Saturday, December 29, 2012
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 6:58 PM
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 8:50 AM
Friday, December 28, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Looking Back ~ Looking Forward As we say good-bye to 2012, it’s good to reflect on the old year and the opportunities and challenges in the New Year. Looking back, 2012 was the "Year of the Mine". The overwhelming reason constituents contacted me was to express thoughts about mining. Almost half of all contacts I received were related to mining. Concerns were split evenly between sand mining and metallic mining. People expressed strong opinions about metallic mining. Three quarters of those who contacted me opposed legislation to rewrite the metallic mining law. Folks were concerned about the environment, protecting the interests of the tribes and the effect of mining on tourism. One quarter of people who wrote supporting changes in the mining law were mainly concerned about jobs. Of those who wrote to express an opinion about sand mines, 97% were opposed to sand mines. For every person who wrote expressing an opinion, almost three people wrote requesting specific assistance with a mine in their neighborhood. My office assisted many with concerns about some aspect of sand mines; including community residents, county board members, town officials, school board members and sand mine owners. Road access, traffic, proximity of mines to a school, DNR permits, air and noise pollution, and water table testing were some of the concerns we addressed. Many people call my office for assistance with problems related to government. The most common reason people call is related to Social Security. On problems with federal programs, my staff and I work closely with Congressman Ron Kind and his staff. They are quick to help me navigate the federal bureaucracy in the service of local people. Other issues people call to request assistance include child custody, child support, energy assistance, unemployment insurance and Food Share. Often people call about health issues. People need help with BadgerCare, Family Care and the state’s high risk insurance known as HIRSP. Access to affordable health care, especially for small business and people who buy insurance on their own remains at the top of the list for many in the 31st district. I will re-introduce my bill to establish a state-run health exchange to bring real relief to businesses and those facing rising health insurance costs. Protecting BadgerCare and solving the problems in Family Care and Medicaid are concerns of your neighbors because so many depend on these programs. Business owners and managers call with needs related to expansion and new business development. I assisted with economic development grants and helped resolve problems with the state DNR and DOT offices. As a result of this work, we have a new radio station in Durand and many new infrastructure projects throughout the district. The financial health of our schools is on minds of many constituents. Nearly everyone who contacted me about education is concerned about money for local schools and opposed to an expansion of the charter and voucher programs, especially the expansion of vouchers to special education students. The special education voucher program and the independent charter school expansion will likely reappear before the Education Committee of which I am a member. The Governor may also add an expansion of the voucher program in the state budget. Soon, I will meet with representatives from the Governor’s office and continue to meet with other Legislators as we work to find some common ground on school finance reform. As I work to change the school funding formula to better assist our schools, I will also play defense to stop new proposals that syphon off dollars that should go to our already struggling schools. In addition to schools, rumors in the Capitol are that mining will take front and center early next year as some push the Assembly version of the iron ore mining bill. I will work on several bills to assist residents and local officials as they seek to find harmony between sand mines and their neighbors. All this effort would not be possible without the dedicated work of my staff: Benjamin Larson, Joel Nilsestuen and Linda Kleinschmidt. The 31st district is also blessed with the help of two talented interns: Rachel Lerman and Laura MacCallum. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year. If you know someone who would like to be added to this distribution list, please let us know. If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter, reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 316 South - P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882 Toll Free: (877) 763-6636 or (608) 267-2871
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 2:24 PM
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Just got the text from Normal, Mn. that if the Fiscal Cliff is not resolved, milk prices might skyrocket...OMG.....this may be the chance for normal Americans to regain their health...but...wait....regular Americans are accustomed to the non soy, non almond regular milk and they might feel deprived if they were allowed to live a healthy life on an alternative..OMG....
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 5:52 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2012
It occurs to me that I have never suggested that you all buy my book but many of you and your friends would find it interesting and useful. It is readable. Connecting the Dots: Government,Community and Family connectingdots.us You can buy the e-book version for $15 hardcover is more. This is the link to the book : http://www.transactionpub.com/title/Connecting-the-Dots-978-1-4128-0730-2.html This is the link to the eBook of the hardcover: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=JpI7vovR2YsC they may be cheaper at google books or amazon There is also a how-to-do it guidebook. JOHN NICHOLS SAID “A politically savvy yet relentlessly optimistic public intellectual, [Wireman] keeps imploring us to look beyond a failed status quo to the future that might yet be ... faith in facts rather than fantasy.” — from the foreword by John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation — CONGRESSMAN TAMMY BALDWIN SAID “Peggy Wireman…. reminds us…that as Americans we are called to care about the common good, which means working for the many, not just the privileged few. Through powerful illustrations [Wireman] brings to light that the American dream is in serious need of renewed commitment.” OTHER COMMENTS FROM MADISON “[A] must read for practitioners and students who wish to explore, better understand and engage in a dialogue on race on a personal and policy level.” — Marc Herstand, Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers, Wisconsin Chapter ““[I] recommend this book to staff working with neighborhoods...solutions which are not top-down solutions but ones which involve people in activities that affect their lives...” – Enis Ragland, former Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Madison, WI “ “[S]hows that creating strong families demands both neighborhood actions and solid government policy and financial commitment.” — Hannah Rosenthal, Executive Director, Chicago Foundation for Women “...a real focus on the bread-and-butter concerns of the average family.” — Kathleen Falk, County Executive, Dane County, WI
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 9:13 PM
Friday, December 21, 2012
