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The “BIG EVENT” is only a few days away. Please remember to send us your donations.

Dear Friends & Neighbors:
 
    Last week, I informed all of you that our federal lawsuit to stop the four-lane expansion of Highway 164 in both Waukesha and Washington Counties (as well as other directly-related road expansion projects in this area) will be heard by Judge Lynn Adelman on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 390 of the federal court building in downtown Milwaukee (517 East Wisconsin Avenue).  THAT "BIG EVENT" IS NOW ONLY A FEW DAYS AWAY!
 
    At this federal court hearing (which is called an "oral argument"), our highly-experienced team of attorneys will argue this important, precedent-setting case before Judge Adelman, and he will issue his written ruling shortly thereafter.  This court hearing is "free and open to the public" and we cordially invite and strongly encourage all of you to attend this momentous legal event. 
  
    At the Wednesday, July 8th court hearing, you will have an excellent opportunity to "see our attorneys in action" as they vigorously fight to protect our homes, families and communities here in this beautiful Kettle Moraine area of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Given the outstanding job our attorneys are doing for all of us on this complex federal litigation, I believe it is appropriate that they should be reasonably compensated for their valuable services (which involves a great deal of time, talent, and effort on our behalf). 
 
    Winning this lawsuit will benefit EVERYONE in our communities, therefore, please show your appreciation for these efforts by DONATING TODAY!  Our mailing address for this purpose isHIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A., P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033 or you can donate online with a debit or credit card using our safe and convenient PayPal feature on our website at www.hwyjcitizensgroup.org.  
 
    If you have any questions, please either call me at (262)-644-8334 or e-mail me here.  I look forward to seeing YOU at the Wednesday, July 8, 2009 federal court hearing at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 390 of the federal court building in downtown Milwaukee (517 East Wisconsin Avenue) to stop the WisDOT's unnecessary, fiscally-irresponsible and environmentally-damaging road expansion plans for our area.  THANK YOU!
 
Most sincerely,
 
Jeff Gonyo,
Steering Committee Member for the
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone:  (262)-644-8334
 
P.S.  If you want to "see what your money is buying" before donating, then I strongly encourage you to attend the July 8th federal court hearing in Milwaukee where you can personally witness the great work that our attorneys are doing for us in this case.  After the court hearing, you also will have the opportunity to personally meet our entire legal team and ask them questions about this case.  Please either donate today (either by regular mail or online using PayPal) or bring your checkbooks to the July 8th federal court hearing, and we then will accept your donations after the conclusion of this hearing.

The “BIG DAY” is here! Our court hearing on our Highway 164 federal lawsuit will take place on Wednesday, July 8, 2009. PLEASE JOIN US THERE!

Dear Friends & Neighbors:
 
    The "BIG DAY" is finally here!  Our federal lawsuit to stop the four-lane expansion of Highway 164 in both Waukesha and Washington Counties will be heard by Judge Lynn Adelman on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 390 of the federal court building in downtown Milwaukee (517 East Wisconsin Avenue).
 
    At this federal court hearing (which is called an "oral argument"), our highly-experienced team of attorneys (Attorneys Charles Barr, Elizabeth Rich and Jeremy Shapiro-Barr) will argue this important, precedent-setting case before Judge Adelman, and he will issue his written ruling shortly thereafter (usually within 30 days of the hearing date).  Upon request, I would be happy to e-mail you copies of our recently-filed legal briefs on this case — that would give you a better idea of what the key legal issues are here.
 
    This court hearing is "free and open to the public" and we cordially invite and strongly encourage all of you to attend this momentous legal event.  This is your opportunity to "see our attorneys in action" as they persuade Judge Adelman to immediately stop this unnecessary, fiscally-irresponsible and environmentally-damaging road expansion project (which, upon being successful here, will protect and preserve our communities in this beautiful Kettle Moraine area of Southeastern Wisconsin for many generations to come).  PLEASE JOIN US ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 8TH!
 
    In addition to stopping an economically and environmentally-devastating road expansion project in our communities, this federal lawsuit will yield many long-term benefits to everyone in the State of Wisconsin.  Most importantly, winning this federal lawsuit will set a binding legal precedent which will require the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to "change the way it does business in our state" thereby saving ALL of us billions of dollars in taxes over the next several years.  By requiring the WisDOT to "act responsibly" with our hard-earned tax dollars, we can significantly reduce the overall tax burden on Wisconsin residents (like YOU and ME).  WILL YOU HELP US ACHIEVE THESE LONG-OVERDUE, VERY WORTHWHILE, COMMONLY-SHARED GOALS TODAY?
 
    Over the past several weeks, I have enjoyed the opportunity to personally meet with many of you while going "door-to-door" through our communities to share information about our citizens group's ongoing grassroots activities.  During my visits, I strongly encouraged you to make donations in support of our citizens group's legal efforts and left you with a contribution card/return envelope for that purpose. 
 
    If you have not recently done so, NOW IS THE TIME TO DONATE so our attorneys can continue providing us with high-quality legal representation in this important federal lawsuit.  Please use the attached contribution card to mail us your much-appreciated donations at:  HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A., P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033 or you can donate online with a debit or credit card using our safe and convenient PayPal feature on our website at www.hwyjcitizensgroup.org.  
 
