Tag Archives: Pat Jursik

For A Smoother Parkway

Oak Creek Parkway road

Milwaukee County is proposing to spend close to $1 million to rebuild Oak Creek Parkway from the railroad trestle near South Milwaukee High School, east to Chicago Avenue.

The project, contained in the county’s recently released capital budget proposal and pushed by Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik and County Executive Chris Abele, would begin in 2016 with planning and design, with the construction work being done in 2017. From the capital budget plan …

The project scope for 2017 work is anticipated to include reconstruction of the storm sewer and pavement systems. Storm water best management practices and green infrastructure is included. Replacement of municipal utilities such as sanitary sewers, water mains, and storm sewers are being coordinated with this project.

I ask that the full county board approve this plan. If you’ve driven this stretch lately, you know it’s necessary work — or, as the budget plan puts it, a “highest priority” project for a road in need of “immediate renovation.”


Filed under Construction, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Special Guests Set For April, May Meet The Mayor Events

I’m proud to welcome two special guests to my next two Meet the Mayor events.

  • On Saturday, April 18, Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik will be joining me at I Can’t Resist Kids’ Resale, 915 Milwaukee Ave.
  • Then, on Saturday, May 30, State Rep. Jessie Rodriguez will be joining me at Nona’s Café, 2206 10th Ave.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for both events.

Bring your questions, comments or concerns, or just stop by, say hi and check out these terrific local businesses.

Thanks to Becky and Ida for hosting these events.

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Filed under South Milwaukee

Jursik Publishes News Update … Including An Oak Creek Watershed Update

Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik has published her latest E-Update, including this update on the Oak Creek watershed …

On October 17, the City of South Milwaukee hosted the group from Watershed Initiative Network (WIN); I thank Mayor Zepecki for hosting this meeting at city hall. While WIN largely discussed the Root River Watershed which does partially include areas within South Milwaukee, this discussion revealed what can take place regarding study and clean-up of a watershed area. Many active citizens also attended including the great volunteers from Friends of Grant Park and Friends of Mill Pond including former Alderman Mary Nelson, a tireless advocate for dredging the pond. This discussion highlighted the need for all neighbors living in a watershed to take responsibility for keeping our streams and lakes clean. Simple activities such as keeping yard waste from draining into storm waters or ensuring that oil or gasoline leaks from older cars do not foul our roadways which then get washed into the storm sewers and empty into the creek are examples. Before dredging of the Mill Pond can be done, we first need to address silt and toxicant washouts upstream. The county capital budget for 2015 does plan for a stream bank initiative for the Oak Creek. To realize the dream of the many citizens that signed the Petition for the Mill Pond restoration, all of the issues surrounding this watershed must be addressed.

I also attended this meeting and was happy to hear of plans for the WIN group to do a more detailed study on the Oak Creek watershed in coming years. I strongly support this effort — and look forward to better days for this watershed, including and especially the Mill Pond.  I hope the city will help lead the way.

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Guest Blog: County Supervisor Pat Jursik Provides Budget Insights

I asked South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik for her thoughts on the county executive’s proposed budget, and I just received the following message. A big thank you to Supervisor Jursik for doing this — and continuing to keep her constituents informed on key issues. One note from her information: It looks like Grobschmidt Pool is not on the chopping block. For now. 

The County Executives’s budget proposes a no tax levy increase budget.  Since I agree that our local property taxes are too high and too many services are supported via property taxes, I always appreciate this starting point.  Milwaukee County is still dealing with a 15 million dollar deficit this year and this will again be a budget that has limited ability to address many deferred issues of maintenance.  Much of the deficit is caused by paying legacy (retirees) pension and health benefits, promises that were made dating back into the 1970s.

Since I sit on the Finance Committee, I will have a front seat to both the review and amendment of this proposed budget.  Here are some of the issues that the Finance Committee will be facing in the 2014 budget:

Sheriff:  This department experiences the greatest change.  Like last year, the county executive is proposing that parks be patrolled by the local police with money awarded to local department.  This will eliminate over 30 positions.  Milwaukee gets the largest payment and our local cities would each see about $10,000.  While I opposed this last year, I was disappointed in the actual hours our parks received from the Sheriff.  Our local police departments still provide the primary response to the parks in the south shore.  I will re-examine this in light of the realities of services provided. Several functions that were once under the Sheriff’s Dept. are being shifted to other departments.  This includes Emergency Management, Training Academy, and House of Correction taking on some functions once administered in the Sheriff’s Dept.  The House of Correction is now run by a Superintendent, Michael Haffeman.  I toured the House in September and was impressed with the programs given the short turn around time provided.

