Brookfield Square Welcomes County Buses
Unlike Southridge and other suburban malls, Brookfield Square actually runs ads to attract bus-riding city residents.
Southridge Mall, Wisconsin’s largest shopping center, ordered Milwaukee County buses off its property beginning November 1st. The bus stop is now 1,000 feet away from the mall entrance. The move upset County Supervisor Michael Mayo, who wondered out loud exactly whom the mall owner, Simon Co. of Indianapolis, was trying to exclude from its property.
He figured it was probably poor people without cars. Maybe even poor people without cars who would like to take a bus to work minimum-wage jobs at any of the 100 or more stores there. And perhaps some of those poor people would be Hispanic or African American.
Yet while this absurdity plays out to the detriment of our civil society, there is a refreshing counterpoint at the Brookfield Square shopping center. This can be seen at the foot of the Holton Viaduct, where the architect-designed bus shelter on E. Brady Street has an advertisement encouraging transit riders to shop at Brookfield Square.
“Find More” at Brookfield Square, reads the advertisement, which includes a proper 6-pointed snowflake in its graphic, and the web address ShopBrookfieldSquareMall.com.
The westbound Milwaukee County Transit System #10 buses are practically a billboard for the mall, which is located at the end of the line. “Brookfield Square” is emblazoned on the front of the buses as they head west on Wisconsin Avenue and (dare we say it) actually enter into another county — that of Waukesha.
If this metro area is to thrive, it will need to tear down these walls. If the suburbs are to survive, they will need to reinvent themselves to increase opportunities for transit, pedestrian and bicycle access to their verdant acres and big box retailers. There are literally signs that Brookfield is getting the message. It’s a wonderful example for other shopping centers.
Wasserman Will Run for Broderick’s Seat
Here’s a big change for Milwaukee’s East Side: Third District county supervisor Gerry Broderick is stepping down after his term is up and former state representative Sheldon Wasserman intends to run for the seat in 2016. Broderick, probably one of the best known county board members, was elected in a special election held in July 2002 and was re-elected unopposed in 2004, 2008 and 2012. He was known as a champion of the parks and was a frequent and outspoken critic of County Executive Chris Abele and his predecessor in that job, Scott Walker. Dr. Wasserman, who is an M.D., served as the 22nd Assembly District representative from 1994 until 2008, when he ran and lost in a close election to Republican Alberta Darling.
The reason for Broderick’s decision not to run for reelection is unknown, but it seems a safe prediction there may be more movement from the board given that Act 14 is cutting a supervisor’s salary in half, to part-time pay, leaving a position in the legislature or city Common Council a far better option, financially speaking.
In other candidate news, Sara Geenen, an attorney at the Previant Law Firm who told Urban Milwaukee that she is considering a run to replace Jon Richards in his 19th Assembly District seat, made it official yesterday. Geenen apparently made her announcement in a conference call at 2 p.m., but it must have been a short one, since it was nothing but music by the time this reporter called at 2:14 p.m. [We later learned the call was indeed brief, and there were no questions asked of the candidate.]
According to her campaign, the mother of two children “is running for office to bring the State Assembly’s focus back to Wisconsin’s working families.” (The Previant firm has long represented union clients.)
No other candidates have announced thus far, and there are no candidates registered with the Government Accountability Board as of October 25th, the most recent information available. The Richards seat is open based on his decision to run for Attorney General.
Candidates may circulate nomination papers beginning April 15th, 2014. The fall partisan primary will be on August 12th, 2014 to weed out the many candidates expected to run for this seat. As I’ve previously written, other candidates are expected to run, including county board chair Marina Dimitrijevic.
Judge Charles F. Kahn, Jr. has announced his last day on Branch 24 of Milwaukee County Circuit Court will be November 22nd. He is leaving office midway through a 6-year term to begin “A Neutral View,” which he describes as “a mediation, arbitration and advocacy consultation.”
Kahn has served on the court for 21 years, and most recently has been assigned to the Felony Court. He also owns the Colby Abbott Building, headquarters of Urban Milwaukee.
Will Kahn’s move give Republican Governor Scott Walker a chance to appoint a successor? (Many judges come to the bench on a gubernatorial appointment, and then often face re-election unopposed)
It is possible, Kahn says, but not very likely, since an election will be held in April for a full six-year term on Branch 24.
Kahn tells Urban Milwaukee:
An election in April, 2014 will determine who takes the branch in which I currently serve. Nomination papers may be circulated beginning December 1, 2013 and must be filed by the first week in January.
If the governor decides to appoint someone to fill the position the appointee must file nomination papers on time in order to be on the April ballot, and must win the April election to obtain a six-year term. Otherwise the appointment would end on July 31, 2014.
I am unaware of whether the governor wants to take the risk of appointing someone who may be defeated in April. If he decides to do so, the appointee will have only a brief time to benefit from the advantage of incumbency.
Urban Milwaukee will follow this election in the months to come.
Fundraising Set for Holton Swings
Keith Hayes and his associates have begun a fundraising campaign to Save Our Swings, with an $11,000 goal to return them to the Media Garden at the Holton Marsupial Bridge. The group hopes to raise the funds with its “Common Cents” campaign by Thanksgiving. It has raised $1,305 thus far, with an initial gift of Sheldon Oppermann on behalf of Gold’s Gym and City Center, Hayes tells Urban Milwaukee.
“Our s.o.s. (save our swings) community fundraiser [is] organized with MKE BKE, the Makerspace, the City of Milwaukee, and NEWaukee,” Hayes writes.
Hayes and his crew installed some signs announcing the campaign at the bridge, hanging them in the places where swings first swung.
Scene on the Street
Uniprice Cleaners, which has operated out of a strip mall at 1434 E. Brady Street will move down the block and across the street to 1225 E. Brady St. on November 25th, just in time for us to get suited up for Thanksgiving. … The Winter Bicycle Fair was a great success on Tuesday, November 5th, at Great Lakes Distillery. Hundreds of bicyclists drank cocktails and talked winter with a panel of experts. This is the fifth annual such event.
Clarification: An earlier version of this column referred to Supervisor Gerry Broderick “stepping down,” which might have implied he was not finishing out his term. To clarify, he will not run for reelection when his term expires in 2016.