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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nostalgia: Dateline Normal: "The Payback"--FICTION

(Ed. note.: I have republished this classic from January 2007 due to popular demand.)

The Walleye Guy----the poem

(Ed. note: On the eve of the fishing visit of Pres. Vladimer Putin of Russia to Kennybunkport in Maine to visit President Bush, I found this little poem crumpled up near a local fish shop in Madison. I have dried it out and preserved it as best I can for historical preservation. _

I love those
Walleye guys
the way
they always
love the most

I love the way
never settle
for just
a sunny or a
lowly perch
the way they
persist for
nothing but
the best

I love those
walleye guys
the way they
always have
someone near
to bait their
hook or
clean the

I love those
walleye guys
the way they always
get the biggest
boat, so not
to cramp their

I love those
walleye guys
the way they always
a little
business in
my ear
even though I
couldn't care
just to make
it tax deductible.

I love those
walleye guys
the way they always
hire a guide
so we never feel
and lost
in any

I love those
walleye guys
the way they cook
that walleye in
upscale ways
It's so precious at
$300.00 per lb.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dateline Normal: The "Normal" Unified Municipal Code--FICTION

Click on the post for the latest from the ficitonal land of Normal, Mn.

Public Safety meets next week: The return of Bernardo Maurice---new bar coming to town?

(Ed. note: This is just a portion of the agenda for the Public Safety meeting on July 3. See the Agenda blog for full agenda. Bernardo Maurice is the gentleman who was going to put up the Family Entertainment Center near the New Ace. Stay tuned. )

New Business

Motion to approve the Franklin Street, Jackson, and East Main Street Block Party on Sunday, July 29, 2007 between the hours of 1 pm and 4 pm.

Motion to approve Pete’s Inn request to close down the alley for their annual Anniversary Celebration and the Chamber of Commerce Garage Sale Days Event.

Discuss and motion to approve Evansville Bowl request for July 5, 2007 Pub Crawl and July 7, 2007 “70’s Class Reunion” Festivities to close Railroad/Mill Street from North Madison to East Main Street, and East Main Street from South Madison to Union Street intersection.

Motions to recommend to Council approval of Class “B” Beer/“Class B” Liquor application for:

Morice, Bernardo J., 518 Vision Dr., Evansville, WI 53536 d/b/a Morice Enterprises, Inc., 60 Union St., Evansville WI 53536

D. Motion to approve the request for an operator license for:

Tonie Jo Merrill (Pete’s Inn)
Dewayne F. Baumberger and Jaclyn M. Baumberger (ECP July 4, Bartender List)
Vanessa M. Hinkel (Goodspeed Gas N’ Go)
Brenda K. Wyttenbach (Goodspeed Gas N’ Go)
Sarah L. Mosher (VFW)
10. Motion to adjourn

Diane Roberts, Chairperson

Planning Commission meets Next Week-----Plans to bust Smart Growth Plan on Agenda-----

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Months past a huge number of citizens showed up to show their displeasure with the prospect of converting some "future land use" land in A1 to "interim " and the Planning Commission responded. Next week we will see if the Planning Commission is consistent in their committment to the Smart Growth Plan. That is what the mayor pledged to support in her election campaign. Calling things "walkable neighborhoods" does not make things different. If it quacks.....it is a duck.

Union Planning recently acted to prevent land from moving from Future designated to interim status.

The ball is now in the Evansville Planning Commission to see whether they mean it----or are they just kidding?????

The Planning Commission will also consider the new application for a conditional use permit for a bar at the Economy Store. I just wonder whether the Economy Store will be the final location for this proposal. I have no opinion on the proposal, though I think it probable that the final location will be different. Stay tuned to the Observer for all the video and audio details.

Minutes: Common Council; June 27, 2007

City of Evansville

Common Council

Special Meeting

Wednesday, June 27, 2007, 6:00 pm

Public Works Garage, 535 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin


Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Mayor Sandy Decker.
Roll Call. Present: Mayor Decker and Alderpersons Mason Braunschweig, Diane Roberts, Barb Jacobson, John Sornson, Fred Juergens, Tony Wyse, and Dennis Wessels. Also present: Dan Wietecha, John Willoughby, and Cliff Woolever.
Approve Agenda. Braunschweig moved, seconded by Roberts, to approve the agenda. Motion passed unanimously.
Deferral of Minutes of June 12, 2007, Meeting. Braunschweig moved, seconded by Cothard, to defer approval of the minutes to the next regular meeting. Motion approved unanimously.
Citizen Appearances. None.

New Business.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to waive the seven-day notice requirement on mayoral appointments. Motion approved unanimously.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the mayoral appointment of Judy Walton, 6001 W. Co. Road M, Edgerton, to the position of City Clerk for an indefinite term starting July 16, 2007. Wietecha briefly described the application and interviewing process. Motion approved unanimously.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the employment contract with Judy Walton. On a roll call vote, motion approved unanimously.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve a $250.00 stipend for the Acting City Clerk. On a roll call vote, motion approved unanimously.

Noting that her husband sits on the board for the Evansville Manor and that they own stock in it, Mayor Decker turned the meeting over to Council President Braunschweig. John Willoughby described the properties that the Manor is in the process of acquiring and noted they would be part of the proposed TID #8. The Council noted Cliff Woolever’s letter indicating the Manor’s willingness to reimburse the city for the feasibility study. Roberts made a motion, seconded by Juergens, to approve hiring Ehlers & Associates for the feasibility phase for the potential creation of TID #8. On a roll call vote, motion approved unanimously.

Adjournment. Roberts made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved unanimously at 6:15 pm.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Supreme Court Corner: NYT: Is Affirmative Action History?

Click on the post for the NYT article today on the Supreme Court decison which has limited the use of race for application in school "balance".

Gazette Corner: Re: Police Commission: Wourms: Administrative Report of Chase

Click on the post for the Rock Co. Report, compliments of the Janesville Gazette.

Lessons from the Diaglogue on the Construction Course

Over the course of the past six months, in the dialogue on the Construction Course for the high school, some important things have come out for all Evansville citizens.

First-----the homes on the westside are mostly at zero grade, which means that the contractor has to elevate the home to the proper elevation to avoid groundwater problems. The elevation is specifically on the plat----This was done at the time of the approval of the Westfield Meadows, so there would be documented notice to all buyers of the elevation of the home--and notice to the contractor building the home.

The contractor has to make the correct computation of elevation, or have an independent engineer make it----and any error is not the fault of the seller of the land.

Specifically in the case of the lot at 6th and Badger, Dave Sauer recommended such an independent verification of elevation BEFORE the basement was dug, NOT after by the city inspector.

I have published my correspondence on this matter so all could know that I was assured during my race for the school board, that the proper calculation would be made so in the very first home built, of this important construction course, that no error by the basement contractor was made.

I have attached the letter from Supr. Heidi Carvin to the Board as well as my letter for the file;

Subject: FW: Dave Sauer ----consult re 6th and Badger lot and recommendation
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 11:05:58 -0600
From: "Carvin, Heidi" Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
To: "Koustroun, Robert"
CC: "Pierick, Michael" , "Larson, Michael" , "Hatfield, Dennis" , woulfe98@yahoo.com

There was a question raised at Monday’s finance meeting about potential water issues on the lot being considered for the Advanced Building Trades class. I remember that you and I briefly discussed the issue and that you were taking those factors into account as the house was being designed. Please read the information below. I would assume that you and the developers will be following the process discussed below. Could you share the draft of the plans at the March 19 finance meeting? Even if the plans are not ready, we will have some questions about how and when the construction loan would be sought. If you can’t make the meeting, please fill Deb Olsen and I in ahead of the meeting and we will share the information.

Heidi J. Carvin



From: Richard Woulfe [mailto:woulfe98@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 10:33 AM
To: Carvin, Heidi
Subject: Re: Dave Sauer ----consult re 6th and Badger lot and recommendation


Dave Sauer with Foth and VanDyle called me this morn and reviewed the lot at 6th and Badger and my concern about the proximity to problems nearby.

He recommended that the contractor be required to have a surveyor verify that the proper elevation was prepared and that each plat had the elevation necessary for that lot printed on it. The city has the procedure for getting the benchmarks necessary. This requirement would ensure than an error was not made in the construction of the basement.

Mr. Sauer recommended this procedure for each house being built and not just at this lot. If this procedure was insisted on I have no concerns about the site proposed and have indicated so to Mr. Berg. This surveyor verification is over and above any city inspection by Mr. Wartenmueller. That inspection occurs after the fact and too late to remedy an error.

best regards,

Richard Woulfe

Classic Observer: "That Vision Thang"----(September 2005)

Upon learning recently of how complicated the monopoly game of chess was in moving the various pieces of property around here in Evansville, I felt it necessary to post this classic of yesteryear. Click on the post.

Classic Soucheray: "Souch" walks into the fire of News biz in Mpls.

Click on the post for another classic from Joe Soucheray of The St. Paul Pioneer Press. Thanks, Joe.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

School Beat: 4k Controversy: Back to the Future--Mr. Larson asks for 4K as Board Goal for 2007-8

At Monday nights Evansville School Board Meeting, Mr. Larson asked that the 4K matter be put on the list of "goals" for the upcoming school year.

MP3 File

Brett Davis Corner: Art Asks

Brett Davis, R. Monroe, talks of the human cost of referendum, of the "lake effect" for some districts, etc...

Download File

Bricks will end at Maple Street----

(Ed. note: The following was noted in the recent Historic Pres minutes of 6-25-2007")

"Bricks: We did not get the Commerce Department Grant so the bricks will end at Maple Street.

Grove Society: Betsy reported that John Decker and Steve Culbertson with some help from others including Jim Ahner have removed the old plaster and lathe from the interior. One wall needs to be removed and the building cleaned up for an open house on July 8 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Redevelopment Authority: The Night Owl has not come forth with an application."

