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.