cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The Citizen Input agenda item of the Village Board's meeting last evening saw Trustee Jim Langer state his request that Fire Chief Gary Pollpeter resign from his position. Langer stated that the Fire Chief is lacking in management skills and has been a poor administrator for the department.
No action is taken under this agenda item, so there was no discussion following Langer's statement.
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The Trustees met as the Committee of the Whole following the Board meeting last evening and the agenda item discussed was that of a possible referendum for Road Repairs that would be on the November ballot if it were to be approved.
President Kempinski stated that he felt this needed to be addressed given the state of road repair in the village and given that there had been fewer road repairs over the past few years as budgets were squeezed and costs increased across the board. Village staff had prepared an analysis that suggested something in the range of $1 million per year would be required to keep village roads in a good state of repair. (This was half of the amount originally talked about when this news broke.) The study concluded that nearly 30% of village streets were in need of structural repair.
Village Administrator Dave Schornack reminded everyone of just how difficult the coming budget was going to be based on the process of last year that would be compounded by increased personnel costs, increased fuel costs and increased salt costs among other things.
Village Clerk Knaack stated that September 19th was the deadline for filing the question with the County Clerk so as to have it placed on the November ballot.
Trustee Langer stated his opposition to the referendum, feeling that the Board needed to work through the issues and that a pay as you go plan was to be preferred over borrowing funds. Trustee Ewert was adamant that expenses needed to be cut. Trustee Zabel reminded the others that year-end spending needed to be carefully controlled and that this might generate a surplus that could be used for some repairs.
Trustee Wolter said he favored a three-pronged approach: Reduce expense costs; then increase taxes; and, finally consider a referendum. Several other discussion points centering on expense reduction possibilities were made by others. President Kempinski discussed several points including the decision to replace the Village Engineer that would carry a cost in excess of $100,000 per year, overtime issues in various departments in the village, limited increases in state shared revenue over the past five years and stated that he would be proposing a hiring freeze for the village that would be in place for the next five years.
The question has been referred to the General Government and Finance Committee which meets tonight at 7:00PM to consider the issues.
I may be in the minority on this, but I haven't had the thought that our roads were terrible. Maybe I am not driving where there are real problems or maybe I'm just oblivious...many would say it is the latter reason. I guess I have to presume that the staff-prepared analysis for the Board was on the mark; I'll try to stay tuned into street conditions more over the next few days and weeks.