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OPINION: Greendale’s Changing Landscape


The news today that the site of Greendale’s current fire station may be sold for commercial development is good news for our Village.

If the sale moves forward, it would be the second major commercial development project in that area. Froedtert Health is considering a new, 9,400 square-foot medical office building to be constructed at 6220 West Loomis Road at a vacant lot just south of Walgreens.

Village Hall appears to be firing on all cylinders and the landscape is changing in other places. There are new rumors of an announcement about an exciting, new development on the Southridge property and Greendale’s original water tower will come down on July 27.

The 77 year-old elevated tank is an iconic community landmark. It will take time for Villagers to warm up to the modern, new one.

I recall a covert and aborted attempt with a crack team of high school classmates to climb the tower and leave our class mark in spray paint. Here’s hoping the statute of limitations has expired. No actual harm was done as Greendale’s finest scuttled that attempt, sending us scurrying through “E Section” backyards in the dark of night. Note to the GHS Class of 2015: climbing a water tower is not as easy as it might look. Not recommended.

I’m not expecting any explosions during the demolition. But, someone quipped that a razing on July 4 might have added something special to the Village Independence Day celebration.

Speaking of the Fourth, the Greendale Family 4th Fest sponsored by the Greendale Lions Club received the green light from the Village board this week. This is the second year for the expanded event. It is a clear upgrade for the Village. For a flyer, please click here.

There will be a public reading of the “Declaration of Independence” on Saturday, July 4 at 9 a.m., at the flagpole in front of Village Hall. Yours truly has been asked to read a portion of our nation’s founding document, so get there early to save your seat. This is the ninth year for this public reading, which started in 2007.

As always, the parade shouldn’t be missed. It kicks off at 10 a.m. After the parade, there is scheduled to be an opportunity to tour the Historic Hose Tower. If you haven’t been inside, this is a great opportunity to see the progress that has been made on the community landmark. Don’t miss it.

After a series of unforeseen fits and starts, A bid to complete the interior phase of construction at the Hose Tower moved forward at the Village Hall this week. With any luck, the community jewel should finally be open to the public by fall. I know groups are already clamoring about reservations.

Since 2011, the Historical Society has raised more than $400,000 in donations for the Hose Tower Project. I know it is going to be a great addition to our community and downtown. It is an excellent example of a public-private partnership. The GreendaleNOW has a good story on this. Full disclosure: I am a member of the Historical Society Board of Directors.

The Village Board heard from Jim Ward, Richard Busalacchi, Paul Elliott, James Schmidt and Aleksander Skibicki on June 9. All want to fill the open seat on the Village board. It was clear each has a passion for the Village and I heard some impressive resumes. The board will hear from remaining candidates on June 16. A decision on the seat could come that night. I think the board could have a tough decision to make.

Over at the schools, the board has scheduled an eighth closed meeting on Monday to hash over (again) the performance of Superintendent John Tharp. Reading the tea leaves in their agenda is leading many to speculate that a resignation could be forthcoming for the embattled school leader.

I don’t know what will happen on Monday night, but I do know it can’t be very much fun to be a school board member over the last three years. It is a mess of their own making and Monday night might be the first step to climbing out of the hole they dug for themselves.

A Parting Gif…


About The Author

Bill Attewell

Bill Attewell is the editor and publisher of Everything Greendale. He has over 20 years experience as an award-winning newspaper editor, writer and publisher. His work has been read in in over 50 publications across the U.S. and abroad. Bill is a long-time resident of Greendale and a Greendale High School alum. Go Panthers!


  1. Robert

    NO Littering signs should be posted along Westway .Seems to be a dumping ground for passing motorists………

  2. ABC

    Inspiring words today at graduation from our superintendent!!!! #IsupportJohnTharp

    • Richard

      Either party to the agreement can back out. Time will tell.

    • Richard

      Inquiring minds will be a the meeting. We will also be wanting the full disclosure from the Trusties.

  3. Richard

    Some affirmative news for Greendale.

    School Trusties, get better quick. We are tired of the squandering of the school system and your neighbors are paying attention to your failures. We just can’t find anyone better than you trusties to run for election.

    1. Start listening to the people and ignore your ideas. They haven’t been too good.
    2. Have the courage to meet and respond to the many voters and taxpayers that don’t agree with you.
    3. Admit your mistakes publicly and ask for figiveness.
    4. Long timer Trusties, consider resigning and give some new leaders a chance. The last three years has made you village embarrassments. EG says it well. It can’t make you proud of your work or been much fun. There are plenty of good people who want to serve on the Village Board. The school system needs that kind of quality instead of the trusties we have now
    5. Donate your Trustie salary to the kids and families instead of lining your pockets with your payments. Do you really need the money that bad? Do you think you deserve it after the last couple of years?
    6. Hold meetings and really answer the questions we all have for you to heal what you have done. Answer the questions and admit what you have done.
    7. Get better management in place immediately. You haven’t been doing well with what you have now. Maybe clean house.
    8. Spare us the embarrassment of seeing you in the parade.
    9. Go to one meeting a month and no behind the door sessions for a six months. Your record of two meetings a month is not working and 8 private meetings destroyed our trust in you.
    10. Take a long summer break from Greendale and give us all a breather.

  4. GSD Ed.

    Some good news is heaven sent. Greendale Educators did not make this hole or mess. Administration and the Board made the last three years the debacle it is.

    We are very nervous about the devious the board has and will make.

    Some outstanding teachers are leaving for better schools.

    • A Parent

      Richard — I totally agree! The school board needs to know that most parents support Dr. Tharpe. If he resigns it is another big black eye for our schools. Shame on the board! Support our superintendent!!! He’s been trying to get things right!!!

    • Greendale Dad

      Richard, you seem to have all the criticism for our school board. Why don’t you run for school board since you have all the answers?

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