Hatfield: Pierick: Not a liquid investment--After Sale Proceeds will come back to the Fund Balance for the Board to decide future action

There is risk

Download File

"The Green Home?

"Will the Evansville Construction Course home be "Green"?????----

Download File

yahoo: S&P: House Prices Fall; Weakenss Widespread

Click on the post for the story.

Gazette Corner: Scoop on the new Evansville Fire station

Click on the post for the latest.

Melissa Hammann asks the Question

School Board: 6-25-2007---The sudden change of plan from self funding to taking from the fund balance raises a question from Melissa Hammann. What about the other projects that have been talked of from the Fund Balance excess this years?

Download File

School Beat: Construction Home

Supr. Heidi Carvin explains that the school district cannot get a contractor loan and therefore the construction costs for the home must come out of the fund balance

Download File

School Board--6-25-2007--4 Period Day

Four Period Day Reviewed---After comprehensive community involvement with independent consultant----Surprised to find how happy everyone is with the 4 Period Day

Download File

Dateline Normal, MN.--"The Chamber"

How the Chamber of Commerce works in Normal, Mn.

MP3 File

Monday, June 25, 2007

School Beat: Special Study of 4 Period Day Approves it; After fully engaging the public

Private consultant who was engaged by the Evansville School District liked the 4 period Day block Schedule. Said the district could move to the the next level and be among the very best of school districts.

Full audio tomorrow. Selected video.

School Beat; School Board Votes to take Construction course funding from fund balance

At the 11th hour, with no citizens present but the press, the Evansville School Board voted to approve the constrution course and take it---128,000 from the fund balance for the expenses of the house construction.

Only Melissa Hammann asked whether this end around the budget process met with any test of priorities.

Full audio and selected video in the morning.

Evansville Observer Welcomes National and International Visitors

The Evansville Observer extends a warm welcome to folks from all over the world who have visited lately---whether it is the Philippines, Uruguay, China, U.K., France we welcome your visit.

Visitors can click on the site meter on the lower right hand side of the blog to see where everyone is from.

Our circulation is public. Our traffic is proven. Stop in anytime night or day. We will leave the light on.

Special welcome to service members who are checking home to Evansville for the latest news.

Also a special welcome to that one person in Slovenia who always visits the "Tales from Normal." Now I know who reads that blog. Alleluia.

Public Works Committee Meets Tomorrow Night; 6-26-2007

click on the post for the full agenda.

TID #8 ? Special Council meeting 6-27-2007--New Clerk addition

Click on the post for the agenda on the Agenda blog.

School Beat; Board meets in Special meeting to approve purchase of lot and sale of completed home in Westfield Meadows for Construction Course

On Monday, June,25,2007 the Evansville School District will meet in special session, open to the public, to approve the purchase of a lot and the sale of a subsequent compeleted home built by the students of the construction course. Other school districts such as Monroe and Janesville have such programs, although the structure of those programs is different.

This course has been dreamed of for a long time. Thus it is important that the details work for its success.

In the case of Evansville,as I understand it, the lot purchase price is being deferred for a year till the house is sold. It is unclear what happens if that takes longer than a year.

The motions listed in the agenda do not review the problems that have occured in the Monroe school district, where two homes were built over two years, and the money tied up of fund balance money was $400,000 roughly. At the time this occured, as you will recall, Monroe was struggling with a referendum to keep essential programs alive, and it was the last time they needed to be $400,000 short.

As I understand it, the Evansville School District will finance the construction of the house with private mortgage money and NOT taxpayer money. As an additional clause in the motion, I would like to see it stipulated that a second home would not be authorized by the board to be constructed by this course till the first had been sold. We know what happened in Monroe. We can be prudent enough to avoid it. We can see all around our area that homes have not been selling. A prudent person, and indeed a prudent board can also be able to see the adverse impact on the fund balance of the school if by chance the school was forced to use fund balance money to bail out contruction loans.

Plan on coming to the meeting. The full agenda follows:

Special Meeting of the Electors of the Evansville Community School District Agenda
Monday, June 25, 2007
Evansville High School LMC
640 South Fifth Street
5:30 p.m.
Note, public notice of this meeting given by posting at the District Office, Levi Leonard Elementary School
Office, Theodore Robinson Intermediate School Office, J.C. McKenna Middle School Office, High School
Office, Evansville School District Web Site: Evansville.k12.wi.us, and by forwarding the agenda to the
Evansville Review, M&I Bank, Union Bank & Trust and Eager Free Public Library.
I. Michael Pierick, President.
A. Call to Order.
B. Election of a Chairperson.

II. To Consider the Purchase of Property of Lot 5, Westfield Meadows Addition, in the City of
Evansville, for the Evansville High School Tech Ed Class to Build a Spec Home.

III. Motion: Mr. Chairperson: I Move That This Meeting Authorizes the Purchase of Property
of Lot 5, Westfield Meadows Addition, in the City of Evansville, for the Evansville High
School Tech Ed Class to Build a Spec Home.

IV. To Consider the Subsequent Sale of Lot 5, Westfield Meadows Addition, in the City of
Evansville, Which Shall Include All Improvements Made to the Property, by the Evansville
High School Tech Ed Class.

V. Motion: Mr. Chairperson: I Move That This Meeting Authorizes the Sale of Property of
Lot 5, Westfield Meadows Addition, in the City of Evansville, Which Shall Include All
Improvements Made to the Property, by the Evansville High School Tech Ed Class.

VI. Adjourn.
More specific information about agenda items may be obtained by calling 882-5224, ext. 3386.
Posted: 6/14/07

"The Trellis Manager"---FICTION

How a small community became obsessed with trellises right after "American Idol." What Freud had to say about it all.

MP3 File

Union Planning Commission Meets Thursday at Library

Click on the post for the full agenda.

"The Liquor License"---Fiction

How the concept of "trading bars" began in Normal, Mn.

MP3 File

Dateline River Falls, Wi----UW River Falls vows to go "Green"

Click on the post for an article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on the initiative of UW River Falls---It is part of a national campaign. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Low-Key Bar----the poem

I love the
low key bars--
a b-flat maybe---
that move each week
bobbing and
to the
hiphop beat

I love the
way that avoids
any question
that loves
the peace of

I love the
dance of toe-to-toe
or maybe "quid pro quo---"
It's so hard
to know
when the dance
is over
or just begun

Is this
the bar?
Have we shuffled
We have the
the bar could
be anyware

Journalists Corner: The Devroy Fellowship

If you are a high school senior, pondering a journalism career, and have thought of the UW EauClaire as a possible destination, you might wonder about the journalists that have gone before you, and also about some of the fellowships that are available.

If you click on the post, you will access the Devroy Fellowship home, with a history of Ann Devroy and her stellar career covering the White House. She was a UW EauClaire alum. She worked at the Washington Post along with David Broder. In her memory, the Washington Post has taken fellows to work for them. It is quite an opportunity to get an eyeopening bit of experience. You may not have known that Gina Duwe of the Janesville Gazette was the 2004 Devroy Fellow.

Dateline St. Paul: Classic Soucheray; "One Sandwich, Hold the Reason."

Click on the post for a classic.

Election Convention: St. Paul begins planning for Republican Convention in 2008

Click on the post for the latest. It is probably too soon to request press credentials for bloggers. Stay tuned.

Paris Corner: The New Spoof Video---Paris in Jail

Click on the post for the video that has been viewed by millions over the past several days. It is one, the tamest one, of several parody videos. You can clearly tell that it employs technique in actors and style that are beyond the Observer skill level.


Gazette Corner: Firestation moves to Front Burner

Click on the post for the story in today's Janesville Gazette.

Friday, June 22, 2007

An Observer Moment

Relay for Life:
time to
share a little ice cream
kick back and
boogie a little

Download File

Police Commission: On Discovery

Evansville Police Commission: Hearing Examiner discusses "discovery", agreement of parties on facts that they will stipulate as agreed on, statement of issues.

Download File

Police Commission: re: Motion to Dismiss

Police Commission: Hearing examiner discusses the motion for dismissal, how it will be handled--may be handled at final evidentiary hearing or before depending on Police Commission.

Download File

Nostalgia: "Let's Suspend the Rules"---or "The MP3 Player----a True Story

Recently my daughters gave me a MP3 player for Father's Day. Yes. It is one of the inner secrets of The Observer that although the podcasts of The Observer are downloadable as well as the audio from meetings, I have been stuck with sitting by the computer and listening rather than biking, running or other pleasurable pursuits and enjoying the audio.

After unpacking the MP3 player I asked the youngest to explain SLOWLY how to download some stuff from the special hard drive that holds audio from yesteryear. I watched her closely, mindful of the value of all the audio as posterity was depending on me to preserve it.

Imagine my surprise when in listening to it that she had mixed it so I could listen to Tom Petty and then Bill Connors, and then Roy Orbison and then school board meetings. What an eclectic mix.

One of the first tracks that came on right after "Billy the Kid" was a track on "Let's Suspend the Rules."

This was a very famous meeting at Evansville City Council---it was the second Council meeting of our new Mayor. There had been some mixup in the selection process of committee assignments and it was necessary to "Suspend the Rules" to correct it.

Right after this, Bill Connors had reflected that with respect to "collector streets" we seemed to have these rules on the books but alas, they had never been followed. He ended his reflection by asking; "Do we really mean it?"

Alas, this meeting was one that I was still learning the ropes on recording so it is real faint. However-----the question is very relevant:

Do we really mean it. About the rules. Are we a people that just suspend them when it gets inconvenient?

How lucky I am that I get to have the question asked of me every day or so, right after Tom Petty and the Heartbrakers.

