Dear citizens of Muskego,
You may not know me because I am new to the politics scene, having just turned 18 last December. However, I have been a resident of Muskego since I was two years old and have kept on top of all of the city’s events and news since I was a young child.
I believe that today is a sad day in our city. Mr. Dilworth and the Gardettos officially pulled the plug for the city to purchase their properties and turn it into a lake park in the new downtown district. This ultimately ends the vision of creating a lake park that would have put Muskego “one wave above” our surrounding communities.
I, along with many other citizens with this vision, believed that a park would have had so many potential benefits that would have moved our city forward in terms of progress and an increase in quality of life. With this park, and the reconstructed Janesville Road, citizens from all over Muskego could have rode their bikes in the summer on the city’s ever-expanding trail system to the park to have a fun afternoon in the sun. The community could have had local music acts perform along the beach at sunset, creating an interesting and fun evening in an otherwise uneventful city. This park would have brought many other positive changes to the area. According to the city’s latest business study conducted by an outside firm, they ranked the lake park development a “high priority” to increase business in the city. The mayor also pointed out that a few businesses were looking at that area if the park were to be built. Looks like Muskego lost out on yet another business; we will never know what potential business that was.
The idea of a park would have had so many potential benefits that were unfortunately overshadowed by “the other side’s” calls to the media highlighting the false fact that “no one in Muskego wants a park.” Also, those that were opposed to the park claimed that there was a conflict of interest of the owner of one of the houses. But, wasn’t the fact that the group that started the petition/recall/calling to the media lived in the Bay Breeze condominium complex and in other lake houses also a conflict of interest? Would citizens of Bay Breeze not want a park because it would cause “too much ruckus” and that it was on “their lake?” Our lake, Little Muskego Lake, is a valuable asset that should have been exposed to the new downtown area, but will continue to be blocked by residences.
Congratulations, naysayers, you won. You didn’t get the “horrible” lake park in the community that is composed of lakes. Unfortunately, your winning prize is being shared with 24,135 other people. What is it? The prize is nothing, meaning that we will continue to not make progress in our city. Muskego will continue to be “just another average suburb” of Milwaukee. No wait, in terms of business, we are below average. This park would have put us on the map for something good for the region, and would have been great for every citizen of the city in some way or the other. Now, we will just be talked about by neighboring communities for more negative things: about for a recall that is now insignificant (their main point was about the park…what will their basis of recall now?).
It’s a total shame that the vocal minority got so loud that we lost something that could have been a catalyst for our city. Instead, we are stuck with the status quo: no main lake park in a city with three lakes, a downtown that continues to feature more dead trees than businesses and things to do, and continuing to have to leave the city to dine out. Something that was supposed to bring community spirit and bring Muskego together instead brought out bitterness and anger from citizens, and our city is now divided. Muskegoans with a sense of pride and vision, you have every right to be sad today, because it truly is a sad day.