News

M-T Historical Society

First Council That is a great picture from the current Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society newsletter. A well-dressed group!

I encourage all residents to join the Society. For $15 ($20 for a family), it is a steal. The newsletter alone is worth it, and these good people work hard to preserve our communities’ history. It is far more interesting than you might imagine.

You can find a membership form by clicking here.

Mark Your Calendar: Taste of Mequon, September 9, 2017

TOM1

The Mequon Festivals Committee brings us the 5th annual Taste of Mequon. The event will again be held in the street in front of City Hall and will run from noon until 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2017. There will be at least 12 food and beverage vendors, three bands, and seven artists/craftsmen.

The fabulous, hard-working committee includes Vanessa Nerbun, Chair; Suzanne Dorszynski; Kirsten Hildebrand; Bridget King; Allen McIlwraith; Linda Jarman; Lina Prosser; and Melissa Suring.

Music Performances By

Sawdust Symphony Noon – 2:30 p.m.
Danny Miller Band – 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Lovin Kind – 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Featured Food & Beverage Vendors
the cheel
Falafel Guys
Jimmy the Popcorn Man
Joey Gerard’s
Leonardo’s Pizza Parlor
Mequon Chancery
The Ruby Tap
Shully’s Cuisine and Events
The Stilt House
Thiensville-Mequon Lions Club
Wok on the Street
Yellow Bellies

Artists/Craftsmen

C Squared Wood Products by Brendan & Cathy Curran
Catatonic Designs – Jewelry by Deborah Dunn
Chalkboard Kitchen by Therese Nelson
Flissart – Caricaturist – David Fliss
Hand Knitted Accessories by Lana Voskoboynik
Lauren Van Krey – Acrylic Paint
PopDesigns – Jewelry by Jane Kraemer

Other Participants

Jonathan Clark House Museum
Supercuts
The Feed Bag Pet Supply Co.
Wild Tree (Natural & Organic Spices)

Rice Paddies at the Mequon Nature Preserve?

Rice planting at the Mequon Nature Preserve? I was surprised when I read this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. After all, wasn’t the Mequon Nature Preserve (MNP) land supposed to be restored to pre-settlement ecosystems? Rice growing was not, to my limited knowledge, native to this area.

christine_nuernberg_smSo, I decided to ask my best resource about MNP, my friend and four-term former Mequon Mayor Christine Nuernberg.  Christine was the driving force behind MNP, and is still active as a member of the Board of Directors of Mequon Nature Preserve, Inc.

According to Christine:

Short answer:

MNP land is being restored with native species to re-establish the habitat that existed prior to European settlement beginning in the early 1800’s. Land not undergoing restoration at this time is leased to others (with DNR’s approval) for farming. Any income from leases goes to MNP to maintain out-buildings, carry out land restoration, and deliver educational programs. Marquette’s effort is permitted as a use by DNR and also falls under MNP’s mission statement that supports education and research. Rice cultivation, however, is not part of MNP’s land restoration program.

Long answer:

Over the next 150 years, what had been farm land at Mequon Nature Preserve will be transformed into a hardwood forest, a wetlands system, and prairies. Because of the significant cost to initiate and manage the restoration process, restoration will occur gradually over a number of years as resources become available. To date, about 237 acres are now undergoing restoration, which includes 72 acres where restoration was started this spring.

This spring’s work will transform a large field where corn and soybeans once grew to an open prairie. A contractor removed drain tile which has resulted in about five acres of open water in what will become a large wetland. The land was also seeded with a native prairie mix. MNP purchases native species of trees, shrubs and seed, which are more expensive than what you will purchase at most local nurseries. For instance, the native prairie seed came from a nursery near Madison known for its native mixes, and the seed cost $30,000. Over many more years, a hardwood forest will overtake the prairie.

Understanding the cost and significant effort it takes to start restoring a parcel of land, the Department of Nature Resources has permitted MNP to lease any land not undergoing restoration to farmers, and this year, that includes Fondy Market. An additional benefit of farming is that farmers are preventing the growth of invasive plant species. As funds become available, farming will cease at MNP, and restoration will take over any land now in agriculture.

