Jefferson Davis is a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls. He is the proud parent of two wonderful boys. He enjoys singing, volunteering, reading, gardening, politics, antiques, history, guitar, violin, piano, officiating, helping neighbors and yard work. He served as Village President of Menomonee Falls from 2003-05. He is a member of Northbrook Church and serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center. He is an independent registered representative practicing in the areas of insurance, investments and retirement.
Thanks for reading The Vanguard.
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We try to bring interesting, informative and enlightening issues to the attention of local residents that for whatever reason are primarily ignored by the 4 local newspapers.
We're told there were quite a few comments regarding the last posting (http://www.menomoneefallsnow.com/blogs/communityblogs/55408017.html).
Comments are good and it is hoped they will continue. Thanks again for reading.
The Vanguard also knows there are those, including at least one Village Employee, who have either contacted the Journal Sentinel and or the DA's Office to make sure this blog does not continue.
Yes, there have even been threats of lawsuits to "stop or else" because those that have been exposed in Menomonee Falls have a lot of money to take "you" down.
That is considered a compliment.
Those that disagree are welcome to make any suggestions for what they believe may be inaccurate information and it will be corrected immediately.
Warning....this Posting Contains Information that is In depth, Thought Provoking and Challenging
If you like accountability, follow up and transparency for government officials regarding their policy decisions, this posting will be very beneficial and eye opening reading.
If not, this posting will present a challenge to those who have told the taxpayers and business people of Menomonee Falls one thing for many years, but have done just about the total opposite.
Issues to be Discussed with this Posting
As is so often the case with government and the mainstream media today, a story is covered at the time of an event(s) but is seldom, if ever, followed up on to determine if the policy, promises and projections made by politicians actually stand the test of time or any scrutiny at all.
The Vanguard will begin a series to take a look at the following issues where absolute promises were made by the Village Board about how good these policies would be for the taxpayers and businesses in Menomonee Falls:
- MMSD (Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District) settlement of 1996
- Purchasing of Milwaukee Water since 1999 will be next posting
- Ambrosia Chocolate Plant being annexed by City of Milwaukee from Menomonee Falls in 1995 in early October
- Trustee McDonald's visit with the Judge over police citations for obstructing an officer and being in a bar after hours (3:00 A.M.)
- ACORN affiliates were in Menomonee Falls during the 2004 Presidential Campaign registering voters with the Village Clerk's Office
Let's get started.
1996 MMSD Settlement ...How did this happen?
The Vanguard remembers the promises that were made by the Village Board in the mid-90's that if the policies the Board were adopting with the City of Milwaukee and MMSD were implemented, the taxpayers and businesses of Menomonee Falls would be better off working out a deal with MMSD instead of continuing "the fight" with the 8 FLOW (Fair Liquidation of Waste) Communities.
The Board at the time said this would ultimately lead to a "regional cooperative effort" with the City of Milwaukee Mayor's Office to keep costs down, bring environmental relief, avoid further legal delays and treat the waste from Menomonee Falls.
Members of The Vanguard have met privately and confidentially with the lawyers, engineers, past and present political leaders who know this matter intimately and its affect on the taxpayers and businesses of Menomonee Falls as well as the other communities who have been affected.
To a person, everyone agreed the 1996 MMSD Settlement was not at all in the best interest of Menomonee Falls from an operational, environmental, legal or financial standpoint.
When asked how this was allowed to happen, everyone pointed to one person who deliberately and systematically undermined the efforts of FLOW to "cut a deal" with the Mayor's Office in the City of Milwaukee.
Once one FLOW Community was willing to "cut a deal" with John Norquist and the horse was out of the barn, it was just a matter of time before the other FLOW Communities were pressured in to doing the same thing.
That one person, who "cut the deal" with John Norquist, was former Menomonee Falls Village President Joe Greco.
Everyone intimately familiar with the settlement explained to Vanguard Members that it was devastating what Joe Greco did and how he secretly and individually persuaded the other Village Board Members to go along including Trustees Jeskewitz, McDonald and Steliga for many years.
Not one of the Board Members stood up to Joe Greco or for the taxpayers and businesses of Menomonee Falls.
Everyone intimately familiar with the matter agreed that Menomonee Falls would be better served with their own treatment plant instead of being serviced by MMSD.
This would require a strong political will and leadership from the Village Board because of the obstructions that will inevitably be put up by the DNR, Democrat Controlled Legislature, Democrat Governor Doyle, the City of Milwaukee and MMSD.
Strong political will and leadership seems to be lacking in a lot of communities these days.
The Vanguard is not interested in rehashing the entire settlement issue.
The Vanguard is interested in exploring how this happened, what has been the effect on taxpayers and businesses and what can be done to correct this monumental problem.
The Vanguard has been able to piece together from many conversations, meetings and review of documents the following list of how this was allowed to happen through the efforts of Joe Greco, perhaps former Village President Bob Steliga, John Norquist and the Village Board, including current Trustees McDonald and Steliga, to "cut a deal" to settle with MMSD in 1996:
- John Norquist insisted on keeping 7 of the 11 MMSD Board Member appointments for the Mayor's Office with no suburban representation. The MMSD Board (http://v3.mmsd.com/AboutUs.aspx) still stands that way today.
- John Norquist insisted that Ambrosia Chocolate move to Menomonee Falls because of the Bradley Center but be annexed by the City of Milwaukee (12500 W. Carmen Ave., Milwaukee WI) near 124th and Silver Spring. More on Ambrosia Chocolate later.
- John Norquist wanted to charge property taxes to homeowners and businesses based on the value of their property without any input or control by the Village of Menomonee Falls.
- John Norquist wanted to set the waste treatment rates for Menomonee Falls without any input or control by the Village of Menomonee Falls.
- John Norquist wanted to help convince Menomonee Falls residents their water was highly contaminated with radium and how they needed Milwaukee Water to correct the problem. Joe Greco even bragged about his role with John Norquist in protecting Menomonee Falls residents from the water in his 2003 campaign fliers. More on that later.
- John Norquist wanted a check for $27,836,817.00 from Menomonee Falls taxpayers and businesses to settle.
- Give a nearly $1 million public relations 15 month contract to a high ranking Village Employee's spouse to promote MMSD Efforts in 2003. The money was paid out, not sure what the results were.
After secretly meeting and talking with John Norquist numerous times, Joe Greco lead the Village Board, including current Trustees Steliga and McDonald, to agree with John Norquist against the recommendations of legal advice and consultants and the rest as they say "is history".
1997-2009 $91 Million+ City of Milwaukee/MMSD Settlement Costs Examined
Here's the follow up to what the actual costs have been based on information obtained from the Village and MMSD:
Debt Service Treatment Charges Property Taxes to MMSD*
1997 $1,136,551 $1,098,323 $2,520,689
1998 $1,718,129 $1,084,234 $2,154,576
1999 $1,716,907 $ 840,482 $1,810,131
2000 $3,649,809 $ 929,802 $1,973,187
2001 $2,211,863 $ 928,257 $2,043,264
2002 $1,604,411 $ 992,607 $2,817,579
2003 $1,586,146 $1,007,627 $2,140,971
2004 $3,381,541 $1,007,855 $2,826,887
2005 $1,714,833 $1,007,000* $4,451,326
2006 $1,588,084 $1,198,371 $4,311,183
2007 $1,581,303 $1,227,280 $4,228,080
2008 $1,568,803 $1,489,182 $4,519,155
2009 $1,575,912 $1,489,182** $4,519,155**
2012 $ 874,620
Total $29,793,563 Total $14,300,202 (2) Total $40,316,183 (3)
Cash + 6,786,817 *2005 estimate *$1.28/$1,000
Total $36,580,380 (1) **2009 estimate **2009 estimate
Total of Totals $91,196,765 (1), (2), (3)
(Note: MMSD is much better to work with in getting information than the Village of Menomonee Falls is. MMSD is polite, professional and very responsive. The information is provided without any questions or delays. There is no cost for copies of documents provided by MMSD.)
City of Milwaukee/MMSD Property Taxes on Homes in the Falls Reaches Over $40 Million Since '97
According to the Village of Menomonee Falls and the City of Milwaukee/MMSD, Menomonee Falls homeowners and businesses have paid the City of Milwaukee/MMSD $40,316,183 in property taxes since 1997.
With a 2008 Property Tax Rate of $1.28 per $1,000 assessed value, the following chart demonstrates the costs to homeowners in the Falls on an annual basis for property taxes paid to the City of Milwaukee/MMSD:
Home value Property tax amount
Don't Forget the Residential Wholesale Charge
Each residence in Menomonee Falls is also charged an additional $99.08 for a "residential wholesale charge" each year to the City of Milwaukee and MMSD.
It's like those cable access fees that no one seems no know or care about that add up to about $300,000 a year.
Or the $.75 monthly fee on cell phone bills for protection services to the State of Wisconsin.
Or the $90.00 a year garbage fee at $1.2 million a year that goes to Waste Management to pay for the new library, police station and village hall.
A million here and a million there and pretty soon it's real money.
Wonder why Sewer Bills are so High?
The Vanguard often hears from readers about the complaints they have regarding their extremely expensive water and sewer bills.
These costs are directly reflected in homeowner bills because of Settlement and Treatment Costs along with the Property Taxes being paid to the City of Milwaukee and MMSD.
It's only going to get worse.
Cost effective alternatives will be given later in this posting that will dramatically lower water and sewer bills.
Is $91.2 million acceptable?
John Norquist and Joe Greco were way ahead of their time with their "redistribute the wealth" socialist agenda for the current White House Administration and Democrat Controlled House and Senate.
The 1996 MMSD Settlement was suppose to be an environmentally sound agreement.
Just the opposite is true.
Every time it rains, the suburbs collectively hold their breath and hope the MMSD Deep Tunnel doesn't overflow for fear of being sued again by the DNR.
The Vanguard has been provided a copy of at least one DNR lawsuit because of MMSD Overflows and it isn't pretty.
Taxpayers of Menomonee Falls are on the hook for the legal costs every time it rains which is added on to the water and sewer bills.
Here is just one of many examples that exist of how Menomonee Falls is affected by the failure of MMSD when it rains (http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/29271919.html).
This will continue until the taxpayers demand a different and better way from the Village Board.
There is a much better way that is much more environmentally sound and cost effective for the taxpayers of Menomonee Falls.
What are the Other Options?
The Vanguard believes and knows there are more cost effective, environmentally sound and legally pure alternatives that will dramatically lower water and sewer bills for Menomonee Falls.
Between the water and sewer payments being made to the City of Milwaukee/MMSD by Menomonee Falls residents, the total annual costs are approximately $7 million.
Menomonee Falls is currently serviced by 3 Sewage Districts (Sussex-Red, Brookfield-Blue and MMSD-Green) as well as private septics (white) (http://www.jefferson-davis.info/images/Documents/DSC01368.JPG).
Approximately 10,000 homes in Menomonee Falls are serviced by MMSD (http://www.jefferson-davis.info/images/Documents/MMSD_CUSTOMERS_BY_BILLING_DISTRICT%5B1%5D.pdf).
Homeowners in the Sussex and Brookfield Districts pay for the treatment of their waste based on usage only and do not pay any property taxes to Sussex or Brookfield.
Leave things the way are.
Good luck with that.
Been there done that.
How's that working out for you?
$91.2 million of our hard earned money to the City of Milwaukee/MMSD since 1997.
Expand service areas to Sussex and Brookfield based on usage not property values for future demands.
Both communities have the capacity and would love the revenues.
This is one time where cooperative government agreements make sense at a low cost, efficient operations and are mutually beneficial to both communities.
Build a treatment plant in Menomonee Falls in spite of the Village Board's cozy relationship and supportive public statements of MMSD maintaining the status quo for the last 12 years.
There are numerous locations available throughout the Village to build a plant.
With the Village having its own plant, the costs will drop dramatically because taxpayers won't have to pay the City of Milwaukee/MMSD $4.5 million a year in property taxes.
The average homeowner would save about $300.00 a year on their sewer bill.
The $1.5 million annual MMSD Debt Service Costs will stop in 2012.
A new plant will carry an annual debt service of approximately $2-$2.5 million for 20 years.
The Village has the infrastructure, equipment and great employees in place to facilitate a new plant.
The new Village Manager, in a meeting with Vanguard Members in 2007, said he has a background in building treatment plants in Colorado where he came from.
Let's hope he will apply his background and experience to help Menomonee Falls and not the City of Milwaukee and MMSD.
The $1.5 million MMSD Treatment Charges will stop and will be replaced by Menomonee Falls Village Employees at a much lower cost. More savings on sewer bills.
With the hopeful election of Scott Walker or Mark Newman as governor in 2010, having a Menomonee Falls Plant is a real possibility.
MMSD, the DNR and the City of Milwaukee will howl and throw everything they can to stop this because they are going to lose a lot of money.
No more environmental threats and lawsuits because of MMSD and overflows.
Much lower legal costs because the Menomonee Falls Plant will virtually be exempt from any environmental lawsuits because the affiliation with MMSD would be terminated.
We would be in control of our own destiny instead of forfeiting it to an entity that provides us no input, control or voting privileges.
Much lower sewer bills because homeowners will no longer be paying $4.5 million annually to the City of Milwaukee and MMSD.
We can meet, beat and exceed any challenge that is put before us.
Doesn't this just make sense?
Wouldn't this be the right thing to do?
What can be done to correct this?
Just like those Americans who are getting out of their comfort zone to attend Tea Parties to protest an oppressive government and have contacted their Congressman and Senators to stop the health care train wreck being proposed, Menomonee Falls residents can change this mess to make it about doing the right thing for homeowners and business people while providing excellent services at a lower cost.
Residents must contact the Village President, Village Manager, Village Attorney and Village Board or otherwise the status quo will always be maintained with higher costs, more lawsuits, poorer service and more taxes.
Here's how to contact the Village President and Village Board (http://menomonee-falls.org/index.aspx?nid=292).
Village Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Village Attorney email@example.com
Trustee McDonald's Visit with the Judge Set for Waukesha Municipal Court
The Vanguard has obtained copies of citations 0841 and 0842 for Trustee McDonald involving an after hour (3:00 A.M.) bar closing violation and obstructing an officer for hiding from police in a storage closet at the bar earlier this summer.
Trustee McDonald's obstructing an officer citation has a fine of $802.00.
Trustee McDonald's after hour violation fine is to be determined by the judge.
These citations could carry jail time especially for repeat offenders to be determined by the judge.
Trustee McDonald's case was originally transferred to Elm Grove Municipal Court and has now been transferred to Waukesha Municipal Court awaiting trial.
Trustee McDonald is notorious for his brushes with the law (http://www.menomoneefallsnow.com/blogs/communityblogs/49603077.html) where he has been convicted of OWI, fined $612.00, ordered to alcohol assessment and forfeited driving privileges for 6 months.
Trustee McDonald always threatens the officers who arrest him that he will contact the police chief about his arrests.
Trustee McDonald has also been known to ask for cash for business proposal(s) in exchange for his vote on the Village Board according to those who have contacted The Vanguard.
We will keep you posted on the resolution of Trustee McDonald's latest skirmish with law enforcement officials.
Trustee McDonald is up for re-election in 2010.
ACORN Affiliates may have Poisoned 2004 Presidential Election in the Falls
With all the news about the ACORN Community Organization with its multiple problems and investigations (21 states including Wisconsin http://www.city-data.com/forum/elections/458262-barack-obamas-acorn-friends-now-being.html) as well as being defunded by Congress (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090917/ap_on_go_co/us_congress_acorn) and the Senate (http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE58D6CW20090914), The Vanguard has now learned that ACORN Affiliates were in Menomonee Falls during the 2004 Presidential Election.
At least 2 ACORN Affiliate Groups, New Voters Project (http://www.newvotersproject.org/about-us) and Women's Voices. Women Vote. (http://www.wvwvaf.org/2008/3/18/liberal-groups-mobilize-350-million-for-november), were heavily involved in registering voters in Menomonee Falls in 2004.
Both of these groups pride themselves in being involved with or associated with ACORN and far let wing billionaire George Soros (http://frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=35838 and http://www.newvotersproject.org/partners).
Like ACORN, Women's Voices. Women Vote., also has many problems and investigations (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/03/AR2008050301870.html and http://ncvoters.blogspot.com/2008/10/nc-robo-calls-cost-womens-voices-women.html) costing them at least $100,000 in fines and penalties.
With track records like this and affiliations such as these, is it really a stretch to wonder if these groups may have poisoned the 2004 Presidential Election in Menomonee Falls?
The Vanguard is aware of numerous questionable voter registration issues in 2004 with the Clerk's Office.
The Clerk's Office first said there weren't any issues in 2004, they then had to admit there were issues when they were presented with indisputable evidence of multiple violations.
The Clerk's Office supposedly forwarded these issues to the DA's Office in a communication from the Village Attorney.
The DA's Office, in a written communication, later said they had never received any information from the Clerk's Office about voter registration issues in 2004.
Who's zooming who here?
Put your money on the DA's Office for telling the truth.
With governmental corruption all around us, is it too much to ask for a safe and secure election in Menomonee Falls by following State and Federal Election Laws for legal and integrity purposes?
Let's hope Menomonee Falls voters are protected from this type of questionable and probably illegal behavior when we go to the polls in 2010.
Enough for now...
Have a great week and enjoy the beautiful Fall weather.