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News & Notes: June 27

June 27, 2012

Mequon-Thiensville looking for branding representative

Mequon - The Mequon-Thiensville School District is accepting applications for a representative on the newly formed Mequon-Thiensville branding committee.

The committee will have six months, starting in July, to create a brand used to advertise the Mequon and Thiensville communities. A three-member committee from the board of education will review applications and make a recommendation to the full board on July 16.

The deadline for application is Monday. The application can be found online on the district's website mtsd.k12.wi.us.

Glendale creates escort license to combat prostitution

Glendale - The Glendale Common Council approved an ordinance Monday that would create a mandatory license for any escort services in the city.

The ordinance closely resembles an ordinance passed in Brown Deer last week.

Prostitution would violate the terms of the escort license and result in a fine and someone who claimed to be an escort without a license would be fined. In either case, officials aim to give police a way to punish prostitutes on the spot when they claim to be escorts.

"It becomes an additional tool for the Police Department to control prostitution," City Administrator Richard Maslowski said, "especially in the hotels here in the city."

Board approves preliminary budget, staffing plan

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer School Board unanimously approved the 2012-2013 preliminary budget and staffing plan.

The preliminary budget was built without any property tax increases per the direction of the School Board.

"The budget is the best we can do without knowing state aid," Superintendent Deb Kerr said. "We know the vast majority of staff coming back and the vast majority of supplies we need. The other stuff we need to know later are peripheral items."

State aid numbers will be available the first week of July.

The staffing plan prioritizes what positions are needed. Filling all the positions is contingent on state aid numbers, however, the administration was able to create a staffing plan to coincide with the preliminary budget figures. Kerr said the main priority is elementary school positions.

"Focusing on classroom teachers in the elementary schools is the most important and focusing on who is coming back and who is not," she said.

The notices for support staff will be held until the budget numbers and the number of special needs children become more succinct closer to the beginning of the school year. Kerr said holding those notices gives the district a little more budget flexibility.

Glendale approves its share of fire department funding

Glendale - City officials approved Glendale's share of the North Shore Fire Department total budget Monday, which accounts for approximately 28 percent after the 2012 budget year.

Glendale's percentage is the highest of the seven member communities of the NSFD, and is part of a new funding formula approved by the NSFD board of directors earlier this month.

The new formula needs to be approved by all seven member communities before it comes back to the NSFD board on July 10.

River Hills OKs 911 cellular dispatch proposal

River Hills - The village has signed on to a proposal that will route 911 cellphone calls to Bayside's combined dispatch center.

Last month, the joint dispatch center began operations, consolidating functions that had been performed in Bayside, Brown Deer and Whitefish Bay. As part of the consolidation effort, the revamped Bayside facility features new equipment, including infrastructure capable of taking 911 cellular calls from people within any of the seven North Shore municipalities in Milwaukee County.

While the Bayside dispatch center is equipped to take 911 calls from land lines, emergency calls from cellphones are routed to either the Milwaukee County Sheriff's office or the city of Milwaukee's dispatch center, 2333 N. 49th St.

Elected officials throughout the North Shore have been voting on the proposal.

Glendale Common Council approves TID refinancing

Glendale - The Glendale Common Council approved the issue of approximately $16.5 million in bonds Monday to refinance a tax incremental financing district on Port Washington Road south of Hampton Road.

The debt for the TID was originally formed in 1992. The interest rate on the refinanced bonds is an estimated 3.1 percent, down from 4.2 percent previously.

"It allows for the restructuring of the debt to more closely resemble the cash flow of the district," City Administrator Richard Maslowski said.

Lunch prices to increase slightly in Brown Deer

Brown Deer - Lunch prices in the Brown Deer School District will increase by 5 cents in the 2012-2013 school year, which the School Board unanimously approved Tuesday.

Elementary students will pay $2.05 for lunch. Middle school and high school students will pay $2.25. Adult prices will remain at $3. The cost of milk is also unchanged at 35 cents.

Whitefish Bay names new associate principal

Whitefish Bay - Kara Harmon, who has served as an English teacher at Whitefish Bay High School since 2007, will become the high school's associate principal beginning July 1.

Harmon replaces Associate Principal Amy Levek who is the new principal of Whitefish Bay Middle School.

"As we move into implementation of the Focus Plan, having an experienced, respected teacher from our own organization move into this position will help us build upon our tradition and continue to reach new levels of success," Superintendent Mary Gavigan said in a news release.

Brown Deer extends contract with insurance consultant

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer School Board voted, 6-1, Tuesday to extend the district's contract with insurance broker Willis Group for one more year with the stipulation that Willis Group assists the board in formulating a new insurance plan if need be.

