The protest on Sunday, and an apparent literature drop since then by a group opposed to a purchase by the city of land along Janesville Road, has brought new attention to a group formed in opposition to the offer to purchase resolution before the common council Tuesday night.
The flyers tucked under windshield wipers after Sunday mass at St. Leonards and tucked into mailboxes around Muskego ask residents to question the $3.5 million expenditure of the city to purchase land and homes offered by Michael Dilworth, which also includes a home owned by the Cherek family. The flyer is designated as "paid for by Muskego for Ethical Government, Debra Bolton, Treasurer."
Additionally, there has been speculation that the group was trying to collect signatures for a petition to block a vote by the common council on the offer to purchase, which is Tuesday night at 7pm at . However, attempts to reach someone with the group have not been successful to confirm this until late this afternoon.
Lorie Oliver said the group has indeed registered with the city clerk's office as a political action committee, and they have been going door to door to collect signatures to present at Tuesday night's meeting. She estimated there are about 50 to 60 residents who are active.
"We have collected 500 signatures as of Sunday," Oliver said, adding that as they have spoken to residents they are eager to sign.
The flyer itself urges residents to demand a referendum on the matter, however developer and property owner Dilworth has stated that he would pull the offer should the city pose a referendum. In addition, the flyer continues to ask the question on long-term costs, which has been unanswered at previous meetings at different levels.
Most recently, , as there were too many variables without one. Until the land is purchased, it's unlikely one will be created.
Oliver questioned the relationships between public officials and Dilworth and his associates.
"Gerald Boisits is on the Parks and Rec committee, and he is representing Dilworth in this deal. He has said he'll recuse himself from voting, but he's been on that committee a long time. I think that's a conflict of interest," she said.
She stressed that a referendum is needed to get public input on the matter and that the project has been rushed, especially given the real estate market.
"There hasn't been a piece of property purchased on the lake that's been for more than $1 million in years, what is the rush with this?" she asked.
Dilworth and Cherek have also been promised, per the resolution, $25,000, which is the maximum under state mandate that is to be paid to property owners in a city purchase. However, Oliver said the group felt that money should be offered when the purchase is brought forth by the city, and not as an offer to the city by the owner.
The public will have another chance to weigh in on the issue at Muskego Lakes Country Club at 7pm on Tuesday, Jan. 24.