Although a majority at Dayton’s annual meeting of electors voted in favor of a five-member town board, the motion failed.
The town’s annual meeting, held Tuesday, April 15, was attended by nearly 40 people.
They voted 24-15 to increase the size of the town board from three to five member.
However, Dayton Town Chairman Chris Klein said the majority at this year’s annual meeting was insufficient to overturn a vote at a special meeting in 2007.
“I proposed a five-member board in 2003,” Klein said. “It was approved by an annual meeting, then rescinded at a special meeting a month later.”
Klein said the five-member board was again approved at the 2007 annual meeting.
At a special meeting held in November 2007, 85 Dayton residents voted in favor of a resolution to return to the three-member town board.
“You need to have a greater majority to reverse that decision,” Klein said.
“Where does it say that? Where does it say you have to come up with more people than you ever had before?” asked Jane Haasch, who made the motion for a five-member board.
According to Wisconsin Statute 60.10(2), “A resolution that is continuing remains in effect until rescinded at a subsequent town meeting by a number of electors equal to or greater than the number of electors who voted for the original resolution.”
Several town residents questioned Klein about the town’s purchase of a bucket truck for tree trimming.
“You can’t have just anybody who has not been trained operating that bucket truck,” said Rose Dorow.
Bob Van Epps noted that utility companies require at least two people work from a bucket truck.
“They’re trained intensely for years,” Van Epps said. “It’s not just a tremendous liability on the town, but on the taxpayers.”
Klein said town employees who operate the bucket truck receive training.
Haasch then asked if the electors could make a motion at the annual meeting to sell the bucket truck.
Klein responded that selling a piece of town property did not fall within the authority of the annual meeting.
A citizen in the audience said state statutes specifically gives electors the right to authorize the selling of town property.
Klein said the statute says, “real property,” which means real estate.
In discussing the annual report on the town’s finances, Klein said Dayton had a $105,000 surplus in 2013.
“The town tries to spend its money wisely,” Klein said.
He described roads and bridges as investments that will last many decades.
Klein also noted his role in obtaining state grants to help cover the costs of Dayton’s infrastructure investments. Over the years, Dayton has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars due to grants.
He said the pursuit of grants requires a long-term commitment.