I’m happy to announce the formation of the Downtown Advisory Committee — the group of business and property owners and residents who will be front and center in the debate over our city center in coming years.
The goal of the committee: To advise the South Milwaukee City Council and Plan Commission on downtown issues big and small, and play a key role in the development of a downtown plan that we’ll be working on as part of our comprehensive planning update.
It’s a big job, and an important one. I know this group will deliver, bringing passion, energy, enthusiasm and experience — along with some fresh voices — to the table. I can’t wait to get started!
It is a 10-member committee. Voting members are:
- Jay Benkowski: Owner of Benkowski Properties, which owns and manages a number of downtown and area residential properties. He is based out of the downtown South Milwaukee Depot.
- Brett Breisemeister: Owner of Breismeister Realty & Appraisal and member of the Plan Commission.
- Kristin Drenzek: Owner of Drenzek Chiropractic.
- Natalie Gajewski: Owner of The Revolution Hair Studio, Natalie is serving as one of the resident members of the committee.
- Chris Haslam: South Milwaukee resident and Caterpillar employee with education in civil and structural engineering.
- Timothy King: South Milwaukee resident with significant experience in real estate development and community revitalization as a developer, builder, operator, consultant, advisor and executive.
- Nicole Maxey: Owner of MKE City Sippers.
- Donn Powers: Owner of Donn Powers Jeweler.
- Rachel Sorce: South Milwaukee resident and executive director of the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.
The non-voting city council liaison will be Ald. Frank Van Dusen III.
I expect this group will first meet in February, coinciding with the hiring of a new economic development coordinator for the city. (We had strong interest in this position and are starting interviews in coming days.)
I want to thank everyone who applied to be on this committee. Interest was high, and we had some great candidates, making for some difficult choices. I see that as a really good sign for what we’re doing here.
I hope that those not chosen — and everyone reading this — joins the conversation. There will be plenty of opportunities to have your voices heard when it comes to revitalizing our downtown. Be heard.