Fair Deal: County Hosting March 25 Town Hall at Kelly Senior Center in Cudahy

From the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors …

Milwaukee County is reaching a crisis point. For too long, Milwaukee County has been forced to delay necessary maintenance in our parks and facilities, and put off important investments in public infrastructure and popular cultural venues. In recent years, budget cuts have threatened public services that our neighbors depend on every day.

This is why Milwaukee County leaders have joined together with community leaders, advocates, and business leaders to propose a Fair Deal for Milwaukee County.

Everyone is invited to this town hall meeting at the Kelly Senior Center in Cudahy to learn more about the solutions Milwaukee County is proposing to protect public services and invest in our future.

Join County Supervisors Jason Haas, Steve Shea, and County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. for this important conversation.

More info about the Fair Deal proposal is at milwaukee.gov/fairdeal

This is the first in a series of town halls to be hosted by Chairman Lipscomb and County Board Supervisors that will take place across Milwaukee County.

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Putting Your Waste to Good Use, and Saving Money

Pretty soon, there may be a little bit of you in bags of Milorganite — and we’ll be saving money because of it.

That is thanks to a new partnership with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, which will now be accepting solid waste from the South Milwaukee Wastewater Plant for use in making their slow-release nitrogen fertilizer.

The South Milwaukee City Council approved the agreement on Tuesday, and approval is still needed by the MMSD board.

Check out the agreement. We are always looking for win-win partnerships that help us become more efficient while delivering cost savings, and this is one of them.

By simply trucking our solids to MMSD instead of to area farms as far away as Washington and Fond du Lac Counties, we will save an estimated $60,000 per year. It also delivers environmental benefits, helping produce a fertilizer that MMSD calls “one of the nation’s oldest recycling efforts.”

There is also a broader win here — a continued strong partnership with MMSD. I am proud of the relationship we’ve built in recent years, starting with their partnership on the Oak Creek Watershed restoration plan and now this. We’ll be looking at additional partnerships in the future.

As we state in the agreement …

In a spirit of cooperation and in an effort to reduce the burden on respective rate-payers while improving the level of service to customers, the parties are constantly exploring partnerships and opportunities for shared services.

Amen to that, and we’re not done yet.

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A Word on Crossing Guards

By now, you may have heard the company we rely upon to provide school crossing guards has been put out of business, leaving us high and dry.

And we’re not alone.

The South Milwaukee Police Department is working hard to lessen the impact of this, and until we find a long-term solution it’s “all hands on deck” to keep our kids safe.

From the police department Facebook page

We have been able to find secure staff for some of the crossing locations with the temporary hire of guards that were previously working these posts and a new hire. We are also continuing to cover some posts with help from a volunteer, other City employees and Police department personnel, when possible. If anyone is interested in a crossing guard position please contact Captain Jill Kallay at the South Milwaukee Police Department for information and details. We continue to ask that drivers use caution and be watchful in crossing locations.

Here was Sunday’s SMPD post …

The company that staffs crossing guards for the City of South Milwaukee is experiencing some issues and this may result in not having crossing guards at the normal locations. The City and school district are working together to find new crossing guards. While this is being pursued, please remind your children to use caution during walks to and from school. We will have police officers and other city or school district employees assisting in these duties but we ask all drivers to be watchful for children at crosswalks. As the City of South Milwaukee takes steps to resolve this issue, we ask all drivers to be watchful and use extra caution.

I’ll be volunteering at 15th and Lakeview each morning this week. Stop by and say hello, and stay safe, South Milwaukee!

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I’m Cancelling my Coffee with the Mayor on Tuesday

If you want to find me, I’ll be volunteering as a crossing guard at 15th and Lakeview, pinch hitting through Monday as we join a number of other communities in dealing with the ceasing of operations of our provider.

Stay safe, South Milwaukee!

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Celebrating Our City’s Diversity of Religion — and Bringing Those Faiths Together, for Good

South Milwaukee’s incredible religious diversity is a strength. Now imagine what our local houses of worship could do as partners!

Bringing together our congregations to make them stronger, and uniting their members around common problems, to deliver joint solutions: That’s the idea behind our first-ever Faith Leaders Breakfast held earlier this month at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ.

All were invited. Seven congregations were represented. We’re hoping for even more at our next one, and there will be a next one.

This idea got its start with a conversation I had with local resident Ann Fooks years ago at a National Day of Prayer event. She suggested this would be good for South Milwaukee, and that much became clear as we left our first meeting.

We spent a lot of time simply getting to know each other — this is especially good timing because a number of local congregations have either brought in new leaders recently, or are in the process of leadership changes — and hearing about our local congregations.

We also started the discussion on challenges we face as a community. From homelessness and hunger to the opiate crisis and a reduction of services available to our seniors with the recent Interfaith closure, we certainly face our share of problems. But I’m convinced this group will step up — with the power of their congregations behind them — to help us overcome those.

At the very least, there are opportunities for jointly promoting community activities and events our churches already do — such as the third-Thursday meals offered at First Congregational — and perhaps drive education about the wide variety of religions being practiced in South Milwaukee.

Indeed, there is a huge value in simply talking to each other, demystifying what is happening in that church down the block or the mosque across town. In doing so, we realize we are more alike than different, and stronger together than apart.

Friday’s tragedy in New Zealand brought home this point to me. We need less hate and senseless violence everywhere, and that includes South Milwaukee. We need more positive relationships and unity.

I am hopeful this work will yield those, over time. We’re off to a good start.

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Wanted: Volunteers for a Unique Real-World Opportunity for Local Kids

I love this unique real-world learning opportunity from the South Milwaukee School District. And they need your help!

From Chris Daniels, work-based learning coordinator for the district and youth apprenticeship coordinator for the South Shore Suburban Consortium …

South Milwaukee High School will be hosting an Academic and Career Planning day for juniors and seniors on Tuesday, April 9.  Part of the day will focus on a “Reality Check” event where every junior at SMHS will be introduced to real life financial scenarios to enhance their financial literacy and prepare for life after high school.  Using an app on a smart phone or tablet, students will move around the field house to nine different stations where volunteers will present various scenarios such as car payments, rent, entertainment, health expenses, etc.

20 more volunteers are still needed to make this event possible.  Volunteers should plan to arrive at 7:15 for a continental breakfast and training about their roles for the event.  No advanced preparation is required, just a willingness to work with students and help them on their pathways.  The event will conclude at 11:00.

If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions, please e-mail Chris Daniels or call him at 414-766-5140.

Also during the morning and afternoon of April 9, the high school will be hosting a career and college fair for juniors and seniors where businesses, trades, and colleges can meet with students to talk about job openings, as well as career and education opportunities.  If you are interested in learning more about the event and possibly participating, please click on this link for more detailed information and to sign up.

Thank you for your support of our students!

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