Despite the frigid temperature outside this morning, we were warmed by the fellowship that filled the Western Racquet Club as we all get ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. There were a lot of happy fines from members who will be joined by family or traveling next week to enjoy the holiday.
Our presentation this morning was from Rob Henken, the President of the Public Policy Forum. The Forum is a 100 year old non-partisan research organization focusing on issues critical to Milwaukee and the surrounding Metro area.  Rob presented the findings of recent PPF research into the financial viability of the Milwaukee’s cultural and entertainment facilities and infrastructure including parks, museums, sports and entertainment venues. The premise of the study looked at these facilities as key economic assets vital to Milwaukee’s future.
The Forum looked at the variety of these assets, their quality, adequacy and condition. They determined what it would take to improve and maintain them in order to make them competitive with facilities located in similar cities in the country. They also looked at potential financial solutions and researched how these challenges were met by similar cities such as Denver, Oklahoma City and Pittsburgh.
The report concluded that was the costs would be large, but solutions are possible and have been successful elsewhere. The challenges according to Henken would be for Metro Milwaukee Community leaders and residents to determine which cultural assets are valued, and how to preserve and improve them.
Rob gave a thought provoking presentation, about issues that we as Rotarians and Community leaders are, and need to be, concerned with and involved in.
Next week there will be NO meeting, as many of us will head out Christmas Shopping, or try to work off a day of too much turkey and football. Happy Thanksgiving!