Following are Trustee Dawn Anderson's comments (underlined) and my responses (in italics) to her:
Dear Dave - may I start with 2 words? BIG PICTURE. Is the lack of parking for a few weeks an inconvenience for people who use the High School parking lot? Yes. Is the current parking situation a serious problem for the business owners and their clients? Absolutely. But all of this a temporary problem. I am not unsympathetic to either constituency. However, in the long run, when it is complete, the streetscape WILL enhance the business district and the appearance of the village. Unfortunately, you can't wave a magic wand and make it done overnight. Road work simply necessitates some inconvenience and is to some degree at the mercy of the elements when it comes to timetables
I am so glad you brought up the BIG PICTURE --- "that in the long run, when it is complete, the streetscape WILL enhance the business district ... ".
Actually the BIG PICTURE is that we are SCRAPPING a streetscape after only about 10 years --- is that the Long Run you are talking about?
Just how was the north Oakland Streetscape so screwed up that everything from the curbs to the buildings are now deemed junk ? Has the prior work even been paid for ? We are told that the light poles are now junk because they rust --- cast iron --- Wisconsin winters --- of course they rust. But where is the cost analysis between maintaining the naturally rusting poles compared to junking them and buying new ones
.We are told that the pavers used between the curb and sidewalks were a bad idea, because of our freeze thaw cycles. But at the same time, the new plan calls for pavers in the cross walks instead of concrete !
And just what was the problem with the planters, the benches and the trash receptacles ? I have yet to talk to anyone who thought they needed replacing
But enough of the BIG PICTURE. Everyone can be an expert at the big picture level. If you want to cross a river --- build a bridge --- but who designs it, builds it, maintains it --- and is responsible if it falls down ?You say that you are not unsympathetic to those who are inconvenienced or are having a serious problem. But what have you done to show your sympathy ?
On the west side of the 4400 block of North Oakland, there have been NO PARKING during BUSINESS HOURS for 2 or 3 weeks. But only about a day and a half of work has been done there!
Do you sympathize with the business owner I talked to who told me that she has suffered about a 20% loss of business during this time. Who cares that she puts in 50 to 60 hour weeks, and then the Village blocks her patrons --- NOT because there is work going on --- but because NOBODY CARES to take down the "no parking" signs when there is NO work being done.
Your recent posts would seem to indicate that this is the end of the world in Shorewood. We have to endure - gasp! - heavier traffic, slightly slower travel times on Oakland and to top it off - WE CAN"T PARK WHERE WE WANT TO!! Horrors! We might have to park our stupid cars and actually walk a couple extra blocks to our destination. Have we become such a spoiled community that we feel the need to escalate this temporary inconvenience to the level you are taking it? I don't think so. But, you are entitled to your opinion and to rant about whatever you want.
I guess the question about spoiled community depends upon which community you live in. If it is the one west of Oakland, where you are very likely a renter trying to make it in a nice environment for your kids, and where there is not enough parking space, so you have to pay EXTRA taxes for a parking permit, and you get hit with EXTRA taxes in the form of a ticket for parking a little too long somewhere --- I don't know how spoiled you are.
But if you live east of Oakland where virtually everyone has a garage (oh yeah, that is where all the elected officials live) and you can subsidize the property taxes on your house with all the revenue from those parking permits and tickets --- maybe you are spoiled.
Here's mine: There's a lot of important stuff going on in our state (Missing budget? County Exec's race? How about the races for the Senate and Assembly seats for our district?), in our country (don't even get me started) and in our world. Nothing else ranks as more important than railing on a daily basis about not being able to park our cars where we want for a few weeks? I'm simply asking you to use the platform you have responsibly.
Gosh --- if all that important stuff is going on, why are you wasting your time on the Village Board ? And I'm sorry if you think my postings are irresponsible, just because you don't agree with them and they cause you discomfort as an elected official. You might catch on though, that my blog is called SHORELINES, because it focuses on Shorewood for the most part. Maybe I will start a new blog called WHEREINTHEWORLD so I can start working on World Hunger and World Peace.
I'll say it again ---Big Picture --- this project will have an ending. The south end of Oakland has been difficult and we will learn from it as we move north. But in the end, we will all be proud of our business district when it is done - and it will reflect the long process of discussion between village officials and residents who got involved during the planning process. Our crosswalks and major intersections will be improved and will be safer for pedestrians. And more people WILL come to Shorewood to shop and dine.
Again Big Picture --- Where All the Women are Strong, All the Men are Good Looking, and All the Kids are Above Average !
Dawn Anderson, Village Trustee
PS. Regarding your suggestion about tearing holes in the fieldstone walls to gain access to the parking lot. The SHS campus is registered as a Milwaukee County Historical Landmark. A County designation wouldn't constrain us from tearing down those walls. But would it be worth it for a couple weeks of convenient access to more asphalt on which to park our cars?
I did not and would not condone tearing down the fieldstone walls for access to the SHS parking lot. I suggested making two temporary gaps in the walls for ingress and egress to the lot. It is surprisingly easy and inexpensive to remove mortar from between the stones, make the gaps, and re-mortar the stones in place once the work is done. For a few days or maybe even a couple of weeks, it probably wouldn't be worth it. But for a MONTH !!! Of course the most sensible thing to do, would have been to do the work before school started ........ but darn those little details ........ they keep getting in the way of the BIG PICTURE !