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Muskego Petition Drive Yields 3,400 Signatures

Petitions turned in to clerk's office Monday afternoon; next up, verification and a decision from the city's attorney, making a potentially high-turnout April election.

Late Monday afternoon, organizers of a petition drive to collect signatures to halt the sale of the Dilworth and Cherek properties to the city for development as park land brought 3,400 signatures to the Muskego city clerk's office.

The result of about a week's worth of work, Muskego for Ethical Government also delivered a letter to Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti's office to "cease all further steps to prepare, negotiate or draft an offer to purchase along with preparation of any other related documents for the city of Muskego to acquire lake park property."

Lorie Oliver, whose kitchen has been 'ground zero' for the organization of the petitions, said they had packed up signatures to be turned in last night, when "at least more arrived early this morning, so we ended up redoing the paperwork."

The city will have 15 days to respond to the petitions, and it's expected that legal counsel will make a determination if the action will indeed require a referendum.

"The amount of signatures is nearly double that we were required to turn in," Oliver said. "I'd hate to think that the city would take a stand against this. To think that they wouldn't feel they have to respond is unthinkable."

The referendum, should it come, will take place during the April election and will not require a special ballot. However, it would be an advisory referendum, which would mean the matter could again come to the common council to accept or ignore. Ironically, a referendum which returned a yes vote for the city to purchase the former Dandilion park land more than 30 years ago was disregarded by the council.

The April elections will also include contested races in all three districts up for grabs. Of the three incumbents running for re-election - Tracy Snead (D1), Neil Borgman (D3) and Dan Soltysiak (D5) - two had cast no votes (Borgman and Soltysiak) in the 4-3 vote that approved the resolution.