    If you want to "see what your money is buying" before donating, then I strongly encourage you to attend the July 8th federal court hearing in Milwaukee where you can personally witness the great work that our attorneys are doing for us in this case.  After the court hearing, you also will have the opportunity to personally meet our entire legal team and ask them questions about this case.  Please either donate today (either by regular mail or online using PayPal) or bring your checkbooks to the July 8th federal court hearing, and we then will accept your donations after the conclusion of this hearing.
 
    In conclusion, I want to remind you that we still have a limited number of DVD copies of our Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. movie which was professionally prepared by a highly-respected film production company two years ago when our case had reached the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.  This movie is narrated and includes interviews with many of your neighbors, our attorneys and some of the elected officials who are supporting our citizens group's efforts here.  It also includes some great scenic views of this beautiful area we all live in. 
 
    ANYONE WHO DONATES AT LEAST $100.00 WITHIN THE NEXT 30 DAYS, will receive a copy of this excellent movie production DVD as our way of saying "thank you" for your most generous support!  CAN WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT TODAY?
 
    If you have any questions, please either call me at (262)-644-8334 or e-mail me here.  We look forward to seeing YOU at the Wednesday, July 8, 2009 federal court hearing at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 390 of the federal court building in downtown Milwaukee (517 East Wisconsin Avenue) for this "once in a lifetime opportunity" to see our attorneys legally stop these arrogant, unresponsive bureaucratic bullies at the WisDOT from devastating our communities with this unnecessary, fiscally-irresponsible and environmentally-damaging road expansion project.  Thank you for your continuing interest and support!
 
Most sincerely,
 

Jeff Gonyo,
Steering Committee Member for the
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone:  (262)-644-8334

Richfield Village Board Continues its “Lawless, Irresponsible Behavior” to the Great Detriment of Area Residents.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
    Over the past several months, the Richfield Village Board has continued its pattern of "lawless, irresponsible behavior" to the great detriment of the area residents they are suppose to be representing as local elected officials.  The details are as follows.
 
A.  Neighborhood Activity Center Ordinance — Lawsuit Now Being Considered By Our Attorneys.
 
    FIRST, at their February 19, 2009 meeting, the Richfield Village Board ignored both the law and citizen-raised concerns when they approved a Neighborhood Activity Center (NAC) ordinance which was inconsistent with the village's 20-Year Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan.  Many of those citizen concerns are discussed in the Highway J Citizens Group, U.A.'s (HJCG) attached public hearing comments presented to the village board during the public hearing on this NAC ordinance. 
 
    Perhaps, the most egregious legal violation committed by the Richfield Village Board was the fact that they now have approved a NAC ordinance which could allow gas stations, strip malls and big box retail stores to be built near the corner of Highway 164 and Q in direct contradiction to the village's "Smart Growth" Plan.  On page 107 of this plan, it clearly states that "more intensive uses like gas stations, strip malls and big box retail are not consistent with a neighborhood activity center (NAC)."  However, in the final approved version of Richfield's NAC Ordinance, both fuel service stations and buildings in excess of 15,000 square feet are allowed as "conditional uses" (i.e. what that means is the Richfield Village Board now has the power to approve these busy, traffic intensive business uses which are specifically prohibited by the "Smart Growth" Plan). 
 
    This week Thursday, March 5, 2009 the Richfield Plan Commission will be holding a public hearing to consider rezoning the 30 acres of property near the Highway 164/Q intersection from agricultural to "Neighborhood Activity Center District" which is the first step in allowing JBJ Development to begin building its intense commercial development project there.  Please join us at this meeting to strongly oppose JBJ's rezoning request.  This meeting begins at 7:30 PM and will be held in the Richfield Village Hall (4128 Hubertus Road — one mile east of the Highway 164/Hubertus Road intersection).  For your convenience, I have attached a copy of the Richfield Plan Commission Meeting agenda here for your review (the public hearing related to JBJ's rezoning request is item #9 on this agenda).
   
    The village board's illegal actions associated with its NAC Ordinance approval could form the basis of yet another lawsuit against the Richfield Village Board.  They already are being sued twice for other illegal and improper acts committed last year.  Please read below for further details on these two pending lawsuits which our citizens group is currently pursuing against the Richfield Village Board in Washington County Circuit Court.
 
B.  Helsan Business Park Annexation — Lawsuit Filed by HJCG on February 18, 2009.
 
    SECOND, at its November 20, 2008 meeting, the Richfield Village Board abruptly approved the annexation of the Helsan Business Park from the neighboring Town of Polk.  Prior to its approval, the State Department of Administration (DOA) sent a letter to the Richfield Village Board strongly opposing this annexation because it constituted a noncontiguous "balloon on a string" configuration which the Wisconsin Supreme Court has long held to be illegal
 
    Area residents (including me on behalf of the HJCG) spoke out against this annexation and urged the Richfield Village Board to summarily reject it both for the reasons specified in the DOA's letter and also because such annexation was inconsistent with both the Richfield "Smart Growth" Plan and the recently-adopted Washington County "Smart Growth" Plan.  In both of those "Smart Growth" plans, Richfield officials represented to the public that they had no plans, for at least the next 20 years, to annex any property from its neighbors (like the Towns of Polk, Erin and Hartford).  For more details on these key issues, please see the attached HJCG public comments opposing this annexation which I presented to the Richfield Village Board at their November 20, 2008 meeting.
 