Holidays Don't Slow State's Chief Watchdogs Most of us spend the weeks before Christmas putting the finishing touches on our holiday celebrations. But, just like Santa’s elves, staff at the Legislative Audit Bureau was busily working to put the finishing preparations on new audit reports. The holidays don’t slow the state auditors of the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) who serve as the state’s chief watchdogs. Auditors in both the financial and program evaluation departments work overtime to complete audits that help legislators and the people of the state understand state finance and programs. We often ask the question, “How well is the program working?” But far too often we can’t find the answers. Agencies frequently don’t take the time or spend the money to collect data on the effectiveness of programs. So data is limited; questions go unanswered. Year after year, Republican or Democratic administrations spend state money on programs that are not working as well as they should. For example, easily accessible data was not available on mental illness and addictions among prisoners. The court orders treatment in prison upon sentencing a prisoner; but many prisoners are released without receiving adequate court-ordered treatment. A report by the audit bureau helped us understand the extent of the problem of addiction and mental illness among prisoners. New reports about retired state workers being rehired and the year-end financial audit shine light on practices that may affect the state’s pension system and fiscal health of the state. Other reports dig deep into troubled state programs including the state’s economic development efforts and the former food stamp program known as “Food Share.” Recent hearings also brought to light progress made and new efforts needed in the state’s Medicaid and Family Care programs which were both subjects of earlier audits. As a long-time member of the Joint Committee on Audit, I recognize the quality of work done by our audit bureau staff. As Co-Chair this year I was pleased to acknowledge the bureau staff for their latest achievement. The National State Auditors Association recently recognized the staff in our Legislative Audit Bureau as among the best in the nation. The team of outside reviewers, composed of government auditing professionals from other states and the federal government, reviewed selected financial audits and found the work of the LAB financial auditors merited a “clean opinion” for its system of quality control. In the language of auditors this is high praise. This recognition proves the work of the Audit Bureau can be trusted to provide the nonpartisan financial and program evaluation we need to make difficult policy and budget decisions. The Audit Bureau has a long history of excellence. The bureau was created in 1965 and has won many national awards. The Audit Bureau works every day to provide the Legislature with information and assurance that financial transactions and management decisions are made effectively, efficiently, and in compliance with state law. Every report and the follow-up made in response to the report are available on the Bureau’s website at http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov/lab. Auditors also operate a hotline to report fraud, waste and abuse in state government. Anyone can use the hotline. State employees who use the hotline are protected by one of the strongest “whistle-blower” laws in state government. The number to call is 1-877-FRAUD-17 or 1-877-372-8317. The work of the professionals at the Audit Bureau provides us with expert, accurate and objective analysis. The information aids us as we make critical decisions about the functioning and funding of state government. I send many thanks to the staff at the Audit Bureau and all our other workers who toil in the public’s interest. As you prepare for this joyous season, rest assured the auditors of the Legislative Audit Bureau will be hard at work as the watchdogs of state government. Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year to all! Senator Vinehout will be stepping down as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Audit at the end of this year because of the change in party control. She will continue her work in overseeing the efforts of the Legislative Audit Bureau as Ranking Minority Member of the Committee. If you know someone who would like to be added to this distribution list, please let us know. If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter, reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 316 South - P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882 Toll Free: (877
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 5:42 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Peggy Wireman: As guns kill kids, we cut resources Dear Editor: We grieve for the 20 children killed last week but ignore the fact that on an average day 11 children and youth are slain using firearms. For those aged 1 to 24, firearms kill more than cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every day another six use firearms to commit suicide. What is our national and state response? New laws permitting concealed guns in schools, bars, churches and day care centers. Passing stand-your-ground laws. To cut taxes, politicians want to cut pay for and numbers of police and teachers. Budget cuts mean fewer community police, school nurses, social workers, special education teachers working with problem children, fewer resources for domestic violence prevention, mental health diagnosis and treatment, especially Medicaid users. Before the funerals are over, another 20 young people will die but we will not notice. Their deaths occur not as shocking mass murder but part of normal daily life. Peggy Wireman Monona Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/mailbag/peggy-wireman-as-guns-kill-kids-we-cut-resources/article_48b5b0da-e2ea-5a94-930e-a88822dac170.html#ixzz2FcYLtwDU http://tinyurl.com/cy9386s http://bit.ly/UJzqqf ©2012 Wireman & Associates | 4001 Monona Dr, Madison WI 5371
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 5:38 PM
Janesville - Rock County: Video: Janesville Media Forum With Sly: Good stuff! Youtube Video Source Video forwarded by Rock County Progressives. Thanks to Sly & Vicki S for recording! Be sure to also c...
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 10:42 AM
Video: (2 of 3) St. Paul's Church, Evansville, Wi; Fr. Kevin Dooley's Classic Christmas Story.
Video: (3 0f 3): St. Paul's Church: Evansville, Wi.; Fr. Kevin Dooley's Classic Christmas Story.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Today as Apple stock opened on the New York Stock Exchange, it approached $500 and a flurry of buying came in....it was a battle between the bulls and bears, or if not bears, just folks selling to get their capital gains into the 2012 tax year. One pundit on Wall Street was saying that it was hard to even get a cab ride where every cabbie on earth was not talking about Apple...it was the buzz topic....
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 6:08 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2012
At least five years ago, Evansville Schools reviewed the entrance to schools, and in the thorough discussion, changes were made at the middle school, and in the discussion of the high school the prospects for a controlled entrance were discussed, and dismissed due to cost....however..in the sobering discussion...it was always envisioned in the event of a hostile intruder, the school staff would have to step up to be the heroes...and it is stunning in the current case in Conn. that the teachers did just that...the courage of these teachers was stunning...I salute them...and honor them....
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 8:34 PM
As a consumer, you may be waiting for a refund for the overcharging for the interest rate misstatement in your mortgage or refinancing during the past ten year---relax....ever since 1980's it has been the practice of governmental entities to extort penalties out of private enterprise for violations and then forget the victims,....namely the citizens...so for all of you folks that were victims of overcharging due to the LIBOR scandal, please do not get excited that you will be reimbursed for your pain....only the government will rejoice in the settlement....ditto for the victims of the similac incident in Minnesota---that goes back to the 1980's and I and other parents are still waiting...
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
My heart aches for the families of Newtown, Connecticut. We need to reach out to the loved ones of those who were murdered and to the community that has been shattered. We need to let them know that they are in our thoughts and our prayers, and that we are ready to do what it takes to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again. Share your personal message of condolence with the families of Newtown, Connecticut. I've heard a lot of promises from politicians since my daughter was murdered in Tucson, Arizona, including President Obama. But I am still waiting for them to act. And I'm not alone in my frustration. As horrible as it sounds, mass shootings have become common in our country, and 34 Americans are murdered with guns every single day. That means 48,000 people will be murdered with guns in the president's next term. Yet our broken laws remain broken, and our leaders have yet to step forward with a plan to end gun violence. We need to make sure today's terrible tragedy is the last of its kind. We need to make a promise to ourselves and demand action from our leaders. Please join me in sharing your feelings -- and your promise -- with those who have lost so much: www.demandaplan.org/condolences Thank you for your support, Roxanna Green
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 8:52 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Wonderful News---this is a fit assignment for a representative that has been responsive to health needs of citizens locally.