Transit:  The good news is no bus service reductions are proposed.  I have had to fight many battles to keep bus service in South Milwaukee in past years.  The main change is a $1.00 reduction in the fares for para-transit riders, disabled users.  A mistake was made in preparing the budget and this actually causes the budged to be 1.5 million out of balance.  The county executive is proposing use of contingency funds to make up this deficit, i.e. reduce the money he put into contingency and shift it to cover this mistake.

Parks:  Even though the Parks Interim Director, John Dargle, stated in Parks Committee that Grobschkmidt Pool was to be closed, it is not shown in the proposed budget.  The only closures detailed are the two indoor pools, Pulaski and Noyes.  I will continue to watch this South Milwaukee amenity.  There are no significant changes to our Parks Dept. except that the county executive is proposing the sale of O’Donnell Square to Northwestern Mutual.  I am highly critical of placing this item in the budget.  The county executive has not done his homework on this and has failed to address significant issues surrounding the users of O’Donnell.  Northwestern Mutual is an outstanding corporate citizen, and this company should not be treated in this manner by the executive’s office.  I want to make it clear going forward that any issues regarding this parking garage do not in any way reflect on this great company.  My proposal is to completely remove the O’Donnell sale from this budget.  Many stake holders must be considered in addressing lake front parking, Summerfest, Milwaukee Art Museum, War Memorial, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Coast Restaurant just to name a few without the regular park users and week day business users.

Behavioral Health:  The county executive’s budget continues to plan the redesign of our mental health services.  Significant new money is put into community services as a means of down-sizing the hospital enrollments.  A new Crisis Service Coordinator is created to manage new initiatives.  A Crisis Mobile Team is also new and will work directly with Police Officers on emergency commitments.  A second clinic is created on the Southside to provide community care as an alternate to emergency detentions.  I largely support the direction of these initiatives.  This redesign will cause many job losses in the health fields and will prove to be an adjustment for many workers.  This is always a difficult issue to deal with.

Capital Improvements:  We will see some improvements to Layton Avenue including the intersection of Whitnall and also Pennsylvania.  Kelly Center will get a new front door.  There is some on going maintenance projects for parks and highways although no large projects for our district.  There will be continued funding for Noise Abatement at the airport to cover some 700 affected properties,.  The War Memorial will continue with major capital repairs and the Milwaukee Art Museum will embark on a new project to enhance the museum, these are the most exciting new projects.  The projects were made possible by the new agreements that the board forged with these two institutions.

There are many other areas of the budget that have not been addressed in this short article but will be reviewed.  The public hearing on the budget is November 4 at 4:00 p.m. at the War Memorial Center.    I am always interested in hearing from constituents on these issues:  278-4231 or patricia.jursik@milwcnty.com

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Filed under 2014 Budget, Milwaukee County

Jursik Publishes News Update

South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik has published her October E-News newsletter, with updates on various issues facing the county and some good advice on the rollout of Affordable Care Act …

There is much confusion on the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act in addition to the histrionics taking place in D.C. including a government shut-down. I know this is a controversial topic, but I would like to suggest the following: First try to understand the new law. Here is a link to a very easy-to-watch video featuring the “You Toons” produced by the Kaiser Foundation which tries to explain the program without a heavy bias: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZkk6ueZt-U.

 Second, since Wisconsin is one of the states that did not accepted the Medicaid extension that would have provided more coverage to low income families, the County Board and Executive responded by funding several programs. The programs are too complicated to fully address in this short article, but there is a service available with the additonal county funding. If you are a family that has received Badgercare, please call the social services hotline at 211. The county funded additonal staff to answer questions and to assist those who will not get the expanded insurance with a substitute program available to Wisconsin citizens.

For more information visit http://www.healthcare.gov, or call the 24/7 hotline at: 1-800-318-2596.