    Despite these well-documented legal problems associated with this annexation, the Richfield Village Board (under the direction and recommendation of both Village Administrator Toby Cotter and Village President Diane Pedersen) unanimously approved this illegal annexation.  Because many of our HJCG members are property owners and taxpayers in both the Village of Richfield and the Town of Polk, we have decided to take immediate legal action to protect our homes, families and communities in this matter. 
 
    On February 18, 2009, we filed a lawsuit in Washington County Circuit Court to reverse the Richfield Village Board's illegal annexation decision and return this business property to the Town of Polk.  This case has been assigned to Judge Andrew Gonring and will be argued in the coming months.  For more details on this lawsuit, please see the attached press release issued by our HJCG legal team along with the related news articles.
 
C.  Highway 164 Speed Limit — Lawsuit Filed by HJCG on October 17, 2008.
 
    THIRD, last year Richfield Village President Diane Pedersen again circumvented Richfield's 20-Year Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan by creating an Ad Hoc Committee to advise the village board as to what position it should take on the Highway 164 speed limit issue.  What President Pedersen failed to understand is that the Richfield Village Board alre
ady had taken a position on the Highway 164 speed limit issue in its Smart Growth Plan — i.e. they emphatically stated in this plan that Highway 164 must have a uniform 45 mph speed limit to improve traffic safety for its residents. 
 
    Despite this unequivocal language in the village's Smart Growth Plan endorsing a 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164, the Richfield Village Board voted 3-2 to ignore that plan and instead support the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's (WisDOT) position to keep Highway 164's speed limit at an unsafe 55 mph.  This vote occurred even though 100% of the citizen comments made both at the Ad Hoc Committee and during the Village Board Meeting supported the Smart Growth Plan's position of reducing Highway 164's speed limit to 45 mph.  Furthermore, accident statistics have shown that, in the past, when Highway 164's speed limit was temporarily reduced to 45 mph, the number of accidents decreased by 76% and fatalities were reduced to zero.
 
    To reverse this illegal decision and require consistency with the village's Smart Growth Plan, the HJCG filed a lawsuit against the Richfield Village Board in Washington County Circuit Court on October 17, 2008.  This case has been assigned to Judge James Muehlbauer, and our attorneys are scheduled to meet with the judge on April 24, 2009, after which legal briefs will be filed by the parties.  This lawsuit has received both statewide and local news coverage on WTMJ Channel 4 News (Speedbusters segment), WisPolitics.com, West Bend Daily News, Hartford Times Press and in The Country Today.  Copies of this recent news coverage along with our attorney's press release are attached here to this e-mail for your review.
 
D.  Please Generously Donate to the Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. — Let's Work Together and Win!
 
    ONLY YOU can help us hold these arrogant, unresponsive government officials fully-accountable for their reprehensible conduct here (as described above), and in doing so, protect our homes, families and communities in this beautiful Kettle Moraine area of Southeastern Wisconsin.  By winning these two recently-filed lawsuits described above, we will make sure that Richfield's Village Government becomes "a government of the people, by the people and for the people" once again.  With your financial support (i.e. donations), we can achieve this laudable goal.
 
    In addition to these two lawsuits now pending in Washington County Circuit Court, our citizens group continues its four-year long federal lawsuit to stop the Highway 164 four-lane expansion in both Washington and Waukesha Counties.  In 2007, this federal lawsuit reached the United States Supreme Court, after which it was returned to the district court in Milwaukee for further proceedings on the substantive merits (will be discussed in greater detail in a separate e-mail update).  Right now, our attorneys are filing legal briefs in this case which will lead to a major decision in May or June of this year.  Your much-needed donations will help us continue pursuing this "one-of-a-kind" federal lawsuit and help us pay for the valuable services of our top-notch team of attorneys and experts who are "doing an outstanding job" representing us in this very important legal case.
 
    Please generously donate, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or any other amount you are comfortable with to help us win these very important, precedent-setting lawsuits.  Anyone who donates at least $100 within the next 30 days will receive a DVD copy of our recently-released Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. promotional video which explains, through on-camera interviews with our attorneys, elected officials and many of your neighbors, how the HJCG has become "A Powerful Voice for Positive Change" in our communities over the past ten years.
 

    Please send your much-appreciated donations to us at: HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A., P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033 or donate online at www.hwyjcitizensgroup.org with a debit or credit card using our PayPal system established there for your convenience.  IT'S NOW UP TO YOU!  CAN WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT TODAY?  THANK YOU!

 
Most sincerely,
 
Jeff Gonyo,
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone: (262)-644-8334
 
P.S.  If anyone would like to see copies of some of the specific legal documents associated with the three lawsuits referenced above, please let me know and I can e-mail them to you.  Thanks again for your support!

