It’s the season of thankfulness, snow and holiday joy. Kick-off off the celebrations with the annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony in the Village on Friday, November 30 at 6:00 pm. It’s in a new location this year —the new pocket park in front of St. Bernard’s Church. Then on Friday, December 7, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is back with a stop in the Village about 4:00 – 4:30 pm. There will be entertainment by The Trews and Willy Porter during the train stop. Please bring your canned goods or cash donations for Tosa Cares to help needy families in Tosa this winter.
Every year, I’m grateful for our engaged and passionate residents. You are the heart and strength of our community. I’m delighted to see and meet new young families in Tosa. I had a huge increase in young Trick-or-Treaters last Halloween.
During big snowstorms, I’m grateful that you check on elderly and disabled neighbors and shovel each other out. Removing snow is an intense and frustrating chore. Please remember to keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice and shovel out fire hydrants. Wauwatosa pulls together during storms and I’m grateful for our snow removal teams who work around the clock to keep our roads clear.
I’m grateful for the outstanding job our City Clerks, poll workers and Central Count processors did in the record-breaking mid-term elections. Tosa had 86% voter turnout at the polls and we processed 8,000 in-person absentee ballots on Election Day. I’m thankful for our new staff leaders at the City: Fire Chief Jim Case, Police Captain Brian Zalewski, Public Works Director Dave Simpson and Human Resources Director Beth Mbow.
In other City news, the Common Council adopted the 2019 City Budget. There are four major areas of focus – efficiency in service delivery, enhancing customer service, investing in technology upgrades and investing in maintenance and repairs. There is a 2.16% levy increase or about $44.23 for the average residential taxpayer (home valued at $223,000) on the City’s portion of your tax bill. The school referendum that passed in November will be part of the Wauwatosa School District portion of your tax bill and will not appear until December 2019.
You can learn more about the 2019 City Operating and Capital Budgets at our city website at www.wauwatosa.net. You can report potholes or concerns about a property online, sign up for news on construction or development projects and the city newsletter, find interactive maps and Common Council meeting agendas and minutes.
Here are some important things to watch for in 2019: a citywide revaluation of property; continuing the fight against the Dark Store tax loopholes, a new integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for core city services; continued commitment to communications; and continued analysis of our operations to find efficiencies.
I wish you a joyous and safe holiday season. I hope you enjoy a Tosa winter activity: sledding, ice-skating at Hart Park, cross-country skiing on the trails, curling at the Muellner Building and sipping a hot beverage at one of our many coffee houses. Stay warm and have fun!