Minutes from the January 10, 2005

Meeting of Martin Drive Neighborhood Association

Introduction of the twenty-one neighbors in attendance at the beginning of the meeting was important for the several visitors who were also guest speakers.


Devitts had provided a get well card for Al Siemsen, one of our faithful and supportive neighbors who has been ill since recent surgery.  Everyone was invited to sign the card that Linda and Pat then mailed to Al.  We have great hopes that Al will soon be with us.


Kevin Ronnie, candidate for school board, requested time to address the neighbors.  Kevin spoke about his skills as a professional coalition builder hoping to put together the kids, teachers, and aides doing what needs to be done in the classrooms.  It seems that there has been a suggestion that the people who are working for bus companies should become employees of MPS.  Kevin is opposed to that idea.  While the QEO was the rule for dealing with the teachers in Wisconsin, school systems were hindered in their ability to raise the teachers' wages.  Therefore, the teachers were given good benefits especially in the area of health insurance.  Now, the teachers are expected to give up some of these benefits.  Therein, lies the problem.  For every dollar of salary, there is a sixty-three cent cost in health care.  Kevin also acknowledged that the voucher system is not going away.  With our heavy connections to the education world, the neighbors questioned Kevin quite thoroughly.


Sandie Hines addressed us about the need for foster parents.  Sandie is an employee of the Lutheran Social Services, which is a branch of the Milwaukee Child Welfare program.  At any given time we have 3,000 children in foster care.  If a child is in foster care for 15 months out of 22 consecutive months, the agency tries to find a permanent home for the child.  Sandie is willing to talk to any group who would be interested in helping alleviate this situation.  David Johnson told Sandie that he had put her request on our web site in order to get the message out to as many people as possible.  She appreciated this timely response.


Terri Bartlett reported on the situation with the green spaces in the Martin Drive Neighborhood that will be taken care of by the neighbors.  We have the permits that Pat D. checked over.  Greening Milwaukee

appears to want to use the space for seedlings.  Terri still wants flowers for the Martin Drive triangle


David Johnson displayed the web site that he developed for the Martin Drive Neighborhood.  This work in process can be seen at www. Martindrive.org.  David can be contacted at webmaster@martindrive.org.  We have received many compliments from interested people.


Ada is hoping to have information from the seven small groups who have been meeting outside the general monthly meeting.  She is planning to introduce "Harold the Helpful Household Problem Solver".  We are expecting that neighbors who have expertise or have just learned the hard way, will share their experiences with the neighbors through this column in the quarterly newsletter.  It is expected that the newsletters will go out the end of January.  Your friendly neighborhood volunteers will deliver the newsletter to each household in the area.  Please be alert to the possibility of litter.


It was decided that the power packed 70 min. meeting was long enough for this month.  Therefore, in February, we will discuss the "new neighbor packets".  The next meeting will be February 14, 2005.  If you have suggestions for the agenda, please contact Maggie by February 12.


Whenever we have a need to e-mail neighbors, we will do it under the subject of "Martin Alert".


Submitted by Maggie Blaha                12/20/05                        Call or e-mail me with corrections.