Minutes from the November 8, 2010 6:30 pm

Meeting of Martin Drive Neighborhood Association


The mission of the Martin Drive Neighborhood Association, through its programs and projects, is to embrace and foster a sense of belonging and common purpose, in order to create a neighborhood that is beautiful, diverse, secure, and fun for everyone!


Neighbor Introductions-25 neighbors and guests were in attendance.


Guests attending included Alderman Michael Murphy and his new assistant Amanda Williams and Coretta Herring, City of Milwaukee Neighborhood improvement Development Corp. (NIDC)


Murphy talked about the decreasing the City of Milwaukee Budget.  The overall fees/tax decrease is responsive to the tough economy on many households. The new budget includes no furloughs for police officers or fire fighters, a decrease in cubic yards you can put at the curb from 2 to 1 and overtime for police officers on foot and bike patrol.


The main topic of the Meeting was to discuss vacant properties, bank and city owned properties, and how this affects neighborhoods.

·         Do you have a vacant home on your block? 

·         What can we do to ensure that these properties are maintained by the bank or City? 

·         What can be done to attract quality homeowners to those properties? 

·         Would neighbors have ideas on how to make those properties more attractive?

·         What help is available for those having mortgage problems?

·         Is there any money available for rehabbing foreclosed properties?


There have been 10,000 property foreclosures in Milwaukee causing a decrease in overall city value. Subprime lending, property owners believing values would always increase and the bad economy have all tied into the foreclosure problem   Common Ground is an organization holding banks accountable for their part in the foreclosure crisis.   Lending institutions should be required to maintain their properties. Murphy is trying to keep people in their homes by working with lawyers from Marquette University to help homeowners negotiate their mortgages.


Milwaukeehousinghelp.org is a great website to help owners. Deuche Bank owns the majority of bad mortgages and foreclosed houses in Milwaukee. Milwaukee has the highest poverty in the state. If there are state cuts to Milwaukee, Murphy wants it fair.    A large portion of Milwaukee’s budget is for police and fire fighting services.

Coretta Herring said that there are NSPfunds of up to $30.000 to rehab a foreclosed home in Milwaukee.   Currently, Martin Drive Neighborhood West of Highland Blvd is not eligible for these NSP funds.  Efforts to include the entire city in future rehab grants are being made. Select Milwaukee does have a program offering funding for owners wanting to purchase and live in a foreclosed home for at least five year.  Milwaukee has a Rental Rehab program that offers $17,500 per unit towards rehab of rental properties. These programs, at this time do not include the Martin Drive Neighborhood, but Coretta Herring hopes that this will include the Martin Drive Neighborhood next year.

Maggie asked what to do if an abandoned property has open windows.   In this case, the neighbor should contact Alderman Murphy’s office. Coretta Herring said that foreclosure is an embarrassing topic, and people wait too long before they give help ... but we should know there is help available. People should contact   Coretta Herring at 414-286-5812 and she will help homeowners to be directed to legitimate help.


General Neighborhood Updated was shared by Pat Mueller.  Tentatively we are planning another curb appeal project and installation of wall mounted porch lights as neighborhood projects.  Next week, the new President of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will tour Martin Drive Neighborhood as well as a few other Healthy Neighborhoods. 


Committee Reports

·         Halloween – The treating area was all of 46th Street.  Registrations included 207 kids and 31 treating homes. Each year we collect a $1 a child and a bag of candy. They will use any extra money to help purchase bags for next year.

·         Garden – Day of Service – Sat. Nov. 13, from 11-3

·         Community Pies – January 29 is the next event, at the Urban Ecology Center. The next meeting is November 29th at Amy’s House (please talk to her if you are interested).

·         Newsletter – Mary talked about the success of the newsletter. The next newsletter is in the spring.

·         Projects and Planning – Planning for 2011 will be done at our next neighborhood meeting on January 10th. It will start at 5:30 pm with food and beverage.  Everyone is welcome. 

·         Holiday – Caroling - Mary talked about the event on Mon. December 13th at 6:30 p.m.

·         Block Representatives should gather their red bows from last year.  


Announcements from Urban Ecology Center-The new intern from the Urban Ecology Center is Jodee Benavides.   He would like to promote the great events take place there. Mary said that there was a cool event last weekend as a speaker came and talked about the design of the park, as it was the same designer (Olmstead) that also created Central Park in New York.


Neighbors shared good news on how they always get comments on the beauty of their “Old” property. Birdies’ Café was also on Real Milwaukee and featured in the Shepherd Express.




Resources for the Neighborhood
Michael Murphy