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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

What a heartbreaker! Mayor breaks tie to move fire station #3

This is SO sad!

Tuesday night, 7, yes, 7 aldermen had the intelligence and independence of spirit to vote against moving fire station #3 to the worst possible location (my opinion), the north west corner of Calhoun and Greenfield. Trouble is, this split vote left the tie breaking vote to our mayor.

Since Mayor Speaker was the one who started this whole ball rolling, to cater to the night time residents (voters) rather than to the taxpayers, businesses and daytime population of our city, it was pretty predictable as to the way his vote would go. (It was a yes.)

I am glad there were 7 no votes though. This shows the council is breaking out of its former lock step mode and starting to think for themselves. Think of what just a few new faces on the council could do?

A big thank you to the 7 no votes: Sutton, Carnell, Reddin, Balzer, Jerry Mellone, Blackburn, and Lisa Mellone.

Sadly, my other district 7 alderman, Mike Franz, voted yes. Yes, to his own district 7 residents soon to have the longest EMS response times in the city. I sure hope someone is considering running for district 7 alderman next spring. We need another alderman who will represent US and our interests.

I was not able to attend the meeting, but Renee Lowerr was good enough to email out a short synopsis of the night's events. Thanks Renee.

She reported, "The meeting was well attended by mostly Greenfield Heights Residents.
Several residents spoke in opposition of Option #1. I believe that I was the only resident East of Calhoun that spoke about re-considering their FS move vote & rebuild at current location.

The meeting was very heated, very emotional, many ?s, comments...between the Council Members & staff."

She also added, "Four homes will be taken by eminent
domain. One on Greenfield Ave, one on Calhoun & two on Adelman Roads."

Why are we surprised? Voters got what they wanted.

Politically, the year 2006 was a hard one for me.  Both spring and fall elections went to candidates I did not support. (Exceptions: Lisa Mellone, Jerry Mellone, and Bill Carnell were the only bright spots that year.)

Think of what life would be like now if a different Brookfield Mayor had been elected and an incumbent Wisconsin State Senator was reelected.

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going GREENIt's not easy

 I tried to go green, but I cannot afford the gas mileage! No, I am not referring to my car. I am referring to my effort to replace 4 incandescent lamps in my kitchen light fixture with 4 florescent lamps (that is light bulb to the rest of us).

4-K: THE DOG CHASING ITS TAIL (Revised)

Elmbrook

Oh, what a surprise. Tonight, Elmbrook to discuss more 4-year-old kindergarten in a non-videotaped work session.

Ever notice how many trial or temporary government programs become permanent and expanded? Social Security and the increase in Wisconsin's 4% sales tax to 5% back in, was it Lee Dreyfus' day(?) are two good examples of government that just keeps growing.

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Couldn't agree more...

City: Fire stations

I noted Cindy's blog referral to the comments on Brookfieldnow. I missed them too. It looks like many of us are on the same page!
 
My Alderman, Lisa Mellone, requested comments about the fire stations on Sept. 24th. The following were my comments to the city:
If we are following what the Task Force recommended, then why are not the other 3 possible Greenfield locations being discussed? I believe they should be brought to the table too.
I still strongly believe that our station is already in the right place. I can see that a location on Greenfield between Moorland and Calhoun might speed up dispatch to easterly district 7 locations and destinations to the west too. (It does not help the Brookfield Square/hot zone or interstate calls though.) There would not be any need to negotiate pulling out onto Moorland from Hackberry or from Moorland onto Greenfield, if it already was on Greenfield.
 
The NW corner is really a mistake if we are trying to aid dispatch to the north via Calhoun. There is no easy way for a NW corner property to dispatch trucks northbound from a busy boulevard intersection! Since this was one of the main reasons that Chief Dahms gave for favoring the new alignment (when I met with him), the NW corner seems to be the most inferior station location for this purpose. Placing it on NW Calhoun would also cause some delay for calls to the east because the light/intersection must be taken into consideration as well as the greater distance. If we are truly trying to balance response times, these two locations, NW Calhoun and NE Calhoun, fail miserably. 
 
It is my nature to "Never say die". If there is something that still can be done to look at this again, I am all for it. The encouraging thing is that 7 aldermen voted to NOT place the fire station on that NW corner. 
 
 
 
My Two Cents, seems we are thinking along the same lines. Lessons from History: United We Stand, Divided We Get Density! 
 
 
 

 

Better start honking

WISCONSIN

Every day, for some time now, I hear the geese honking overhead as they start their migrations south. Their long flights take a tremendous amount of strength and stamina, yet they do it two times a year.

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What's happened to truth?

Truth

Telling the truth has taken a backseat to maintaining and attaining power. We are seeing this on all fronts.

Locally, we just approved taking 4 family's homes to build a fire station that did not need relocating and will not improve fire response times.

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Someone's got to be the grownup and say NO - UPDATE

I saw in the Sunday paper that the Governor was sweetening the pot on the 2nd state budget in an effort to "tempt enough Republicans in votes that would help it squeeze through the Assembly on Monday."

The thought came to me, that this whole can't we have all this spending, please approve my budget, and if you vote for my budget, I will give you this favor, reminded me of a whiny child and a parent.

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Pork and log rolling

Leah said that offering something the I give you this so you will vote for that is called log rolling, it is illegal. 

Free speech does not mean anything goes


You will find this hard to believe, but read the comments by Congressman Pete Stark of California saying that soldiers are getting their heads blown off for the President’s amusement. \u003c/p\>\n\u003cp\>\u003cspan\>Here are Congressman Stark’s comments made Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives: “You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement.”\u003c/span\> \u003c/p\>\n\u003cp\>\u003cspan\>Watch the video of Congressman Stark’s speech by \u003ca title\u003d\" clicking here\" href\u003d\"http://outbound.afa.net:80/track?type\u003dclick&mailingid\u003dca_101807&messageid\u003dca_101807&databaseid\u003d1234&serial\u003d1181233702&emailid\u003dkyleprast@gmail.com&userid\u003d13323979&extra\u003d&&&100&&&http://www.youtube.com/watch?v\u003dek_uOtW0ATQ\" target\u003d\"_blank\" onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\"\>clicking here\u003c/a\>. \u003c/span\>\u003c/p\>\n\u003cp\>\u003cspan\>Congressman Pete Stark owes the President, the American people, the troops and their families an apology.\u003c/span\>\u003c/p\>\n\u003cp\>\u003c/p\>\n\u003ctable cellspacing\u003d\"0\" cellpadding\u003d\"0\" width\u003d\"530\" border\u003d\"0\"\>\n\u003ctbody\>\n\u003ctr\>\n\u003ctd\>\u003cimg height\u003d\"1\" alt\u003d\"-\" width\u003d\"12\" border\u003d\"0\"\>\u003c/td\>\n\u003ctd\>\u003cimg height\u003d\"1\" alt\u003d\"-\" width\u003d\"505\" border\u003d\"0\"\>\u003c/td\>\n\u003ctd\>\u003cimg height\u003d\"1\" alt\u003d\"-\" width\u003d\"13\" border\u003d\"0\"\>\u003c/td\>\n\u003ctd\>\u003cimg height\u003d\"1\" alt\u003d\"-\" width\u003d\"1\" border\u003d\"0\"\>\u003c/td\>\n\u003c/tr\>\n\u003ctr\>\n\u003ctd colspan\u003d\"3\"\>\u003cimg height\u003d\"19\" alt\u003d\"-\" width\u003d\"530\" border\u003d\"0\" name\u003d\"bevelthingy_r1_c1\"\>\u003c/td\>\n\u003ctd\>\u003cimg height\u003d\"19\" alt\u003d\"-\" width\u003d\"1\" border\u003d\"0\"\>\u003c/td\>\n\u003c/tr\>\n\u003ctr\>\n\u003ctd\>\u003c/td\>\n\u003ctd valign\u003d\"middle\" align\u003d\"left\"\>\u003cblockquote\>\u003cp\>\u003cspan\>\u003cspan\>\u003cspan\>Take Action\u003c/span\>\u003c/span\>\u003c/span\>\u003c/p\>\n\u003cul\>\n\u003cli\>\u003cspan\>\u003cspan\>\u003cspan\>\u003ca title\u003d\"Send Congressman Stark an e-mail\" href\u003d\"http://outbound.afa.net:80/track?type\u003dclick&mailingid\u003dca_101807&messageid\u003dca_101807&databaseid\u003d1234&serial\u003d1181233702&emailid\u003dkyleprast@gmail.com&userid\u003d13323979&extra\u003d&&&101&&&https://secure.afa.net/afa/activism/takeaction.asp?id\u003d269\" target\u003d\"_blank\" onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\"\>Send Congressman Stark an e-mail\u003c/a\> asking him to apologize.  His comments, regardless of which party he a member, were clearly out of bounds.",1] ); //--> 

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Journey from the center of the earth

TRAVEL

OK, maybe we didn't go to the center, but it sure felt like it!  This is a travel piece.

My husband and I just returned from an impromptu get away to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Mammoth is open every day except Christmas, so maybe a little get away could be in your future too? If you go soon, the fall colors are an extra bonus.

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Thank you, Leah, for voting NO

TAXES, WISCONSIN

The state budget passed. There was compromise.  I am not happy about it.

I am really disappointed in Speaker Mike Huebsch. For all the no tax increase posturing he did prior to the vote, it seems he gave in to the idea that increases were OK as long as they weren't horribly high. With that kind of thinking we will never get spending under control!

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Going the extra mile

Library

I just returned from the Brookfield Library...smiling.

One of my neighbors is having a neighborhood Fall Festival party tonight and wanted to show some fun DVDs on the BIG screen. We are assisting with some of the technology to make that happen. (Translation: son is assisting.)

The original plan was to hook up a VCR to the projector and show my friend's VCR tape. But yesterday, I found I was the one needing to do that task--something a little too complicated for me. No problem, last night I reserved online It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on DVD at the Brookfield Library.

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Make reservations now for summer 2008

National Parks, TRAVEL

Although summer 2008 seems a long way off, it is already getting late in the season for making National Park lodging reservations! Popular parks fill up faster than the lesser known parks.

Yellowstone (our family favorite) is already showing no vacancy dates for various days throughout next summer. Don't let that discourage you, sometimes you can still work out your itinerary by staying in two locations. This happened to us our first trip in 2001--we had to move for one night in the middle of a 2 week stay. That was a huge waste of time though, and time is money when you are on vacation.

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Way too casual with contagions

Elderly, Unintended consequences

Before I start, here is the disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor am I licensed in the field of medicine in any way.  Nutrition and natural medicine, however, have been an interest of mine for at least 30 years.

Last Monday, my 89 year old dad was checked into Elmbrook hospital with probable pneumonia. He had a bad cold over the weekend and on Monday the nurse at the group home thought he needed medical attention. She was right.

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Did you notice the increase?

 4k estimate costs

I'm sick of "It's only"--I want 0%

Only 3.5% increases that save you money oxymoron

Here is the latest on the State Budget.

Governor Doyle vetoed provisions in the state budget that essentially increase property taxes. The following is an excerpt from an email that I received from Representative Rich Zipperer:

Madison— Today, Governor Doyle vetoed portions of the conference committee budget that was approved by the Legislature earlier this week. After reviewing the vetoes, Rep. Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) released the following statement:

“Apparently a deal isn’t really a deal with this Governor. With one stroke of his pen today, he doubled the tax increase property taxpayers will see for 2007. This Governor’s disregard for the taxpayer is astonishing.”

Some of today’s more egregious vetoes include:

* Increase property tax levy limit to 3.86% in 2007. Under the budget negotiated with Doyle, there was a 2% cap.

* Eliminate property tax limit for technical colleges. Under the budget negotiated with Doyle, there was a 4% cap.

* Eliminate phase-out of the PECFA program. This program places an additional tax on each gallon of gasoline.

* Eliminate a requirement that the UW-System let students know at the time of class registration who the daily teacher would be and what their credentials are.

* Eliminates legislative oversight of DNR Stewardship land acquisitions, meaning the Legislature will not have oversight on $85 million of DNR expenditures each year.

* Eliminate a ‘lock box’ on the Transportation Fund, leaving the fund open for future abuses and raids.

* Eliminate a requirement that the DOT annually submit to the Legislature a ten-year plan on future bonding.

* Eliminate a requirement that the DOT submit a plan to the Legislature on how to eliminate a $30,000,000 structural deficit within the Transportation Fund

* Eliminate Value Engineering requirements for large DOT projects. Using value engineering would save taxpayers money.

* Spend $800,000 on KRM preliminary work. Under the compromise budget, the money could not be spent unless a complete funding plan was agreed to by the Governor and the Legislature.


All from a governor who claims that he is "doing the right thing" for Wisconsin residents. Maybe it's time to email the Governor and thank him for seizing more of your discretionary income.

posted by Robert Flessas @ 2:40 PM

Democrat introduces SAVE ACT bill; I like it

 

This is a great example of how it does not matter what party some policy comes from; it matters what the policy is!

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Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences 4k/can't close schools, elderly protection laws/can't seatbelt patient--falls, cant prune and clear forests/wild fires out of control, public education/tax price prohibits private education 

No taxpayer tea party, at least not in Elmbrook

Elmbrook, TAXES

Here I was all set to blog something about your city, school district, state, and nation rationalizing a tax increase by saying,"It's only a such-in-such% increase in your tax bill?" and that it was time for a Boston Tea Party.

But this morning I am pleasantly surprised to learn that the Elmbrook School board actually voted to NOT increase their tax levy!

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A most important vote 4k

 Novermber 27, a day that will live in infamy. Now don't go thinking I don't know my history, but for Elmbrook School District residents, the School Board vote on that day will have permanent consequences. 

Did you notice the 4-K increase?

4-K, Elmbrook

Ever notice that when government or our school district is selling an idea the estimated price is lower than the real price? They start out a program (think foot in the door) and just keep expanding it--forever.

I was looking through some of my postings on 4-K from last year and found that Elmbrook told us the cost per year would be $685,570--paid for from district reserves, by the way. This was for 200 students. Remember, we needed 2 community partner locations to accommodate these students.

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