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Jim Witkowiak

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Content referencing Jim Witkowiak

Eyes on Milwaukee: City Refreshing South Side Park
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Refreshing South Side Park

North portion of park was once site of restaurant with dolphin tank.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Goldmann’s Campaign Canceled, Sign Headed to Cincinnati
Eyes on Milwaukee

Goldmann’s Campaign Canceled, Sign Headed to Cincinnati

Historic neon sign won't return to Mitchell Street, instead slated to go to sign museum.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Campaign Aims to Save Goldmann’s Sign
Eyes on Milwaukee

Campaign Aims to Save Goldmann’s Sign

Group's crowdfunding campaign seeks $20,000 to restore and display the sign.

Plats and Parcels: A Grand Update on The Avenue
Plats and Parcels

A Grand Update on The Avenue

Plus: downtown streetscaping improvements and lots of historic preservation news.

Eyes on Milwaukee: The Goldmann’s Sign Returns
Eyes on Milwaukee

The Goldmann’s Sign Returns

Defunct department store's old sign may return to Mitchell Street. But where?

MKE County: The County’s Queen of Hemp
MKE County

The County’s Queen of Hemp

Why Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez is pushing so hard for county to grow hemp.

Eyes on Milwaukee: 11 Things to Know Before You Ride The Hop
Eyes on Milwaukee

11 Things to Know Before You Ride The Hop

How many people will ride it? How is it free? Oh so many questions, all answered here.

Witkowiak Plans Major Expansion on Mitchell Street

Witkowiak Plans Major Expansion on Mitchell Street

Funeral home will add banquet hall, open-air plaza and floral shop.

Bar Exam: Taylors, Downtown’s Neighborhood Bar

Contribution to Michael Murphy of $300

Bar Exam: Taylors, Downtown’s Neighborhood Bar
Bar Exam

Taylors, Downtown’s Neighborhood Bar

It was one of the first bars in town to embrace its sidewalk, and feature outdoor drinking.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Barrett Moving Forward With Streetcar
Eyes on Milwaukee

Barrett Moving Forward With Streetcar

If Common Council approves at December 16 meeting, construction would start in late 2015, and Milwaukee would follow in footsteps of many other cities.

Plenty of Horne: Is Zamarripa’s Democratic Challenger Really Republican?
Plenty of Horne

Is Zamarripa’s Democratic Challenger Really Republican?

He's just 18, but candidate Vincent Synowicz is already mastering the slick verbal skills of a veteran politician.

House Confidential: Ald. Pérez’s Tiny, Former Jesuit Home
House Confidential

Ald. Pérez’s Tiny, Former Jesuit Home

His tiny lot and 840 square-foot home make him a true man of the people. And not much of a gardener.

Stunned by bribe allegation, Milwaukee panel rejects liquor license
Citation

Stunned by bribe allegation, Milwaukee panel rejects liquor license

Eyes on Milwaukee: Witkowiak Runs Off to Siberia
Eyes on Milwaukee

Witkowiak Runs Off to Siberia

The former alderman is an obsessive marathon runner. And the city gets 2000 more trees.

Murphy’s Law: Rocky Road
Murphy’s Law

Rocky Road

Some aldermen want to dump DCD head Rocky Marcoux, but Mayor Barrett disagrees.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Hines for Mayor, Coggs for Life, Thomas for 34%, and More City Politics
Eyes on Milwaukee

Hines for Mayor, Coggs for Life, Thomas for 34%, and More City Politics

Welcome to the seventh installment of Eyes on Milwaukee. This week the focus is all on City of Milwaukee elected officials following yesterday's election. I explore the likelihood that Willie Hines runs for Mayor, how the new Common Council will resemble the old Common Council, the wide disparity in vote totals between districts, Bob Donovan winning the war, the shocking number of votes Johnny Thomas got, and Spencer Coggs' new job.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Taxi Cabs, Elections, and More
Eyes on Milwaukee

Taxi Cabs, Elections, and More

Welcome to the first weekly installment of Eyes on the Street, a new column running down what's happening in urban Milwaukee. This week features taxi cabs, election news, a list of openings and closings, and the photo of the week.

Key Riverwalk Project Held at Committee

Key Riverwalk Project Held at Committee

Most of Milwaukee's riverwalk system has been built as a public-private partnership as new developments occurred, but a file before yesterday's Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development committee proposed that the City of Milwaukee fund a short section of the system. City staff determined that an 80-foot stretch along Erie St., between River Renaissance and Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, is unlikely to see new development in the foreseeable future.

Milwaukee Moves Forward!

Milwaukee Moves Forward!

Council committee moves forward with the streetcar.