Willis Group's services cost $32,000. They have helped the administration answer employee insurance questions, design a wellness program, assist the district in bidding for new carriers and provide insurance expertise amid changes at the state, Superintendent Deb Kerr said.

"We've been making small changes to the health care plan and I don't know if we're offering the one we want to offer," Board Member Lisa Zielinski said. "If we redesign it, we would need their assistance in designing a new plan."

Barry Godshaw opposed the decision because he did not feel the expense was justified.

Two high school teachers ask for leaves of absence

Brown Deer - Brown Deer high school science teachers Jamie Thompson and Gina Vogt asked for unpaid leaves of absence for the 2012-2013 school year, which the School Board unanimously approved Tuesday.

Thompson asked for a leave of absence for the first semester only. Vogt is one of the school district's most senior teachers with more than 24 years with the district. She is also SMART certified. Vogt was appointed to work with the Milwaukee School of Engineering for the next year.

School Board members and Board President Gary Williams recognized Vogt for the work she has done in the district and hope she returns after her work with MSOE is complete.

"Gina has worked very hard to build this program up," Superintendent Deb Kerr said. "She's done a fabulous job and has really put Brown Deer on the map."

Teachers on a leave of absence have until Jan. 15 to notify the school district if they plan to return for the following year.

Brown Deer sports posters on the way

Brown Deer - Brown Deer High School Athletic Director Mike Novak has authorized All-American Sports Posters to produce athletic posters for the high school.

All-American Sports Posters will be contacting local businesses to solicit sponsorships for the program and Novak encourages businesses to support the program.

Questions can be directed to Novak at (414) 371-7015 or All-American Sports Posters at (800) 556-1380.

River Hills gets high grades on compliance report

River Hills - The village received a score of 4.0, or a letter grade of "A," on a recently submitted report on pollutant discharge.

Annually, municipalities are required under law to submit a Compliance Maintenance Annual Report to the state Department of Natural Resources, outlining what steps are in place to address the wastewater collection system.

The Village Board last week approved the report and authorized Public Works Director Kurt Fredrickson to submit it to the state agency.

Safety Town starts July 23

Thiensville - Safety Town, a two-week program designed to promote safety education for children entering kindergarten in the fall, runs from July 23 through Aug. 3.

The Mequon-Thiensville Optimist Club and the Thiensville Police Department are sponsoring the program, which has sessions from 8 to 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A T-shirt is included as part of the $25 course fee. Children who sign up for the program are required to attend both weeks.

Registration is in-person only. Questions should be directed to Chief Scott Nicholson at the Thiensville Police Department, (262) 242-2100.

University School student wins gold for documentary

River Hills - Lexie Van Den Heuvel, an eighth-grade student at University School of Milwaukee, was awarded the gold medal in the individual documentary category at the National History Day competition finals in College Park, Md., on June 14.

Lexie's 10-minute documentary "Counting the Dead" tells the story of English nurse Florence Nightingale, and how she reformed the British health care system through statistical analysis.

Lexie is the first USM student to win a gold medal at the national competition and was the only Wisconsin entrant to win an award in 2012.

Mequon author's Packers book coming out July 23

Mequon - Mequon native and sports author Bill Povletich's newest book, "Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition" is being released July 23 with a kickoff event at Lambeau Field.

Focusing on the business history of the Packers, Povletich tells the story of the only community-owned professional sports franchise.

Review of 2013-14 budget process begins in MQ-TH

Mequon - School officials in the Mequon-Thiensville district will soon begin the process of reviewing information as a precursor to assembling pieces of the 2013-14 budget - a process that formally kicks off late this year.

The School Board will meet in July or August to discuss the future of a number of initiatives, including the world language program, the district's overall communications efforts and merit pay for teaches.

The board will have its discussion with administrators, who, in turn, will create a list of recommendations. Plans call for the preliminary work to wrap late in the summer.

School Board OKs discipline, grievance policy

Fox Point - The Maple Dale-Indian Hill School Board approved changes to the district's discipline and grievance policy.

The changes were made to comply with new state legislation associated with Gov. Scott Walker's Act 10 bill. Changes include the length of time an employee has to file a grievance if disciplinary action does take place.

MQ-TH renews agreement with advocacy organization

Mequon - The Mequon-Thiensville School Board last week voted to renew its agreement with the Southeastern Wisconsin School Alliance for the 2012-13 school year at a cost of $3,000.

SWSA provides legislative counsel to member school districts on a number of topics pertaining to public education.

MQ-TH renews agreement with consortium for tech services

Mequon - The Mequon-Thiensville School Board last week voted to continue contracting with the Cooperative Educational Service Agency No. 6 for a number of technology services during the 2012-13 school year.

