Around the Town with Mayor Steve

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Mayor & Council |

LaVerne Gutknecht, the last surviving member of the delegation of city officials who helped Oak Creek become a city in 1955, passed away on November 23rd at the age of 86. LaVerne was one of our earliest City Clerks, and served during the installation of the city’s first voting machines in the mid-1960s, and the dedication of the current City Hall on the corner of Howell Avenue and Puetz Road.

In the early days of Oak Creek’s efforts to transform from a town to a city, city representatives fought off annexation efforts from the City of Milwaukee, eventually going to Madison to help pass what is now known as “The Oak Creek Law”. This legislation gave towns the opportunity to incorporate if they met specific population and land value assessment targets.

Floyd Leonard, a retired city engineering department employee, who worked with LaVerne during the 1960’s, remembers her as a kind and hard-working co-worker. “She was always there to make sure that the city’s legal documents were filed properly, and she had so much grace with the public.” Her visitation is on Friday, November 30th, from 4-7:00pm at the Heritage Funeral Home at 9200 S. 27th Street in Oak Creek. She is survived by 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends.

On Thanksgiving Day, more than 160 people came out for a one-hour walk at Knights Stadium as part of the Mayor’s Fitness & Weight Loss Challenge “Turkey Trek.” It was inspiring to see that many people give up a part of their busy holiday morning to exercise together, and also donate over 150 pounds of non-perishable food items to the local Salvation Army. We’ll continue to sponsor other “flash fitness” events focused on improving the community’s health and wellness, and giving back to those who are less fortunate. Thanks to all of you who came out and helped!

This Saturday, December 1st at Noon, another local small-business will celebrate their grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony. YoFresh Yogurt Café at the corner of Howell & Puetz, which opened for business on November 19th, will be offering 50% discounts on their frozen yogurt products for 90 minutes after the ribbon cutting. El Fogon and North Shore Bank, who share that corner with YoFresh, will also be hosting events on Saturday.

Our annual tree-lighting ceremony will take place in front of City Hall this Sunday, December 2nd, at 5pm. Join us for the kick-off of the holiday season, and walk over to the Oak Creek Community Center after the event for free refreshments and holiday music, provided by Sweet Music, a local music store, located in the Market Place Village.

Remember those who need some help during the holidays…a community is defined by the character and compassion of its residents.

Mayor Steve