Muskego Mike January 31, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Too bad a second petition wasn’t available this weekend to allowed the mayor to re-run for her office. Heard plenty of support for this idea.
SBR January 31, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Suzi is correct. It would be a binding referendum, IF it were proper subject matter for direct legislation. In this case it contradicts at least two, maybe three resolutions/ordinances of the common council, thus making it non-compliment with the state statue on direct legislation.
Ruby January 31, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Recall the mayor? YES! Where can I sign a petition for that? My entire neighborhood is asking that question. What Muskego needs is a leader who actually listens to the citizens instead of strong-arming aldermen to vote for recreational projects that we cannot afford. RECALL KATHY CHIAVEROTTI!!! Please organize this, Muskego for Ethical Government.
Muskegotom January 31, 2012 at 04:01 PM
It would be a real shame to see this project fall through just because of a few short sighted people. This park would be a major asset to the city. Maybe this city could be another Cedarburg or Long Grove. These people are VERY selfish and want to keep the lake to themselves. I'll bet most of the people who signed the petition don't know any of the facts.
Ruby January 31, 2012 at 04:14 PM
We already have more parks on and off the lake than you can name. How much more recreation do you need? The economy is in the tank and our schools need repair. Stop fantasizing about becoming some glorious destination because we all know that this is a small lake that is overcrowded as it is and a narrow strip of land that is being discussed.
Muskegotom January 31, 2012 at 04:34 PM
The Part and Rec budget and school budget are separate. You can't intermingle the funds.
Flash January 31, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Another Cedarburg???? We can't even agree to having matching light posts from one end of the city to the other. Where was the vision? Look at the newer buildings along Janesville; do you see any quaint theme? Any theme at all? I was at the 2010 presentation for this proposed park; the high school room was also filled. I think the completed cost was around $16M, but it was a bit bigger at that time. The response....a resounding NO. The economy in 2010 was the basis for many NO INTEREST opinions at the time and now we are in 2012 and the economy is worse. The people were told this was dead in the water when Keith W and Kathy C were stumping for votes for their election when asked about the proposed park. I predict April will be unusually warm month in Muskego.
Simple Bacon January 31, 2012 at 05:07 PM
They intermingle when they reach my mailbox. We, the taxpayers of Muskego, have to pay for both schools and city so we should be thinking through where our priorities are as a community. Show me whatever research you want about the value of parks but I'm still going to say that schools are higher value. Now, if the community says we can't afford that higher value thing, repairs to schools, then why would try to find a way to afford the lesser value thing like a new park. I agree two different governement bodies but they each tax the same population so in reality they are intermingled.
ashley January 31, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Why dont we take one eighth of that money and buy the wasteland across from pick n save. It is disgusting to look at. I agree little muskego is over crowded and the boat launch is a nightmare. Why would our mayor rather buy two mansions than maybe put a second launch in at an existing park?
Flash January 31, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Simple Bacon, your thoughts about the common sense priority of our schools over another poorly cared for park in Muskego was echoed by a number of people at the last Common Council meeting where our 4-3 majority refused to listen to the request to table and put it to the public as a referendum. The usual FOUR seemed predestined to vote YES for this, and they did. Two of the YES people actually appeared to be nodding off while the public addressed them with their comments and concerns, which I thought spoke volumes for the respect they showed the people who cared enough to show up and voice their opinion. It's their money after all.
Greg Burmeister January 31, 2012 at 05:45 PM
OK, so maybe I misquoted Hitler, but the fact remains that this park thing has awakened the public and the public is angry. Kathy Chiaverotti is not the first to want to grind her own agenda as mayor, remember Damaske and DeAngelis? Maybe if we would have a choice for mayor, that would actually have the city's best interest at heart, that would be something worth voting for....Kathy Chiaverotti, certainly isn't!
Flash January 31, 2012 at 06:16 PM
At one time this city had a choice for mayor who's only agenda was looking out for what's best for Muskego... knowledgeable and conservative with the people's money, Nancy Salentine. The good ole boys association would have none of that and the fix was in; they won.
Suzi Link January 31, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Ruby I cannot and will not speak for "Muskego for Ethical Government", but did hear that sentiment alot while I was collecting petition signatures. Recalls of Mayor Chiaverotti and the Aldermen who voted to go ahead with this project are premature. (In the case of Ald. Snead, not relevant; she is currently up for re-election and has 2 opponents, meaning she is in a primary election in about a week). Recalls can't occur until elected officials they have served at least 12 months of thier current term. In other words, Chaiverotti, Fiedler, Werner and Schaumberg are not subject to recall until April. I strongly suspect, based on public sentiment, some or all three Aldermen and the Mayor are going to be facing that prospect based on thier ongoing refusal to consider the opinions of anyone outside thier circle of friends. If there will be recall efforts, people need to understand that a recall accomplishes nothing unless you have a caring, responsible and competant candidate to run against the incumbent. As an example, while Ald. Fiedler has drawn public ire in the past, the reason he is in office is that NO ONE OPPOSED HIM IN THE ELECTION. While I personally don't like recalls, I am appalled we have been forced to the point of direct legislation in our City. Ald Werner chaired the committee which (with extensive involvement by Mayor Chiaverotti) triggered the first recall in Muskego--there's a certain irony here.
Greg Burmeister January 31, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I couldn't disagree more. nancy was a yes person for David DeAngelis, and voted ''yes '' to anything he wanted. Her stated intention at the time was to carty on the same issues that DeAngelis wanted, which most of the city was also opposed to! You can give me liberty, and you can give me death, but please oh please, don't give me Nancy Salentine!
Heather January 31, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Take care of the parks we already have FIRST! Idle Isle is disgusting and filthy. I won't let my kids swim there and certainly won't spread a blanket on the beach full of trash and weeds. Just a quick question....are we going to also fund a big curtain to cover up the "parking lot tree farm" on Janesville as well? I wouldn't want the tourists coming to our "destination" spot to have their view spoiled on the way in! Hey City of Muskego, I will even let you buy my house to pay for the curtain!
Simple Bacon January 31, 2012 at 07:38 PM
The Parks department, or City, have yet to explain how they would be able to take care of a new lake park when, as you say, the existing one is in bad shape. We have volunteers reparing the shoreline at Idle Isle because the City doesn't seem to be able to. And, that area proposed for the new park is not going to stay in the shape is now with out substantial maintenence. The beach on that property is largely added to by the developer each year. It's not all natural beach. And if you noticed in the news footage there's a fence up to keep the geese out. Why give the City another park when they haven't taken care of the existing one? If we have all of this extra money sitting around what if we took a chunk and put it towards Idle Isle. That could be a great park with some TLC from the City.
ashley February 01, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I couldnt agree more!
C.B. February 01, 2012 at 06:39 AM
If we have the money to spend for a park I think we should use it to improve Idle Isle. If more land is needed then why not purchase property around that park. Wouldn't that area be less expensive? Do we really need two parks on the Lake?
Marguerite Ingold February 02, 2012 at 07:58 PM
It would take a lot more than a tenth of the money to satisfy the tree owner. If Little Muskego is overcrowed the land/park will not affect it as plans do not call for a boat launch. Just a nice clean beach and a nice place to walk to and from. Eastern Muskego needs to be able to access the lake or what else do they live here for.
Marguerite Ingold February 02, 2012 at 08:05 PM
yes, we need 2 parks on the lake, it's our lake and we all deserve it. Just reading this, even those who are against the lake property can't even agree about what they want. How about we let you guys all fight it out and we'll just build a nice destination. (and you'll just drive by) These remarks are more political than useful. I am waiting to hear more from Eastern Muskego, past Moorland and Tess Corners. They have been short changed for years with not being able to use the lake. With new roads and sidewalks I can meet with my friends from there and we can all enjoy the lake!!!!!!!!
Greg Burmeister February 02, 2012 at 09:30 PM
No, we do not need 2 parks on the lake. Parks Dept can't take care of the one we already have; what make you think they will take care of the new one? Eastern Muskego can get to Idle Isle the same way they would get to the ''new '' unnecessary park....they can drive!
Marguerite Ingold February 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM
That example was too convoluted for me. It's all a lot simpler than that. By the way, Congratulations on the new car, I could use one, too
Marguerite Ingold February 02, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I'm sure Muskego residents west of Moorland and Tess Corners appreciated your sentiments and will find out all the facts before deciding.
Suzi Link February 06, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Marguerite Ingold While I certainly respect the right of all Muskego and Wisconsin residents to access Little Muskego Lake, your arguement that "eastern Musekego" has been deprived access to Little Muskego Lake "doesn't hold water". The "Waterbugs" ski shows alone bring approximately 7,000 visitors to Idle Isle Park each year. Most of those shows are on Wednesday Nights. The only professional fireworks in Muskego are held over Little Muskego Lake (sponsored by a private group, with a contribution from the Lake District, without a Cinyty tax dollars). The "Muskego Anglers" (I think that is thier group name) fill every "trailer" parking space on Idle Isle and in the overflow lot at Park Arthur almost every Tuesday night during the summer for competative fishing, There are boats on driveways all around Muskego which get launched several times per week. I know, because a number of them are owned by friends of mine. The Ice fishing, ice skating and snowmobiling are already in full swing. The accusation that the 'non-lake' public has been somehow deprived access to Little Muskego Lake is totally baseless. If you have not visited or used Little Muskego Lake, that was your choice and is your loss.
Marguerite Ingold February 07, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Susie, I want to thank you for using your real name in your comments. Seems like we are the only ones who use their real names and stand behind their comments unlike those who use CB-like "handles" . C'mon use your real names and let's see how vocal you are. Also Suzi and others; have you taken any surveys or names to find out who is attending all the events and where they are from. Some of these people may attend an event once a year (maybe 2X's) and are very crowded. Now tell me another lake access park on the southside of the lake is not needed. (Fireworks would look just great from the south shore of the lake.) I bet a lot of Muskego residents less than 3 miles from Little Muskego go to Hales Corners for special events and holidays. (thank goodnes for :"Jammin on Janesville" it may tempt them back to our downtown even before the road is built. WELCOME!!!
Greg Burmeister February 07, 2012 at 06:29 PM
First, let me suggest that you and Suzi are not the only ones that use their real names.(Please see above.) Second, the fireworks look great from Idle Isle, and expanding on that makes much more sense. Building another lake park makes no sense when you consider what a great job the Parks Dept doesn't do with Idle isle now. What sense is there in adding more things to their ''Doesn't get done! list '' And as for the making '' New Muskego Lake Park a destination place '', some of criminal element already finds its way out of Milwaukee to Muskego, do we really want to advertise, encourage more of that element to come out here and spoil everything? I don't want to live in the ''big city '', that's what Milwaukee is for and we can go and come back. I want to keep the small town atmosphere of Muskego, the way it is.
Marguerite Ingold February 07, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Sorry Greg, forgot about you. I think your key thought tho is the last sentence and it's the first honest reason I have heard among everyone's negatives. " I want to keep the small town atmosphere of Muskego the way it is." I have heard this mantra since the Community Center on Moorland Rd was defeated. Remember that??? Lack of a commmunity gathering place has kept us just a small town and look what has happened to businesses e.g. vacanies, (have you seen them?) Thank goodness for our far-seeing duly elected officials and their planning skills. Welcome to the 21st century. You can't stop progress, you can just make it work for you.
Alol February 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Don't use the term "japs" on the internet. Nowadays it's offensive and seen as an ethnic slur.
Yada yada yada... March 01, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Is it true that one of the homes for sale is mold infested and that's why the seller can't dump it? If the city needs that park that bad, declare eminent domain and get the mold infested property for 'fair value'...
Yada yada yada... March 01, 2012 at 07:30 PM
maybe the mayor is personal friends with the home owners that are selling...

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