Waukesha’s storied 2011
Biggest story of the year:
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus forgetting to include the city of Brookfield in the Waukesha County vote count for Wisconsin Supreme Court. The “oops” that launched a recount.
Runner up: The departure of City Administrator Lori Luther, almost guaranteeing the budget mess that followed.
Second runner up: The budget mess that followed, including the garbage fee.
Most overhyped story of the year:
The saga of Dakota the Owl. No offense to animal lovers but it’s a bird. Pluck the feathers and barbeque it, I bet the owl will taste like chicken. Nature will make more of them. I know this owl is special but the coverage is ridiculous. If it got whacked by a windmill I bet WE Energies would not get half as much grief as the two stupid boys that stole the bird.
Runner up: the number of teachers retiring in the Waukesha school district after no teachers retired early last year because of contract negotiations. I can explain this over and over again but it keeps getting mentioned as the reason the school district’s budget is balanced. I begin to wonder if journalism schools should teach remedial reading classes.
Second runner up: School Board member Karin Rajnicek appearing in an ad for Governor Scott Walker. I think I successfully avoided writing about this. Except for the few die-hard Democrats and a few teachers in this community, nobody cares. If anything, Rajnicek probably just assured herself of re-election.
The underreported story of the year:
How the developers of the proposed convention center in downtown Waukesha will be seeking millions in public financing beyond a TIF district. That’s right, millions. The Clarke Hotel doesn’t look like such a bad deal now, does it?
Runner up: (Speaking of the Clarke Hotel.) What really happened at D’Mos. By the way, that vacant restaurant look really needs to be straightened out soon.
Second runner up: Our county budget is better than yours. Oh wait, it’s better than everybody’s.
The issue that just won’t die:
City of Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima still believes there is an alternative to Lake Michigan water for Waukesha. He said it again recently in an interview with Waukesha NOW, and surprisingly they did not ask a follow question.
Okay, El Jefe, just what are these supposed alternatives to Lake Michigan water?
Runner up: To whom will the city administrator answer to? If we can find one willing to work with El Jefe.
Second runner up: Freeman Friday Night Live street closings.
Most welcome development in the city of Waukesha:
We’re getting a combination Indian restaurant and grocery store? Really?
Runner up: Woodman’s.
Second runner up: Rooftop seating at Taylor’s.
Story I told you nobody would care about and I was right:
Ohmygawd, people can carry guns into city hall if they have a concealed-carry permit. Extra points to Alderman Kathleen Cummings for pointing out we don’t have metal detectors or guards to stop anyone from bringing a gun into city hall.