Invitation to attend Thursday, January 8th Richfield Plan Commission Meeting and Public Hearing to Oppose Unwanted Commercial Development.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
    On Thursday, January 8, 2009, the Richfield Plan Commission will be holding a meeting and public hearing on its proposed adoption of a "Neighborhood Activity Center District" ordinance which would allow JBJ Development to put significant commercial development on a 30 acre, now-agricultural, parcel located on the northeast corner of Highways 164 and Q (i.e, this is the parcel immediately to the east and north of the former St. Columba Church on that corner).  This meeting and public hearing starts at 7:30 PM that evening and will be held in the Richfield Village Hall (4128 Hubertus Road — just one mile east of the Highway 164 and Hubertus Road intersection).
 
    Please join us at this public hearing to testify against this unwise proposed development which would only exacerbate the serious traffic congestion problems that already are occurring at the Highway 164 and Q intersection.  In addition, the increase in noise and pollution, reduced residential property values, and damage to the overall "rural aesthetics" of this area all are very serious concerns if this overly-intense development plan of JBJ's is allowed to move forward. 
 
    At the very least, your presence at this meeting will put intense pressure on the Richfield Plan Commission members to modify this proposed ordinance and "scale-back" this unwanted development.  You now have an opportunity to make "a positive difference" in the Village Richfield.  Please join us and take your turn to speak out against this unwise commercial development proposal
 
    For your convenience, I am attaching PDF copies of the January 8, 2009 Richfield Plan Commission Meeting agenda along with currently-proposed "Neighborhood Activity Center District" ordinance.  We hope to see you at this important public hearing on Thursday, January 8th beginning at 7:30 PM!  Thank you.
 
Most sincerely,
 
Jeff Gonyo,
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone: (262)-644-8334
 
Attachments:
 
 
 

Please join us on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 in Milwaukee to Speak Out in Opposition to the Recertification of SEWRPC.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
    On Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM), the Federal Highway Administration will be holding a public hearing at the Milwaukee County Downtown Transit Center in the Harbor Lights Room (909 East Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI) to receive citizen input concerning the recertification of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).  Please join us there to speak out in strong opposition to the recertification of SEWRPC.  For your convenience, I have attached a PDF file with some detailed information about this public hearing to this e-mail.
 
    For the past nine years, SEWRPC has been nothing more than "an unresponsive, taxpayer-funded, rubber stamp" for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the roadbuilding lobby in this region of our state.  THAT IS NOT THE INTENDED PURPOSE OF SEWRPC!
 
    40 years ago when SEWRPC was organized, its stated mission was to create a reasonable balance between the transportation, land use, environmental, social, economic and other interests in Southeastern Wisconsin so that our communities could be well-planned and provide a high quality of life for this area's residents.  All of these interests were to have "a place at the table" during this planning process.  However, that is not what is happening here.
 
    During the past nine years, many HJCG members and other like-minded, concerned citizens from both Waukesha and Washington Counties have attended SEWRPC meetings and hearings to speak out against unnecessary, fiscally-irresponsible and environmentally-damaging road expansion plans (including the Highway 164 four-lane expansion, the Pioneer Road-Waterford Road-County Highway E expansion, the Lannon Road expansion and many other related projects) only to have their thoughtful comments "fall upon deaf ears" and ignored
 
    For example, in 2006, many of our members attended SEWRPC's 2035 Regional Transportation Plan public hearings in Washington County to speak out against these road expansion projects and offer more reasonable alternatives.  GUESS WHAT — Even though 100% of the people who spoke at that meeting were vehemently opposed to SEWRPC's roadbuilding plans, this unresponsive agency refused to eliminate or modify those plans.  Also, earlier this year, concerned citizens participated in the Washington County Smart Growth Plan public meetings and raised concerns about several road expansion projects as well as the unresolved groundwater contamination problems in the Ackerville area — only to have the SEWRPC representative at those meetings summarily dismiss or minimize these valid community concerns.
 
    By caving-in and catering to the WisDOT and their roadbuilding allies at the great expense of our precious environmental resources (air, water and land), our neighborhoods, and our health and public safety, SEWRPC has effectively "abandoned its original mission" and, thus deserves to be immediately decertified as a taxpayer-funded, regional planning agency.  If SEWRPC is decertified, then it will no longer be able to tell the WisDOT which highway projects need to be built or expanded in Southeastern Wisconsin (which includes Waukesha and Washington Counties).  Decertification of SEWRPC would give the people greater control and more influence over the roadbuilding decision-making process and ultimately lead to implementation of more reasonable alternatives, better protection of the environment, and greater preservation of our local communities.
 
    Please join us at this very important public hearing and "make your voices heard" on this matter of great concern to all of us.  If you are unable to attend, then you can submit your written comments before November 8, 2008 to the Federal Highway Administration at: Federal Highway Administration, Attn: Planning Certification Review, 525 Junction Road, Suite 8000, Madison, WI  53717, FAX: (608)-829-7526, E-Mail: wisconsin.fhwa@fhwa.dot.gov
 
    Thank you for your sincere concern for our homes, families, communities, and the environment.  We hope to see you on Wednesday, October 22nd at the Milwaukee County Downtown Transit Center (between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM) to vigorously oppose the recertification of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC).
 