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Jursik Publishes July Update

And it includes an item on the Oak Creek watercourse  …

Mayor Tom Zepecki, Don Bulley of the Friends of Mill Pond and I attended the Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) Root-Pike Watershed conference at Wingspread Conference Center on June 13, 2013. This conference discussed the study underway regarding the Root River Watershed. The City of South Milwaukee starting south of Grant Park and about the entire city east of the railroad tracks is included in the Root River Watershed study. Corrective action plans were discussed. This initiative is underway to improve the water quality of Lake Michigan and the shore line. The good news provided is that the Oak Creek Watershed will be their next project. No time was given but hopefully within the next few years. Money for this work is obtained from the Fund for Lake Michigan. The goal of the work is to identify priority areas for restoration.

Here is the full newsletter.

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Milwaukee County News And Views: Jursik Publishes June Newsletter

South Shore Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik has published her June newsletter.

Check it out here, including items on her Pedal in the Park event and her concerns over a couple recent actions by Sheriff David Clarke.

There is also an item in the newsletter about a new role for Pat’s former aide, Alexis Gassenhuber. Looming cuts in board staff funding means Pat won’t  have a full-time aide going forward. Constituents will notice the difference — especially with the loss of Alexis, who was first-rate. I wish her well in her new role in the county clerk’s office.

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Jursik Publishes New Newsletter … And Weighs In On Effort To Oust Board Chairwoman

Check out Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jurisk’s latest constituent newsletter here, including this item on her decision to not support the ouster of Board Chairwoman Marina Dimtrijevic … 

A number of District 8 constituents have asked me to join five other supervisors in seeking removal of the County Board Chairwoman. I have also received a number of questions regarding the issue of negotiating with a non-certified union, which is not permitted under Act 10, the legislation that removed significant provisions of municipal employee bargaining rights. To respond, I have consistently stated and reiterate in this Open Letter to all of my constituents:

I believe that communications, conversations, discussions, interactions or, if you like, “negotiations” did take place between the County’s labor negotiator Fred Bau and AFSCME’s Rich Abelson. I believe these two gentlemen have both stated as much. I do not know who directed Mr. Bau to act as he did. The Finance Committee, the Board Chairwoman and County Executive each have the ability to direct Mr. Bau. I know the following are the facts:

  • Fact: The Finance Committee, of which I am a member, has taken no formal vote to  direct negotiations or to enter into a contract with AFSCME (Discussions with legal counsel took place in closed session. Our legal counsel has always provided legal advice consistent with the directives of Act 10. Closed session discussions are confidential).
  • Fact: The Chairwoman never placed a negotiated contract with AFSCME on any committee agenda for a formal vote.
  • Fact: I have never had an opportunity as your representative on the Board to vote against such negotiations. My position has always been that AFSCME is not a certified union and therefore cannot act to represent employees of the County under Act 10.
  • Fact: There is no contract with a decertified union in violation of Act 10.

I will continue to work within the realm of facts. I do not intend to react to political requests that are not factually based. For this reason, I will not join any group seeking to remove the Chairwoman based on hearsay or “he said, she said” conjectures or any other politically charged statement surrounding this issue. Please call or e-mail my office if you wish to discuss this further.

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“Severe Infestation”? Sobering News On Emerald Ash Borer’s Presence In South Milwaukee

Is emerald ash borer in South Milwaukee?

This email from Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik — sent in response to a constituent concern about trees being cut down near Oak Creek Parkway recently — essentially confirms it is.

Here is the email …

I communicated with the Milwaukee County Parks Department about the tree removal north of South Milwaukee High School.  This removal is indeed related to Emerald Ash Borer as your constituent surmised.

The forestry manager explained that the removal of the ash trees along 15th Avenue just south of Oak Creek Parkway is in response to a  severe infestation by Emerald Ash Borer near 15th Avenue, city sidewalks and park paths. The same week, Milwaukee County Parks forestry removed several mature ash trees just west of Grobschmidt pool because they were also infested and could pose a threat to the pool, and walkway.

The forestry manager believes that we will see a rapid increase in the infestation, removal and requests for removal of Ash trees in South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Franklin, and Cudahy.  Forestry staff has confirmed infestations at several County Parks locations including Oak Creek Parkway, Grobschmidt Pool, Pulaski (Cudahy), Oakwood, the Sports complex and Southwood Glen.

