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Muskego Citizens Group Seeks to Build City's Identity

Muskego Proud defines what they are - and what they aren't - in regard to city's development

Hoping to clarify their purpose in light of aRob Lucas and Michael Pierski explained the formation of the citizen's group Muskego Proud earlier this week.

"We are a group that supports the projects that will enhance the city, and give it an identity," said Lucas, a spokesperson for the group.

He was quick to point out that this aim was not the same as 'rubber stamping' whatever measures are brought forth by the city, however.

"What we are hoping to do is gather facts and get them out to people, including costs for these projects, possible impact to taxes and so on," Lucas said.  "If we see after a review of those facts that it's either going to be too expensive, or not in the best interests of the community, we won't be in support of it."

Lucas also explained that the group is not organized as a political action committee, and is not "an arm of the Chamber of Commerce, although many of the things the chamber supports in regard to business growth are common to our mission of enhancing the community through such developments."

Pierski said that they are seeking to form a nonprofit corporation, or 501(c)3, and they have attracted citizens from all political persuasions.

"We have people who are literally from all sides - liberal, conservative and in between - who have a desire to support projects that will make the city a more attractive place to visit and to live," he said, adding that "there is a silent majority that were afraid to speak during the last debate, and we're hoping to give them a voice this time."

Muskego Proud has also gone to great lengths to keep politics out of their purpose, according to both men.

"We are so careful to distance politics that we won't be open to any member of the Common Council to be a member of the group, and we're trying to ensure that no one that may have a conflict of interest is a member," Lucas explained.

Prior to announcing their formation, Pierski said the city itself wasn't sure what to make of the group.

"We had checked with the clerk's office to see if there was anything we needed to do with regard to registering our group, and in explaining that we were mainly an organization that is in favor of enhancing the city, they didn't know what to do with us," Pierski said.

"Apparently, they never had a group formed that was 'for' things," he added.

Previously, Muskego First had been formed in opposition to the building of the WalMart that is now on Moorland Road.  Lucas was not sure if the group is still active, but wanted to point out another key difference between them and Muskego Proud.

"We don't plan on being a one-issue organization.  There will no doubt be other projects that will impact the community's identity, like the Janesville Road project, as well as the potential revitalization on Pioneer Drive," he said.

The group is hoping that earlier difficulties in getting information on projects like the proposed lake development will be made easier for all residents.  One of the complaints regarding the 'Bring Back the Lake' project was that no one had gotten any information or was allowed input, and Muskego Proud hopes to rectify that with new projects going forward.

Their website will include links to information relevant to such projects, like any plans, tax information and projected costs for various developments to make it easier for residents to review.

"Are people necessarily going to call their aldermen to ask questions, or will they feel more comfortable looking at these things themselves?" Lucas asked.  "We represent an un-elected group that isn't looking to score political points, and provide facts to let people make up their own minds."

"While we aren't a political action committee and we won't come out in support of or against any candidate, we will lobby for more information to be presented to residents on projects that will impact the city," Lucas added.

Lucas said they hope to pool information for people to digest, and decide if they agree or not with a project based on those facts.  He wanted to stress that 'proud' didn't mean that they would view everything as "hunky dory."

"There are a lot of issues that Muskego needs to address, and few black marks have marked our progress," Lucas said.  "However, there is a lot to be proud of - economically and with regard to our schools - that we can build on."

The group will meet again at on Tuesday, September 20, beginning at 5:45pm.  Anyone with questions or who is interested in joining is welcome to attend.

Terri Boyer September 09, 2011 at 07:25 PM
I am all in favor of positive things for Muskego and I know a very important part that will enhance the city and give Muskego an identity. One of the most important elements in a community is the education system, but our elementary school infrastructures are crumbling and the elementary schools are overcrowded. The Organized Citizens Group, Friends of Muskego Norway Schools, is supporting the upcoming school referendum in our community. Having great schools directly affects, more than anything, why people move to a community. Having people moving and flocking to Muskego for our schools directly affects our Muskego businesses. Investing in our schools increases the value of our community and our personal property values. I hope we can count on you to support the rebuilding of our elementary schools here in Muskego. More information about the referendum can be found at: http://www.muskegonorway.org/content/view/1230/1356/ The time is now, please vote YES on November 8th. Sincerely, Terri Boyer
proud of muskego September 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM
With the new hardships many families face, and the housing market in Muskego and elsewhere on a decline, do we really need another park? Especially a park that is going to cost a bundle not only in dollars, but also by purchasing and destroying some of the most expensive houses in Muskego & eliminating the property taxes that those pricey homes bring in. I truly believe Muskego has much to offer. We can fine tune what we have, vs. overlooking the Idle Isle beach and reinventing it over on the other side of the lake. Take a ride over to Idle Isle and Make Muskego Proud by helping to make that area nicer and better for the families to enjoy. While there, take notice of all the boats being launched, do we really need another beach to attract even more boats on the lake? This proposed Lake project seems filled with conflicts of interest of who is gaining by the sale of some of those homes. Let's be careful with this creative twist of "Bring Back Muskego". ( Cow Town, vacant Parkland Mall property conflicts)
The Warrior September 10, 2011 at 02:48 PM
The primary concern for any school system is making sure the students actually learn something. Spending $30 million on a new building and a couple new walls in another is not worth it. As for a new park on the Little Muskego, this is important for every taxpayer in our city. That park only enhances our soon-to-be redeveloped downtown and will bring in new business and tax dollars. Idle Isle cannot do this and was not designed for it. It cannot grow and any change would be only beneficial to a small segment of Muskego.
Denise Konkol (Editor) September 10, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Regarding the new development, the plans do not include a boat launch, so no additional boat traffic is likely. Also Idle Isle is indeed an island, and improvements are planned to enhance it. Parking is very limited and the beach area is shallow. Our parks officials tell us it's 'maxed out' as far as allowing more permanent parking there.
Robert Bueckers September 10, 2011 at 08:18 PM
I live on Little Muskego Lake and see the Lake taken over by off the lake boats, skiers and jet skis every weekend during the summer. There aleady is two very adequate parking lots on or near Ilde Isle Park. There also is three other public launches on the lake plus eighteen public access lots on the lake which are owned by the city. Why in the world would we(taxpayers) want to spend millions of dollars to provide MORE access to the lake!!!! I think if any tax money is spent it should be take care of the TREE FARM in the middle of our current downtown area.
obtw September 11, 2011 at 12:22 AM
Linda, I think you better re-read what Robert said and respond to that, not what you think he said. Your mean spirited response adds little to the discussion. "There aleady is two very adequate parking lots on or near Ilde Isle Park. There also is three other public launches on the lake plus eighteen public access lots on the lake which are owned by the city. Why in the world would we(taxpayers) want to spend millions of dollars to provide MORE access to the lake!!!! I think he asks a vital question. There is more access to Little Muskego than any lake in SE Wisconsin. And you think there is not enough? You do know that if a park is built it can not be restricted to Muskego only residents. So, if the taxpayers of Muskego build a park, it's for ALL in the metropolitan area. It could become too crowded for even you to use and enjoy. If we build it, they will come. I don't know if that's good or bad. I'm open to more discussion and ideas. Are you? Or are we at the "name calling " stage of the concept?
proud of muskego September 11, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Where's Linda's comments?
Kammy September 12, 2011 at 12:15 AM
I challenge any of you who think Muskego's lake accesses to be, in any way user friendly, to pick up a Muskego map and drive around to visit each of them.

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