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What Grade Does the Village Board Deserve?

Given the work that the Village Board has accomplished over the past year, what grade would you give them today?

Two times a month the Village Board meets to decide upon policy, finances, and development in the village. Of course, they work with the reccomendations of numerous committees that work below them. However, ultimately the Village Board and the Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald have the final say.

Given where Menomonee Falls is right now, what grade would you give the board and the village manager as a taxpayer and resident of the village?

Before you give your final grade, take a peak at some of the things the Village Board has moved forward over the past year:

  • The Radisson Hotel opened last year, and the Village Board filed a foreclosure suit just a year later. The village approved a $17.65 million to fund the development. Find all the Radisson Hotel news in one place on Patch.
  • The walls at the , and the shopping center on the corner of Pilgrim Road and Main Street is getting a complete overhaul.
  • With a little help from taxing districts, constructed a new headquarters in Menomonee Falls.
  • A and medical facility have been built on Town Line Road.
  • The Menomonee Falls Fire Department and Menomonee Falls Police Department have been .
  • The employees.
  • The village's .
  • Work is beginning , which is another taxing district created by the Village Board. Ryan Companies is planning to build a 90,000 square-foot development there.
  • Village leaders created a taxing district in the to lure investment and perhaps a new Kohl's. They recently in the office park at a discount rate.
  • Village Board that cut spending by 0.57 percent, with a slight increase in the tax rate. 

So, what grade do you give the Village Board? Why?

Jann June 21, 2012 at 01:07 AM
To the people that have left B's and even (holy cow) an A. I want to send my next several tax bills to you. Please send an address. Thanks.
Craig June 21, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Considering there are 6 members of the Village Board and one President and Village Manager- that explains the anomolies with the high grades.
MFalls Girl June 21, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I see where the Village approved a budget that calls for less spending next year. Does that include giving money to lure new businesses to the FAlls or don't they call that spending.
W . Benz June 21, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Jann : Send your tax bill for the A's = N8480 Pilgrim rd C/O Village Gov employees. cc/ Fitz.
Awake! June 21, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Just try to ask the board to rezone a vacant building in foreclosure to occupy as a church that is looking for a building instead of renting one. Good luck with that one. Oh wait...they'll rezone it...IF you pay a fee to the city every year to make up for the taxes that they "lose"...last time I checked this was called extortion...but because of "politics", it has made this legal. And because one church agreed to the terms of this "rezoning", it has set presidence for everyone else. Now the board thinks they are untouchable in their ways they do business. OR...when you try to build a church on land that is already rezoned for it, they try to make you pay for upgrades to utilities and services that have NOTHING to do, or will be used by, the church that is to be built. David Baum is probably the most egotistical individual I have ever tried to deal with. Apparently his position of ultimate "power" has clearly gone to his head. No, I am not trying build a church or move one, but just a bystander that has seen how this "panel of experts" treats those whom are trying to develop the community...shame on them...if there was an F- to choose...i would gladly check that one...and all for the almighty tax dollar...call it what you want...it's still greed...
Lou Stadler June 21, 2012 at 01:44 PM
It's unconscionable that the Village Board and President would play "Banker" and provide a loan of almost $18 Million for a project with an assessed value of $8.4 Million. Governor Walker survived a recall attempt for doing great things for Wisconsin. What should be done with our incompetent Village Board and President? Perhaps a recall or impeachment is in order here! ! ! ! ! !
Marlene Lammi June 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM
There's a lot more to this than gets publicized, Lou. Sometimes you have to make one decision to help other projects move along. We have been in a stagnant economy and the "bankers" haven't risked stepping up to some of the issues.
MFalls Girl June 21, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I think churches should be charged just as homeowners, except for the actual church building. I have heard that the churches buy residences and then are exempt from paying taxes on the residences. WRONG.
atthec44 June 21, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I gave them a C. Menomonee Falls is a nice place to live and I have to give credit to our elected officials for keeping it that way. The issue with the Radisson and a budget that cuts spending yet still manages to raise taxes prevents me from being able to give them a higher grade.
Jefferson E. Davis June 21, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Lou: The hotel (N88 W14750 Main Street/Tax Key Number 0008993) was assessed at, according to the Waukesha County Treasurer website (http://tax.waukeshacounty.gov/), $1,800,000 in 2011 as a gutted/empty building paying $34,000 in taxes and after the nearly $18,000,000 taxpayer loan, jumped all the way up to $2,300,000 in 2012 paying $44,000 in taxes. That's a tax incremental value increase of $500,000 and an increase of $10,000 in taxes for a $.00055% return on the taxpayers' "investment". Aren't the local banks even paying more than that in a money market? While one can make the argument that the entire facility is "worth" $8,400,000 with everything included, we all know what furnishings and equipment are "worth" when visiting Goodwill or the Salvation Army Stores. While an election is just around the corner, April 2013, for 3 of the current Trustees (McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds), the recall sentiment seems to be growing in the Falls for this, what is turning out to be, very nefarious situation. Next Village Board Meeting is Monday, July 2nd, 6:15 P.M. where citizens will have 180 seconds to share their thoughts and feelings along with the opportunity to ask questions of the Village Manager, Village Attorney and Village Board about the Radisson Hotel mess.
Carl Engelking June 21, 2012 at 03:57 PM
So, to stimulate further conversation - what are the top three things you would do to improve the community if you were elected to the Village Board? The Radisson decision will likely be brought up - but what else would you bring to the table to make the village better?
W . Benz June 21, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Sure great place to live compared to ? We can do better !! and with the Village throwing $$$$ for a Hotel and Grant's for Windows and Coffee/bars, and Hundreds of Thousands of Tax payer monies to landlords , Thousands to buy a home for a convenient parking lot , $$$ new walking/bike trails.....isn't this what Obama has done .. We Need some WALKER types to run for trustee and stop these pollyannaish people.
Todd Marohl June 21, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Overall I think they do an OK job. Working with Kohls so hopefully they stay here is a good example. The hotel thing was a total disaster though! If I was on the zoning board, I would try to take a look at the kind of businesses we attract to this community. How many more bank branches do we need in this town? Every time something is built I see another bank. Are these really needed? I would look at restaurants and entertainment. There are very few decent restaurants in this community! Is every convenience store in this town now becoming a liquor store? We have a history in this community of having grocery stores go out of business, yet now we are having a Walmart grocery store come to town. This most likely will hurt one of the existing stores and put them out of business, creating another empty building. I would like to see the village board and zoning department come up with a comprehensive plan for development, rather than the haphazard way in which it appears to be approached now.
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) June 21, 2012 at 09:46 PM
E-F for Epic Fail
Jefferson E. Davis June 21, 2012 at 09:48 PM
MF Girl: The Village Budget story that you saw was for last year's budget. Yes, the budget story you read about does include all of the handouts for luring businesses. It's called Debt Service, which for Menomonee Falls taxpayers, is now over $124,000,000 for principal and interest according to the Village website (http://www.menomonee-falls.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1999). We don't know what the budget for 2013 will be. We do know the Village Manager just laid off 8 employees whose salary and benefit packages just happen to be the same amount for the interest costs on the $18,000,000 Radisson Hotel Taxpayer Funded Loan. We also know the Village Manager has been hiding true costs for the village taxpayers when he supports having garbage pick-up as an additional fee for some $110.00 a year per homeowner or about $1,200,000 when that cost used to be included in the property tax bill. Other communities in Wisconsin have negotiated free garbage pick-up in exchange for the dump. We also know that a corporation, Waste Management, grosses over $12,500,000,000 a year in revenues (http://www.wm.com/about/index.jsp) at the taxpayer expense while also selling gas from the dump in the Falls to We Energies for well over 10,000-12,000 homes in the area with the taxpayers of Menomonee Falls getting absolutely nothing for those gas sales to We Energies. Other communities have negotiated revenues from these types of sales. But not good old Menomonee Falls!
mary June 22, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Mary How often has the Village looked at other communities? Look what Shorewood has done to Oakland Ave.
Richard June 22, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Don't need to look that far, how about Germantown, Richfield or Sussex. They are all growing nicely and don't seem to have the problems the Falls has.
Richard June 22, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Great question, Carl. A good start would be to return to the past in how trustees are elected. That is break down the community into sections with a trustee being elected from each section to avoid the current situation wherein 5 of the trustees live in close proximity to each other. Another change that appears to be needed would be to reorganize the standing committee of the board to insure that we have very competent individuals appointed to each committee. A complete review of the village master plan also would be helpful to enable new board members to become familiar with the plan and inject their input for improving the plan. How about some town hall type meetings with the trustees wherein common taxpaying citizens of the Falls could discuss the direction of development in the Falls, give their insight and thoughts in an open, candid forum.
Awake! June 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM
@ MF..one question...are you for or against the marital tax break?...

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