Wonderful News---this is a fit assignment for a representative that has been responsive to health needs of citizens locally.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 2:58 PM
DANE DEMS HOLIDAY PARTY SUNDAY Don't forget our Holiday Party coming up this Sunday from 2:00-4:00PM at the Cardinal Bar (418 E Wilson, Madison). As always, this promises good food, good cheer and great company. We hope you can a part of this. SATURDAY GET TRAINED FOR RUNNING OR WORKING IN SPRING ELECTIONS !This coming Spring promises to be big for the Dane Dems. We are looking to run the largest slate ever of candidates for local offices - and we want you to be a part of it. If you ever thought of running for office or helping out candidates as a campaign manager, you have an opportunity to learn at our candidate/campaign manager training this Saturday from 9:00-11:00AM at the DPW offices at 110 King Street in Madison (above Ancora Coffee). Dane County Board Chair and Clerk-Elect Scott McDonell will lead the session for candidates and I will lead the session for campaign managers. For more information and to sign up, go to http://www.facebook.com/event
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 2:49 PM
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=38495 Citizen Dave Speaks: Bishop Morlino is failing Madison
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 9:53 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Friday, December 07, 2012
Let's be Tough on Criminals and Smart on Crime “I’m an alcoholic,” the man told a large audience in Eau Claire. “I was sentenced to 6 years in prison for my fifth drunk driving offense.” He served his time but relapsed after prison. The construction worker continued his story, “I got into the Chippewa Valley Veterans Court. I’m sober. I’m a home-owner and I have a well-paying job.” “Thirty years ago Wisconsin was tough on crime,” he said. “Wisconsin is now tough on criminals, but smart on crime.” The Eau Claire man was a graduate of one of our local “problem solving” courts. Western Wisconsin is a state leader in creating alternative courts. These courts take a different approach to drug addicts, alcoholics and other nonviolent criminals. Using an evidence-based, comprehensive, carrot and stick methods, judges and court officials found success where traditional incarceration failed. Problem solving courts are only an option for individuals who are not a danger to the health and well-being of our society. The California-based Human Impact Partners released a lengthy report on Wisconsin’s alternative courts. The study was a collaborative work with WISDOM, a statewide faith-based organization. Local chapters across the state, including AMOS and JONAH, are working to increase Wisconsin’s investment in Treatment Alternative and Diversion (TAD) court programs. The program began with funding I supported in the 2007-09 state budget. That investment in local problem solving courts produced results that received high marks by researchers. For example, while almost half of offenders in Wisconsin end up back in prison, in La Crosse County only 4% of their OWI court graduates were rearrested. La Crosse also experienced a 47% drop in third time drunk driving arrests. Many people with substance abuse problems have underlying mental health problems. The Eau Claire Mental Health Court focus on controlling mental illness as an approach to reduce criminal behavior. The Human Impact Partners evaluation reported Eau Claire addicts had “marked improvement” in symptom control, which led to sustained sobriety. The state Department of Corrections estimates that 70% of prisoners have substance abuse addictions. The Human Impact Partners study reported that drug and alcohol use accounted for 80% of prison population growth since 1996. With a total budget of over $ 2.2 billion state dollars, lawmakers are looking for ways to trim those costs. Almost half of prison inmates come from and return to Milwaukee County. But the good news is Milwaukee’s crime rate decreased by 23% since 2007 when Milwaukee’s TAD program went into effect. Community policing, inmate screening and diversion programs like TAD can be credited. The effects of incarceration go far beyond the prisoners who struggle with higher unemployment, depressed wages, and high risk of suicide, drug use and homelessness. Nearly half of Wisconsin’s prisoners are parents. Almost 7% of all African American children have a parent in prison. Families left behind are more likely to experience hardship and need public assistance. Almost 8 out of 10 women in prison provided most of the care for their children. One study showed 70% of young children with a mother in prison experienced emotional or psychological problems. Children of inmates have double the risk of depression, are more likely to have attention disorders and below average school performance. They are 44% more likely to show aggressive behavior at school. Children with a father in prison are more likely to start using drugs earlier and use more drugs. They are more likely to be expelled or drop out of school. One study that compared boys under age 10 without a father at home, found half of the boys with a father in prison were convicted of a crime as an adult compared to a quarter of the other fatherless boys with similar backgrounds. Wisconsin spends a lot on prisons. We incarcerate more than twice as many people as Minnesota with roughly the same crime rate and a similar population. The average annual cost of the drug courts is $7,551. The cost of keeping a well- behaved prisoner is over $30,000. Only seven counties have some form of drug court. In 2010 only one percent of the non-violent offenders in these counties participated in the alternative court programs. Faith-based groups support statewide expansion of alternatives to prison. Let’s be smart about crime and join their effort. If you know someone who would like to be added to this distribution list, please let us know. If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter, reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 316 South - P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882 Toll Free: (877) 763-6636 o
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 5:06 PM
On the agenda for the Evansville Common Council on Tuesday night is the employment agreement between the City and Nicole Sidoff. Here is a section of her background on Linkedin: Experience Board Member Milwaukee Audubon Society January 2012 – Present (1 year) Assist in planning and promoting annual Natural Landscapes Conference. Community Resource Development Educator University of Wisconsin June 2008 – Present (4 years 7 months) Build the capacity of economic partners, small business owners, and entrepreneurs including: Collaborate with Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Ozaukee Economic Development Corporation (OED), and local chambers of commerce to develop the first leadership program in Ozaukee County. Craft curriculum, find speakers and locations, promote the program, create community service projects, and facilitate sessions. Partner with the Small Business Development Center SBDC to host First Steps to Starting a Business and Entrepreneur Training Program courses. Serve as program planner and site coordinator for Revitalizing Wisconsin's Downtowns webinar series. Facilitate government, economic development, and business professionals learning about and discussing issues facing downtowns. Develop and implement ongoing business education programs, including property purchase and lease negotiation strategies, impacts of concealed carry, demographic trends and projections, and general business resources. Serve as Economic Development Director for Saukville Chamber of Commerce. Design and implement annual member survey and provide on-going small business education for Chamber members. Develop annual economic indicator report for OED to assist in goal setting and benchmarking. Conduct economic impact analysis of Ozaukee Interurban Trail, including Trail user intercept and business surveys, and business owner focus groups. Collaborate with multiple local and State agencies on analysis. Present findings at Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) national conference Group XIV Fellow Leadership Wisconsin April 2010 – July 2012 (2 years 4 months) Planning Intern Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department November 2006 – May 2008 (1 year 7 months) Composed inventory and element chapters of comprehensive plans for fourteen municipalities participating in the multi-jurisdictional comprehensive planning process. Conducted statistical analysis of agricultural land to prioritize parcels for farmland for preservation. Designed comprehensive planning displays and educational materials for public informational meetings and events.