Greenwich Park Apartments Zoning Change Approved by Committee

Greenwich Park Apartments Zoning Change Approved by Committee

Mercy Housing Lakefront's $8.5 million Greenwich Park Apartments project received approval at the January 11th, 2011 meeting of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee.

S. 2nd Street Redesign Approved by the Common Council

S. 2nd Street Redesign Approved by the Common Council

The proposed improvement of S. 2nd Street, in Walker's Point, was up for approval at the December 22nd meeting of the Milwaukee Common Council.

S. 2nd Street Street Re-design Approved at Committee

S. 2nd Street Street Re-design Approved at Committee

For over a year business owners, property owners, and residents in Walker's Point have worked to have S. 2nd Street rebuilt with people in mind. The plan, as UrbanMilwaukee.com has covered in past, includes narrowing the street from 58 feet to 50 feet, removing travel lanes, and adding bike lanes, street trees, and new lighting with the goal of creating a street conducive to multiple modes of transportation, be it walking, biking, or driving.

The Bookends Development is Sent Back to Committee

The Bookends Development is Sent Back to Committee

At the December 1st, 2009 meeting of the Milwaukee Common Council the Cooperation and Development Agreement for the Bookends development was sent back to the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee. The agreement would of authorized a $3.45 million loan guarantee from the City of Milwaukee to the development team, of New Land Enterprises and Weichman Enterprises, for the Bookends apartment development.

The Moderne Project Held for Special Committee Meeting

The Moderne Project Held for Special Committee Meeting

The Moderne, if approved, would be located at 1141 N. Old World Third St.

S. 2nd Street Complete Streets Effort Moves Forward!

S. 2nd Street Complete Streets Effort Moves Forward!

This past Friday a public meeting was held to discuss the reconstruction of S. 2nd Street in Walker's Point from National Ave. north to the train tracks.

$100 Million Worth of Development Approved by the Common Council

$100 Million Worth of Development Approved by the Common Council

The $11 million Hide House project was the most hotly debated development project at the July 28th meeting of the Common Council, though the most significant action in terms of dollars was the approval of the Rivianna.

Rivianna, Villard Square, and New Riverwalk Sections Approved at ZND Meeting

Rivianna, Villard Square, and New Riverwalk Sections Approved at ZND Meeting

Harry Drea, one of the developers of the Rivianna project, was before the committee to request an amendment to the previously approved General Planned Development, and approval of the Detailed Planned Development.

S. 2nd Street Redevelopment Concept Gains Momentum

S. 2nd Street Redevelopment Concept Gains Momentum

The June 24th, 2009 Public Works Committee Meeting was a good day for the efforts to rebuild S. 2nd street as a complete street. The Department of Public Works presented three options as possibilities for the rebuilding of S. 2nd Street. The first option was to simply resurface the street, with essentially no pedestrian improvements. The second option would resurface the street at the same width, but would included painted bike lanes, reduced travels lanes, and street trees. However it is the third option that is closest to a complete street.

Common Council Creates Streetcar Committee

Common Council Creates Streetcar Committee

The proposed snow and ice fee increase, the furloughs, the possible use of eminent domain for economic development, and the formation of a streetcar committee were topics of interest at this Common Council meeting.

M.O.R.E. Ordinance Approved by Committee

M.O.R.E. Ordinance Approved by Committee

The Milwaukee Opportunities for Restoring Employment ordinance was the primary reason behind this special meeting of the Community & Economic Development Committee.  The ordinance intends to increase the required percentage of City of Milwaukee residents hired to work on city projects and development projects receiving more than $1 million in TIF assistance.  Additionally it mandated a prevailing wage to be paid for these projects and set a higher Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE ) utilization level as well.  The proposed ordinance brought out a large group of both supporters and opponents.  Alderman Ashanti Hamilton attempted to frame the discussion early on saying that “there are many people who may come to the table and say this is the wrong time to do something like this” and indicated that he felt the time was right to move on this ordinance.  He added that “I submit to you that the price has already been too great”.  Alderman Nik Kovac explained that “in the end this is not a philosophical question, it is a practical question” and lent his support saying that “I think we have a document that comes close to being a win win win”.  An extensive list of developers and real estate professional spoke in opposition to the ordinance though primarily the development community opposed the ordinance because of the prevailing wage mandate. Richard Wanta, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Underground Contractors Association, spoke in opposition of the project saying that “the same city has chased us out of town for decades”.  He went on to point out that there is currently only one major water and sewer contractor in the city, so once this passes that contractor is especially likely to get all of the available work in the area because of the new regulations. Dick Lincoln, Senior Vice President of the Mandel Group, started his remarks saying that “the camel is a horse that is designed by committee” indicating the ordinance wasn’t quite right but went on to say that “we’re almost there”.  He explained that generally he felt the ordinance was a positive but that the prevailing wage requirement was problematic.  He argued that it works against minority hiring, as smaller companies often compete on price, and that this would add substantially to the cost of the project. Barry Mandel, President of the Mandel Group, pointed to the PERC requirements in the Park East and tied them to the fact that development has been non-existent in the county owned portion of the Park East.  He then pointed to The Brewery and The North End projects as two projects that have been moving forward because they utilizing non-prevailing wages. Greg Uhen, President of Eppstein Uhen Architects, spoke out against the proposed ordinance saying that “my concern is that it will reduce the number of opportunities that come to the city” and that he felt “this is another roadblock, another reason for them not to come”. The line of members in support of the ordinance were at least as lengthy […]

