By Kathleen Ehley
This time of year brings joy, happiness and a focus on friends and family and sharing special times. Our community celebrates in many ways and I hope you will join me in The Village for the kickoff of the holidays with the Holiday Magic weekend, December 1-3. It begins with the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony on Friday, December 1, a Village Trolley running all weekend and ends with the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train on Sunday, December 3. Please bring your canned goods or cash donations for Tosa Cares to these events to help needy families in Tosa this winter. The holiday season is the best time of the year – it brings families together and helps those in need in our community.
Our community thrives through hard work, determination and planning. Wauwatosa has always been rich with residents who love this city and are dedicated to create a better place for us all to live. Our volunteers are the backbone our festivals and events and it shows on all the smiling faces who came out for free concerts, Hartfest, Tosafest, Chilin on the Avenue, the Fourth of July Parade and now the Holiday Magic weekend. Thank you for making Wauwatosa the place it is today.
Wauwatosa Community Calendar
Nov. 6- Dec. 15
Tosa for Tots Toy Collection tosachamber.org
Holiday Tree Lighting, The Village
Holiday Magic and Holiday Trolley, The Village
Dec. 3: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, The Little Red Store, The Village
Breakfast or Lunch with Santa, CelticMKE Center celticmke.com
Christmas Open House, Kneeland-Walker House wauwatosahistoricalsociety.org
In City news, the 2018 City Budget was adopted by the Common Council. I hope you had a chance to participate in the meetings held by the Council in October and the public hearing in November. While the City contains to face challenges with limited funding resources and rising costs of roads, equipment, sewers and buildings; we have arrived at a plan to achieve the City’s strategic objectives and vision following our Financial Resiliency Policy.
The top priorities for 2018 are public safety, public works service and excellence in service delivery. I encourage you to read the budget letter to the Common Council on our city website, www.wauwatosa.net that outlines these goals and how we will achieve them.
Here is what’s ahead for 2018: a city-wide revaluation of property; a new City website; continuing the fight against the Dark Store policy (Big box stores, like Walgreens, fighting the City to pay taxes on their property valued as if a vacant or dark store and not a fully-operating retail business.); new parks will open in The Village and the opening of the 69th Street (and North Avenue) Pedestrian Plaza.
I’m proud of what we have accomplished for Wauwatosa in 2017: tennis court improvements in Hart Park thanks to new revenue from Milwaukee Torrent semi-pro soccer team; improvements to City communications and increased presence on social media; and addition of more Bublr bikes and handicap bike share stations.; thousands of residents engaged in city planning online and at public meetings and investments in infrastructure to improve water and sewer service, roads and sidewalks.
Lastly, I want to I want give my heartfelt thanks to Fire Chief Rob Ugaste who retires in December after 38 years in the fire service. He has served the City of Wauwatosa with honor, dedication and integrity for the last seven years. His leadership and vision enhanced the fire and medical service we have today in Tosa.
Chief Ugaste was instrumental in the four-year effort for the Tosa Fire Department to earn national accreditation. He served as the President of the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association and Public Sector Chair of the Tosa Area Preparedness partners. He was appointed to commissions by both Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Governor Scott Walker. I wish Chief Ugaste the best in his future endeavors and as he spends time with his growing family. Wauwatosa is a better, safer place thanks to Chief Ugaste and he will be sorely missed.
Wishing you a joyous and safe holiday season!
Wauwatosa Community Calendar
Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce Community Showcase and Social, Radisson Hotel tosachamber.org
Tosa’s All-City Read Events, “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren, various events
Black and White Catered Affair, Crowne Plaza Milwaukee West
Blarney Run/Walk, Hoyt Park
Lucky Leprechaun Run, Hart Park