Public schools in the past were extensions of the two-parent, multi-child family. They evolved as the institutions that often defined the neighborhood center and functioned as that center.
This, somewhat modified, has remained the model of the public school systems for decades, long after families and communities no longer are part of that model, when most families are no longer two-parent households, now in two parent homes, when both parents are likely to be working and when the mother is not likely to be at home.
I live in a community were I have access to and can readily fulfill most of my needs and demands. I'm at a stage in life where I'm sufficiently free and can still depend on myself and my own resources to fulfill who I am.
I can even change what is immediately around me and have influence on the boarder social and physical environment, where I can do this in the interest of those still here and others to come.
Perhaps there are some knowledgeable young families that don't know about the excellent school system that we have here in Shorewood.
But for the present time, the entrance fee is housing affordability. The present system of financing our schools isn't working too well. And that's what needs to be changed. I don't know of any clever way of making housing in Shorewood affordable to young families who might assist in building up our school enrollment.
I'm grateful to the Shorewood Village Planner and to the Board members serving on the committee that is studying the possibilities for upgrading our duplex stock in Shorewood. I'm also grateful to David Tartarowicz for his various studies and commentary, all of this has stimulated my interest.
They have helped me in trying to come up with some solution. For I was not at all close until I started researching “mixed neighborhoods” as both class mix and age mix type of communities. These were, sometime ago, referred to as socially balanced communities.
I've always been thankful to Steve Koczela for his postings. How else could we keep abreast of the village news, especially as to what goes on in relation to what the Shorewood Village Board is doing and what it's up to.
The Board and its various committees seems to have an affinity for “closed-door meetings.” Most often people who are not citizens of the community are permitted to attend these behind-the-scene meetings while citizens most continuously interested in our community and what the government is doing, like Steve Koczela are not allowed a peak in.
Most recently, I've found that many of my postings will draw the attention of about 50 readers over the first 24 hours. Many of my graduate student classes, of course didn't have half that many students.
The hits will usually double over a 3 to 4-day period and double again over a week to 10 days. I've been surprised to learn that over several weeks that I've had as many as 400 hits for a posting. Other bloggers, I'm sure have more impressive numbers.
Shorewood must focus on and talk about the essential elements that really respond to the organic impulses of community.
One of today's main elements of community is the school system where the children come together from all aspects of the community. Children from the various families meet and interact. Interaction is one of the basic elements of community and the schools provide that focus in the U.S.
Seems like there is a buzz in Shorewood about making some large statement type changes. Downtown Shorewood is taking on a new look, SHS is getting thousands of dollars worth of makeover, a new park is being planned around Atwater beach and the beloved spork has been replaced by real flatware at one elementary school that I know of.
A new motto that you may have noticed on the new official Shorewood website is:
Shorewood --- Just Two Feet From Everything.
Village and School Boards were established to bring about minimal and easy type of local governing bodies. Today's requirements have led these boards to depend on administrative personnel to carry out day to day processes.
The problem that has developed is that as local governments become more complex, the part-time elected members of boards tend to lean more on their administrative staff for all sorts of programming, scheduling, planning and new sorts of ideas.
Human beings are pretty much motivated by their desire to attain power. Power comes perhaps in as many forms as those wanting to attain it.
Today the general source of power is money. And in a general sense, most people desire money and are inclined to acquire money in millions of ways. The power of wealth is a desire found in many, if not in most people.
The discussion in my previous two postings leads to some implications for communities like Shorewood operated under a system of “village trustees” referred to as the “Village Board.”
Generally members of non-government board of trustees are appointed. However, in the case of communities the members are elected by citizens of that community.
Incumbent Village Board Trustees Michael Maher and Dawn Anderson are reportedly going to run for re-election. At this point, it is uncertain if they will have any opposition to their re-election bid. If they don’t, they will obviously not need to campaign. But if they do have opposition, I have some suggestions for campaign literature.
Democratic government as devised by our forefathers aimed at the inclusion of all citizens and was based on equal representation and equal treatment.
To a great degree its structure imitated that from which it separated itself. If Washington had not been our first president, for example, perhaps precedent would have been set for electing the president as king for life.
I don't know who reads my postings, except for the indication that I get from fellow bloggers. Therefore, in a sense, these are merely notes to myself that eventually may get read by others.
I used to let my views be known to the Village Board at almost every meeting. When I first started to do that, there was a ruling that the members could not respond. So I felt like a voice in the wilderness.
It’s that time of year again. Time for lawsuits about nativity scenes in the public square, arguments about religious music that got snuck into “holiday” concerts, memos about not decorating schools with Jesus or Santa, editorials about the holiday tree, or discourse about Wal Mart finally deciding to wish people a Merry Xmas instead of the ubiquitous “Happy Holidays” which has always struck me as hilarious anyway. Everyone knows Happy Holidays means Merry Christmas to someone who isn’t yet a Christian but given enough time and prayer, will be.
When people come into our community to serve as consultants, as developers and as service agencies, we must see to it that they work in our interest, in the community's interest not merely in their own interests.
I would love a 320% ROI !!!
I am sure that any investor would love to get that kind of Return On Investment --- but I doubt that even Warren Buffet would count those kinds of chickens before they are hatched.
Two nights ago, on the 18th, the Shorewood DPW committed a large crew during the night to do a snow removal operation in the Business District.