Committee Approves Travel Spending

Committee Approves Travel Spending

Committee approves funding for travel to National League of Cities’ Board of Directors and International Council events.

East Side Apartment Proposal Held by Committee

East Side Apartment Proposal Held by Committee

New Land Enterprises was before the committee requesting a change in zoning to construct a 5-story apartment building to be located on North Farwell Avenue and East Kenilworth.

Common Council Allocates Funds for Low-income Housing Development

Common Council Allocates Funds for Low-income Housing Development

Resolution 080196 proposed requiring taverns with three or more criminal incidents within a years time frame to install security cameras that cover both the interior and exterior of the establishment.  Alderman Jim Bohl attempted to do his due diligence by asking a series of questions regarding enforcement, when it would go into effect, and the specific definition of a “criminal act”.  He also pointed out that he normally doesn’t like the idea of cameras and “big brother” infringing on our freedoms but that “this legislation is well crafted” and he would support it.  This resolution was approved and will now go before the Mayor. Resolution 080632 generated a long debate over the re-authorization of a $500,000 grant for the Truancy Abatement and Burglary Suppression (“TABS”) program.  Alderman Bohl called this grant “marshmallow fluff” explaining that it had been funded for fifteen years and the truancy rate within Milwaukee Public Schools (“MPS”) has actually risen from 40% to 46%.  The grant currently funds four police officers who in total find nineteen truant students a day, which represent a mere .0025% of the absences within MPS.  Many council members agreed with the belief that this program wasn’t working and Alderman Jim Witkowiak went so far as to say that we “possibly we should consider not funding this anymore”.  This resolution was sent back to the Finance & Personnel Committee. Resolution 080539 proposed utilizing the funds from the sale of land for the development of Kilbourn Tower to fund loans for the low-income development and rehabilitation projects in Milwaukee.  There was a short debate spurred by Alderman Joe Dudzik that considered sending this resolution back to the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development committee to potentially find a different use for the funds.  Alderman Willie Wade stated that “to me its a blessing to even have these funds available” and reinforced the majority of the council’s belief that this file should move forward.  The motion to send back to committee was rejected and this resolution will now go before the Mayor. Par ailleurs, d‘autres facteurs peuvent donc terrestres, sont autorisés à travers tout joueur n’étant pas accès. Les principaux établissements de l’Est, la plupart des autres nations avec les autres. La légalité des joueurs aux plus modernes, les joueurs peuvent influencer l’accès des nations avec celles-ci se . meilleurs casinos Par ailleurs, d‘autres facteurs peuvent influencer l’accès des joueurs aux établissements de cantons, soit 26 au totale. Et comme la plupart des autres nations européennes, elle offre à une panoplie de jeux. Inscrit parmi les divers établissements de jeux une nation composé de casinos physiques, donc .

Common Council Approves New Berlin Water Deal

Common Council Approves New Berlin Water Deal

This meeting included three highly debated resolutions, the “Wheel Tax”, the 9to5 direct legislation regarding sick pay, the water sale to New Berlin and the retirement of one of the most highly respected government officials.  Marty Collins the outgoing Commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood Services gave a heartfelt farewell speech stating “I’m proud to be a public servant”.  Then he left with some suggestions and encouraged the Common Council and city staff to promote creativity to find solutions.When the resolution known as the “Wheel Tax” came up for discussion Alderman Jim Witkowiak offered an amendment that would cap the fee at $20 for the duration of the current Common Council.  Although Alderman Michael Murphy explained that this amendment wasn’t meaningful because it could simply be overridden with a resolution in the future.  Another amendment was offered by Alderman Joe Dudzik that would allow a portion of the vehicle registration fee to support street maintenance.  Again it was suggested that this amendment had little value because it will be up to the budgetary process to determine that actual spending.  Both of these amendments and the overall resolution passed with a veto proof majority and will no go to the Mayor for action.Another hot button resolution was the piece of direct legislation brought forward by the group 9to5, National Association of Women by obtaining 42,000 signatures in sixty days.  The intention of the resolution is to force employers within the City of Milwaukee to give all employees paid sick time.  Alderman Bob Donovan spoke out against the resolution saying that “this resolution may end up hurting the very same people it is intended to help”.  Alderman Jim Bohl also expressed his concerns that this would resolution hurt business and that “if jobs leave this community there are no benefits to be had”.  The Common Council had two options regarding this resolution, either adopt it immediately without changes or let it go to binding referendum.  The Common Council voted to let it go to referendum.The most hotly debated issue of the day was the proposed water sale and the associated intergovernmental agreement with New Berlin.  Alderman Robert Bauman initially questioned the legality of the water sale saying that his concerns were “beyond the question of policy” because this transaction was outside the bounds of what the Common Council had approved in December of 2007.  He questioned if the sale was proper because the original authorization to negotiate was in reference to an area of New Berlin within the current Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (“MMSD”) service area while this transaction included a portion of New Berlin that is planned to be in the MMSD service area sometime in the future.  Alderman Murphy agreed that “the department made a mistake without a doubt” but that the City of Milwaukee needs to move forward with this transaction or New Berlin may find another solution.The intergovernmental agreement with New Berlin included a non-compete clause and a $1.5 million payment to the City of Milwaukee.  The non-compete […]

