High density housing is no panacea in Mequon

March 20, 2013

Public Forum:

In 1976 we moved to Mequon, choosing to live here rather than Brookfield, because of Mequon's nonurbanized, rural nature and its spacious open areas. Our sons attended Mequon-Thiensville public schools from kindergarten to graduating seniors, received an excellent education and are pursuing successful careers. I (Bettye) was also privileged to work as a teacher for 13 years in our local school district. Currently, our A+ school district faces financial challenges, a problem not unique to Mequon, given a declining national birthrate.

Under our present city administration, Mayor Gielow and his developer friends are pushing for zoning changes and aggressive high-density development as a remedy for declining enrollments. However, the city cannot legislate whether homebuyers/renters in these high-density developments would even have children attending public schools. Such high-density development projects would clearly, however, lower property values in surrounding neighborhoods, increase demands for city services with attendant costs, and thereby result in higher taxes for all Mequon residents. In turn this promotes a regressive effect: rather than drawing families to our community, others would be deterred from moving in or remaining here by the higher taxes and diminished property values. There is no gain to a school system under such circumstances.

We endorse a better vision for a pro-growth agenda in Mequon, one offered by Dan Adendroth, our choice for mayor and 1st District alderman in this election. We encourage your vote for Dan in both roles. We need him and his long legacy of experience in our city government. Dan is a strict fiscal conservative. He supports low-impact, low-density development that adds more to the tax base than it absorbs, and preserves Mequon's quality of life.

Dan is the better alternative and represents a win-win for both the students and property owners of Mequon.

Bettye & William Nimmer


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