Ald. Kuester wants supervisors to carpool to meetings
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Waupaca County Board held a public hearing on its 2016 proposed budget.
There were just four citizens who addressed the board during the hearing. I was one of those.
After thanking the board for reconsidering the work to be done on County Highway I and agreeing to widen it, I made the following points.
Since the meeting was held on a weekday morning most working folks were unable to attend. I also noted that since all board meetings are held at 9 a.m. on a weekday, most board members are retired. I did note that County Chairman Richard Koepen not only heads the board, at a salary of $13,000 plus over $12,000 in meeting and travel pay, but heads his own company and also runs the taxi for the city of Clintonville while attending some 170 meetings for the county.
I pointed out that Koeppen and Duane Federwitz, the representatives from Clintonville, travel the farthest to the meetings and received the highest payments for meetings and travel. I mentioned that a group of Clintonville residents traveled to a number of Highway Committee meetings recently and we carpooled. One of our group, a former County Board member, said he and others carpooled to save taxpayer expense.
The total cost of the county board is about $173,000. I did make the unpopular suggestion that the board size be cut in the interest of economy.
I noted that there was a $500,000 item in the budget labeled highway future expense. I understand there is a special committee headed by Mr. Federwitz that is working on plans for a new county highway building. When the item was discussed, we were told it was for highways. However, I have been told that highway can include buildings. A number of people including Mr. Koeppen commented on the sorry condition of some of our roads. Nothing was said about the proposed building.
As a member of the Finance Committee for the city of Clintonville, I do appreciate the effort that goes into putting such a budget together and thank the staff and elected officials for their efforts. The only change that was made at the meeting was a motion to set aside $200,000 for increased security at the courthouse.
If you are interested in the workings of your county government, you may want to suggest that the board meet at a time that is more accessible to younger folks who are still employed. The Clintonville Common Council held its budget hearing at 6 p.m. that same night. Our council also meets at 6 p.m. and six of our 10 council members are employed full time.