The Solar Surprise

The other morning at the Public Benefits Committee meeting, the Observer was just waking up with that first cup of coffee, when Doug Albright, of Albright Electric, mentioned in conjunction with the discussion of how WPPI worked with local builders and businesses to implement energy conservation, that the new home constructed by the Evansville School Contruction course might be a "Zero energy home" or green home. The rep from WPPI described how they work with the builder from the design stage to zero in on the assistance that the home would qualify for etc. Mr. Albright stated that home sales were slow, but the one segment of home sales that was NOT slow was very, very energy efficient homes.

Several years ago, one of my engineer friends, was touring the Evanville Tour of Homes, and asked one of the tour guides the simple question, "Is this a Green Home?"
The young tour guide was a little taken aback. "No, I think it is yellow," she responded. Then an older woman smiled and explained to her what "Green" meant. "No it is not", she offered.

The beauty of the student construction project being "Green" would be that the students could be a role model for the contractors. I have to smile at the irony of it. The contractors are teaching the construction stuff and the students are modeling the solar to those that think it cannot be done profitably. Kinda neat in my book.

Stay tuned.

OpEd: WSJ: Holloween ticket price moves from $5 to $7

The Observer joins the Wisconsin State Journal in applauding the raise in the ticket price of the party from $5 to $7. Bravo.

Click on the post for the full story.

Tech Corner: Mind Powered Trains; Mind Powered Cars Next?

Click on the post for the latest. Ok. It is starting real small with silent singing powering a remote. But---the research is being funded by Honda for future automotive applications. Makes me wonder whether the car would be powered by a bunch of guys singing rock and roll. Maybe though it would just be the windshield washers.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Minutes: Police Commission Hearing, June 13, 2007, 5:00PM

Meeting Minutes
Common Council Chambers, Third Floor, City Hall
Evansville, Wisconsin
June 13, 2007
5:00 p.m.

1. Roll call. Commissioners in attendance: Karen Aikman, Scott Brummond, Steve Hagen,
Christe McKittrick, Wally Shannon. Also present: Chief Scott McElroy, Richard
Woulfe, Tammy Pomplin, Larry Wourms, Tammy Wourms, and Lacey Wourms, and
Attorney Andrew D. Schauer from the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. Other
unidentified community members were also present.

2. Approval of minutes. Minutes of the Commission’s meeting of May 30, 2007 were
reviewed. Motion was made by McKittrick to approve the minutes as distributed and
seconded by Shannon. Aikman noted that she abstained from voting on the approval of
the minutes from March 12, 2007. Motion was approved by voice vote with the
amendment noting Aikman abstained from the vote on the March 12, 2007 minutes.

3. Citizen appearances, other than on agenda items listed below. None.
4. Chief’s report. None.

5. General review of Commission Disciplinary Procedures and “Just Cause” Standards.
President Brummond covered the Just Cause standards that must be considered by a
police commission when it is considering discipline of a police officer. He explained that
there are seven standards enumerated in Wisconsin Statute Section 62.13 (em) 17.
President Brummond read the language in standards 17.
He further stated that because
the Complainant is not the Chief of Police, that some of the seven standards would not be
applicable to this case. The numbers that are thought to be applicable at this time are the
standards enumerated in numbers 1, 2, and 7. The Commission also understands that
there must be substantial evidence that the police officer violated the rule as described in
the charges filed against the police officer. This requires the Commission to use a portion
of the language in standard number 5. It was concluded that the Commission is not
required to state what standards apply at this time and can evaluate that as the case

6. Consideration of means for recording hearings. Motion made by Shannon to find and
acquire a means for recording the initial hearing and videotaping and transcribing
evidentiary hearings as mandated in Sections 13 (3)(b) and 13 (13)(c) of the
Commission’s Disciplinary Procedures. Seconded by Hagen. Motion approved by voice

7. Consideration of engagement of a hearing examiner or other delegation of President’s
duties. Motion was made by Shannon to appoint a Hearing Examiner, pursuant to Rule
11(3) and to delegate the President’s authority in connection with the proceedings as
allowed under Rule 13(3)(a) of the Commission’s Disciplinary Procedures, including the
powers enumerated in Section 13 (1), in order to effectively conduct the initial and the
evidentiary hearings in the disciplinary proceedings against Evansville Police Officer
Scott Fields. Motion was seconded by McKittrick. Motion was approved by a voice

Motion was made by Shannon to appoint Attorney James Wickhem as the Hearing
Examiner for the disciplinary proceedings against Evansville Police Officer Scott Fields.

The motion was seconded by Brummond. Motion was approved by a voice vote.
8. Consideration of retention of Counsel for the Commission. Motion by Brummond to
retain counsel for the Commission as allowed under Section 3(2) of the Commission’s
Disciplinary Procedures. Seconded by Hagen. Motion approved by voice vote.
Motion made by Brummond to retain Attorney Robert Krohn as counsel for the
Commission. Seconded by Shannon. Motion approved by voice vote.

9. Motion made by Brummond to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stat. sec.
19.85(1)(g) to confer with legal counsel for the Commission who is rendering oral or
written advice concerning strategy to be adopted by the Commission with respect to
litigation in which it is or is likely to become involved. Seconded by Shannon. Approved
on the following roll call vote:
Aikman: Yes;
Brummond: Yes;
Hagen: Yes;
McKittrick: Yes;
Shannon: Yes.

10. Motion made by Brummond for a short recess, to reconvene at 6:00 PM or as soon
thereafter as possible. Seconded by Shannon. Motion approved by voice vote.
11. Initial hearing in Disciplinary Proceedings Against Scott Fields, Evansville Police
Officer, pursuant to Rule 11 of the Disciplinary Procedures of the Evansville Board of
Police Commissioners.
a. At 6:02 PM, President Brummond announced that the Commission would begin
the initial hearing Case Number 200701D
and introduced the Hearing
Examiner: Attorney James Wickhem.
b. The Hearing Examiner Wicknem asked for the parties’ appearances. He
recognized that the entire Commission was present along with its counsel, Robert
Krohn. He also recognized Lacy Wourms and Attorney Andrew D. Schauer
from the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. Attorney Schauer
represents Evansville Police Officer Scott Fields. Other members of the public
were present.

c. Hearing Examiner Wickhem addressed the parties describing the Due Process
Standard relative to Officer Fields.

Generally speaking, he will act in a judicial
role and the Commission will act in a Jury Role. He reminded the parties that the
ordinary burden of proof standard applies to the determination as to whether
there is just cause to discipline Officer Fields and that the burden is on the

The burden of proof is upon the complainant Lacy Wourms and
that is to prove the charges by the greater weight of the credible evidence to a
reasonable certainty.

The rules of evidence for a contested case under
administrative law Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 227 will apply.

d. All notices or documents required by the Commission to be filed with it shall be
filed with the Secretary of the Board of Police Commissioners, Attorney Walter
Shannon, by mailing or delivering such notices or documents during business
hours to his office at 24 East Main St., Evansville, Wisconsin and by
contemporaneously mailing a marked copy to the other side.

The complainant Lacy Wourms’ mailing address is 423 North Harmony Lane,
Whitewater, WI 53190. Scott Fields shall be served by mailing to his attorney
Andrew D. Schauer whose address is Wisconsin Professional Police Association,
340 Coyier Lane, Madison, WI 53713. Secretary Shannon of the Board of Police
Commissioners shall copy in the Commissioners, the Hearing Examiner and
Robert Krohn with any papers or documents file with him in this matter.

e. Officer Fields shall answer the Complaint by June 18, 2007.
f. Any reports by public officials, departments, agencies or employees concerning
this matter obtained or received by the Complainant or Respondent shall be filed
with the Commission within 10 days of their receipt by the Complainant or
Respondent. It was agreed that all reports by public officers, agencies or
employees shall be selfauthenticating
and received into evidence in this matter.
g. Any motions for dismissal of the Complaint shall be filed and served within 10
days of filing the reports of the investigation. The Complainant shall have 10
days after filing of the motion for dismissal to respond in writing filed with the
h. On or before June 18, 2007, the Complainant shall file with the Commission and
serve on Fields’ counsel a list of the names and addresses of all witnesses she
intends to call at the final evidentiary hearing together with a one sentence
description of the subject matter or testimony of each witness. If a witness is
going to be called as an expert witness, then a resume of the expert shall be
served and filed at the same time.
i. On or before July 9, 2007, the Respondent shall file with the Commission and
serve on the Complainant a list of the names and addresses of all witnesses the
respondent intends to call at the final evidentiary hearing on this matter. If any
witness is an expert witness then a resume for each expert so named shall be
served and filed at the same time.

j. On or before July 20, 2007, the parties shall confer to see whether they can
define and simplify the issues for the final hearing and enter into possible
stipulations of fact for the final evidentiary hearing.

k. On or before July 20, 2007, the parties shall serve and file with the Commission a
writing which contains stipulations of fact and a simplification of the issues for
the final evidentiary hearing or, in the alternative, if they are unable to agree,
then file with the Commission and serve on the other party a letter stating that a
good faith effort was made and agreement could not be reached.

l. On or before July 20, 2007, each of the parties shall serve and file with the
Commission proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law setting forth in
numbered paragraphs what facts they believe the evidence will support and what
conclusions of law they desire the Commission to adopt.

m. The parties may request in writing filed with the Commission that the President
of the Commission issue subpoenas. The request should identify the persons to
be subpoenaed and the request should be copied to the other side. The
Commission President shall sign the number of blank subpoenas required and
deliver them to the requesting party. The requesting party is responsible for
filling out the subpoenas and paying witness fees and services to have the
subpoenas served in the manner prescribed by law for a subpoena. Proof of
service of subpoena in accordance with law shall be filed with the Commission
prior to the final evidentiary hearing.

n. A final evidentiary hearing will be held on Monday, July 30 th beginning at 5:30
p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall in the City of Evansville, 31 South
Madison St., Evansville, Wisconsin. If the matter is not completed on July 30 th
then the time has been reserved for Tuesday, July 31 st beginning at 5:30 p.m. to
finish the matter.

o. At the final evidentiary hearing, the matter will proceed like a court trial with
opening statements (limited to five minutes per side), followed by presentation of
the witnesses and evidence by the Complainant with crossexamination
by the
Respondent followed by witnesses, evidence and exhibits on behalf of
Respondent Scott Fields with crossexamination
by the Complainant. Rebuttal
will be permitted in accordance with the rules for a civil trial. This will be
followed by closing arguments. Again the Hearing Examiner reminded the
parties that the burden of proof is upon the complainant Lacy Wourms and that is
to prove the charges by the greater weight of the credible evidence to a
reasonable certainty and that the rules of evidence for a contested case under
administrative law Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 227 will apply.

p. Once the case is fully submitted at the conclusion of the final evidentiary hearing,
the Commission will deliberate in closed session and make its decision a required
by the facts and law. Neither the Hearing Examiner nor Attorney Krohn
(Attorney for the Commission) will participate in the deliberations or decision
except insofar as reducing the Commission’s decision to writing in conformance
with law.

q. Hearing Examiner Wickhem stated that he will put the terms covered by the
initial hearing into a Scheduling Order that he will issue. He then asked the
parties and the Commission if they had anything further. Nothing further was
heard. The initial Hearing was closed.

12. Motion made by Brummond to convene in closed session pursuant to Wis. Stat. sec.
19.85(1)(a) to deliberate concerning any issue referred by the Hearing Examiner to the
Commission during the initial hearing. Seconded by Hagen. After discussion the
closed motion was voted down based on the following roll call vote:
Aikman: No;
Brummond: No;
Hagen: No;
McKittrick: Yes;
Shannon: No.

13. Adjournment. Motion to adjourn sine die by Brummond, seconded by Hagen.
Approved by voice vote.
Note: Minutes of the Commission are not official until approved by the Commission at a meeting
called and noticed for that purpose.

Quid Pro Quo---the poem

I love it
when we
quid pro
ya know
Just toe ta

I love it
when we
not house to
but entre to
energy grant to
energy grant

I love it when
we go
not dutch treat
It's like
except no

I love when
we go
no notice
when we
slip in the dark
for an early
ham and

I just
love you
You're my

New York Times: Bending Over Backward for Big Oil?

Renewable energy suffered a setback today as senators failed to pass a bill that would have imposed taxes on oil to allow for aid to renewable.

Click on the post for the full story in the New York Times.

Evansville Police Commission Case -----Document release awaited

At the recent Evansville Police Commission hearing, which was a procedural session to "get all the ducks in order", after all the courtesies were exhanged, introductions etc, the counsel for the respondent, Scott Fields, offered that some expedited disposition might be possible before the accident reconstruction was available.

The hearing examiner responded quickly---"That won't be necessary." (I hope to have audio and video of this shortly.)

The documents are due. Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer.

Dateline Minnesota: Today is PEAK--15 1/2 hours of sunlight

Today is a special day in Minnesota--It is the longest day. From here on, it's downhill.

Still. We can be sympathatic----we have about 15 1/2 hours of overcast here in Wisconsin.

Tomorrow is the day let's celebrate the peak. Click on the post for the story in the Minneapolis Star.

Yahoo News: Web Cam as test proctors

Now web cams are going to be used to proctor test taking. Yes. There are expanded uses besides watching bricks.

Gazette Corner: WSJ files suit under open record law against Madison Police

Click on the post for the full story in the Janesville Gazette. This will be a story to watch to see whether the records of a terminated police officer are subject to the open records law or are protected.

Stay tuned.

Chinese Fortune Cookie Corner: "Welcome Failure: Failure is the Breakfast of Champions"---a true story

Yesterday I had to take my youngest to Janesville for a driver education road lesson. Before the lesson, we had a little time together for her to shop and then to share a bit of Chinese at the Food Court.

I have a habit of opening the fortune cookie first--- before the meal. The Fortune Cookie read: " Welcome Failure: Failure is the Breakfast of Champions."

I have mentioned in an earlier post, that over thirty years ago, right after a fortune cookie that read, "Not Now, but Soon," I had received a layoff from an employer. Ever since, I have paid strict attention to those fortune cookies. That being said, I wish they were more precise. The vagueness in unnerving.

Relax. The driving lesson went fine.

I think the Chinese were directing the fortune cookie towards those who did not know that the world of school and life are different. Nobody gets 99.992% success all the time and still ranks at the median of the class.

Most folks are blessed with enough failures so they have a balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses. Or at least the whims of the world.

After reflection, I feel pretty confident that I have had enough failures thank you. I do not need any more.

Then again, maybe the Chinese fortune cookie WAS talking about that planning commission meeting last week---what a devastating failure in the unanimous defeat of the efforts of the community of the 4th Ward to prevent the bar on Exchange Street. Was that what the cookie was talking about? We will never know for sure.

The Observer still recommends that this specific fortune cookie be eliminated from the mix till it can be more specific. I hope the Chinese Observer is taking notes.

Dateline Normal,Mn: "Why Debt Comes First."---or "The Color Green"---FICTION

(Ed. note: Click on the post for one of a series of tales from the land of FICTION, Normal, Mn. Some of these tales are available via podcast, free, on the itunes store. They are called "Tales from Normal." In SanFrancisco, they are called the "Tales from Abynormal." Adjust for your area. Enjoy.

Development: Is all of America Blighted? The full story of TIF

Click on the post for a story of the costs of TIF to local communities. The Beef and the Baloney.

Wash Post: Student Loan Reform Coming: Will it solve college affordability?

Click on the post for the full article in the Wash Post.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Redevelopment: What didn't happen last night?

Most of the time, the news is what does happen. The actions of public leaders etc. Sometimes it is the things that do not happen. Last night was such a night.

On the agenda for the Redevelopment Authority was the Night Owl TIF application and project report. As readers will recall from last month, Mr. Ardisson had gotten the application at last months meeting, and was was in the midst of redoing the plans and wanted to start construction on June 1st.

The RDA urged him to wait till they had a chance to see the plans and offered to have a special meeting so they could review them. They did not want to have him begin and then ask for approval.

Last night, Gred Ardisson did not appear at RDA. And no TIF application was received.

Here is my speculation: At last meeting in the audio you can hear Greg talk about the double whammy of the project---he would lose the income from the business plus incur the costs of construction. My speculation is that there is a third whammy---the surprises of construction estimates and the problem of having the numbers come out even after TIF assistance. The rough estimate had been a $400,000 project with about $80,000 in TIF constribution.

Today was a flurry of activity on East Main. The dry wall being delivered to The Economy store for upstairs, the front of the old roller rink being removed and construction activity picking up----but no action at the Night Owl.

So---will the Night Owl be restored during the construction or not?

Stay tuned.

Gazette Corner; Rock Co. Sheriff acts to broaden police effectiveness

Click on the post for the complete story in the Janesville Gazette.

Mailbag: Georgia Durst Lahti Writes: Action Plan follow up meeting planned for Public Benefits Committee

We had a tremendously informative Public Benefits meeting with reps from WPPI, the power company the utility now buys from wholesale. (Actually we're members).

WPPI has many programs we could and should be taking advantage of., but we lack both awareness and an action plan. We therefore propose a 2 hour working meeting, to rough out aspects of a plan that we can develop and pursue over the next 3 years.

Of course the plan will be fluid, as WPPI program opportunities evolve quickly. But, we need to start a plan in order to adapt it.

We have structured the meeting dates around the availability of the mayor and others in the room yesterday, especially Alicia VandenOever, Evansville's WPPI rep. We would ask all members of Evansville Initiative and Public Benefits to make it a priority to attend. We know this will be a challenge but, the possible dates are:

1st choice: Tuesday, July17, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
2nd choice: Monday July 16, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Please let me know if you are available for both or either, aspa.

TIF #5 Expansion set for Possible Hotel-bowling alley development

Last night at the Redevelopment Authority meeting, Evansville City Administrator Dan Wietecha indicated that the city would use one of its options to amend the TIF 5 to add some parcels next to Romano's Restaurant for a possible hotel and/or bowling alley development, as well as add a parcel up near Symdon's that was noted earlier and was on the list to be added.

He asked members of the Redevelopment Authority to bring any other parcels that needed to be added to his attention, and indicated that there would be a notice in the paper for citizens to advise if they had a parcel that they felt belonged in it.

New York Times: Wal-Mart to Expand Financial Services

In a move that will cause concern in banking circles, Wal-Mart is expading its finacial product mix. Click on the post for the full story. Someday, they dream of being in equity loans. Maybe they will do payday loans too. Or even have a pawn shop annex. How convenient.

I just do not see them doing stocks or bonds. Maybe penny stocks though.

What do you think?

Travel: Four Day Arts Festival Launches in Stillwater

If you are headed to the St. Croix River Valley area, you might want to check this out. Click on the post.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Agenda: Redevelopment Authority: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 7:30PM---TIF #5 Expanded? Guess Where


The meeting of the Evansville Redevelopment Authority for the City of Evansville will be held on the date and time stated below at City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

Evansville Redevelopment Authority

Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 7:30PM

City Hall, 31 S. Madison St., Evansville, WI


Call To Order

Declare Quorum
Approve Agenda

Approve Minutes of May 15, 2007 meeting

Old Business

Update – Night Owl proposal – Greg Ardisson.
Update – Allen Creek Master Plan RFP.
Update – Main Street construction project.

New Business

Discuss possible expansion of TID #5.

Other Business
Christopher A. Eager, Chairman

Economic Development meets tonight; 5:30PM

Click on the post for the agenda blog.

Year Two Completed: Eight to Go till next Development under Smart Growth

To quote a classic from Mr. Connors, speaking about 12/2005--- "It's no more properties for ten years....." in describing the number of properties to be annexed to the city of Evansville for development under the Smart Growth Plan.

