Common Council president Willie L. Hines makes a great point in his latest news release (below), but I'm worried it will go unheard.
Indeed, it's cool that the Circus Parade seems to be on its way back to Downtown Milwaukee. It's a wonderful part of our city's heritage, something that truly builds civic pride and something that should come back to its once glorious high point.
Yet, our Downtown can't seem to find a way to capture its rich transportation past. Ald. Hines says that enough is enough. The following is text from his news release:
"Despite all the obstacles, Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Walker have demonstrated a willingness to collaborate. They made compromises. They found common ground. They identified stakeholders and got the right players to the table. After years of circling around the same arguments, Milwaukee's leadership stepped up in a significant way to deliver...
"The Circus Parade.
"The Circus Parade was always a tremendous event with a rich local tradition. I am glad it has returned for our citizens to enjoy. My children will have the opportunity to be a part of something special and unique to Milwaukee that I always enjoyed.
"However, let us not forget that public transportation also once held a place of high esteem in Milwaukee. It too had a great legacy -- a national reputation for excellence. Our once-proud Milwaukee County Transit System is now forced to cut routes right and left. The system is literally deteriorating before our eyes. The citizens who most rely on public transportation are the same ones who are being left out in the cold. More than $91 million dollars of potential transportation funding has been squandered, largely because the Mayor and the County Executive have stubbornly refused to work together.
"If Mayor Barrett and County Executive Walker think that the Circus Parade is important enough to team up to find a solution, then I know they can do the same thing for transportation. All over the region, employers are looking for people to hire, and too many individuals are searching for employment.
"We must work to connect our residents to those job opportunities that exist. Improving our public transportation is the answer. But we need leadership and a sense of urgency.
"Mayor Barrett and County Executive Walker, thank you for restoring the Circus Parade to Milwaukee. Now, please collaborate on the big issues that face our city for the sake of your mutual constituents."
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.