Through CESA No. 6, the district will pay $2,750 to use CMS4Schools as a host for its website, mtsd.k12.wi.us, and $499 for the EduVision Portal, which provides video into classrooms.

New Shorewood deputy police chief sworn in

Shorewood - The Shorewood Police Department now has a new deputy chief.

Kevin Carini was sworn into the position last week before the Village Board. Carini, who has served with the Shorewood Police Department for more than 15 years, was chosen for the position after a statewide search following the retirement of former Deputy Chief Terry Zimmerman.

Carini began his career with the village as a parking checker in 1996, said Chief David Banaszynski. He became a police officer in 1997 and was promoted to an investigator in 2001.

By 2004 he was a detective, and the next year a detective sergeant. Since 2008 he served in the role of lieutenant, before being offered the position of deputy chief on May 16, Banaszynski said.

District borrowing funds to pay for referendum projects

Fox Point - The Maple Dale-Indian Hill School Board approved a proposal by administrators to borrow $500,000 to fund several infrastructure projects that have been earmarked by referendum funds that had been approved by the community several years ago.

The district has chosen to use the state trust fund loan program to eliminate the associated costs of borrowing through R.W. Baird. Business Administrator Gary Swalve said the trust fund option is more cost-effective to the district.

Change order given go ahead in Bayside

Bayside - An additional $53,190 of additional road work was approved by the Bayside board of trustees last week, to be added to the joint recycling and resurfacing project between Bayside and River Hills.

The scope of the project has been expanded to include West Duchess Court, North Sequoia Drive, West Jonathan Lane and Apple Blossom Lane, known collectively as the "Orchards" in the northwest corner of Bayside.

The added work will be paid for entirely by Bayside and the revised agreement will need to be approved by the River Hills Village Board at its meeting Wednesday [June 20], which was after press deadline.

Shorewood approves sustainability plan

Shorewood - Shorewood is taking a more ecologically responsible approach to village operations, with the recent adoption of a Sustainability Action Plan.

The Village Board last week approved the plan, which outlines future actions that can be taken in four areas of municipal operations - energy and natural resources, purchasing and materials, land and infrastructure, and education and outreach.

Plan priorities are identified as short-term, to be completed within four years, midterm, to be completed within five to nine years, and long-term, to be completed in 10 or more years.

A short-term goal identified in the plan, for example, is to establish baseline data for village fleet vehicle energy consumption, and a long-term goal is to explore the feasibility of a trolley/streetcar through the business district.

Trustee Patrick Linnane, chair of the Development and Long Range Planning Committee, described the plan as ambitious, but structured in a way that should make it easy to monitor.

With the approval of the plan, officials also are requesting staff updates on the plan's progress every six months, Linnane said.

Port Washington properties to be assessed for road work

Mequon - The Common Council voted to charge property owners along Port Washington Road for construction work. The special assessment will be used to reclaim up to $600,000 of the cost of reconstructing North Port Washington Road from Mequon Road north to Glen Oaks Lane.

All properties along Port Washington Road from Mequon Road through Glen Oaks Lane will be assessed, as well as properties on Glen Oaks Lane east to Interstate 43 and west to Portland Road, on Homestead Trail from Port Washington west 500 feet, North Eastbrook Drive from Port Washington Road to its terminations east and west, South Eastbrook Drive from Port Washington Road west to its termination, and Venture Court from Port Washington Road east to its termination.

The resolution passed, 5-3, with Aldermen John Wirth, John Hawkins and Dan Abendroth dissenting.

"You have to support the businesses you have," Abendroth said. "Assessing them for work they didn't ask for sends the wrong message."

City officials may hold an open house and are required to hold a public meeting on the subject before they can approve the special assessment.

Capital improvement projects planned for 2012-13 school year

Shorewood - The Shorewood School District will spend approximately $73,800 on capital improvement projects for the 2012-13 school year.

The School Board approved the list of proposed projects, as recommended by the district's Physical Plant and Land Use Committee.

Requests submitted by all schools totaled $99,300. Approved projects include improvements amounting to $30,200 at Lake Bluff, $27,800 at Atwater, $12,800 at the intermediate school and $3,000 at the high school.

Some of the larger-ticket items include replacing carpet in three rooms at Atwater, at a cost of $17,800, and in two rooms at Lake Bluff, at a cost of $8,000.

Projects not approved for capital budget funding include requests for the installation of exterior lighting at Atwater and the high school, which likely will be completed as part of a contract with Honeywell.

The 2012-13 capital budget is $80,000. The costs for approved projects are estimates, and could vary slightly.

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