Union stepped up to the plate recently at their Planning Commission. Evansville will get their next test shortly.

Stay tuned to the The Evansville Observer. Audio and Video. You get the news now. Not a week from now.

Police Beat: Officer Fields Responds;

(Ed.note: The Evansville Observer is covering this police commission with complete audio and selected video. Documents will be shared with my readers as they become available. )

Officer Scott Fields filed his answer to the complaint of Lacy Wourms before the Evansville Police Commission. Here are the highlights:

1) Fields, as the respondent, affirmatively states he followed all applicable policies and procedures to the best of this ability..

2. Fields states that he did not "choose" to take " the unmarked squad at the beginning of the shift, but that this was the only squad available to him for use. Two other marked squads are owned by the department. One of these marked squads was in use at the start of his shift. The other marked squad had a fuel line problem which rendered it unable to keep gas in the tank, making it unable to be used for patrol. Therefore, the Respondent followed the proper procedures in 'choosing" the unmarked squad to use for patrol on the night in question."

3. Fields, as respondent, affirmatively states he "called out as much information as was "safe to do"..."As he was the "Officer in Charge(i.e. the most-senior police office on duty at the time), he found no immediate need to call our a request to dispatch to "contact a supervisor." Simply put, there was not a "supervisor" on duty to "contact" in mid-pursuit."

4) Fields denies seeing "any debris alongside the road when he passed the scene of the crash....He also specifically denies meeting any witness to the crash, and therefore also denies telling such a witness to "get out of here" or being rude to such witness. Upon information and belief, the Respondent also affimatively states that the story of such witness has already been discredited as fabricated by the State Patrol during the investigation of this matter."

After the response by Officer Fields, there is a Motion to Dismiss the Charges against him.

Police Beat: Lacy Wourms files list of witnesses to be called at evidentiary hearing

On June 18, 2007, Lacy Wourms filed with the Evansville Police Commission a list of the witnesses she intends to call for the evidentiary hearing. They are:

Chief Scott McElroy, EPD
Lt. Arthur Phillips,EPD
Officer Jay Koehler, EPD
Sgt. Michael Mugnani, Rock Co Sheriff Dept
Tony Goth, Rock Co Sheriff Dept
James Berlin, Rock Co Sheriff Dept
Trooper Ryan Zukoswki, Wis. State Patrol
Geno Heiman, Evansville

She states as follows:

"I plan on calling the following officers due to their involvement in the case. All were on scene at the time, with the exception of the state trooper who will testify to the accident reconstruction. I plan on having Officer Koehler testify to the fact that driving a marked squad. Lt Phillips will testify as to why Fields was working alone and why he was called to the scene. The Rock County deputies will testify to Fields behavior and state of mind at the time of the accident and immediately afterwards. Chief McElroy will testify to Fields state of mind in the days following the pursuit. Geno Heiman will testify as a witness who was at the scene and will describe what he saw.

This is a general idea of what the following witnesses will testify to, among other things. I also reserve the right to call all of the defense's witnesses as my own."

Solar for School Construction Home?

Doug Albright of Albright Electric and new member of the Public Benefits Committee discusses the possible solar application at the new high school construction home.

MP3 File

"Jazz Bar/Sports Bar to be in Economy Store

In addition to the excellent reporting done by Scoop 1 and Scoop2 last night, the Observer did confirm this morning that the Jazz/Sports bar will be going in the Economy Store. Residents of Franklin street are delighted. Stay tuned.

Roger Berg requests funds for windmill

Public Benefits Meeting; 7:30AM, Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Roger Berg presents proposal for pond windmill to substitute for electric pump.

MP3 File

Observer Asks the Question

Public Benefits Committee; Tuesday, June 19, 2007; Observer asks whether in case where there is no saving, and no payback in usual time frame, whether "educational" or "aesthetic" purpose is enough to justify the expenditure of public funds.

MP3 File

Minutes: Redevelopment Authority: June 19, 2007

Evansville Redevelopment Authority

Board of Commissioners

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 7:30 pm

City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin


Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 7:35 pm by Acting Chair Tom Calley. Present: Betsy Ahner, Tony Wyse, John Decker, Tom Calley, Barbara Jacobson and Roger Roth. Absent: Chris Eager. Also present: Executive Director Dan Wietecha, Mayor Sandy Decker, and Dick Woulfe.
Declare Quorum. There being a majority of the commissioners present at call to order, a quorum was declared by the chair.
Approve Agenda. Decker made a motion, seconded by Ahner, to approve the agenda. Motion carried unanimously.

Approve Minutes of May 15, 2007 Meeting. Wyse made a motion, seconded by Jacobson, to approve the minutes. Motion carried unanimously.
Old Business.

Night Owl proposal. Decker noted that Ardisson was still considering his options for remodeling and had not made a final decision. Wietecha noted that Ardisson had not yet submitted a TIF application.

Allen Creek Master Plan RFP. Wietecha distributed a timeline prepared by RA Smith. The project is just underway; they will be evaluating the sites and meeting with property owners over the next few weeks. An open house presentation would be held during the August 21 Redevelopment Authority meeting. The final report is expected in late September.

Main Street construction. Wietecha indicated that there had been additional delay due to extra underground utility work on Maple Street and in the adjoining alley. Work will be commencing on East Main late this week. They delays should not impact the surface work which has a July 5 bid opening.

New Business.
TID #5 expansion. Wietecha distributed maps of the current TID #5 district. He noted that statute limits the number of boundary modifications to four and we have already used one of those. Anticipating a future boundary modification to work with the proposed hotel project, it would behoove the board to consider any other properties that should be included at the same time. The Commission noted that the a property on North Union had been missed with the last modification and that the potential need for a downtown site for a relocated post office should be considered.
Other Business. Wietecha noted that he had spoken with Roger Berg about progress on their renovations of the Eager Building. The mechanicals are roughed in, walls are framed, insulation is being completed, and drywall will soon be starting. Tuckpointing is completed. They expect to begin drawing on the TIF funds committed by the city in the near future.
Adjournment. Jacobson moved, seconded by Decker, to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved unanimously at 8:15 pm.

Agenda: Public Benefits Committee: Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 7:30AM

(Ed. note: The Public Benefits Committee has been distributing energy assistance money and has come upon criticism that this money has not been directed to the type of applicants that were intended for this program. The program was intended for low income applicants needing weatherization not multi-million dollar owners of property. It is unclear whether the agenda listed below will be decided by a neutral administrative body such as WPPI and/or what the role of the Benefits committee will be. It is unclear whether the previous benefits committee was properly organized as an arm of city government and whether any monies previously distributed will be returned if improperly disbursed. Stay tuned.)



TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2007, 7:30 A.M.


(corrected date)

Call to order.

Roll call.

Approval of minutes of April 5, 2007 meeting.

Review of Public Benefits financial information.

Review of Ordinance 2007-20, Reorganization of Public Benefits Committee.

Election of Committee Chair and Secretary.

Discussion and possible motion to provide energy conservation assistance for pond aeration windmills (Berg).

WPPI update (Mike Hodges and Alicia VandenOever).

Set next meeting date.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Water Conservation comes to front burner in California

Click on the post for a story from Santa Clara, CA. Some useful ideas for all.

ECP Corner: Mallards Baseball PLUS Rhythm and Booms


Saturday, June 30, 2007, is Evansville Night at the Madison Mallards game and Rhythm & Booms, all at Warner Park in Madison .

If you have avoided Rhythm & Booms lately because of the traffic, you are not alone. This year, however, we have a special treat for anyone who would like to attend the game. A bus will leave from the front high school parking lot in Evansville at 3:00 p.m. and head for Warner Park. After the fireworks show, the bus will bring everyone back to Evansville . To reserve your space on the bus, contact Rebecca DeMarb at 882-5944. Tickets for the bus will be $7.00 per person and any ticket money in excess of the cost of the bus will go to support Evansville ’s athletic programs.

Further, Evansville Community members may purchase bleacher seat tickets for the game for only $5.00. Residents will need to show a valid driver’s license to purchase the discounted tickets on the day of the game. Tickets are available for purchase in the Duck Blind area of the Stadium for $30 or $35 which includes inclusive food and beer. For more information and to purchase Duck Blind tickets, see tickets.mallardsbaseball.com or call 608-246-4277.

Tickets for the game will be for sale soon at area businesses.

Robin L. Grignon

Evansville Community Partnership

Community Coordinator

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "Fathers Day"; Or, "The Games of Quid Pro Quo:"---FICTION

(Ed. note: Click on the post for the latest from the land of Normal, Mn. This is one of a long series of FICTIONAL tales available on the ITUNES for download. Just search for the Tales from Normal. When these tales are shipped out on cd, they are wrapped in a brown paper wrapper clearly marked----FICTION. In San Francisco, these tales are knows as the Tales from Abynormal and are shipped from Haight Ashbury in a colorful wrapping but marked clearly in BOLD purple letters, FICTION. Please adjust to the timezones.)

Evansville Park Board Meets Tonight: 5:30PM

Click on the post for the agenda in the agenda blog.

Wash Post: Media Smackdown: When Paris Hilton and O.J. become media critics, a review is in order

Click on the post for the article by Howard Kurtz in the Washtington Post.

Star Tribune: "Code Ready"---Minn urges disaster preparedness

Minnesota is urging citizens to get prepared for disaster. Click on the post for the full story.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

NYT: Restaurant Reservations Go On LIne

Click on the post for the latest.

Rock County: Crop Subsidy Information: Local Data

Click on the post for the data on farmers from Rock County and the amounts that they have received.

Dateline Normal, Mn.: "The Liquor License"-----FICTION

Click on the post for the latest from the land of Normal, Mn.

CNN Video: GPS sneakers----

Pretty cool way to keep track of your kids, huh?