Jursik also reported that South Milwaukee officials, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Milwaukee County Parks administration “have been proactively working together to identify and address infested ash trees.”

So that’s the problem on county land, and what the county is doing in response. What is the city doing?

As you may recall, the South Milwaukee City Council recently voted to match grant funding from the state to perform a GPS study of trees on city property and in the right of way, as well as develop options for fighting EAB.

It’s a start. At least we’ll get a better handle on the problem — and have the information we need as a council to make a decision on an EAB action plan. From the looks of things, we can’t start soon enough.


Filed under Milwaukee County, Oak Creek

Jursik: Clarke “Must Not Be Permitted To Bully The Executive, Bully The Board, And Bully The Taxpayer”

South Shore County Supevisor Pat Jursik has weighed in on recent comments from Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke criticizing County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.

Oh, has she ever weighed in.

From the press release, in which she also speaks out against Clarke’s running of the House of Correction …  

Sheriff Clarke’s recent comments have hit a new low. While my office has had policy disagreements with the County Executive, these disagreements have always been at the policy level, never about personalities. Unfortunately Sheriff Clarke has reduced himself to only a personality. He refuses to engage in real discussion much less cooperation with departments.

Clarke’s recent remarks regarding the County Executive and now the City of Milwaukee Police Chief are below the belt, but also entirely out of line for an elected official. If anyone owes an apology, it is the Sheriff for his comments last week regarding the County Executive. …

The Sheriff must not be permitted to bully the Executive, bully the Board, and bully the taxpayer. Bullies do not get to win because they are better at name-calling.

I encourage you to read the whole press release, and post your comments below!


Filed under Milwaukee County

Guest Blog: County Supervisor Pat Jursik On How The County Is Bearing Down On The Emerald Ash Borer

I’ve had a few questions about what the county is doing to combat emerald ash borer — including some of my own — so I posed them to Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik.

Here is her response …

I appreciate the questions about Milwaukee County’s strategy to combat Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Milwaukee County Parks and particularly at Grant Park.  The Milwaukee County Parks Department updated me on its current efforts:

  • To combat EAB and limit the impacts of ash tree loss, the Parks Department has applied a balanced solution of treatment, removal, and replacement.  To date the majority of the work in dealing with EAB in Grant Park has been ash tree removal.  Our goal is a balanced approach by increasing our plantings and ash tree treatments in the park.  We have applied for grants and will continue to apply for them.  To date we have received three grants that have been major keystones in our approach to EAB and Ash.  One grant helped us to write the EAB plan, another helped with treatment, and the most recent will increase plantings in Milwaukee County, specifically Grant Park.  We are currently at Grant doing some work and plan to continue this fall.  For efficiency, we make every attempt to coordinate EAB-targeted work with regular forestry duties in the park. We do continue to work and seek out any partners and other municipalities that share this cause.  For example, we hope to participate in an opportunity using predatory wasps that attack EAB.  The WI DNR is the lead on this.


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Filed under Milwaukee County, Parks

Public Meeting Brings Debate Over Restructuring Of County Government To South Milwaukee

For at least one night, South Milwaukee will be the center of the debate around the various proposals to restructure Milwaukee County government — thanks to County Supervisor Pat Jursik.

Pat is hosting a public meeting on the topic on Thursday, April 4, at the South Milwaukee Peforming Arts Center. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Among the speakers is state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, the former county supervisor who has been driving this debate in Madison. Also scheduled to speak is County Supervisor Theo Lipscomb.

The event will feature an overview of Sanfelippo’s bill, a counterpoint from Lipscomb, a review of county services and a question-and-answer session.

It should be an interesting night. Learn more in Pat’s newsletter. From it:

As your representative on the County Board, I have not yet taken a position with regard to this restructuring. In order to take a position, I am holding a public meeting to both inform and to obtain your input. Rep. Sanfelippo will discuss his bill and the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Sup. Theodore Lipscomb, will provide input from the local Board perspective. This format will ensure a good point/counterpoint discussion. It will also allow for your questions.

What do you want from your local County government? I am hopeful that residents will fill the auditorium to discuss this important issue. Don’t miss this opportunity.