Ed.note: This is a section of the November, 2012 Common Council Minutes:) (1). Discussion on Administration Office including the draft City Administrator/Finance Director position description, changes to City Code, and the proposed updated organization chart. Many duties of the combined position will be delegated to the Community Development Director and to the current office staff. Wietecha reported that the city received 20 applications for the Community Development Director position. The selection panel will consist of Mayor Decker as chair of the Plan Commission, Jim Brooks as chair of the Economic Development Committee, Mason Braunschweig as Council President, Paul Benjamin from the Rock County Planning Department, Dave Olsen from Baker Manufacturing, and himself. Interviews will be conducted after Thanksgiving.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 4:47 PM
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
How to Own Your Own Business Dec. 12th Evansville Area Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club Meeting Starting your own business can raise many questions such as the following: Should I start a business during these tough economic times? How can I get financing? What are the inherent risks of a franchise, resale or start-up business model? Joan and Rick Huedepohl can help aspiring business owners answer these tough questions. With over 25 years of prior business ownership and general management experience, Joan and Rick have become intermediaries and advisors to numerous businesses. Their personal experience with business operation during these challenging economic times, as well as the financial effects of the current economy, help them identify the unique challenges (and opportunities) of today’s business environment. Not only have Rick and Joan helped numerous business owners buy and sell their own businesses but, as franchise owners of The Entrepreneur’s Source since 2008, they have also helped guide individuals through franchise model research and self-employment. Rick and Joan will be presenting Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the upcoming meeting of the Evansville Area Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club. The I&E Club meets every month at Creekside Place, 102 Maple St., Evansville. Club meetings begin at 6:30 p.m., and are always free and open to the public thanks to monthly meeting sponsors and donations. This upcoming meeting’s sponsor is Sue Nettum and The Artful Gourmet in Evansville. The Artful Gourmet is one of Evansville’s newest retail shops located at 16 W. Main St. and offers culinary delights, gizmos and gadgets, plus unique gifts ranging from trendy to traditional. Sue is also willing to share recipes and tips on how to impress dinner guests when you entertain at home. The Artful Gourmet’s holiday store hours are Monday – Friday, 11 am - 8 pm, Saturday, 9 am - 6 pm and Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm. To find out more about I&E Club, contact Sue Berg at 608-882-0986 or email@example.com. You may also go to www.linkedin.com and search under “groups” for Evansville Area Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 7:49 PM
NOTICE: The regular meeting of the Finance and Labor Relations Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the date, time and place stated below. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Regular Meeting Thursday, December 6, 2012, 5:30 p.m. City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI AGENDA 1. Call to order and roll call. 2. Approval of Agenda. 3. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the November 8, 2012, regular meeting and to approve as printed. 4. Citizen appearances other than agenda items listed. 5. Motion to accept the City and Water & Light bills as presented. 6. Unfinished Business: A. Discussion: Administration Office. 1) Draft: City Administrator / Finance Director position description. 2) Draft: organization chart update. 3) Update: Community Development Director hiring. B. Motion to recommend to Common Council to renew engagement of Consigny Law Firm, SC as City Attorney for two years through December 31, 2014, at an hourly rate of $130. 7. New Business: 1) Motion to recommend to Common Council approval of internal funding for purchase of new plow truck in amount of $148,000. 2) Motion to recommend to Common Council approval of Resolution 2012-19, Resolution Providing for the Sale of $2,895,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes. 3) Motion to recommend to Common Council approval of engagement of Johnson Block and Company, Inc. for independent financial audit for year ending December 31, 2012. 4) Motion to approve hiring Customer Service Clerk (vacant position). 8. Adjournment. Mason Braunschweig, Chair
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 4:40 PM
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Monday, December 03, 2012
NOTICE The regular meeting of the Public Safety Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 5th day of December, 2012 at 6:30 p.m., at Common Council Chambers, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance. Public Safety Committee Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:30 p.m. Regular Meeting Common Council Chambers 31 South Madison Street AGENDA 1. Call to Order 2. Roll Call 3. Approval of Agenda 4. Motion to approve the November 7, 2012 meeting minutes as printed 5. Citizen appearances other than agenda items listed 6. Old Business- 7. New Business a. Motion to approve the Operator’s License application(s) for: 1. Troy R Hinkel 2. Laura L Bowman b. Discussion and possible action related to “Wheel Against the Weeds” bicycle ride scheduled May 11, 2013. c. Discussion and possible motion regarding the hours of sale on Liquor Retail Sales Ordinance. d. Discussion and update to create an eligibility list for promotion of Police Sergeant e. Discussion and possible motion to create an ordinance on disorderly conduct with a Motor Vehicle. f. Discussion and possible motion regarding parking on Railroad Street. g. Discussion and motion to recommend to Common Council the approval of the name change/partner to Life Quest. h. Discussion and possible motion regarding Ordinance Sec.122-191. Abandonment prohibited. i. Discussion and possible motion regarding Ordinance Sec. 122-126. Winter Parking Restrictions. j. Discussion of the capital and operating budgets 8. Evansville Police Report 9. Evansville Medical Service Report 10. Motion to adjourn Barbara Jacobson, Chairperson Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the Clerk’s office by calling 882-2266 with as much advance notice as possible. Please turn off all cell phones while the meeting is in session. Thank you.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 4:23 PM
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
(ed.note: This is a section of the Nov. minutes) 10. Report on Common Council actions relating to Plan Commission recommendations. Wietecha explained that the selection panel for the Community Development Director would include the Mayor as chair of Plan Commission, chair of Economic Development Committee, Council President, Rock County Planning Department, Baker Manufacturing, and the City Administrator. They would review the applicants and sort them into A, B, and C categories based on qualifications. Interviews of the A category are expected after Thanksgiving. The position is the City Administrator’s to appoint.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 4:50 PM