Sincerely,
 
Jeff Gonyo,
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone: (262)-644-8334
 
Attachment:

Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. files lawsuit in Washington County Circuit Court against the Village of Richfield for violating its Smart Growth Plan and related village ordinances.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
    On September 18, 2008, a large number of concerned citizens (most of whom were Richfield residents) attended the Richfield Village Board meeting and spoke out in favor of a uniform 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164 to greatly improve safety on this two-lane residential roadway through our community.  The citizens who spoke at that meeting strongly urged the village board to "remember its promise to the people" and reaffirm its support for this more prudent speed limit. 
 
    For the past nine years, the Richfield Village Board (and its predecessor town board) had consistently supported a 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164 and even documented that support in board resolutions, letters to both the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and our area legislators, and in its 20 Year "Smart Growth" Comprehensive Land Use Plan adopted in 2004.  Most recently, in a January 10, 2008 letter, then Richfield Town Administrator Toby Cotter informed the WisDOT that, as a village, Richfield's longstanding position in support of a uniform 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164 would not change.
 
    However, at that September 18th board meeting, the Richfield Village Board (by a narrow 3 to 2 majority) reneged on its nine-year long promise to the people and decided to support the WisDOT's plans to keep Highway 164's maximum speed limit set at an unreasonably high and unsafe 55 mph.  This action was taken despite the fact that 100% of the people who spoke during that meeting favored the lower 45 mph speed limit and that such action was in direct violation of the village's 20-Year "Smart Growth" Plan and the related village ordinances implementing this plan.  (The three board members who "thumbed their noses" at their constituents and disregarded the village's "Smart Growth" Plan that evening were Village President Diane Pedersen and Village Trustees Dan Neu and Rock Brandner.)
 
    During this meeting, Village President Diane Pedersen stated that, in the past, she had supported a 45 mph speed limit along Highway 164 because "that is what the people wanted," but now, she was going to "side with the WisDOT instead of the people" by endorsing a 55 mph speed limit along our residential roadway.  The WisDOT didn't elect Diane Pedersen as Richfield Village President — THE PEOPLE DID!  Also, it is very interesting to note that, within a few short weeks after she had "voted with the WisDOT" on the Highway 164 speed limit issue, Ms. Pedersen abruptly announced that she would not be seeking re-election as village president.  I guess that's one way to avoid being held accountable by your constituents.
 
    After this meeting, the Highway J Citizens Group turned the information about the Richfield Village Board's speed limit vote over to our attorneys for a thorough review of likely "Smart Growth" law and village ordinance violations.  As a result of this review, our attorneys have determined that the Richfield Village Board violated these state and local laws when they voted in favor of a 55 mph speed limit on Highway 164 (which is totally inconsistent with the 45 mph speed limit position taken in the village's Smart Growth Plan).
 
    To hold these unresponsive village officials fully-accountable for their illegal actions and to improve traffic safety on Highway 164, the Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. has filed a lawsuit against the Village of Richfield.  Attached here for your reading interest is a PDF copy of the summons and complaint which our highly-experienced legal team (Attorneys Elizabeth Rich and Lindsey King of Petrie & Stocking, SC) filed on October 17, 2008 in Washington County Circuit Court to start this very important legal action.
 
    Basically, we are seeking a reversal of the Village of Richfield's September 18, 2008 vote on the Highway 164 speed limit which was taken in violation of both their 20 Year Smart Growth Plan and the related village ordinances implementing this plan.  As this precedent-setting case progresses through the court system, we will keep you informed on any new developments.
 
    By winning this lawsuit, we will make sure that Richfield's Village Government becomes "a government of the people, by the people and for the people" once again.  You can help us achieve this very worthwhile goal by donating in support of this important lawsuit. 
 
    Please send your most-appreciated donations to us at: HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A., P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033 or donate online at www.hwyjcitizensgroup.org with a debit or credit card using our PayPal system established there for your convenience.  IT'S NOW UP TO YOU!  CAN WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT TODAY?  THANK YOU!
 
Sincerely,
 
Jeff Gonyo,
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone: (262)-644-8334
 
Attachment:

Please join us on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at the Richfield Plan Commission Meeting to Protect our Rural Residential Community.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
    I am writing this e-mail update to cordially invite everyone to attend the Thursday, October 2, 2008 Village of Richfield Plan Commission Meeting which begins at 7:30 PM that evening and will be held in the Richfield Village Hall (4128 Hubertus Road — about one mile east of Highway 164). 
 
    During the public hearing portion of this meeting (item #7 on the attached agenda), we hope that you will join us in vigorously speaking out against the proposed rezoning of approximately 30 acres of land near the intersection of Highways 164 and County Line Road (Highway Q) which, if rezoned, will lead to an unwanted and improperly located major commercial development that will create serious traffic, noise and pollution problems in our rural residential community.  For your convenience, I also have attached some detailed maps of the property location to the same file which contains the meeting agenda.
 
    At this meeting, the Richfield Plan Commission will be considering JBJ Development Company's request to rezone this property as a B-4 Highway Business District which is designed for businesses that require large amounts of regional traffic to patronize them.  Some of the businesses allowed in a B-4 Highway Business District include truck stops, motels and hotels, transit bus stations, large auto dealerships (where they leave the parking lot lights on 24 hours per day), high traffic restaurants, gas stations (which could be open 24 hours per day where something could be going on there at 2:00 AM in the morning which we wouldn't want going on in our residential neighborhoods) and other similarly busy, high traffic business operations.  Do we really want to add more traffic near the Highway 164/Highway Q intersection making it even more difficult for local residents to drive through this already congested area?
 
    In addition to the traffic and community safety concerns we have here, I should also point out that the proposed rezoning of this property to a B-4 Highway Business District would be in direct violation of the Village of Richfield's 20-year "Smart Growth" Comprehensive Land Use Plan (as unanimously adopted by the former town board on November 18, 2004).  First, at the immediate corner of Highway 164 and Highway Q (where the former St. Columba Church is located), Richfield's "Smart Growth" plan has designated the former church property as a "neighborhood activity center" which would permit only low impact and low traffic business operations to locate there such as schools, churches, daycare centers, a police station, fire station, banks and perhaps some small offices (i.e. for attorneys, accountants or medical professionals) or small retail establishments patronized primarily by the local residents of the area. 
 
    Second, the 30 acre parcel in question here (which is located both to the east and north of the former church property) is designated in Richfield's "Smart Growth Plan" to be rezoned as "single family residential" when the time comes to develop this particular piece of now agricultural property.  To allow the rezoning of this property to a B-4 Highway Business District would be inconsistent with and in direct violation of the Village of Richfield's "Smart Growth" Comprehensive Land Use Plan which local residents worked on for several years to create for purposes of protecting and preserving this beautiful area we all live in and enjoy with our families.  Therefore, we are strongly urging the Richfield Plan Commission to promptly reject this improper and negatively-impacting rezoning request at Thursday night's meeting.
 
    Do you want to see our now quiet, peaceful, and rural Richfield become like the busy, noisy, and traffic-congested Brookfield, Waukesha, or even worse, Milwaukee?  We have enough traffic safety problems on Highway 164 (especially near the Highway Q intersection) today without adding more problems with this highly-undesirable proposed commercial development in this area.  Do you agree?
 
    For the past nine years, the Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. has been working to make Highway 164 much safer for all of us.  We have been: 1) Strongly opposing the four-lane expansion of Highway 164 as well as the expansion of other nearby roadways (which is the subject of current, ongoing federal litigation), 2) Pushing for a uniform 45 mph speed limit along Highway 164 to greatly improve safety and prevent and/or minimize the impacts of devastating traffic accidents, 3) Pushing for the immediate installation of traffic lights and turn lanes at busy, congested intersections along Highway 164 like the one by Highway Q which would greatly reduce traffic congestion and improve safety there (especially in the mornings and evenings), and 4) Vigorously opposing several proposed rezonings and related development projects which would negatively impact our community with unwanted traffic, noise and pollution problems.  CAN WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT TO ACHIEVE THESE VERY WORTHWHILE COMMUNITY GOALS?
 
    In conclusion, please join us at tomorrow night's Village of Richfield Plan Commission Meeting (October 2, 2008 at 7:30 PM in the Richfield Village Hall) and take your turn during the public hearing to vigorously speak out against this proposed property rezoning in our community.  Also, please remember to donate to our citizens group so that we can continue "fighting for YOU" in both Washington and Waukesha Counties.  You can send these much-appreciated donations to us at: HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A., P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033 or donate online at our website (www.hwyjcitizensgroup.org) using a debit or credit card with our safe and convenient PayPal feature located there.
 
    With your continued support we can get this very important job done.  Thank you.
 
Most sincerely,

 
Jeff Gonyo,
Steering Committee Member for the
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone: (262)-644-8334
 
Attachment:

The Blood of Highway 164’s Most Recent Accident Victims is on the Hands of the WisDOT!

INCREASED SPEED = INCREASED VELOCITY = INCREASED SEVERITY
(or the faster you go the greater the force is and the more severe the injuries)
Source:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "Speed Shatters Life" Safety Program
 
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
    WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE HIGHWAY 164 A SAFER, TWO-LANE ROADWAY THROUGH OUR COMMUNITIES.  Two weeks ago, the Village of Richfield's Highway 164 Ad Hoc Committee irresponsibly recommended that Highway 164's speed limit be kept at 55 mph (which means that most vehicles using it are actually going between 60 to 65 mph, putting all of our families in great danger). 
 
    The majority of this advisory committee (which, incidentally, was hand-picked by Richfield Village President Diane Pedersen) completely disregarded the overwhelming statistical evidence showing that implementing a uniform 45 mph speed limit would immensely improve traffic safety on Highway 164.  Back in Year 2000, Highway 164's speed limit was, in fact, reduced to 45 mph for approximately five months.  During that time, the number of traffic accidents dropped by an impressive 76% (from 47 to 11) and nobody was killed on our roadway.  This vast improvement in traffic safety was investigated and documented by a WTMJ-Channel 4 news investigation in November, 2000 (a DVD copy of which was viewed by the Ad Hoc Committee members).
 
    On August 25, 2008, this Ad Hoc Committee held a public hearing to solicit citizen input on speed and safety issues along Highway 164 (focusing on areas within the Village of Richfield).  ALL of the area residents who spoke at this public hearing strongly supported a uniform 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164 to improve traffic safety.  Despite the unanimous citizen support for this lower, safer speed limit, the majority of this Advisory Committee (by a 4 to 3 vote) disregarded this citizen input and recommended keeping Highway 164's speed limit at 55 mph. 
 
    This committee recommendation to the Richfield Village Board is absolutely irresponsible and shocks the conscience of our community for the following important reasons:
 
1)  Since 1999, the Richfield Town Board (and its successor village board) has always supported a uniform 45 mph speed limit which is documented in several board resolutions, letters to the WisDOT and area state legislators and, most importantly, in the Village of Richfield's 20-year Comprehensive "Smart Growth" Land Use Plan (which was adopted on November 18, 2004).  Most recently, on January 10, 2008, the Richfield Village Administrator sent a letter to the WisDOT asking that this state roadbuilding agency "focus its short term attention on setting a uniform speed limit of 45 mph on STH 164 and keep the speed limit at 40 mph through the Pleasant Hill area."
 
2)  Last year, the WisDOT promised State Representative Don Pridemore, Washington County Supervisor David Radermacher, Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt and the Washington County Highway Committee that, beginning on November 1, 2007, a uniform 45 mph speed limit would be implemented on Highway 164.  The WisDOT then reneged on that promise.
 
3)  Since the beginning of this year (while the maximum speed limit remained at 55 mph), there have been four very serious traffic accidents along Highway 164 in both the Village of Richfield and the neighboring Town of Polk which have resulted in two deaths and five very serious injuries.  These recent traffic fatalities could have been prevented and the severity of accident injuries minimized if the WisDOT had honored its commitment to implement a uniform 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164 in Washington County.  Given these facts, do you really think that the WisDOT cares about our safety along Highway 164?  (Please see the attached HJCG press release which has some excellent photographs of a "High Speed Head-On Collision" which occurred in a 55 mph zone along Highway 164 on September 5, 2008.)
 
4)  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a federal agency which recommends safe and appropriate speed limits on our roadways), a) 29% of all fatal crashes in Wisconsin were speed related, b) The chances of death double for every 10 mph over 50 mph, c) People feel that speeders endanger their safety and neighborhood safety, d) Speeding does endanger the driver, passengers, other motorists and pedestrians, e) Speeding reduces reaction time and increases stopping distance, f) Stopping distances increase disproportionately with faster speeds, g) Speeding reduces the ability to steer around curves or avoid objects in the road, and h) Vehicles going at higher speeds use more fuel and emit more pollutants into the environment.  Based upon these key facts, doesn't it just make "good common sense" to implement a uniform 45 mph speed limit along Highway 164?
 
    HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP US MAKE HIGHWAY 164 SAFER FOR EVERYONE.  Please attend Richfield Village Board Meeting on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 7:30 PM in the Richfield Village Hall (4128 Hubertus Road — about one mile east of Highway 164) and, during the public comment period, emphatically urge the village board to totally reject the Ad Hoc Committee's irresponsible and unsupported speed limit recommendations.  Then, please insist that the WisDOT immediately implement a uniform 45 mph speed limit along Highway 164 and ask the Richfield Village Board to put intense political pressure on this unresponsive state agency to achieve this very important community safety goal.  
 
    "45 SAVES LIVES" and we need YOUR he
lp to get the job done!  CAN WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT?  (For your convenience, I have attached the agenda for this very important Richfield Village Board Meeting — see Agenda Item 7[d] for the Highway 164 speed limit issue.)
 
    Also, on this same meeting agenda (Item 7[m]), the Richfield Village Board will be considering the posting of a 10-ton weight limit for Pioneer Road which, if adopted, would significantly reduce trucking traffic on this residential roadway.  The Town of Polk already plans to adopt such a restriction on the portions of Pioneer Road over which they have jurisdiction, and we are asking the Richfield Village Board to do the same on their sections as well.  As we have stated before, the Highway J Citizens Group, U.A. is strongly opposed to any future expansion of Pioneer Road in the Village of Richfield and Town of Polk, and we will support measures to reduce trucking traffic on this roadway which will make it quieter and safer for all of our families who live here.
 
    JUST ANOTHER FRIENDLY REMINDER, we are asking all of you to please donate to our citizens group so that we can pay for the valuable services of our attorneys and experts who are doing an absolutely outstanding job in helping us stop these economically and environmentally-devastating road expansion projects in our neighborhoods (namely, the Highway 164 four-lane expansion and the directly-related road expansions which are now threatening the rural Towns of Polk, ErinHartford, Rubicon, West Bend and Barton and the Village of Richfield). 

 
    We promised our attorneys and experts that we would make another payment to them no later than this week Friday, September 19th — so please remember that important date.  Many of you received pre-addressed envelopes during our recent visit to your homes, and we sincerely hope that you will "keep your promise" by mailing us your much-appreciated donations to:
 
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
 
or you can donate online at our HJCG website (www.hwyjcitizensgroup.org) with a debit or credit card using our safe and convenient PayPal feature.   PLEASE DONATE TODAY!  THANK YOU!!
 
