The amount of people who used to attend city council meetings has diminished to just a handful, if that many.
Yet many critical issues are being under consideration including the 2016 budget, need to repair the Hemlock Street Bridge, funding the needed storm sewer in the industrial park to eliminate flooding of factories, and also the sale of Angelus to a non-profit organization costing the city $300,000 lost in tax revenue.
“It also appears that city council members are not voting for “what they know, but who they know.”
At the Oct. 13 meeting the agenda included the appointment of a representative to the Badger Power Marketing Board. Now the acting mayor and the mayor discussed this and the acting mayor submitted a name to Badger Power. Even I know that all committee appointments need council approval first.
This experienced council member did not think this committee appointment needed council approval. The candidate nominated by the mayor is employed at Converting. His wife works for the mayor doing her web site and taking photographs.
After the mayor who, was attending her first meeting in three or four months, nominated the gentleman council member Mary-Beth Kuester stated she had considerable experience in the electric utility industry. A member of the city utility commission, she worked for Wisconsin Electric for 13 years, chaired a National Committee for the Edison Electric Institute and her graduate study was funded by the Electrical Women’s Roundtable. Resumes for the alder and the appointee recommended by the mayor were provided to council members.
After citing her experience in utility and finance, Kuester stated the case for an elected official to represent the residential taxpayers since a rate case is coming up. She noted that the large customers have already met with people preparing the rate case and pleaded that industrial customers not bear the rate increase. She emphasized that someone needs to represent the residential customer. She noted that the chair of the city utility committee had not even seen the bylaws of Badger Power and arranged for them to be distributed at the meeting.
When it came time to vote, the motion to confirm the mayor’s appointee failed. One alderwoman took issue when another implied people were being told how to vote. Let’s encourage the mayor to look for utility experience since it is available.
So, if you have not been attending council meetings, perhaps you will want to drop by the second Tuesday at 6 p.m. The finance committee will meet again Nov. 2, at 5:30 p.m.