NOTICE The regular meeting of the Evansville Plan Commission will be held on the date and time stated below at City Hall (Third Floor), 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance. City of Evansville Plan Commission Regular Meeting Monday, December 3, 2012, 6:00 p.m. City Hall (Third Floor), 31 South Madison Street AGENDA 1. Call to order 2. Roll call 3. Approval of agenda 4. Approval of minutes: Motion to waive the reading of the minutes from November 5, 2012 regular meeting and approve them as printed. 5. Citizen appearances other than agenda items listed. 6. New Business a. Site Plan Review for Delong Company addition, 340 Union Street (parcel 6-27-866). i. Initial Staff Comments ii. Plan Commissioner Questions and Comments iii. Motion b. Preapplication concept discussion, 170 South Union Street (parcel 6-27-676.1, owned by – Roger Berg) – potential Planned Unit Development District (PUD) Rezoning Request. i. Initial Staff Comments ii. Discussion from potential applicant iii. Plan Commissioner Questions and Comments c. Symdon Chevrolet site plan, 351-369 Union Street (parcels 6-27-835, 6-27-836, 6-27-837 combined). i. Initial Staff Comments ii. Plan Commissioner Questions and Comments iii. Possible motion d. Update on Community Development Director hiring process; discussion of option for Vierbicher month-to-month contract in interim. 7. Report on other permitting activity by City Planner 8. Report on the Unified Land Development Code Committee 9. Report of the Evansville Historic Preservation Commission 10. Report on Common Council actions relating to Plan Commission recommendations 11. Report on Board of Appeals actions relating to zoning matters 12. Enforcement Report 13. Discuss and set next Plan Commission meeting date – please bring your calendar. 14. Motion to adjourn Mayor Sandra J. Decker, Plan Commission Chair Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the Clerk’s office by calling 882-2266 with as much advance notice as possible. Please turn off all cell phones while the meeting is in session. Thank you.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 4:42 PM
JOHANNES BRAHMS is at the UNIVERSITY NOT Overture Ein Deutsches Requiem, op. 45 Choral Union and UW Symphony Orchestra Beverly Taylor, conductor Olivia Pogodzinski, soprano Benjamin Li, baritone Friday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. Mills Concert Hall Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park Street Tickets: $15/General Public and $8/Students and Seniors Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office; 608-265-2787 Remaining tickets at the door Christmas concert this weekend at Overture. after the dress rehearsal last night I was so impressed with the overall fun event that I decided to share the data below. Again, the cheap tickets in the upper balcony are fine for hearing. pre-concert free choral sing in lobby 45 minutes before concert Concert It starts with the youth choir walking through the aisles with candles (I assume flashlights but pretty spectactular and singlng arr. Rutter - O Come Immanuel the soloists are great. Because the conductor came to Madison from the opera world and knows people, we often get soloists who have just or are about to debut at the Met. Handel - For Unto Us a Child is Born - Messiah Mozart - Laudamus te Bach/Gounod - Ave Maria Yon - Gesu Bambino Good King Wenceslas Schubert - Mass in A-flat - Gloria, Cum Sancto Handel - Hallelujah - Messiah INTERMISSION Tchaikovsky - Waltz of the Flowers - Nutcracker Gregson - Make a Joyful Noise Adam /arr. Ryden - O Holy Night Thomas - This is That Time of the Year Darby - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Amundson - Reindeer Rock Mt. Zion - A Christmas Greeting Mt. Zion - Little Drummer Boy Mt. Zion - I Wanna Know What Love Is Bass - Sing We Now of Christmas Stephenson - We Wish You A Merry Christmas In case you missed this..Rembrandt, Van Dyck , Gainsborough and others in special exhibit at Milwaukee Art Museum through Jan. 13 from a private collection in London. I have not seen this but the last time I went to one of these private collections WOW. ©2012 Wireman & Associates | 4001 Monona Dr, Madison WI 53717 This email was sent to (email). To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list. View this email on the web here. You can also forward to a friend. Unsubscribe Powered by Mad Mimi ® Go to Previous message | Go to Next message | Back to Messages | Full Headers Reply Reply All Forward Forward Mail Search WelcomeInboxNewFoldersMail Options
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 4:34 PM
Our Communities are Strong and Resilient! Come celebrate the gifted people and organizations in Dane County. Inspire each other by sharing what is working in our faith communities, schools, organizations and neighborhoods. You’ll leave feeling energized about the work you do every day, even more inspired by new ideas, and filled with…pie! Join community leaders, clergy, grassroots organizers and a guest from Indianapolis for conversation, reflection and connection! Friday, December 7th 1 :30 pm to 4:00 pm Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ 1501 Gilbert Road Enjoy the story of Indianapolis’s Broadway United Methodist Church. Broadway has partnered with the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood to establish practices that take note of, celebrate, and build on the gifts and capacities of every neighbor. In a community often labeled “poor and dysfunctional” they have discovered common interests in entrepreneurship, the arts, cooking, leadership, health, and so much more! DeAmon Harges the original “Roving Listener” who is a neighbor and staff member of the Broadway Church will join us. His role is to listen and discover the gifts, passions and dreams of citizens in his community, and to find ways to utilize them in order to build community, economy, and mutual “delight.” Interested? Please RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org 516
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 9:00 AM
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director November 28, 2012 608-256-0827; email@example.com Beware of Partisan Efforts to Restrict Voting By Andrea Kaminski The role of elections officials is to help citizens exercise their right to vote. The League of Women Voters has placed observers in the polls statewide in four elections over the past 15 months. They have consistently commented on the dedication and professionalism of our poll workers, almost all of whom bend over backwards to ensure that all qualified citizens have the opportunity to cast a ballot and have it counted. We wonder how many local elections officials the Governor surveyed before he concluded that Election Day Registration is “difficult for them to handle.” Wisconsin can be proud of its high voter turnout for the general elections on November 6. With 2.9 million citizens voting, our state as usual ranked near the top in citizen participation. People know that Election Day is the one time when all citizens are equal in the greatest democracy in the world. Yet some politicians are talking about introducing new legislation to restrict voting in our state. They have said they will introduce new voter ID legislation, despite the fact that two judges have ruled the last voter ID law unconstitutional. Additionally, Governor Walker last week told an audience in California that he may push for an end to Election Day Registration (EDR) in Wisconsin. He said this would take a burden off local election officials. Yet EDR allows many first-time voters to participate and ensures that recent moves or name changes do not impact a citizen’s ability to vote. It has worked well for Wisconsin for more than 30 years. Any attempt to eliminate EDR would be an attack on voting rights, and it certainly cannot be justified as a solution to a problem that does not exist. We’ve been down that road before, with the voter ID law. In our democracy it is the job of the legislature to write and pass bills, and then the Governor has the power to sign a bill into law. Lawmaking should be done with humility and accountability. Legislation should address real problems and seek to fix them. In the process of introducing new legislation, lawmakers should seek public input – from their constituents, citizens in Wisconsin, not from potential donors in California or the national media.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 2:32 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