Most sincerely,
 
Jeff Gonyo,
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone: (262)-644-8334
 
Attachments:
 

Please Be Sure to VOTE on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH in the 5th Congressional District Primary Election [Burkee vs. Sensenbrenner]

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
    I am writing this very special e-mail update to strongly encourage everyone to VOTE on Tuesday, September 9th in the VERY IMPORTANT 5th Congressional District Primary Election where JIM BURKEE is challenging 30-year incumbent Congressman JIM SENSENBRENNER (a detailed map showing the many communities within the 5th Congressional District is attached here for your convenience). 
 
    Here are some key facts related to both candidates on the issues of the Highway 164 four-lane expansion, the uniform 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164 and the Ackerville groundwater contamination problems:
 
1)  JIM BURKEE Republican challenger Jim Burkee has given us his written pledge (a copy of his July 10, 2008 letter is attached here) to help us:
 
a)  Immediately stop the Highway 164 four-lane expansion project (which is federally-funded, federally designed, federally-approved and being legally challenged in federal court) in both Waukesha and Washington Counties and join us in supporting our more cost-effective and community-friendly alternatives,
 
b)  Implement a uniform 45 mph speed limit along Highway 164 to greatly improve safety under the federal standards as specified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and
 
c)  Clean-up the worsening groundwater contamination problems in the Ackerville area (which are now being investigated by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) and obtain clean and safe drinking water for the many 5th Congressional District residents living in the Ackerville area (Town of Polk, Washington County).
 
    Also, JIM BURKEE is a principled, fiscal conservative who promises to make "constituent responsiveness" a top priority if elected to Congress — especially in helping us stop unnecessary, fiscally-irresponsible and environmentally damaging road expansion projects in the 5th Congressional District.  Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel officially endorsed JIM BURKEE for Congress — which I believe is the first time in 30 years that this major statewide newspaper has ever endorsed one of Congressman SENSENBRENNER's challengers in the 5th District (a copy of this newspaper endorsement is attached to this e-mail for your review).
 
    Finally, JIM BURKEE's candidacy has been endorsed by an impressive list of business leaders from the 5th Congressional District (including John Torinus, the CEO of Serigraph, Inc. a major printing company in West Bend).  Incidentally, Mr. Torinus also has gone on record in the past as being strongly opposed to the Highway 164 four-lane expansion project in Washington and Waukesha Counties.
 
2) JIM SENSENBRENNER  Over the past nine years, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has:
 
a)  Adamantly refused to help our citizens group stop the Highway 164 four-lane expansion even though this project is federally-funded, federally-designed, federally-approved and being federally challenged in court,
 
b)  Adamantly refused to help our citizens group obtain a uniform 45 mph speed limit on Highway 164 even though such speed limit settings are derived from guidelines set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a federal agency), and
 
c)  Adamantly refused to help us obtain a complete clean-up of the worsening groundwater contamination problems now plaguing the Ackerville area even though this very serious health, safety and environmental problem is now under investigation by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry — two federal agencies).
 
    For the past nine years, many of Congressman SENSENBRENNER's 5th District constituents have attended his "town hall meetings" and repeatedly asked for assistance on the above federal matters.  As indicated by the two attached articles (one from the July 31, 2006 Daily Reporter and the other from the August 3, 2006 SensenbrennerWatch blogsite), Congressman SENSENBRENNER's longstanding response to these very important federal issues has been to say "Don't Bother Me — Go Bother Your State Legislator With These Problems." 
 
    Also, it is very interesting to note here that Congressman SENSENBRENNER is virtually the only elected official from this area (federal, state, county or local) who has done absolutely nothing to help his constituents on these federally-connected road expansion, speed safety, and groundwater contamination issues.
 
    I hope that you will carefully consider the above information when you cast your vote in the Tuesday, September 9th primary election for the 5th Congressional District.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!  The voting decision that you make on Tuesday, September 9th could "make a big difference" on these very important community issues (i.e. stopping unnecessary, fiscally-irresponsible and environmentally-damaging road expansion projects, making our roadways safer with more reasonable speed limits, and protecting our drinking water quality).  PLEASE EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH!
 
    JUST ANOTHER FRIENDLY REMINDER, we are asking all of you to please donate to our citizens group so that we can pay for the valuable services of our attorneys and experts who are doing an absolutely outstanding job in helping us stop these economically and environmentally-devastating road expansion projects in our neighborhoods (namely, the Highway 164 four-lane expansion and the directly-related road expansions which are n
ow threatening the rural Towns of Polk, ErinHartford, Rubicon, West Bend and Barton and the Village of Richfield). 
 
    We promised our attorneys and experts that we would make a payment to them no later than this week Friday, September 12th — so please remember that important date.  Many of you received pre-addressed envelopes during our recent visit to your homes, and we sincerely hope that you will "keep your promise" by mailing us your much-appreciated donations to:
 
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
 
or you can donate online at our HJCG website (www.hwyjcitizensgroup.org) with a debit or credit card using our safe and convenient PayPal feature.   PLEASE DONATE TODAY!  THANK YOU!!
 
Most sincerely,
 
Jeff Gonyo,
HIGHWAY J CITIZENS GROUP, U.A.
P.O. Box 152, Hubertus, WI  53033
Phone: (262)-644-8334
 
Attachments: