By Kathy Ehley
If you are like me, you are unfurling from your winter cocoon and getting out to walk and bike around Wauwatosa. I remember every spring having to remind my children about the safety rules for biking, crossing the street and watching out for traffic. Hope you are doing the same. May 9 is National Bike to School Day, a great time to celebrate the benefits of biking (and walking). I am proud Wauwatosa is a community that is dedicated to making Safe Routes for kids and safe connections for adults through the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Facilities Plan. DRIVERS: please watch out for and yield to the bikers and walkers in all crosswalks and bike lanes. Spring brings more people outside and we want walkers, bikers, and drivers to co-exist safely.
Spring is also a time to throw the windows open, clean the yard, the basement and the garage. Yard waste pickup begins April 16 and runs through October 12. This is for leaves and brush only. Please do not put grass clippings, root balls, vegetables, stumps or branches into the curb. Our Drop-Off Center is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7:30 am – 4:00 pm at our facility at 11100 W. Walnut Road. Check our website at www.wauwatosa.net or call 414-471-8422 to see what kinds of items from your garage or basement cleanup they will take.
This summer, head over to Hart Park to check out the three sculptures that will grace our park for the summer months. Called the Hartwork Project, this new public art initiative celebrates local artists and adds to the vibrancy of our community with the temporary installation of artists’ pieces. This initiative is sponsored by the City’s Tourism Commission. I am excited about this project because I have long been an advocate for public art in Tosa.
Also coming to Hart Park this summer is the new Milwaukee Torrent’s women’s soccer team playing at the stadium. The team will play in the Women’s Premier Soccer League and will be the highest level women‘s soccer team in Wisconsin. Be sure to catch a game.
Construction work in heart of The Village is wrapping up this summer. Please come and enjoy two newly reconstructed city parks: one in front of Yo Mama and one across the street in front of St. Bernard’s Church. And don’t forget to check out the new gathering space on North Avenue at 69th Street. These great new public spaces are part of our ever-evolving community.
I want to give a shout out to all the volunteers that make Wauwatosa so special place. April 15-22 is National Volunteer Week. I will be honoring the over 250 citizen volunteers serving on over 30 City committees for their selfless contributions. The irreplaceable impact of their time, energy and caring benefits all of us all year round. I also want to commend all of our wonderful community volunteers who bring us TosaFest, Tosa Tonight Concerts, Tosa Farmers Market and the Hartung Farmers Market, Tosa Cares, Neighborhood Associations and so much more that enriches our daily lives.
Lastly, I wanted to give you an update on the Dark Store issue that I wrote about in the last issue. The Dark Store strategy is a tax loophole being used by big box retailers and other national chains, such as Walgreens and Target, to lower their property assessments and thereby reduce the amount they pay in property taxes. A thriving store wants to have the same property assessment as a similar store property that is out of business and “darkened”. I have worked with State Legislators to act to end this unfair practice to avoid shifting the tax burden from retail property owners to our individual home owners and small businesses. Municipalities across the state have joined this effort which has bi-partisan support, however the state legislative leadership has decided not to address this issue in its latest session. I will continue to work with other local officials on this important legislation to protect homeowners and small businesses.
Get out and enjoy Tosa this spring. Be safe, explore new areas and thank a volunteer. Take your camera with you and snap a few pictures. The City photo contest will be coming again this summer. You can enter to win prizes and show off our great city.
So proud to be your Mayor.
WAUWATOSA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Spring Election (Alderman)
Public Library Spring Book Sale
Yard waste pickup begins
2018 Menomonee River Clean-up
Distinguished Citizen Award Banquet
Crime Stopper’s Pancake Breakfast
Opening Day of Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park
Memorial Day Celebration