Filed under Milwaukee County

Supervisor Jursik Update: Seven Bridges, Oak Creek Watercourse And More

Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik has published her monthly newsletter, and it includes updates on the Seven Bridges project and the Oak Creek watercourse.

Check it out here. Here is the item on the Seven Bridges …

The Parks Department is working to have the contractor rectify ravine damage during lakeside bridge reconstruction at Seven Bridges trail in Grant Park. Of course, the good news is that Seven Bridges will finally be restored come Spring of 2013.

Along with the Parks Department and engineering staff, I met with the Friends of Grant Park in January. The Friends are alarmed at the ravine damage and want to ensure the area is properly restored with native vegetation and clean soils. They have offered to assist with volunteer hours. I am in awe of wonderful groups like the Friends of Grant Park and thank them for their passion and work.

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Filed under Milwaukee County, Oak Creek, Parks

Guest Blog: Pat Jursik On Joe Sanfelippo’s Proposal To Make The Milwaukee County Board Part-Time

Update: Be sure to vote in my new poll on the right-hand side of the page!

I asked Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik for her thoughts on the legislation proposed by state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo to require a binding referendum asking voters if Milwaukee County supervisors should be part time.

Here is what she wrote me …

First, it is hard for any supervisor to discuss this issue since it affects pay and benefits; therefore, I have an automatic conflict of interest.  Any attorney would call such a witness biased.  This being said, I want you and all of my constituent to know that I will serve my constituents throughout my term as promised in my Oath of office no matter how this turns out.

Second, Can this job be done by a part-timer?  Yes, if all you do is attend committee meetings and board meetings.  Sanfelippo has already said he works part-time and therefore knows it can be done.  But I would ask anyone to tell me what Sanfelippo has accomplished for his district?  He has no successful projects because he does not work with others to reach consensus or compromise.  He Votes “NO” on any controversial or budgetary matter which really does not require him to spend much time studying the issue.  But enough about Sanfelippo, I will talk about my district.  When I first ran for this office, I had a full-time law practice.  I thought perhaps I’d be able to do my superviosry duties and still be able to run a scaled-down practice.  Then I ran into the first major issue that effected the South Shore, the move to take down the Hoan Bridge. I reacted with creation of the Coalition to Save the Hoan.  I created a Petition and held town-hall meetings.  I appeared at the Press Club and many other venues to press our case for saving the Hoan.  I soon discovered I had no time for other duties.  I’ve fought for extension of 794, repair of the 7 Bridges, keeping the 128th open, South Shore Option for Economic Development and other projects to benefit our district.  I am proud of my record.  I probably sound like a candidate for re-election (as I said there is an automatic conflict for me to address this issue).  I hold these accomplishments up to those of Sanfelippo to show what working full-time vs. part-time looks like.

Third:   A pox on both their houses.  Yes, this is base politics at its raw, ugly, take-no-hostages level.  I did not vote for the current redistricting plan on the board.  When the Holloway-led board did redistricting, they too used their majority to reduce Republican representation on the board basically redistricting Joe Rice out of his seat.  This ugly act has now come full-circle and perhpas the “board” (some new members were elected and did not participate) has reaped what it sowed.  Should we govern regionally?  SEWRPC is our regional planner, and perhaps our governance should be as well.  The problem with Sanfelippo’s attack from this view-point is that he would only change the rules for Milwaukee County while leaving all others the same.  When you want real change, everyone should sit at that table. 

Of course, I’d like to know what your thoughts are on this issue. Post your comments below!


Filed under Milwaukee County

Seven Bridges Update … And It’s Not Good

The following is from Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik, in her monthly news Update.

Throughout December 2012, a contractor repaired the large lakeside bridge at Seven Bridges trail in Grant Park. Many of us were alarmed at the lack of erosion controls; at the excessive removal of trees and walls to access the site; and at the road that was built to lower a back hoe to the bridge level. This was all outside the job description.

At this point, I am working with the Parks Department and engineering staff to demand the best remedy for this sad situation. Milwaukee County will not make further payments until the contractor repairs the damage, plants trees and takes other steps. We will do our best to get this rectified.

Jursik’s monthly newsletter also includes updates on the 794 extension, Mill Pond repairs, Bender Park and a variety of county issues.


Filed under Milwaukee County, Parks