Minutes from the September 12, 2005  Meeting

 of the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association


Although we had 34+ people in attendance we neglected to have the usual introductory activity.

We did have a report from the treasurer, Al S. He reminded us of the balance in our account due to the leadership training that Sharon and Terri attended and for which the neighborhood received a stipend for their attendance. 

We had a productive and educational experience with our Alderman Michael Murphy enlightening us due to negative challenges on 43rd Street and the item of fees being levied instead of taxes. 

Our volunteer walkers have had an impact on helping people know more of their neighbors, which relieves some tensions that arise when so many people live so close together.  Our walkers have also been role models for the rest of us in their dedication and focus on changing and improving our sense of safety.  Alderman Murphy met with several landlord/lady's to explain the concerns and efforts that the Martin Drive neighbors have had with the young people appearing to have very few or no parental guidelines dealing with their behavior while outside in the street.  It is our view that the owners of those properties must exercise responsible expectations when renting and/or writing a lease for their renters.  It appears that the neighbors who attended the alderman's meeting were able to convey the neighborhood's concerns about property values and perceptions of crime or lack of safety.  One of the neighbor's also suggested that tree trimming might be in order to free the lights and permit the maximum amount of candle power available which could also allow people to feel safer.

We also will focus on 44th Street, as we are aware of several new/newer homeowners moving to that area.  Hopefully, this movement will be positive and eliminate the feeling of being alone against the negative element again of young people thinking they own the street.

Alderman Murphy answered some neighbors' concerns about the rise in the use of fees.  Since the state imposed a maximum percentage that cities can raise in taxes, the use of fees has had to replace the income not raised in taxes.  Fees are common in the cities surrounding the city of Milwaukee.  Mr. Murphy explained that the budget for the police department alone takes a major percentage of the entire city budget.  And we want to have more police classes so that we might have more police on the streets.

Two neighborhoods have been requested to work with the city on a downspout experiment.  For years City of Milwaukee residents were forced to have their downspouts connected to the sewer line.  More people are becoming aware of the waste of relatively clean water being pumped through the system.

We will be notified of the success and problems connected with the removal of the downspouts from the MMSD.

            Two workers from the American Cancer Society presented their viewpoint about the ban on smoking establishments.  The Public Safety Committee was to vote on this ban on Sept. 15 which would then cause it to be sent to the whole Common Council.  Several workers from the American Cancer Society had been canvassing the Martin Drive Neighborhood to encourage neighbors to contact our Alderman to vote in favor of the ban.

            Discussion then followed with immediate MDN concerns about the future of the Halloween evening trick or treat.  Katrina has been the organizer of this event for the entire ten years.  She is concerned that we need many safety monitors to guarantee a safe night for all the participants.  The neighbors definitely want this event to continue.  Although the organizing information is based with Katrina and Pat M., many people stated their interest and willingness to help.  Erika Henry will copy the flyers once Katrina has updated the information.  It was then suggested that the flyer be placed in the newsletter that will be published in early Oct.  The following neighbors are willing to pass the newsletter with the application for trick or treating: Rachel Lustig - 42nd and McKinley, Cathy Mackay-43rd, Linda and Pat D. - 44th, Tom - 45th, Jennifer - 46th, Ada - Vliet and Highland, Sharon - Martin Dr. Trick or Treat will be held on October 28th.

            Due to the length of this meeting, (2 hours) we had no more energy to even express our positive reasons about Martin Drive is the neighborhood it is because of the wonderful people who live here and try hard to be pleasant, respectful and alert neighbors.  Maggie B.  9/16/05