Still. I could imagine this going too far. Like employees being required to have GPS sneakers. By getting the GPS of the employee and using Google Steet View, it might be possible to locate and view them in seconds. Google would have to improve their street view to real time. Still. It could be fun.

"Chasin the News" weighs in on "Contract Renewal" at School Board special meeting

Click on the post for the latest from "Chasin."

Who is that "Chasin"? Not since the Lone Ranger has there been such speculation.

Classic Soucheray: "Saving the Earth from Ourselves"--St. Paul Pioneer Press

(Ed.note:The "swamp" Joe refers to was a small area of cattails between his home in Mahtomedi and the East Shore Dock Association where I swam. It seemed large as a 7 year old.)

Click on the post for a trip back in time with Joe Soucheray of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Economic Summit Key for Evansville---Can Whalen be Neutral Faclitator?

The Upcoming Economic Summit for Evansville could provide a key opportunity to focus on key essentials for the future and get everyone on the same page. The facilitator for this event is going to be Judy Whalen.

Judy Whalen was the facilitator of the Union Smart Growth Process that culminated in the Smart Growth document. After the decision of the Union Planning Commissin recently, and after the full discussion of the Union Town Board---fully covered in audio and video on The Observer----Judy Whalen rose to suggest that the Planning Commission had not been thorough and NOT followed the plan. And she suggested that the Board should, if they agreed, REVERSE their decision.

The audience, including the Observer, was shocked. This seemed to overstep her role.

Indeed, Mike Exum, who had intended to remain silent, rose to defend the Planning Commission.

Kendall Schneider then reminded everyone of the 14 elements of the Planning process and urged member to review all of them in making their decision. They ruled unanimously in support of the Plan decison to deny the Shotliff rezoning. They said in effect that it was "when" not "whether" the land would go residential and that the "when" mattered.

Thus-------Evansville has just celebrated the TWO year anniversary of the Smart Growth Plan-----and only EIGHT years to go till any new subdivisons can be developed. Yes---as Mr. Connors went over this only 4 months after the plan was adopted---everything has been penciled in.

Can Whalen stick to the Plan? Can she allow the process to continue and listen or will she intervene and try to manipulate rather than lead the process? Stay tuned.

Click on the post to reveiw her performance at Union Board Meeting.

You make the call.

Gazette Corner: Janesville as a cultural tourism destination?

Click on the post for the story in the Janesville Gazette. The story can be read as a serious article or with a bit of wry humor. Enjoy.

Monroe Times: Green County: Court Blotter

Click on the post for the court activity in Green County.

Cap Times: The Streetcars of Kenosha

Interesting feature in the Cap Times today. The costs of Kenosha and Madison would be quite different....2.5 million per mile for Kenosha and 15 for Madison. Also a point of interest was the actual ridership. So...people just come to look at them not ride them? Is it spiff and style or real transportation? Stay tuned.

Star Tribune; Fractional Ownership---the latest Getaway Trend

Click on the post for the latest getaway trend.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Agenda: Park Board: June 18, 2007; 5:30PM


A regular meeting of the Park and Recreation Board for the City of Evansville will be held on the 18th day of June 2007, at 5:30 p.m., at City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

City of Evansville, Wisconsin

Park and Recreation Board Regular Monthly Meeting

Evansville City Hall Council Chambers

Monday, June 18, 2007 6:00 PM


1. Call to Order & Roll Call.

2. Motion to waive reading minutes of May, 2007 PRB meeting & approve as printed.

3. Possible changes to agenda: motion to approve changes, if necessary.

4. Citizen appearances other than agenda items.

5. ECP July 4th Report

6. SOLE Committee Report and discussion of SOLE’s anticipated recommendation by PRB members. Possible motion to accept report and make recommendation to Public Works Committee and Common Council concerning next action to be taken relative to Lake Leota.

7. Skate Park:

a. McKenna Group Report

b. Other commentary from citizens

c. Discussion and possible motion on next action to take relative to Skate Park.

8. Chair’s report on actions of City Committees & Common Council on items of interest to PRB.

9. Chair’s report on site-visit of Dry Stone Conservancy’s experts re: stone retaining walls along Allen Creek.

10. Reports/Updates on pending park projects and maintenance: Park Maintenance Supervisor Ray Anderson

a. Lake Leota Park – re-roofing of Boy Scout house

b. Franklin Park – progress on plans for improvements, Welcome Shelter and landscaping.

c. Countryside Park – status of bath/shelter; (June 8 was last day of school)

d. West Side Park – condition of seeded soccer fields.

e. other projects, if any

11. Aquatic Report: Aquatic Director Rick Hamacher

a. Status of solar-panel project for 2007

b. Staffing

c. Pool store and pool operations

d. Status of low-income passes

e. other projects, if any

12. Old Business.

a. Discussion of 2008 Capital Budget relative to PRB 5-year plan.

b. other, as necessary

13. New Business

a. Approval of Sellor’s Permits for commercial activities in parks. Discussion and possible motion to delegate authority to approve future permits to Park & Recreation Board Chairman.

b. other, as necessary

14. Motion to Adjourn.

Prepared by Fred Juergens

Rock County Jail Design Moves to Front Burner

Click on the post for the article in the Janesville Gazette.

Beloit News: Is Rock County a Death Trap?

Click on the post for an article in the Beloit Times.

Dateline Normal: "The Trellis Manager"---Fiction--

Due to popular demand, I have republished this classic tale.

Relay For Life Weekend in Evansville----

Set up is underway. Music, fun, and more tonight. Stay tuned.

Gazette Corner: Police Commission recap

Click on the post for the recap of Gina Duwe of the recent Evansville Police Commission initial meeting.

Washington Post: Powered by Wind:

Click on the post for an article on wind energy and the discussion in Washington.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Will Microwave Popcorn be Banned in Seattle?

Click on the post for the latest. I am unsure whether this ordinance would be under gourmet design standards. Stay tuned.

New York Times: Print ads decline sharply; Internet ads surge higher

Click on the post for the latest in advertising trends.

Agenda: School beat: Special board meeting June 25th; Administrator contracts on agenda;

Click on the post for the full agenda in the agenda blog.

Sunshine Corner: OpEd: Monroe Times: When in doubt err on the side of openess----

Click on the post for the oped article in the Monroe Times.

The Office

This recent weekend we returned to Minnesota to celebrate a graduation. It seems the father of the grad had recently lost his lease on his business space. What to do? Losing a daughter to college and business space at the same time.

This is his new business space. As a computer consultant who works on a laptop and entertains clients, it seems to work out fine-----at least in the summer. After all there are only about two weeks peak weather in Minnesota---June 10 to June 24 and the clock is ticking. Still. The idea is attractive.

I am going to wait till there is at least some water in Lake Leota till I dream further.

"Chasin" reviews the Probst matter; On building permit reform?

Click on the post for the latest from "Chasin."

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strengthens Open Meeting Law

Click on the post for the decision which will impact local school board and city governement.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the fashionable "minimulist" agenda style which for example would list "ordinance 2007-13 under discusssion", is not acceptable since it is not fourthright and does not explain the substance that is to be discussed.

This decision is long overdue. Bravo.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Evansville Police Commission Pt 1

Opening presentation of Hearing Examiner James D. Wickem re Scott Fields matter.

Download File

Evansville Police Commission-6-13-2007

Part II

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Evansville Police Commission: Pt III

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Mailbag: Karate America: Fund Raising Update

Let’s keep old cell phones and ink cartridges out of landfills - AND – put the money towards an AED for the Grange Store!

Karate America Evansville

students are collecting:

ink jet or laser jet cartridges


old cell phones

All funds raised from our recycling effort will be used to purchase the AED

Since March 1, 2007 we have raised:


Thanks for your ongoing support!

Please feel free to contact Susan Granger at Karate America for more information!

27 W. Main Street

Evansville, WI 53593


Evansville Police Commission 6-13-2007

Police Commission Hearing 6-13-2007 re: Scott Fields, Hearing Examiner James D. Wickhem conducts the initial hearing reviewing the procudures to be followed. The next hearing will be the evidentiary hearing. Exhibits that will be available shortly from the investigations of the accident will be available to the media and will be posted on The Observer as I receive them.The Evansville Observer. We cover the news. We set the standard. Today's news--today.

MP3 File

Evansville Police Commission Meets Wednesday----Initial Hearing

Click on the post for the full agenda in the Evansville Observer Agenda Blog.

Full audio of the public session plus selected video of key highlights will be coming. Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer. We cover the news. With Video. We leave the bricks to others.

Economic Development meets June 19, 2007

Click on the post for the full agenda in the agenda blog.

Plan: Ald Wessels analysis of "community"

Planning commission June 2007: Ald Wessels points out that in the matter of the Exchange Street bar, "community input" does not mean friends of the applicant that do not live in the community affected.

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Plan: Is TIF next? Wayne speaks

At the June 2007 Evansville Planning Commission meeting, Wayne Steinlein speaks against proposed bar on Exchange Street and specifically agains the possiblity that TIF money might be requested to restore the old Water and Light Building that is in very poor condition.

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Plan: New Fence Ordinance

Evansville Planning Commission: Evansville City Plannner discusses fence ordinance---fences around pools, etc.

MP3 File

Plan: Design Standards

Evansville City Planner reviews draft of "Design Standards; Questioned as to his failure to revise according to majority of elected officials in the TND Design committee input of May 2007 meeting with respect to retroactive nature of the wording of ordinance that would make this a punitive and unworkable ordinance. Mason Braunschweig offers to share his notes with the Planner.

MP3 File

Unified Municipal Code- Planner explains

Planning Commission discusses Unified Municipal Code---- City Administrator Dan Wietecha asked opinion---he replies he does not set policy. Has some "reservations" concerning design portion of this.

MP3 File

Blogs: Chasin: Hints of Plan B

Click on the post for the latest from "Chasin"---- "Chasin" seems to suggest that the appointment to Economic Development has the appearance of impropriety.

Four International Banks Indicted in Parmalat scandal

Click on the post for the latest.

Independence Day

Indenpendence Day. The celebration. The parades. The thrown candy and games. The great rock bands. That is coming on July 4th and the Observer will be publishing the usual list of fun activities.

Independence. The Daily Life. The Independence fought for by our forefathers happens today. The Independent Evansville Police Commission will be meeting tonight at 5PM at City Hall to make an independent determination of facts regarding a complaint.

Police commissions were formed to protect police employees from arbitrary political treatment. Thus their independence is the key element in their ethical discharge of their duties. Their independece from political manipulation is central.

Stay tuned as the Evansville Observer brings full audio and selected video reporting to the Commission proceedings. We have learned a lot from the past. We know what "Pro Bono" means. We know the dangers of premature settling of proceedings that hinder the full examination of the facts. So. Stay tuned. The Observer will be watching and listening as my readers. I will allow the video and audio to speak for themselves.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Evansville Common Council Meets Tuesday Night; Long Agenda.

Click on the post for the full agenda for Tuesday night's meeting of the Evansville Common Council.

Audio and video coverage of the meeting is coming. Stay tuned.

"Nothing But Trouble"--the band--featured in Janesville June 19

(Ed.note: This was found in the City of Janesville Web site:

Nothing But Trouble Scheduled for Tuesday June 19

As part of the 2007 Main Street Entertainment Series, Nothing But Trouble will perform on June 19 from 7PM – 8:30PM. The concert will take place on the corner of Court Street and Main Street at Lower Courthouse Park. This concert is sponsored by the City of Janesville Leisure Services, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, the Foresters and Wal-mart and is free to the public. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved across the street to the Janesville Senior Center.

Nothing But Trouble is a 5 member local band that plays the best outlaw country music of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. The band has thrilled audiences throughout the southern Wisconsin area with their musical talent and has recorded numerous original songs, such as “Two Hearts Today”, and “The Outlaw Rides” which has become well known with their audiences. For questions, please contact Janet McLean at 755-3040.

Minutes; Park Board: May 2007

City of� Evansville, Wisconsin

Park and Recreation Board Regular Monthly Meeting

Evansville City Hall Council Chambers

Monday, May 21, 2007


1. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM; Members Carlsen, Farnsworth, Juergens, Krueger, Merritt (arrived at 6:03 pm) and staff Anderson, Hamacher present.� Member�Sendelbach absent.

2. Farnsworth moved, Krueger seconded to waive reading of minutes of April 2007 meeting and approve as printed.� Passed unanimously.

3. There were no changes proposed to the agenda as printed.

4. Citizen appearances other than agenda items:� Ethan Pierick presented a proposal for his Eagle Scout Leadership Service project, involving improvements to Wind Prairie park, such as repairs and replacement of benches and birdhouses, clearing of the parking lot, and trail renovation.� Ray Anderson, as park maintenance supervisor, will provide oversight to the project.� Farnsworth moved, Carlsen seconded to approve the proposal.� Passed unanimously.

Ayn Steinlein commented on Franklin Park, near her home.� She reported that the park is getting much more use with the new playground equipment, and requested that some further landscaping materials be planted, both new plants and replacements for some of last year�s plantings that have died.� The chair commended Ms. Steinlein for her volunteer work in maintaining the park�s plantings.

5. SOLE report: Gib Wiedenhoeft reported that members are working on �neatness� of the lake bed.� The Corps of Engineers� recent visit made clear that a �national interest� must be shown if the Corps is to fund any part of the lake restoration project.� SOLE�s next meeting is May 23rd at the library.

6. Skate Park- McKenna Group report:� No members of the group attended; however, the chair reported that he had had a phone conversation with Brandon Frank, who reported that the park had opened some 9 days previously.� Over 75 people have memberships in the group.� Anderson reported that there was little trash around the area.

7.� Chair�s report on items of interest from Council:� none.

8.� The previously distributed proposal from Kentucky Dry Stone Conservancy to make a site visit to Allen Creek in Lake Leota Park was discussed.� The purpose of the visit is to evaluate the condition of the creek walls in the park and recommend remediation of the damaged portions.� The cost of the visit is estimated at $4500.� Farnsworth moved, Merritt seconded, to invite two representatives of the KDSC to visit on June 1st and 2nd , and to pay the costs of the visit by allocating a maximum of $4500 from the as yet unallocated portion of the Park Board�s capital budget for 2007.� The motion passed unanimously.� Appropriate city staff and officials will meet with the KDSC members during their visit.

9.� West Side Park: after some discussion, Ray Anderson said he would prepare an estimate of costs to build a road from 6th Street into the park and a parking lot within the park, and also costs for a playground in the park.� The construction is anticipated to occur in 2008 in accord with the PRB�s 5-year plan.

10. Updates on pending park projects:� Ray Anderson
����������� a. Lake Leota Park:� The Boy Scout house will be re-roofed after the July 4th weekend celebrations.� 60 or so trees have been planted, including about 20 along the railroad tracks to screen the view from the pool.� Juergens invited volunteers from PRB to clean up the 2nd St entrance to the park on May 26; it�s overgrown and needs weeding.
����������� b. Franklin Park; little progress has been made on getting a cost estimate for building the Welcome Shelter at the park.� Juergens will contact Rob Kostroun to move the process along.
����������� c. Countryside Park;� All concrete block has been laid; the roof trusses have arrived.� Kostroun told Ray that construction will be done by the end of school on June 8th
����������� d. West Side Park; the grass is growing well on the soccer field area seeded last fall.� It has been mowed several times already.

11,� Aquatic Report: Ric Hamacher.
����������� a. Solar Panel project: Hamacher reports that 2nd phase of installation should be complete before the pool opens on June 2nd.
����������� b. Staffing:� this is a re-building year, but adequate new staff is in place and appropriate training will begin soon.
����������� c.� If water aerobics is to be taught, an additional instructor must be sought.� Seniors are welcome at the pool for lap-swimming during the rest-period between the afternoon and evening sessions and during the evening session at the pool.� Additional time/space for lap swimming may be allocated if there is sufficient demand.

12. Old Business:�
a. The senior center garden club has not been formed yet.

b. Tree-planting in Lake Leota Park was already discussed, and Anderson reports that more planting will occur in 2008.

13. New Business:
����������� a. Relative to the Little League program, Katzenmeyer informed the chair she could not attend.� Hermansion did not appear either, so no discussion was held.� This will be put on the agenda for a future meeting so that policy is in place well before the 2008 season.
����������� b.� Preliminary discussion of the 2008 Capital Budget.� Juergens presented dollar figures which show that, including both the usual allocation from the city and hold-overs from previous years, plus parkland fees already received and those expected to be received later in 2007 from Westfield Meadows and Capstone Ridge, there should be sufficient funds to pay for the West Side Park projects planned for 2008.� Some other projected 2008 projects may or may not be deferred as necessary.�� Details and priorities will be on the agenda for the June meeting, when cost estimates of West Side Park will be in hand.

14.� There being no other business, Farnsworth moved, Krueger seconded to adjourn the meeting at 7:48 pm.� Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting minutes prepared by Chair Fred Juergens.� These are not official until approved at the next regular PRB meeting, scheduled for June 18, 2007.


Fred Juergens, Chair: Park and Recreation Board

City of Evansville, Wisconsin

401 Badger Drive



Minutes; Finance and Labor: May 2007

City of Evansville

Finance & Labor Relations Committee

Regular Meeting

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 5:30 pm

City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin


Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm by Chair Tom Cothard.
Roll Call. Present: Chair Cothard and Alderpersons Mason Braunschweig and Diane Roberts. Also present: Janis Ringhand, Dave Olsen, Scott Brummond, Wally Shannon, Mayor Sandy Decker, Alderperson Barb Jacobson, Eric Jepperson, and Dan Wietecha.
Approve Agenda. Braunschwieg moved, seconded by Roberts, to approve the agenda. Motion passed unanimously.

Minutes of May 7, 2007, and May 17, 2007, Meetings. Cothard moved, seconded by Roberts, to approve the minutes. Motion approved unanimously.

Citizen Appearances.

Janis Ringhand, Interim Executive Director for the Evansville Community/Senior Center, gave a brief update on their progress. They are working with the Primetimers, and the original donation was used to establish a foundation. They expect to apply for a low-interest loan from USDA Rural Development for construction of the community/senior center. A resolution or letter of support from the city will be helpful when they apply to USDA.

Water and Light Bills.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the Water and Light bills in the amount of $696,058.43 and authorize their payment. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.
City Bills. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the City bills in the amount of $284,570.64 and authorize their payment. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

Unfinished Business:

Use of TIF Funds for Economic Development Strategy.

Dave Olsen spoke on behalf of the Economic Development Committee. He said that the committee had completed interviewing of candidates and felt that Whalen & Associates was the best choice. Olsen indicated they anticipate a strong emphasis on implementing the strategy. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to hire authorize use of TIF funds to hire Whalen & Associates at a price not to exceed $25,000. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

New Business:

Police Commission Legal Expenses.

Scott Brummond and Wally Shannon spoke on behalf of the Police Commission. At its meeting on May 30, they deemed a complaint filed against Officer Fields to be valid and have scheduled an initial hearing for June 13. The commission will need to hire legal counsel and would like to hire a hearing examiner for additional expertise in a complicated process. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to the Common Council Resolution #2007-26, Amending the 2007 Budget for Police Commission Legal Expenses. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.
Change of Meeting Date.

Braunschweig proposed changing the committee meeting date to the Thursday prior to Common Council in order to ensure the ability to advance items from Finance to Council in a timely manner. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to change the meeting date to the Thursday prior to Common Council. Motion approved unanimously.

Fire District Land Purchase.

The committee discussed the upcoming June 25 meeting between the full boards of the Fire District members. The committee noted that the city pays 51% of the bills. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council a limit of $170,000 for land purchase. Motion approved unanimously

City Clerk Applications.

Wietecha distributed a memo listing the qualifications of the 41 job applicants. He recommended 10 applicants to be invited for interviews. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the interview list. Motion approved unanimously. The interview committee will consist of Mayor Decker, Alderperson Cothard, Administrator Wietecha, and Finance Director Jepperson.

Re-organization of City Offices. Wietecha noted that there were several items discussed but not approved at the May 17 meeting.
Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to recommend to Common Council adoption of the revised organization chart. Motion approved unanimously.

Braunschweig made a motion to recommend to Common Council Resolution #2007-25, Memorializing the Separation of the Offices of City Clerk and Treasurer. Motion approved unanimously.

Cothard made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the Human Resources Administrator position description. Motion approved unanimously.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Cothard, to approve the Deputy Clerk position description. Motion approved unanimously.

Cothard made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to table consideration of a stipend for the Acting City Clerk. Motion approved unanimously.

Employee Handbook. The committee will review the discussion draft for the July meeting.
Property Insurance Renewal. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council Resolution #2007-24, Renewal of Property Insurance in the Local Government Property Insurance Fund. Motion approved unanimously.
State Trust Fund Loan TID #7. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to recommend to Common Council Resolution #2007-27, Borrowing $1,918,000 from State Trust Fund for financing roads and infrastructure for business park in TID #7. Motion approved unanimously.
State Trust Fund Loan TID #5. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council Resolution #2007-28, Borrowing $500,000 from State Trust Fund for financing the renovation of Main Street area in TID #5.
Adjournment. On a motion by Braunschweig, seconded by Roberts, the meeting adjourned at 6:20 pm.

Minutes: Planning Commission: June 11, 2007

City of Evansville

Plan Commission

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, June 11, 2007, 6:30 pm

City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin


Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by Mayor Sandy Decker.
Roll Call. Present: Sandy Decker, Diane Roberts, Mason Braunschweig, and Jim Brooks. Absent: Gil Skinner, Jeff Vrstal, and Bill Hammann. Staff present: Tim Schwecke and Dan Wietecha. Others present included: Ryan Combs, Rolland Probst, Brian Cothard, Mike ………, Bev Krueger, Jason Olson, Steve Ver Kuilen, Julie Meredith, Joe Topp, Sceone Gard, Kolleen Onsrud, Ayn Steinlein, John Sornson, Pat Engendorf, Cheryl Fuchs, Allison Topp, Dennis Wessels, Dick Woulfe, Vanessa Hinkel, Wayne Steinlein, Tim Meredith, Kerri Lynch, Nancy Nelson, Hans Kleisch, Tom Nonn, Decklin Every, and other members of the public.

Approve Agenda. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the agenda. Motion approved unanimously.

Approve Minutes of May 1, 2007 Meeting. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the minutes. Motion approved unanimously.

Citizen Appearances. None.

Unfinished Business. Wietecha stated that the Redevelopment Authority had recently hired RA Smith & Associates to conduct the Allen Creek Redevelopment Master Plan.

Schwecke indicated nothing to report on other ongoing items.

New Business.
Probst Land Division (application 2007-4). Ryan Combs presented the application on behalf of his client. There is a detached garage serving one side of the duplex on the adjacent lot. The garage portion of the lot cannot be combined with the adjacent lot because of restrictions with the duplex condominium association. Separating the garage portion to its own individual lot would enable the development of the rest of the property.

Mayor Decker opened the public hearing at 6:39. Public comments generally in favor of the application included:

The building permit was the city’s error and now there are dollars invested by the property owner.

Public comments generally against the application included:

Concern with the possibility of one or more rental duplexes on the new lot.

The public hearing was closed at 6:44. The Commission noted that it had denied a similar application from Probst last year.

The Commission stated it was unfortunate if there was an error by the city in issuing the building permit, but allowing the lot split would create a non-conforming lot.

The Commission noted the property is zoned to allow duplexes. The Commission asked if he had any plans to pave the gravel driveway; Rolland Probst said he may decide to eventually. Probst stated that he felt he was jumping through a lot of hoops and rigmarole for a building permit that was previously approved.

Brooks made a motion to recommend to Common Council approval of the land division as shown on the preliminary CSM, based on the findings and conclusions in the staff report, provided the conditions listed in the staff report are met prior to recording the final CSM with Rock County. Motion failed for lack of a second.

O2 Investments Annexation (application 2007-7). Jason Olson stated that he wished to have a property on Walker Street annexed into the city in order to connect to city sanitary sewer. Schwecke indicated a letter recommending approval had been received from the state Department of Administration. Wietecha distributed a revised development agreement.
Mayor Decker opened the public hearing at 6:56. There were no comments from the public. The public hearing was closed at 6:57.

Commission noted that it was an existing residence. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve recommend to Common Council adoption of Ordinance 2007-6, Annexing Territory to the City. Motion approved unanimously.

Ver Kuilen/Meredith Tavern CUP (application 2007-8).

Steve Ver Kuilen said that their plan was to open a non-smoking, low-key venue for socialization. The liquor license had been approved by the Public Safety Committee contingent upon the conditional use permit (CUP) being approved by Plan Commission. He noted that it is a commercial area and street.

Schwecke stated that the question is whether a bar/tavern is an appropriate land use at that location; operational concerns such as hours or smoking are not concerns for the CUP.

Mayor Decker opened the public hearing at 7:12. There were many public comments. Those generally in favor of the application included:

It is a residential area, and a bar does not belong there.
There is a park in the neighborhood. The bar would be dangerous for children.
The park should not be forced to put up a fence because of the bar.
The bar would lead to increased loitering in the area.
There is already limited parking in the area.
The city does not need another bar.
The bar cannot ensure that its clientele would be quiet and well-behaved.
School buses load and unload nearby.
Increased noise from a bar.
Negative impact on neighboring property values.
Residents in area are working to make it a better neighborhood to live, and the bar would reverse that effort.
Most favorable comments seem to be from other neighborhoods.
Those generally against the application included:

The area is zoned commercial, and the street is a truck route.
The park is down the street.
The city needs new commercial development.
The VFW, Romano’s, and Citgo all have liquor licenses and are located closer to the park than this location.
Bar would not be open during same time as school bus loading or kids playing in park.
Would be a nice establishment.
The Commission noted written comments received from Jeff Bahrs and Ivan and Peggy Legler. The public hearing closed at 7:39. Braunschweig noted that the location is zoned commercial, not residential. He also indicated that two other bars are about the same distance or closer to the park without any reported problems. Ver Kuilen stated that he fully appreciated the concerns and would be a responsible and good neighbor.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to act on the application. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the application conditional use permit with the conditions contained in the staff report; Braunschweig requested a roll call vote. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

Kleisch Site Plan (application 2007-10). Schwecke noted that the conditional use permit (CUP) had already been approved; the site plan includes specific drainage concerns as well as the placement of an 8-foot fence. Braunschweig said the application was exactly what had been discussed over several previous meetings. The Commission indicated the fence material could be approved administratively by Schwecke. Roberts made a motion, seconded by Brooks, to approve the site plan with the conditions contained in the staff report. Motion approved unanimously.
Rohloff Extraterritorial Lot Division (application 2007-12). Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to approve the extraterritorial lot division for Charles and Dolores Rohloff. Motion approved unanimously.
Ordinance 2007-4, Allowing Artisan Studios in Certain Districts Provided Certain Standards Are Met. Schwecke noted there was an amendment from the version considered at first reading.
Mayor Decker opened the public hearing at 8:06. There were no public comments. The public hearing was closed at 8:07.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to Common Council adoption of Ordinance 2007-4, Allowing Artisan Studios in Certain Districts Provided Certain Standards Are Met, as amended. Motion approved unanimously.

Every Comprehensive Plan Amendment #1 (application 2007-13). Decklin Every stated that this application was for the property outside the city limits.
Every Comprehensive Plan Amendment #2 (application 2007-14). Decklin Every stated that this application was for the property inside the city limits.
Discussion on Plan Commission Meeting Date. The Commission decided not to change the regular meeting date.
Preliminary Development Presentations. Schwecke indicated there were no preliminary presentations.
Pending Legislative Proposals.
Unified Land Development Code. Schwecke stated that converting the zoning code to a unified land development code would give the zoning regulations a better, more user-friendly organization. Several portions have already been done in recent years. The land use portion and related items would need to be done first; other portions could wait until later. The Commission stated the initial portions could be addressed at a future meeting when the agenda is light.
Fences. The Commission said that comments from the building inspector should be incorporated into the draft; it can then go to first reading.
Residential Design Standards. The Commission noted that these were identified as one of the later portions of the unified land development code. Braunschweig questioned the impact on pre-existing buildings. The Commission preferred to table the standards until the TND Committee had settled on the language.
Accessible Housing. The Commission stated the ordinance was ready to go to first reading.
Traditional Neighborhood Developments. The Commission stated the ordinance was ready to go to first reading.
Residential Use Standards. The Commission agreed this item should wait until after the proposed unified land code.
Comprehensive Plan Amendments. The Commission noted that Comprehensive Plan amendments would be on the July agenda.
Site Plan Amendments. Schwecke stated there had been no administrative review of site plan amendments.
Redevelopment Authority. Wietecha had nothing additional to report.
Historic Preservation Commission.
Baker Office Building. Decker noted that the Baker Office Building had been designated as a local historic landmark.
Historic Building Survey. Decker indicated that two small areas had been identified as possible additional historic districts.
Traditional Neighborhood Development Committee. The Commission noted this was covered under the pending legislative proposals.
City Planner’s Report. Schwecke distributed a written staff report noting 1) approval of variance for Keller by Board of Appeals and 2) need for compliance with landscaping requirements by Davis.
Adjournment. On a motion by Braunschweig, seconded by Roberts, the meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm.