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  • title What the new Bucks arena means to Milwaukee and the election?

    The new Bucks arena has arisen as an issue in the election for a new governor.   The biggest issue with it is how it will be financed.

    The BMO Harris Bradley Center has been around since 1988 and is one of the older arenas in the NBA.  The NBA is encouraging the Milwaukee Bucks to build a new state of the art facility to keep up with the rest of the arenas across the league.  The deadline to do so is by the 2017 season, if the Milwaukee Bucks fail to build a new arena the consequence would be that the NBA would buy back the arena from Lasry and Edens for $575 million and potentially sell it to an ownership group in Seattle. Marc Lasry and Wes Edens purchased the Bucks in April from Sen. Herb Kohl for $550 million.

    Sen. Herb Kohl has already put $100 million towards to project and in addition to that new Bucks owners Lasry and Edens are also putting toward a significant amount towards a new arena.  The big issue now is how the rest of the arena will be financed.

    “The city and county of Milwaukee have a lot of issues going on right now,” former Royal Purple sports editor and Racine Journal Times Bucks insider Gerry Woelfel said.  “They are reluctant towards putting tax money towards such a project.”

    Gov. Scott Walker and Dem. Mary Burke have conflicting views on having a stadium tax involved for the new arena.  Gov. Walker argues against the arena tax because the city of Milwaukee already has the tax on Miller Park.  The stadium tax on Miller Park runs through 2020 and is for Milwaukee, Racine, Ozaukee, Waukesha, and Washington counties.

    Dem.  Mary Burke’s view is that there should be a stadium tax.  She argues that there should be a public option on the table but it should be last on the list.  She also says that you have protect tax payers as well as keep Milwaukee a thriving community and sports teams play a large role in that.

    “I think there is a real possibility that there will be state money involved as well in the construction in the arena,” Woelfel said.  “So sometime when it’s either Walker or Burke, they will have to address that.  When it comes to push and shove, I think they will help in the construction of this.”

    The Bucks have looked at several destinations for the new arena mostly aiming towards downtown Milwaukee.  The Park East Corridor and land north of the Bradley Center were originally potential sites, but were taken out of consideration.  The Bucks owners are in discussions with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on acquiring two buildings that they rarely used which are directly across from the Bradley Center.

    “That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will buy [Journal Sentinel buildings], doesn’t mean that they’ll knock it down or that will be where the new arena will be built,” Nelles said.  “As far as we believe that could be a potential place for it.”

    The Journal Sentinel building is the favorite as for where the arena could go.  Other sites have been north of the Bradley Center, which would conflict with potential tourism opportunities.  They are leaning more towards the downtown area because it will help increase tourism.

    The new arena’s importance goes beyond just the Bucks playing there.  The potential new arena could also end up hosting games for Marquette, UW-Milwaukee as well as the Milwaukee Admirals, and in addition to that hosting concerts and events like wrestling, monster truck mashes, the Muppets, and Disney.  Some concerts aren’t coming to Milwaukee because they believe that the Bradley Center isn’t a great enough venue for it.

    “The message that the Bucks are telling everyone is that this isn’t just a Bucks thing this is a Milwaukee thing,” Nelles said.


    title Jefferson County Board Meeting

    The Jefferson County Board is searching for a new board member for the 24th district.  This board seat can be available to a UW-Whitewater student.

    “The district is mostly student housing,” County Board chairperson Jim Schroeder said.  “There are no single family homes there, and in recent memory it has been filled by a student for at least the last 10 or 12 years.”

    At the meeting, Schroeder told the County Board with approval that he would appoint someone to serve the remainder of the term, which is up until April 2016.  The board also has the option to order a special election, but they would have to do that soon.  Schroeder is looking for someone who can have knowledge in what they are doing.  He is also looking for someone who can work in both large and small groups.  The last thing he is looking for is if the person is electable.

    The job is a public service job and there is a salary of $110 per month.  The board member also would get $55 per meeting.

    “Most first term members serve on two communities,” Schroeder said.  “You have two committees per month so you are going to make $110 plus the $110 salary.”

    The board seat was previously filled by Kate Vance, who is now resigned.  Vance, has stepped down due to moving out of the district.

    At the meeting, the Jefferson County Board also discussed the 2015 budget.  The money that comes from the budget comes from taxes, intergovernmental revenues, and public charges for services. The majority of the money is spent on public safety, general government, and culture, recreation, and education.  Some of the budget is based off of programs that are funded such as Medicaid, medical care, and Badger Care, which are all implemented in the budget.

    Part of the budget is based off There will be a public hearing after the budget was presented on Tuesday night where the public can voice their opinions about the upcoming budget.

    “The first few month I’ll all a formal or informal feedback,” County administrator Ben Wehmeier said. “I get comments from the various board members and comments from the public on what they think the strategic goals looking ahead. Then we start with where the finances are going whether its tax levy or state revenue or the type of revenue coming in.  Two-thirds of our budget is from the state and a third is levied out from the county.”

    The board is also considering in enforcing a two percent budget cut from each department.

    “The two percent reduction is based on operational expenditures,” County administrator Ben Wehmeier said. “We take out salaries, health insurance, and our other benefit costs for this.”

    Another important part of the 2015 budget is providing health insurance for county employees.  The health insurance can be offered through three services throughout the county of Jefferson.

    A new civil service ordinance was discussed at the meeting requiring six years of service to be sergeant in the County of Jefferson.  It used to be required to have five years, but it was found that most of the sergeants had 12 years of service before they were promoted.

    The Jefferson County Board also wants the authorization to purchase an electronic health record system for the Human Services Department.  This is needed because there has been an increased number of clients being served.  As of now, they are still considering different vendors.

    Veterans Service Officer Yvonne Duesterhoft spoke of a desperate plea for getting drivers for the Veterans van program.  They have a van that they lease from the VA Hospital in Madison, which is often the link for a veteran getting to the hospital or medical appointment or not.  Drivers must have a commercial driver’s license as well as be 18 years or older to become a driver.

    title Whitewater City Council Story

    On Oct. 7th, the Whitewater City Council met at the City of Whitewater Municipal Building at 6:30 p.m.  Among the items discussed included the 2015 budget, the school referendum, a new cadet program, as well as an ordinance on diseased trees.

    Two representatives from the Whitewater Unified School District spoke about a referendum at the meeting.   They talked about the educational and co-curricular activities, improving facilities, and student and teacher achievements.   They want to upgrade facilities, technology and equipment that has deteriorated over the last few years.

    “We are very proud to say that we believe the community gets a strong return on its investment in our schools,” District Administrator Eric Runez said.  “Our school district offers an array of educational and co-curricular opportunities for our students.  In addition, there is not a week that goes by that our school facilities are not being used not only by our students and staff, but by the community as well.  So we take pride in making sure that those facilities are accessible and maintained for that use.”

    The school district spoke about their nationally recognized music programs as well as that $1.38 million in scholarships have been awarded to graduates of the high school the last three years.  The representatives spoke about improving ACT scores as well as continuing the high advanced placement participation.

    The Whitewater city police force proposed having a cadet program.  They have been interested in doing this for the last few years.  They feel like it’s a great opportunity for students that are looking for careers in law enforcement, and it is a mutually beneficial opportunity to know great students that they have already screened.

    “We have so many CSO positions,” Whitewater policeman Jim Elder said. “The cadet program will allow us to contact more students, show them what the department does, how we interact with the community and make sure this is what they want to do as a career.”

    In addition to the cadet program, the Whitewater police department is also interested in having an additional police car and additional drivers.  This would also mean an additional 175 hours, typically from 10 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays because of how hectic the roads during the school year.

    The Whitewater City Council also discussed the budget for the 2014-2015 year.  The meeting included the schedule for the meeting dates to set out the final budget for the 2015 year. The budget last year was about $9.3 million and increased by about over $100,000.  The two places where the revenue is coming the most are from intergovernmental revenue and the property tax levy.  Most of all the revenue is increasing for 2015 besides the shared base and utility revenues, which either decrease or show no change.  The newest part of the revenue is the UW-Whitewater Dispatch Payment.

    “This is new and it is an estimate,” City manager Cameron Clapper said.  “This is based off the current and previous discussions had with the university.  When we had a discussion about the record management system earlier this year, we had discussed the fact that the university was willing to participate at approximately at the third of the cost of the communications center as a result of the city buying into the same records management system used by the university and the county.  It will allow for a seamless transition of data.”

    This will allow officers on campus and off to access information on cases in a way that the city doesn’t currently have available to them.

    Another topic that was discussed at the council meeting was an ordinance on dangerous and diseased trees.  The ordinance states that any tree or shrub growing in a public street, alley, or any public place, or on private property could be a public nuisance and the city may require the property owner to remove, trim or spray the tree on the property.   The owner will receive a written notice and if not taken care of after 30 days will receive a violation.   A failure to rid of the diseased tree within a week of receiving a violation could result in a second violation.   The ordinance also points out that it is not up to the City of Whitewater to inspect the diseased trees and is up to the property owners.

    title Hello world!

    Welcome to Blogs.uww.edu. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

    date Sep 16 2014
    category Uncategorized
    comment 1 Comment