Breaking Down the 2008-2012 Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee

Breaking Down the 2008-2012 Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee

The 2008-2012 Common Council committee appointments were announced this week and it appears Common Council President Willie Hines, Jr. put together a qualified group to sit on the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee. Alderman James Witkowiak, Chair Alderman Willie Wade, V-C Alderman Michael Murphy Alderman Robert Bauman Alderman T. Anthony Zielinski The biggest change comes at the top of the committee where Alderman Witkowiak will be replacing out going Alderman D’Amato as the committee chairman. Alderman Witkowiak is a good choice for this role because the 5th Ward is starting to take off and the new Chairman will play a large role in shaping future development in the district. Additionally he has extensive experience working on neighborhood issues, from his time as Chairman of the License Committee, that should translate well to ZND. This ability to work with neighborhoods will be critical to the success of the committee due to the consistent need to work on neighborhood complaints surrounding development projects. Returning members Alderman Wade, Alderman Murphy, and Alderman Bauman have not necessarily always agreed on issues but generally work well together and come at an issue with solid arguments. Alderman Wade has shown he understand the value of density and of growing the city through development. Alderman Murphy’s knowledge of passed Common Council actions and his work on water related issues makes him a vital member of this committee. As the City of Milwaukee moves forward on mass transit efforts such as the KRM project, BRT, or the downtown streetcar effort Alderman Bauman’s history with mass transit issues should also be invaluable. Although Alderman Zielinski is new to ZND he brings a background in environmental efforts that could lead the committee to explore more green based zoning initiatives. As a group it will be interesting to watch their handling of projects as they have the characteristics to continue the steady march of redevelopment the City of Milwaukee has seen in recent years.

Zoning Committee Approves a Drive-thru?

Zoning Committee Approves a Drive-thru?

As there were only two items on the agenda this was one of the quickest Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee meetings in quite some time. Resolution 071128 proposed a change in zoning from two-family residential to local business which would allow PyraMax Bank to construct a driveway to access new drive-thru banking facilities. This resolution had been held during an earlier ZND meeting because for PyraMax Bank to build the driveway it requires the demolition of a residential property which is generally not encouraged by the Department of City Development. During the meeting Alderman Bob Bauman pointed this out saying “this is another case of substituting an automobile use from a residential use” and went on to indicate he felt projects like this have hurt the City of Milwaukee in the past. Despite these concerns the committee approved the resolution in a large part due to local Alderman Jim Witkowiak support of the resolution.

The Roundup: Broadband Quote of the Week
The Roundup

Broadband Quote of the Week

"Well, if I was a consumer I would say, "Why in the hell is the United States No. 13 and heading south in broadband deployment?"

The Roundup: The Governor and the Empire Builder
The Roundup

The Governor and the Empire Builder

 

The Roundup: The Extraordinary Longevity of Milwaukee Politicians
The Roundup

The Extraordinary Longevity of Milwaukee Politicians

We have had twice as many Mayors as we have had City Treasurers since 1917.

The Roundup: Carpenter to Run For Congress
The Roundup

Carpenter to Run For Congress

Rep. Jerry Kleczka is the son of a machinist. A Carpenter wants to replace him.

The Roundup: Bobot Calls for Term Limit
The Roundup

Bobot Calls for Term Limit

Vince Bobot plans to request a change in the City Charter to limit the term of Milwaukee Mayor to two consecutive terms.

The Roundup: Krug Scores Joint Finance Seat
The Roundup

Krug Scores Joint Finance Seat

Rep. Shirley Krug was chosen Monday to take a seat on the influential Joint Committee on Finance