MNP’s 2006 Master Plan lists restoring a beech-maple hardwood forest to maximize the species diversity of interior forest flora and fauna as a primary goal. A second goal is to establish a premier site for environmental research and education within the Milwaukee region. Marquette University’s effort to determine whether cold climate rice can be cultivated in this area is welcomed as a research effort. However, it is not part of MNP’s restoration program.

Makes sense.  Interesting.

Mequon’s Licensed Child Care Facilities

Range Line Michael

This is another post that focuses on the services available in Mequon and Thiensville.  The following link provides a chart, based on the on-line records of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, of all licensed child care facilities in these two communities.

Licensed Child Care Facilities

As used in the chart, a “Traditional Daycare” provides year-round services for newborns through young teens or preteens, and includes daycare services, preschool education programs, summer programs and before and after school care.

Forgive me for putting in a plug for Range Line Preschool and Child Care.  There are many great centers in Mequon and Thiensville, but my sister Janet owns Range Line, and I played a small part in her deciding to open that daycare, so I am partial to that facility. I of course hope for success for all of the facilities.

Mequon Update: June 9, 2017

Friends and Neighbors:

I am writing again to update you on the upcoming matters that the Mequon Common Council and City committees will be considering.

If you like these updates, please forward them to your friends and suggest that they sign-up. All they have to do is click here and fill out their contact information. People have told me that they do not hear what is happening at City Hall. These updates are one of the ways that I am trying to change that.

Also, please let me know if you would like different content or a different format.  For example, another newsletter like this editorializes.  I have generally avoided that, but if people would prefer, I can do that.

Planning Commission
The Mayor and one alderman represent the Common Council on the Planning Commission. The other commissioners are appointed by the Mayor. Starting last month, I became the aldermanic representative.

On, Monday, June 12, starting at 7:00 p.m., the Planning Commission will hold a meeting. Highlights include applications for approval of:

  1. A new daycare at 10510 North Port Washington Road.
  2. Division of one 18 acre lot off a 67 acre parcel fro the construction of a new home at 11627 West Highland Road.
  3. The Final Plat for Phase II of the Veridian Homes development (The Enclave at Mequon Preserve) at 10839 North Wauwatosa Road.
  4. A Fill Permit and Development Agreement for Phase III (the final phase) of the above-described Veridian Homes development.  I plan to ask why the Wauwatosa Road street light for the subdivision has not yet been installed.
  5. Three lot land division at 9805 North Cedarburg Road for the construction of three homes.
  6. Six unit condominium development at 10950 North Cedarburg Road.  The units would replace an existing office building at that location.
  7. A 6,000 square foot batting and hitting building next to Kapco Park on the grounds of Concordia University. The exterior would match Kapco Park and would not be visible from the road.

More information regarding the Planning Commission meeting and these items can be found by clicking here.

Common Council
On Tuesday, June 13, starting at 7:30 p.m., the Common Council will hold its June monthly meeting.  Highlights include:

  1. A vote on the appointment of Dr. Kathleen Schneider to represent the 7th Aldermanic District on the Common Council until April.  The Common Council sitting as a committee of the whole  selected Dr. Schneider to fill the vacancy in this district.  Two candidates were interviewed.  Both were excellent.  Pamela Ploor was the other candidate. Please thank her for going through the process.
  2. The development agreement for Phase III of the Veridian Homes development (The Enclave at Mequon Preserve) described above as Planning Commission Item #4
  3. Discussion of the traffic and parking study for the Logemann Center property.
  4. An ordinance addressing the location of vegetable gardens in front yards.
  5. An ordinance changing Mequon’s ordinances regarding water skiing flotation requirements to make them consistent with state law.
  6. The sale of water utility bonds.
  7. Sanitary sewer lateral work on West Shoreland Drive, Corey Lane and Lake Shore Drive.
  8. An agreement with the Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society for improvements to the Isham Day House (across from City Hall) to use it for a postage stamp museum.
  9.  Discussion of negotiating strategies for the sale of the Logemann Center property. This is scheduled for closed session in order to give staff negotiating direction. Any proposed contract will be debated and voted on at a future public meeting. I may request that the Council hold this month’s meeting in open session.

