
  • The Council will also consider a liquor license for Giuseppi’s Cucina & Pizzeria, 1117 Marquette Avenue. I’ll keep you posted as to when this new restaurant will open.
  • We’ll also be discussing noise complaints made about the Appleton Electric foundry on 5th Avenue.

You can see the full agenda here. I hope to see you at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 2424 15th Avenue.

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Dogs, Day Cares and Marriage Proposals: South Milwaukee Headlines You May Be Interested In

Here are some more South Milwaukee headlines of note:

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Thanks for Supporting Fresh Water Days … Now How About Next Year?

Thank you to everyone who grabbed a bite — or a drink — at a South Milwaukee restaurant or bar as part of Fresh Water Days on Thursday and Friday.

My family and I stopped for a fish fry at Paisano’s on Friday, and the place was packed, with Mayor Tom Zepecki, School Board President and Pat Bordak and School Board member Brett Briesemeister among the other diners.

It was great to see … great to see South Milwaukeeans stepping up to support local businesses … great to see city residents rallying around a good cause … great to see us turn a negative like last week’s water emergency into a positive.

Now here’s a thought: Let’s do it again next year.

Of course, we probably don’t want to “commemorate” the Great Water Main Break of 2010 in any formal way. Moving on is probably a good thing.

But it would be nice to have some sort of annual “Dine Out South Milwaukee” event, where we encourage area residents to eat out locally.

I’d welcome any ideas you might have along those lines. Let me know how we can keep a good thing like Fresh Water Days going. Post your comments below.

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Fresh Water Days Continues: Looking for a Good South Milwaukee Fish Fry?

South Milwaukee’s Fresh Water Days continues, and I want to thank everyone who dined out or grabbed a drink at a South Milwaukee restaurant or bar Thursday. We heard from several establishments that business was great.

Let’s keep it up on Friday!

And if you’re looking for a good fish fry, might I suggest one of my personal South Milwaukee favorites:

  • Brew Town Pub, 1902 17th Avenue: Try the Serbian fish fry. Yum!
  • Creative Catering, 1645 Rawson Avenue
  • Bickler’s Coachlight Inn, 500 Madison Avenue
  • Hickory Inn, 2703 South Chicago Avenue

Of course, there are plenty of others to choose from, and, no matter what restaurant you choose, remember that you’re doing your part to support South Milwaukee business.

I’d also like to thank local media outlets for spreading the word. Channels 4, 6, 12 and 58 all sent crews out Thursday. Check out the Fox 6 story and video here.

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Do Your Part! Dine Out Thursday or Friday as Part of South Milwaukee Fresh Water Days

Fresh Water Days are here, and our bars and restaurants need your help.

Pleasem make it a point to dine out or grab a drink Thursday or Friday at one of the approximately 60 bars and restaurants in South Milwaukee that were hit hard by last week’s water emergency.

To give you extra incentive to do so, many of these establishments are offering Fresh Water Days specials. And you can enter at participating bars and restaurants to win more than $500 in gift certificates to the South Milwaukee Downtown Market, South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center and a number of South Milwaukee bars and restaurants.

Learn more in this updated press release, and be sure to check out www.southmilwaukee.org for a complete list of participating locations and gift certificates up for grabs.

I am proud to help lead this effort … and do my part to help area businesses during this tough time. I hope you feel that same commitment.

So please spread the word. Tell your friends and neighbors to dine out Thursday or Friday, or both. Blog about it. Tweet. Facebook it. Let’s make a difference!

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