Mayor John Hohenfeldt

E-mail address:

Phone Number:  (414) 769-2222

Address:  5050 S. Lake Dr.

In office since April 2013

Greetings from the Office of the Mayor:

As we prepare for fall and the winter season, allow me to reflect back on the activities of our spring and summer. Our community has many great things to offer during this period and I always encourage our residents to get out and enjoy them.  Cudahy is the greatest city in the State of Wisconsin, and it is my honor and privilege to lead our municipality forward.

Arbor Day brought out over 100 residents who joined in a city-wide clean up and celebration.  The Easter Bunny in Pulaski Park and Library Vendor Craft Fair rounded out the month.  In May, we celebrated with another 128th ARW Civic Dinner Dance and salute to our military at the Cudahy War Memorial Day Ceremony. The Historical Society held a successful Bike Auction and a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on May 19th for the Layton Square Development.

In June, the Cudahy High School graduating seniors prepared for the next phase in their lives. July started off with our Fourth of July parade and daylong celebration and wrapped up with the Cudahy Lions Club Sweet Applewood Days. As usual, the annual festival did not disappoint, and allowed our residents, visitors, and returning alumni to enjoy a great festival and strong sense of community we have here in Cudahy. August presented the City of Cudahy and Cudahy Police Department National Night Out celebration with various city departments, community organizations, and businesses coming together on the evening of August 3rd. Two active “park friends” groups presented music and fun in both Sheridan and Pulaski Parks, also in August. If you missed these events, I encourage you to attend them next year.  You will not be disappointed!

As we move into the fall and winter, we’re looking forward to the Library Harvest/Wine Tasting and Festival, Pumpkins in Pulaski Park, Hometown Holiday, Jen’s Sweet Treats Honor Flight Fundraiser, Library Vendor Fair, the Historical Society Santa at the depot and many other fun events. I encourage you to participate and support these great local organizations.

I often hear from our residents that there is the lack of communication coming from City Hall. Gone are the days of print media coverage and coverage of events in the electronic media. Those forms of media are changing and, when it comes to local coverage, not for the better. The City of Cudahy has gone to great lengths to improve our website, provide timely news and information, construction updates, as well as the use of social media (namely Facebook), to provide information to our residents.  We try to keep our residents informed as well as we can as well as use this newsletter as our twice a year opportunity to provide important information. We also offer a new residents guide for those moving into our community on our cities website, and have paper copies available at City Hall.

The Common Council, Community Development Authority and Plan Commission reviewed and approved various items and business in 2017. I’m providing a monthly summary in my attempt to keep our residents informed.

April 2017: The Common Council presented resolutions to the Coaches, Players, and Trainers of the Cudahy Varsity Girls Basketball Team after their tremendous run at the state championship.  The Council also presented resolutions to three people responsible for saving a residents life while suffering a medical emergency in our community. A public hearing was held before the Common Council to award the contract for the Packard Avenue north construction project. The Council approved a contract for roof replacement for the north section of the City Hall. The City of Cudahy learned on April 6th that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) rejected the cities proposal and permits to construct on the Penn Place Development site on the corner of Pennsylvania and Layton Avenues. This unforeseen rejection has placed development (hotel and others) on hold as the city and our engineering consultants deal with the challenges presented by the DNR. Several new businesses opened in 2017 including Sottile’s Pub, Resourceful Rejuvenator, and My Friends Thrift Store.

May 2017: The Common Council approved the final contracts for the sanitary sewer and water extension on Grange Avenue, west of Pennsylvania Avenue to accommodate expansion plans for the 128th Air Refueling Wing on land currently outside the current borders of General Mitchell International Airport and the current 128th Base. The Council also approved preliminary engineering relating to the current College Avenue lift station and storm water relief efforts. The Plan Commission approved architectural site and building plans for a new building in the Mitchell Business Park at 5201 S. Industrial Drive, signage as a part of the renovations for Landmark Credit Union on Packard Avenue, and site utilization plans for accessory structures at Smithfield Foods / Patrick Cudahy.

June 2017: The Finance Committee received a report on a problem with the city qualifying for approximately $342,000 in state shared revenue under the Expenditure Restraint Program for 2018. After learning of the mistake made by the Finance Department, and working closely with our city’s auditors and financial advisors, the recommendation I made to the Finance Committee and Common Council was to utilize undesignated fund balance to cover this loss of revenue in the upcoming 2018 budget.  The alternative would have been to drastically reduce services to our residents, which I would not consider as an option. The Common Council received the 2016 City of Cudahy Financial Audit presented by our outside auditors showing all funds of the city being in appropriate order. The Council was also provided information for discussion on a department of public works future space and needs planning study, with the study being approved by the Board of Public Works for future needs of the department and the city.  This preliminary study was provided as informational to the Council and was a part of long range planning, which cities are obligated to perform. The Common Council also passed a resolution honoring Cudahy Police Department K-9 Ezzo for his years of service. Ezzo officially retired from service with a nice send-off held at our Community Block Watch meeting.
The Plan Commission approved expansion plans for the Angelic Bakehouse and an additional proposed building structure for Smithfield Foods / Patrick Cudahy.  A public hearing was held regarding a conditional use for a public works structure on city- owned property at 5133 S. Whitnall Avenue but the Plan Commission took no action.

July 2017: The Council approved a cooperation agreement between the City of Cudahy and Milwaukee County for the continuation of the Community Development Block Grant Program for 2018 through 2020.  The Council also approved a resolution honoring Emerson Climate Control/Vilter Manufacturing for their 150 years in business.
The Plan Commission, under a conditional use request, approved only the construction of a salt dome on city owned property at 5133 S. Whitnall Avenue. With this action by the Plan Commission, the City will now continue to review the utilization of the current 70- year-old structure and what improvements and capitol will be needed to continue to operate out of this facility.
The Community Development Authority received data, information and a report of requirements by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with the additional testing and requirements being placed on the Penn Place Development on the corner of Pennsylvania and Layton Avenues. The additional requirements being placed on the city regarding environmental testing were reviewed with a recommendation to staff on how to proceed forward to facilitate development on the site under the DNR requirements.

August 2017: The Common Council found itself in a no-win situation with an amendment to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedic contract, which provides Paramedic Services to our residents by paramedic units run by local fire departments under a county-wide program. The Council was tasked with approving an unfunded mandate for a computer software (utilized by Milwaukee County) at a cost of about $9,600 per year, or having our residents no longer able to obtain paramedic services effective December 31, 2018. The Council approved the contract, after going on record with the Mayor that they strongly opposed this unfunded mandate which brings no value to paramedic services provided or our residents. The Common Council did make a recommendation on the utilization of 2018 Community Development Block Grant funds here within our community, which will now be forwarded to a county committee, and later the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, for their approval.
I worked collaboratively with the Mayors and Fire Chiefs of St. Francis and South Milwaukee to provide a fire department cooperative sharing and purchase agreement which has been drafted by the Fire Chiefs from the three communities. This will include sharing the cost of everything from training and small hand tools, to the purchase of fire trucks. October will bring a decision by the respective governing bodies.
Another major road reconstruction project opened for travel—Packard Avenue from Cudahy Avenue north to Lunham Avenue. The project was completed on- schedule under a very stringent timeline.  The city will continue to invest in our aging infrastructure.

On September 1, 2017, I was represented the City of Cudahy at a ceremonial ground breaking for the expansion of the Angelic Bakehouse on Layton Avenue. This new addition will not only increase production but will add additional jobs on a second shift, just another example of local business owners investing in the community.

In closing, as your Mayor, I will continue to advocate on your behalf to other taxing jurisdictions to provide excellent services to residents of our community. I will continue to focus on the positives within our community, and work on the not-so-good to make our City better.  I will continue to encourage our residents to take advantage of all that our City offers, please take advantage and get involved in your community!

John R. Hohenfeldt


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