More information regarding the Common Council meeting will be found by clicking here. As of the time I am writing this update, materials are not on-line; however, I expect they will be there later on Friday.

City Committees
As stated above, I am now the aldermanic representative to the Planning Commission. I also will continue to serve on the City’s Public Welfare Committee. All Common Council members serve on the Appropriates Committee, the Sewer Utility District Commission and the Water Utility Commission. In addition to my own committees, I will try to report on items of significance being considered by other committees.

Public Welfare Committee (Tuesday, June 13, at 5:00 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The Public Welfare Committee will consider:

  1. Modifications of the ordinances that govern the City’s boards, commissions and committees. I have reported on these modifications in most of the updates over the past year. The Pubic Welfare Committee began this process in July of 2016 and completed its initial review in March of 2017 (nine meetings). Then, the recommendations of the Public Welfare Committee were forwarded to each of the City’s boards, commissions and committees. Over the past three months, those bodies have reviewed the recommendations.  Their reports and suggestions will now be considered by the Public Welfare Committee before it forwards recommendations to the Common Council.  I expect that much of this meeting will be spent discussing comments related to a proposed merger of the Park Board, Open Space Preservation Commission and Tree Board. The resulting body would be called the Natural Resources Committee.  Some members of the three bodies being proposed for merger do not approve.
  2. A review of residential lighting standards.
  3. The methods for delivering materials to Common Council members.

Finance–Personnel Committee (Tuesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The Finance-Personnel Committee will consider:

  1. Renewal of the liquor license for the Sybaris. There is an alleged history of problems.
  2. Renewal of the liquor license for Vietnamese Noodles. There have been alleged license violations.
  3. The lease of the Isham Day House described above as Common Council Item #8.

Public Works Committee (Tuesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The Public Works Committee will consider a priority plan for drainage projects in the City and drainage improvements along Donges Bay Road just west of Port Washington Road.

Sewer Utility District Commission (Tuesday, June 13, at 7:15 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The Commission will consider the sewer work described above as Common Council Item #7.

Architectural Board (Monday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The Architectural Board will consider four new homes and 12 additions or other residential construction projects. Seven of the other construction projects are resubmittal from a prior meeting.  Applicants are in all aldermanic districts except 2 and 8.

River Advisory Committee (Thursday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The River Advisory Committee will meet with the Mequon Boat Patrol Officer, review boating informational cards being prepared for Mequon and Thiensville and discuss ordinance changes being proposed in Thiensville.

Of course, please provide comments to me or to any elected official.

Pamela Ploor and Kathleen Schneider – One will be the Next District 7 Member of the Mequon Common Council

The Common Council has a vacancy in District 7. Following state law, the Council will interview candidates on Tuesday and choose a person to serve until an election can be held in April. May 11 was the deadline for applications to fill the vacancy.

Two residents of District 7 applied: Pamela Ploor and Kathleen Schneider. Both have impressive credentials, and both have resided in Mequon since 1998.

Dr. Schneider resides at 10424 North Country Club Drive (Wey Acres) and practices medicine with Vistas Innovative Hospice Care. She is a graduate of University Wisconsin – Eau Claire and the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. She has two children and is a long time volunteer for literacy programs.

Ms. Ploor resides at 10305 North Provence Court (Lac du Cours) and is partner with the law firm of Quarles & Brady. She is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. She practices management-side employment law. She has two children and provides pro bono legal services.

Neither candidate has, from what I can tell, volunteered for a city board, commission or committee. Of course, serving on such a body is not a prerequisite for serving on the Council.

On paper, both appear to be excellent candidates. We will learn a great deal from their interviews. However, if you have information about either that you believe might be pertinent, please let an alderman know.

Mequon: A City of Restaurants, Part II

Mequon has an amazing number and variety of restaurants. That was the theme of my last post.  However, one person told met his evening that she believes I said there are too many restaurants.  I do not read it that way. In fact, having read it again, I cannot see how anyone might interpret it that way.

Howwever, to be clear, I hope that our restaurant options keep expanding. People benefit from greater options. Additionally, the restaurants in a community typically derive a benefit when a community becomes a dining destination..