Friday, March 27, 2009

April 1st Kicks Off "Milton Reads 2009"

I love this photo, which shows so many great people from our great community. As City Administrator I really do consider it a privilege to get to know and befriend so many people in our community. Better yet, I often get to learn about their stories and life adventures. Believe me when I say that there are some great stories behind the faces in this picture!

Speaking of stories, April 1st is the kick-off for the "Milton Reads 2009" campaign and the story is "To Kill a Mockingbird". More information on the campaign was included in my March 12th blog post or just jump over to the Milton Public Library website for details about this program.

The picture above was published in the March 26th edition of the Milton Courier. My kids, Sydney and Sawyer, were so excited to see their picture in the paper for the very first time. They are standing in the lower-right corner of the photo. My wife, Tonya, and I are standing behind them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dog/Cat Licensing Deadline is Near

As a reminder, dogs and cats in the City of Milton must be licensed no later than April 1st in order to avoid a $10 penalty per animal. Now, that's only 4 days away. And, according to City records, there are still around 460 animals in the City that are not licensed.

Licensing must be done in person at City Hall, which is open 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. We accept cash or check, and the fee is $8.00 for spayed or neutered dogs and cats and $15.00 for non-spayed or non-neutered dogs and cats. Dog and Cat owners must present a current rabies certificate when they purchase the licenses.

So, what happens if someone doesn't license their animal? Near the end of April a reminder post-card will be mailed to all non-renewed pet owners. If that does not result in the proper licensing, the Police Department will be notified and they will proceed with investigating the non-renewals. Obviously, the City's hope is that we can avoid this last step.

For more information you may contact City Hall at 868-6900 or by e-mail at

Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't Ignore That Letter

Recent changes to the City's code enforcement ordinance gives greater ability for the DPW and Police Departments to enforce code violations. Typical violations include things like public nuisance properties, junk cars, building violations, weeds, etc. In this memo from Milton Police Chief Jerry Schuetz you will find an explanation of how the new rules work, and why it is important to pay more attention to violation notices.

As a side note, if you have concerns about a property in the City, there is a tool on the City's website to report the condition. Go to If desired you can remain anonymous by leaving the contact information in the form blank. As always, you can also contact DPW at 868-6914 or by e-mail at or the Police Department at 868-6910 or You can also send e-mail to the general City e-mail address at

The Future of Milton's Post Office

Just today we've heard some rumors and chatter up at City Hall about the future of Milton's Post Office. Here's what we know at this point... This morning City staff heard that the employees at the Post Office in Milton received word that consideration is being given to transferring the distribution and sorting function of the office over to the Janesville office.

In order to confirm this information, City Clerk/Treasurer Nancy Zastrow contacted a regional corporate communications official with the USPS in Milwaukee. This official stated that the, "...Postal Service has not made a decision if it will be moving the carriers from Milton to Janesville. We will be analyzing the data and are [in] only preliminary stages. A decision should be made within the next few weeks..." It appears that the "customer service" aspect of the Post Office (buying stamps, sending mail, P.O. boxes, etc.) would remain in Milton in some way, shape or form.

As information is provide to me, I will attempt to keep the public updated on the latest factual information about this possible change.

Get Your Picture in the Newspaper

You are invited to a community photo shoot for Milton Reads 2009. This photo will be used for promotional posters and other advertisements connected with the Milton Reads campaign. Bring the whole family.

Where: Milton High School Auditorium
When: TONIGHT ~ Monday, March 23, 6 pm

This will take less than 20 minutes and your participation will help make this exciting event successful for Milton. Anyone with questions could contact Library Director Lisa Brooks at 608-868-7462 or by e-mail at More information on the Milton Reads 2009 program was included in my March 12th blog post.

Friday, March 20, 2009

View the Candidates Forum On-Line

On March 19th the Milton Kiwanis Club hosted the local candidates forum. Individuals running for City Mayor and Alderperson took part in the forum, along with positions for Milton Township. Visit and follow the instructions on the screen to view the forum.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Collaborative Focus for Economic Recovery in Rock County

On March 16th Mayor Bruce and I joined a couple hundred other regional officials at Blackhawk Technical College for an economic development funding opportunities workshop. This event represented a collaborative effort between local organizations and the University of Michigan's Community Economic Adjustment Program.

The information presented at the event covered a diverse range of topics. The target audience included local units of government, non-profits, economic and workforce organizations, education providers and select private sector businesses.

I was encouraged to learn that there is a wide array of resources available to the communities in this area of the state that have been impacted heavily by job losses and economic downturn. To find out more about this event and what information was presented, click here to view introductory comments that were given by Bob Borremans, Executive Director of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Congrats to R&M Manufacturing - Growing Here in Milton

Today Mayor Nate Bruce and I toured the recently completed 20,000+ sq. ft. expansion at R&M Manufacturing in Milton's Crossroads Business Park. This addition to their existing facility was about a $900,000 project. R&M specializes in precision machining, custom fabrication and assembly.

We met with President Dave Underwood and VP Mark Merk, who filled us in on both their successes and challenges during today's economic down-turn. They are pleased with the recent expansion, which positions them well in competing for major contracts.

The photo above shows Mayor Bruce (center), Dave (right) and Mark standing next to a large cabinet used for massive mining shovels. This particular equipment has been ordered by P&H Mining in Milwaukee which manufactures large excavating equipment. To get some sense for the size of these "shovels", click here. R&M also specializes in smaller equipment, such as the actual "jaws" used in the jaws-of-life hydraulic rescue tool.

It always amazes me to learn about the products that are made right here in Milton that are used globally is so many diverse ways. My congratulations go out to Dave and Mark, and everyone at R&M, for growing here in Milton. To learn more about R&M you may contact Dave Underwood at 608-868-5081.

Monday, March 16, 2009

E-NOTIFY - A Great Way to Stay Connected to City Business

Almost 200 people have signed up for the City's "E-Notify" system on the City's website. This system allows City staff to easily e-mail out important and timely information using our website technology. You can easily sign up for E-Notify on the City website by clicking here. The process takes only a minute or two. However, you could avoid this step by sending me an e-mail at and simply write "E-Notify" in the subject line. I'll take care of making sure you get included in future E-Notify deliveries.

One popular item sent out using E-Notify is the City's Monthly Departmental Report. This report comes out at the beginning of each month. It provides information about the past month's activities and offers reminders about upcoming events and programs. Click here to view an archive of past City of Milton Monthly Departmental Reports.

On a side note, I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather. I can't wait to escape my office in a bit to enjoy the 60 degree temps! Like most of you, I am anxious for the dirty blackish-gray snow/trash piles to disappear. Time to rev up the street sweepers...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Milton Reads 2009 - Check it Out!

This April the City of Milton is joining with other communities in reading To Kill a Mockingbird. We are participating with other cities in a Big Read grant funded by the National Endowment of the Arts to restore reading as a central part of our American culture. Thanks to funding from the NEA and our own Friends of the Milton Public Library group, a variety of events related to this program are being held right here in Milton.

Now, I must admit that my work schedule and family things barely give me the chance to read more than two or three books from cover to cover in any given year. But, I'm going to commit to reading To Kill a Mockingbird as part of this campaign (I did already read it once back in grade school). I better get crackin' too, because Library Director Lisa Brooks and I will be leading a book discussion on April 30th at the Library.

Our Public Library has put together a really unique and fun-filled series of events, including book discussions, a giant kick-off photo shoot, movie showing and dessert evening, and other events. More information is available on the Library's website at The Library staff have also set up their own blog which is tracking Milton Reads 2009 at For more invormation on the the whole "The Big Read" program being coordinated by UW-Whitewater and NEA, visit and

Oh... one other thing. If you don't have a copy of To Kill a Mocking Bird, do not fear. The Milton Public Library has been hoarding copies for months. Stop by to pick up yours ASAP. What??? You say you don't have a library card? Don't worry, the Library has plenty of those too. There is no better time than today to learn about all of the resources at our own Milton Public Library!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"The Gathering Place" Updates

I might be a bit biased, but in my opinion Milton has one of the best senior centers on the face of the planet! Executive Director Paula Schutt and her staff do a great job at The Gathering Place, which is located at 715 Campus Street in Milton.