SUNDAY 11/25 LAST DAY FOR Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery closes 11/25 also see The Golden Age of British Watercolors, 1790–1910 closes 12/2 Christmas concert at Overture on Fri. Nov. 30 ,7:30 sat. 8 & sunday. 2:30 We are singing gloria and sancto from Schubert's Mass in A-Flat Major, selections from Messiah, carols, other pretty stuff. The youth choir and the gospel choir will also sing. Carol Sing along in hall before it starts (you can just come to the free sing along). Tickets for concert are not expensive and you can hear beautifully from the very top row in the balcony. This is a great concert for kids of all ages. The U.W. choir is singing the Brahams requieum the next Friday and Sunday evenings also at Overture.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 8:31 AM
Saturday, November 24, 2012
It is real that the Recall Walker Campaign was unsuccessful---but in the process of gathering together, the progressives of Wisconsin have created a network that is far more significant that any one candidate that has been successful...and far more significant that any battles waged, even the Presidential campaign. It is a mustard seed gathering power...and it is something to be watched as it unfolds its strength...make a note of it.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 1:26 PM
If you listen to the pundits on Wall Street over the past months, there is a lot of baloney that the traditional retail outfits, whether it is Sears, J.C. Penny, Best Buy or Radio Shack, just cannot compete with "Amazon" which has wonderful robots to pack their products and ship them. One of the very real facts of life in technology, is that things break or do not work properly some times----and dealing with a robot or an impersonal return via mail is difficult. One of the very strong positives of our local community is the strong customer service skills in many of them. Whether it is car repair or computer laptop purchase, in our family, members come home and purchase locally. They value the responsiveness and the trust of the locals. So---shop local and enjoy the Christmas holidays.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 10:44 AM
Every year, public employee types in governmental institutions budget for the future in a one year or even five year capital expenditure plan. For example, the plan for Evansville is published in the city website. One of the older council members from years gone past, used to call these plans "dreams" that would be reviewed to see where we were as the dreams came up. Some governmental employees and servants see these plans as cast in stone. I would submit that in cities where the ratio of indebtedness is higher than the norm, and at a height that requires a level of taxation by property tax that makes it unattractive for the stranger from afar to purchase a home in that city----that it should be declared that the capital expenditure budget is officially a "dream". Without the success of commercial enterprise, expecially in Evansville which has declared the expansion of commercial as critical to the proper balance of property taxes in our fair city---public expenditure, public plans for "infrastructure" or "projects" must WAIT till the reality of commercial success has bloomed. It must wait till the past burdens of failed TIF districts have been eased by real growth--- such as TIF #5 which has a negative balance of $1,600,000. These large negative numbers send a signal that the wisdom of the past is in question and needs to be reviewed. The purpose of government is to serve the families of a community and not destroy them. Make a note of it.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 10:35 AM
Friday, November 23, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep “Count your blessings instead of sheep, I tell my clients,” my sister, the psychologist, told me. “New research shows we can actually reprogram the brain by focusing on the positive.” The cutting edge research is known as “neuroplasticity.” Researchers found the brain actually sets up new ways for impulses to travel. When we learn a new activity or a new way of thinking or speaking, neurons housed in that area of the brain sends impulses to the nerve cell’s fibers or dendrites that secrete chemicals to create a new route connecting nerve cells in a different way. This research is known as the development of “neuro-pathways.” Taking up a new activity – golfing or learning a new language – and practicing it again and again, creates a well-defined pathway for the brain to follow. The same is true for developing a more positive focus on life; hence my sister’s advice to her depressed clients to count blessings not sheep. My conversations with constituents over the past few weeks led me to think ways to heal the state from the onslaught of negative ads, mailings and campaign rhetoric. Republicans and Democrats alike feel anxiety about the election results. Let us take Thanksgiving to count our blessings. Everywhere I go people tell me they are relieved Election Day has passed. Democrats are thankful for winning the presidential race and adding more U.S. Senators including Senator-Elect Tammy Baldwin. Republicans are thrilled they again have complete control in the Wisconsin statehouse. They are picking out more spacious offices and dividing up committee chairmanships. So to count our blessings: Election Day is over. Both sides can declare victory. Now begins the hard work of governing. My sister’s advice to her clients may be good advice to my colleagues. If we all try new cooperative behaviors and, with time and practice, develop a well-worn pathway to repeating that behavior, perhaps we can start with the work of governing. We can be thankful all of the candidates talked of compromise and bi-partisanship and hopeful they will remember the will of the electorate as elected officials. We can be thankful the attention of the state has turned from politics to deer hunting. In my world the deer grew fat and tall eating my alfalfa. State-wide populations seem to rebounding. George Meyer, Executive Director of Wisconsin Wildlife Federation told a local NBC news affiliate: “My prediction is the deer harvest will be up.” Meyer said gun hunters should be ready for a “good hunt”. DNR officials touted a mild winter, good fawn survival and a reduction in antlerless deer permits as reasons to expect good results in the field. DNR expects more than 600,000 hunters in the woods – about ten percent of Wisconsin’s population. We can be thankful for the 80,000 deer donated by Wisconsin hunters over the last 12 years. These deer amounted to more than 3.6 million pounds of ground venison for Wisconsin food pantries statewide. The numbers come from the Wisconsin Venison Donation Program and its affiliates Hunt for the Hungry and Target Hunger. More than 120 meat processors are ready to accept donations and distribute the venison. You can get more information about this program at the DNR website: dnr.wi.gov (keyword, "Deer Donation"). Hunters who donate their deer remind us of the importance of looking out for those less fortunate as we enjoy the bounty of our state. Victims of Hurricane Sandy are still cleaning up and putting their lives back together. Hurricane Sandy reminds us to be thankful for the simple things in life; turning on the lights, a warm house, a comfortable bed, clean clothes, food in the kitchen and nearby family and friends. As we bow our heads to give thanks, let us remember the victims of Hurricane Sandy and give them assistance through a donation to the Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/donate Remembering our blessings need not end after Thanksgiving. As psychologists tell us, taking time on a regular basis to remember and see the good around us actually helps us improve our own mental health. Something we can all do; including those of us who work in the statehouse. If you know someone who would like to be added to this distribution list, please let us know. If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter, reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 316 South - P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882 Toll Free: (877) 763-6636 or (608) 267-2871
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 5:07 PM
Eager Free Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes from October 30, 2012 1. Call to Order Board President Susan Kruser called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Trustees present: Susan Kruser, Gwen Clendenning, Kim Miller, Vicki Lecy-Luebke, Wally Shannon (arrived 5:50) Absent: Eloise Eager, Bob Flaherty Also present: Library Director Megan Becker 2. Minutes Approved Miller moved to approve the minutes of September 25. Clendenning seconded. Motion passed. 3. October Bills Discussion. Clendenning moved to accept the bills as presented. Miller seconded. Roll call vote. Ayes: Kruser, Miller, Clendenning, Lecy-Luebke.. Motion passed. 4. Librarian’s Report a. Budget/Circulation Becker provided the Board with excellent graphs showing comparisons among the circulation of children, young adult and adult materials for the years 2011 and 2012. Between the months of January and September, 66,498 items have been checked out. We have currently spent 72% of our yearly budget. (Outside hose is broken but will wait until spring to fix it.) The Friends of the Library have offered to buy e-readers. Megan attended the Wisconsin Library Association meeting and learned about the various types we may want to consider. b. Programming Good attendance reported for the various activities held: Author John Olsen (45 attendees), Friends Movie Night (23 attendees), Fire Safety (15 attendees), Book Club (3-5 regular attendees). Many more activities are in the works for November. c. Library WishList Efforts are being made to gain wider attention. In addition to posting on Homepage, bookmarks also include items on WishList. d. Extermination/Pest Control Becker received estimates from two companies. It was decided to pass on hiring an exterminator at this time. e. Monetary item left at library will be handed over to the police. 5. Old Business Gift money needs to be separated from the City account so that donors can feel secure that the money is being used for the library. The Fidelity account is the only one left that needs to be addressed. 6. New Business a. City Liaison Report Megan was introduced to the city council. She will eventually transition into the liaison position. She received a very warm welcome and is looking forward to working with them. b. Treasurer’s Report None to report at this time c. Gift Policy Ruth Ann Montgomery fund is handled through the Friends of the Library. d. No Build Easement Discussion about owner of property and alternatives. e. Gifts/Donations Becker will check with Ruth Ann Montgomery about the purpose of a monthly $5.00 check the library receives. An organized method for gifting needs to be developed. f. Assistant Director Job description was reviewed and discussed. Becker will post immediately, with applications due November 30. Miller, Kruser, and Lecy-Luebke will assist Becker with selection of candidates to interview. Interviews will take place the morning of December 8. 7. Adjourn Miller moved to adjourn the meeting. Clendenning seconded. All approved. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m. Minutes by Trustee Lecy-Luebke Note: Minutes of the Library Board of Trustees are not official until approved by the Library Board of Trustees at a meeting called and noticed for that purpose.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 11:20 AM
NOTICE A regular meeting of the Eager Free Public Library Board of Trustees for the City of Evansville will be held on the 27th day of November, at 5:30 p.m., at Eager Free Public Library, 39 W. Main St., Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance. Eager Free Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Tuesday, November 27, 2012 5:30 p.m. At Eager Free Public Library, 39 W. Main St., Evansville, WI 53536 AGENDA If you need special accommodations to attend this meeting, please contact the library at 608/882-2260. 1. Call to order. 2. Approval of all October meeting minutes. Open session minutes from 10/30 (attached). 3. November bills (roll call vote). 4. Librarian’s Report Budget update & Circulation statistics Programming update Library WishList Building Maintenance -Fireplace Computers -New ones to replace old and slow ones -New FlexNet Agreement with StarTech Elevator Testing 5. Old Business Fidelity Account -Dividend Use Gift Policy 6. New Business: City Liaison’s Report Treasurer’s Report No Build Easement Gifts/Donations Assistant Director/Health Insurance Coverage Strategic Planning 7. Adjourn. Next meeting: December 18, 2012.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 6:16 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
DON'T SHOP AT WALMART ON FRIDAY. (I never do anyway but...) or show up for action alert below. Walmart workers around the country are working to get better wage and working conditions. Remember, this is the firm that the Supreme Court said was too big for them to rule on the discrimination claims of their female workers because it would hurt the economy if the women won. Walmart workers start at $8 an hour. After six years they get $10.60 which is five cents more than the minimum wage in 1968. They want $13 something plus better working conditions. Action Alert 1: Stand in solidarity with Walmart workers Background: Across the country, Walmart workers are standing up and speaking out for decent wages, safe workplaces, regular hours and respect. Instead, the company -- which employs 1.4 million people -- is retaliating against employees. This Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, more Walmart workers will go on strike across the U.S. The workers are asking for community support through creative, nonviolent solidarity actions. Take Action: Join a Walmart protest or organize your own this Friday, November 23. In the Madison area, gather at 8:45 am next to the lot of the Walmart Supercenter on Royal Ave in Monona for a prayer vigil organized by the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice and South Central Federation of Labor. In Milwaukee, meet at 6:00 am at 5800 W Hope Ave (the former Lowe's parking lot). Contact for more info: ICWJ, 608-255-0376, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 12:59 PM
Monday, November 19, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
NOTICE A regular meeting of the Economic Development Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the date, time and place stated below. Notice is further given that members of the City Council may be in attendance. Please silence all cell phones and electronic devices during meeting. City of Evansville Economic Development Committee Monday, November 19, 2012, 6:00 PM City Hall, 31 S. Madison St. Evansville, WI AGENDA 1. Call to order. 2. Roll call. 3. Motion to approve agenda 4. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the September 17, 2012 and October 15 regular meetings and approve them as printed. 5. Citizen appearances, other than listed agenda items. a. Southern Wisconsin Ag Group presentation 6. Chamber report. a. Chamber website review 7. Tourism subcommittee report (Sue) a. 2012 Accomplishments 8. Update on City Budget a. Rail Study Discussion b. Community Development Director Process 9. Retail Market Analysis Study Update a. City-edge Sign Discussion and possible team formed 10. New Business 11. Meeting Reminder: Next regular meeting December 17, 2012, 6:00 pm a. Summit Action Plans—Setting Priorities 12. Motion to adjourn --Jim Brooks, Chairman
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 7:11 AM
