I was never more happy with my decision to start closely following the proceedings of the Common Council and it’s various committees back in January than I was last night. The community development committee discussed and voted on 3 items related to the UWM Innovation Park project last night and I was glad I was up to speed and had done my homework.
I think the issue is moving forward very cautiously. A lot of great questions have been asked and many important issues have been raised. Most importantly, I feel UWM has been very responsive and engaged in the conversation. You can see that they really want this project to work and are willing to compromise. That is how things get done.
I am not worried about UWM. They have shown that they care. I worry about the ill-informed contractor down the road that makes an error or the utility digger that knocks something down erroneously. I am sure that the Friends of the Monarch Trail will continue to watch over this like the hawks they have proven they are from now till forever
Some jobs let you ease in a little, but apparently not mine. I am becoming more and more glad everyday that I have spent the past 4 months getting up to speed on Common Council issues. Tonight on the docket at the Community Development Committee will bethe committee recommendation for re-zoning the county grounds and preliminary approval of UWMs plans. I have received multiple emails this week from people for, against, or conditionally for the plans. I have received ZERO emails or phone calls from anyone that lives in the 5th district. Now there is the discussion. After last week and when this first went before the committee I think I have heard just about every argument against, I am looking forward to hearing some argument for it. I need more info.
I got my first press call yesterday. I did not respond because I am not armed with enough information to give a response. The question at hand was about the Waukesha water plan to return their treated waste water to Lake Michigan via a river that runs through Wauwatosa. I know that I have yet to talk to anyone that thinks it’s a good idea. I also know that this idea has a million hurdles to jump before it could ever happen.
As I had hoped, this job promises to never have a dull moment.
I spent last night at the Community Development Committee meeting in committee room #1 at City Hall. Of the many meetings I have attended at City Hall this was probably one of the longest, and most heated, I have ever witnessed. The hot topic last night was butterflies, specifically Monarch Butterflies.Wauwatosa it seems is home to a key rest stop for Monarch butterflies during their thousands of miles of migration they repeat every year. Specifically the butterflies like to stop in a patch of undeveloped land smack dab in the middle of the Milwaukee County Grounds. Land whichhas been used for various county buildings over time, is currently not used, but is being considered for development by UWM for a state of the art, world class engineering school. I love butterflies, they are like living moving flowers and a reminder of the beauty that nature has to offer. My oldest son has hatched butterflies from cocoons and with our public museum membership our first stop when we visit is always to see how butterflies are doing. I think that it is pretty neat that the butterflies have chosen Wauwatosa to make their annual pit stop.
I am also pro-development. The prestige the UWM is offering us does not come about every day. This is an opportunity that we cannot let pass by but I also recognize that as the care takers of the Earth we have a responsibility to protect the butterflies. Balance and compromise MUST be found.
At the meeting last night there were many members of the public who were passionate about the Monarchs and their habitat. I was proud that so many people are acting as the voice for such tiny creatures that do not have one of their own. Knowing this, and having looked over the plans I am confident that balance and compromise has been achieved and will carry forth as the UWM plan moves forward.
I also came to realize that butterflies might be smarter than humans. I have a hard time finding my car keys yet every year these little guys find their way back to Tosa. I think if we do this right they will continue to visit us and find their way home.
Here I can tell you what I think and you can tell me why I'm wrong :) I hope this space can be used to create real dialog and real debate about real issues.
Let's keep the blog about the blog and stick to the news and issues at hand. If you have a non-blog question for me, send me an email, I also reserve the right to delete anonymous posts, lets keep it real--- we are neighbors and should not be strangers.