This blog posting is intended to fill you in on some things you may not have known about. First, The Gathering Place is a wonderful location in Milton for hosting business meetings, seminars, receptions and parties at reasonable rates. Click here for more information about the meeting and banquet room availability.

Second, The Gathering Place is hosting the 2009 Sunday With The Arts in Milton program. Click here to view a brochure about the featured artists. Doors open at 1 PM with performances at 1:30 PM. The $5 admission includes a performance and light refreshments. No reservations needed.

For more information, The Gathering Place website is and they can be reached by phone at 868-3500. I encourage everyone in Milton to enjoy all that The Gathering Place has to offer.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Preserving History - Goodrich Cabin Needs Repairs

Today I read an article in the Janesville Gazette about needed renovations to the "Goodrich Cabin" at the Milton House Museum. It would be important for all who appreciate Milton and US History to read the story, and understand the importance of why efforts should be taken to preserve this structure. You can read the article by clicking here.

The Milton House Museum is a great facility, and is a big piece of the character of our community. More so, the museum's link to the Underground Railroad system is a big piece of the history of human rights and the desire for freedom that characterizes our country.

I, for one, will be writing out a check today to support this project. I hope that while we work to preserve the cabin we also take steps toward preserving what it stands for. Join with me in this effort by sending donations to the Milton Historical Society, P.O. Box 245, Milton, WI 53563. They should be marked "Save the Goodrich Cabin." For more information call the Milton House Museum at (608) 868-7772. Also, be sure to check out the Milton Historical Society online.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Habitat for Humanity Daddy Daughter Dance

This past Friday, March 6th, I had the pleasure of escorting my 6-year old daughter Sydney to the Rock County Habitat for Humanity's 3rd Annual Daddy Daughter Dance. I would like to congratulate Habitat for Humanity on their successful event. I would also like to commend all of the sponsors who supported the event.

Sydney and I had a wonderful time snacking on appetizers (Syd loved the cheese-filled breadsticks) and dancing mostly to Hannah Montana and High School Musical songs. They also threw in a few classics, like The Chicken Dance and YMCA. However, once Sydney met up with a few friends I was no longer her favorite dance partner. The night ended with Sydney winning a raffle prize, which topped off a lovely evening.

Mark your calendar for next year's Daddy Daughter Dance which is scheduled for Friday, March 5, 2010 from 6 - 8 PM. This is a great way to support the Habitat for Humanity's mission: "Rock County Habitat for Humanity provides responsible families in need the life changing opportunity to purchase their own home by partnering with people from all backgrounds to build decent affordable houses and communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intends."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pool Discussion is Good Discussion

There has been interesting talk in Milton recently about a few big projects, two of which are the High School / Middle School building project and the YMCA / Crossridge Park development. Whether you support these projects or not, all could probably admit that these projects are significant.

Both projects also include the potential for a pool facility. Public feedback from various sources has clearly demonstrated a need for an improved pool facility in the community. In my opinion, this issue and the public interest sets the stage for a possible collaboration between the District and the YMCA.

I recently attended a meeting which included officials from both the Milton School District and the YMCA of Northern Rock County. An article about this meeting was published in the Janesville Gazette on March 5, 2009 ( It was very encouraging to observe a willingness by all involved to have a conversation about how collaboration on a pool facility could be possible.

Certainly a good share of study and research will be necessary to go from point A to B in this discussion, but at least the discussion is underway. I must give kudos to District Superintendent Bernie Nikolay for putting this issue forward. Who knows where this discussion might lead, but in the least it will be given meaningful consideration.

For those interested in more information on these projects, here's a few links to check out: