As the boating season approaches…

Let's go on a romantic sailboat ride, they said. It'll be fun, they said. …

Posted by Lol24 on Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Leo!

I don’t really maintain this site much, but here’s some news:

Our first grandchild, Leo, was born on July 28, 2012. Here are a few photos:

What’s happening in the hood

Honey (formerly Hootie) the Honey Creek Owl

A couple of owls were hanging around the neighborhood, but I haven’t heard or seen them in a while.

Honey_owl

hootie

Thank you!

The unofficial numbers are in and I understand I’ve won 745 to 728.

I am honored to have been elected alderman by the Wauwatosa citizens of the Third District.  It is my intention to be proactive in soliciting the views of my constituents on the issues that concern us all. I strongly believe that the more input on a problem, the more likely a successful resolution of that problem.

I understand that we don’t all share the same political views. But we do share this city, and I intend to work for all residents of the Third District. I also understand that a margin of 1.2% is hardly a mandate; I will work hard to earn the trust and respect of all the citizens of the Third District, by doing the work that they rightfully expect of their alder.

Some thank you’s are in order.

First, to those who voted for me: I realize that this is an act of faith. I hope to justify your vote in the coming months and years, so that should you vote for me in the future, it will be based on a record of satisfactory performance.

I’d also like to thank those who worked to help me get elected. It’s humbling and motivating to know that people are willing to offer their resources to you. I feel a special obligation to make their commitment worthwhile.

Finally, I’d like to thank Jackie Jay for her service to the city and the citizens of the Third District. I appreciate her commitment and the contributions of time and effort to our city. I’m also grateful that we were able to conduct this campaign in a way that is a credit to Wauwatosa, without dishonesty or personal meanness.

GOTV

Friends, I need your help.

The campaign has been going well, but now I need to make sure that people remember to vote for me in what will largely be advertised as a Republican presidential primary.

We’re going to be doing a final GOTV (get out the vote) lit drop this weekend. Can you help with a two-hour shift on Saturday or Sunday?

We’ll meet at my home and head out with packets of 100 pieces and a map.

Saturday 10 a.m.
Saturday 1 p.m
Sunday 1 p.m.

I’m hoping to get 20 two-hour shifts filled; that ought to cover the district.

Hope you can make it.

Tosa Now Q&A

I was recently asked by Wauwatosa Now to submit answers to three questions. I following is a somewhat longer version of my responses, which were restricted to 150 words each.

  1. Work on local streets, including expansion of Bluemound and Mayfair roads, will start soon to prepare for the traffic that will be diverted during the Zoo Interchange reconstruction. How would you make sure the interests of the city and specifically the district residents and businesses are represented?

Based on our region’s recent experience with the Marquette Interchange, I feel confident that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will have good plan in place to minimize the disruption to Tosans and all users of the freeway system.

The city’s scope of action is largely limited to an advisory role, since this is a state project. However, the DOT has been receptive to city input, so my primary roll will be to serve as a point of contact for citizens and businesses, ensuring that their voices are heard when DOT comes before the city. I intend to be highly pro-active in connecting with the citizens of the district on this and all matters affecting us.

I’ll also advocate for a strong effort to minimize the use of residential streets as shortcuts. This may require strict enforcement and perhaps traffic calming measures (speed bumps or calming circles) on side streets.

 

2. Reducing costs and increasing revenues has become the reality of the city’s annual budget. Are there any areas you see as off-limits and any areas where you’d like to see changes?

Clearly safety is a top priority, so reductions in police and fire services are unacceptable. Basic infrastructure cannot be allowed to crumble, because it is key to economic development.

I am eager to see greater efficiencies, though I believe the city administration is already doing an excellent job at identifying and implementing cost saving measures.

Ultimately, I believe we can’t cut our way out of our fiscal problems; we need to grow our way out. Maintaining and enhancing our livability is vital to attracting the people and enterprises that will add value to our community.

I would like to see the city become a model of sustainability for the rest of the country. Saving on energy and garbage tipping fees is good in itself, but we’ll enjoy even greater economic benefits enjoyed if businesses and families looking for a home view our city as a national model in its management of sewerage, stormwater, waste management and energy use.

3. Residents will have the opportunity to vote on a referendum to reduce the size of the council. How do you feel about the existing size?

I am persuaded that our council is outsized and can be trimmed. This is going to take significant consideration and planning, however.

As it is now, our council members devote quite a bit of time working on various council committees and as liaisons to citizen committees. Fairness and common sense demands that the time required of our elected officials – for whom these are part-time positions – is not too burdensome. Simply cutting the council in half – and doubling the committee assignments – for example, is not a sensible solution.

I expect the reduction to take the form of a) changes to the scope of the various city and citizen committees (for example, combining the energy and recycling committees into a sustainability committee); and b) redrawing of the city districts into 10 or 12 districts with a single alder, instead of the current arrangement of two alders in eight districts (for a total of 16).

 

Ooops!

A citizen recently brought to my attention that this web site was in violation of state law, because it lacked the required disclaimer, “Authorized and paid for by Greg 4 Tosa, Michael Kreeger, Treasurer.”

While I don’t believe this harmed the public interest (I developed the site myself with a $15 expese for a domain name), I recognize that campaign laws exist for a good reason, and I immediately corrected the oversight.

And I’m grateful for the correction from a fellow Tosan.

Powering the MCRC

I’ve been mightily impressed and encouraged by the organized opposition to the plans to erect towers for the power lines needed at the Milwaukee County Research Complex.

While it’s clear that the the institution requires more power, it’s also clear that Wauwatosa’s attractiveness to residents and businesses  would suffer by turning our community into an industrial park.

I am persuaded that the extra cost of burying the lines — particularly when we look at the lifetime of the installation — is well worth the preservation of our parkways and the overall aesthetic of our community.

Economic development need not and must not openly conflict with the qualities of our city that we are not necessarily able to quantify in dollars and cents (and sense).

My congratulations to the citizens and officials who have come together to stand for livability in Wauwatosa.

 

Duelling Rallies in Tosa

Last Saturday my wife and I went to Part Park to witness the rally in support of Scott Walker — and the counter rally by Walker opponents.

As we approached the scene, I mentioned that it was a rare opportunity for opponents to being in contact with one another, and expressed the hope that the could be some civil discourse between opponents.

And indeed, while there was more than enough epithet-hurling and general nastiness to satisfy anyone, there were also numerous examples of people who simply wanted to exchange views — to really try to see what the other side was thinking.

A perfect emblem of this was two friends from my adult soccer team, one a Walker supporter, one a Walker opponent. They don’t view each other as cartoon “union thugs” or “heartless capitalists,” but as humans who simply disagree on how to achieve the best fiscal policy for the state.

I found this enormously encouraging. I firmly believe that the more input you get on a problem, the more likely you are to find a good solution.

Politics, in its best form, is the art of reconciling opposing views in a way that is optimally — though not perfectly — acceptable to the opposing sides. Not unlike a business negotiation.

If we didn’t have disagreements there’d be no need for politics. But without civil discourse, we are not going to create a better society. Period.