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Here is What to Look For in an Affordable Health Insurance Exchange “Don’t worry about the deadline,” a Legislative colleague recently told a group in Menomonie. “Preparations are being made to make sure Wisconsin creates an exchange.” Under the federal health care law, states had to provide detailed plans for creating an exchange by November 16th. However, Governor’s in several states, including Wisconsin, indicated they were delaying plans until after the presidential election. The election outcome made it clear Wisconsin must move forward on creating an exchange or the federal government will step in and create one for us. Fortunately, federal regulators extended the deadline to December 14th for Wisconsin to deliver its “blueprint” for an affordable health insurance exchange. A properly created exchange will give small business owners, farmers and self-employed folks the same bulk-buying power enjoyed by large companies. The exchange creates a virtual marketplace allowing for apples to apples comparison on private insurance plans. Information is available in an easy to understand searchable website; something like Expedia or Orbitz. The idea behind the exchange is to make buying insurance more transparent and competitive and, through competition, drive down costs. I introduced bills in the last two sessions to create a state-wide insurance exchange. As the Governor and his administration finalize plans for Wisconsin’s exchange they should take a hard look at the bill I wrote and use it as a blueprint. My bill clearly defines the important aspects of a good or well-designed exchange. First, the website must have clear and comparable information on cost and quality. Information on the cost and quality of health practitioners is just as important as the price of a policy. The exchange must focus on holding down health costs. The exchange should require companies to meet certain rules so businesses can make real apples to apples comparisons. Standards should be set for minimum coverage. Hidden costs and companies trying to wriggle out of commitments must be forbidden. Some may be tempted to make the exchange part of state government – perhaps housed in the Department of Health or the Office of Insurance. This is a mistake. To gain the confidence of consumers and the trust of insurance professionals and health providers, the exchange must be insulated from the political influence. The way to do this is to create an independent authority similar to the very successful Health Insurance Risk Sharing Program (HIRSP). The board members governing the exchange must have no financial interest in the insurance or health field, but they must be knowledgeable about the industry. They must comply with state ethics and conflict of interest laws. The exchange should be subject to open meetings, open records and auditing laws. Unlike the current Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Governor must not serve as chairmen of the board; however, the board should regularly report to the Legislature, the Governor and the people of the state. A well-designed health insurance exchange should preserve the important role insurance agents have within the health system. Agents act as the human resource department for small and busy business owners. The agent can sort through information and help owners make the right decision for their company. The agent can also play an important marketing role for the exchange. It would be wise for the Governor to seek out the agent community and work together with these leaders who work in every community across the state. The single biggest step Wisconsin political leaders can make is to provide small business owners with affordable health insurance. We should stop making affordable health insurance a political issue and start making it a reality for Wisconsin business owners. The coming deadline is the Governor’s opportunity to move Wisconsin forward. Let’s make sure we get the job done right. If you know someone who would like to be added to this distribution list, please let us know. If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter, reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 7:19 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Downtown Evansville Celebrates "Olde Fashioned Christmas" Visit Allen Creek Gallery during Olde Fashion Christmas Days November 16th, Friday Night -Horse Drawn Wagon Rides 5-8 pm November 17th, 9 am to 12 pm- Santa Visits, youth crafts, and many other activities Downtown Merchants will be open with lots of specials Allen Creek Gallery will be open for all the festivities! So stop by to take a gander at the new art. They're limited, and we have a feeling they'll disappear fast! "Stop in, enter our drawing, and see our specials on Matthias James Pottery during the event"
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 3:27 PM
St. Paul Parish will be hosting the Fair Trade International Craft Sale this Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lower level of St. Paul Parish on the corner of First and Garfield Street. All the products sold were handmade or grown by artisans and farmers in poverty-stricken areas around the world. These items, including: jewelry, scarves, ornaments, Nativity sets, children’s books and toys, bowls, baskets, glassware, and much more are gorgeous and unique and very reasonably priced. Food items, including: soup mixes, coffee, tea, and a whole variety of chocolates are so good. Best of all, when you buy one of these beautiful gifts you’re actually doing good in the process – what could be better than that? Your purchase helps your sisters around the globe provide a better standard of living for themselves and their children. What a great gift that is. If you can’t make it to the sale this Saturday, please consider stopping at the SERRV store at 2701 Monroe St. in Madison where you’ll find these products and a whole lot more.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 1:38 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Just a little moment to glance back in time---Oh what a wonderful decade the fifties were----ya the troops were coming home from the Korean War...and there was a lot of austerity...hard time getting jobs..retooling the factories....But then about 1955 things began to pick up...folks got over blaming President Truman for all their troubles...they began looking at little ramblers..called "cracker boxes", that sold for $10,000 for the basic model, but $12,500 for the modern kitchen....Yup these are the exact ones that are selling in vast quantities all over America for $200,000....but I digress... These were also the days when the first package cake mixes were introduced...and built in dishwashers...I remember how excited my mom was about the new Jiffy line of cake mixes...But on the flip side...all through the decade of the fifties, with yes those Mercury coupe autos that high school guys had Buddy Holly songs playing loudly on, with the dice hanging on the rear view mirrors, and that seemed really cool....and yes the baldy look or the greaser look was in.... Then the politics said we had to "get the economy movin again" and Kennedy did just that and got involved with the Vietnam war....and we have been at war ever since...and I just think its high time we got....Back to the 50's....Really it was a lot of fun.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 4:05 PM
Monday, November 12, 2012
Hello Everybody, I learned two interesting things about food and drink on my first day in Sicily, three weeks ago. I would like to share these with you. I went to lunch with my student, Erin Peterson, and Dr. Boris Behnke, a volcano geologist based in Catania. We went to a little local place across the street from the geology office, one that is frequented by the office staff. As we entered, Boris started schmoozing the restaurant workers, greeting them and shaking their hands. Very Sicilian. We ordered from a deli-like counter where three or four options were available. Erin ordered pizza and soda. Boris ordered pasta with meat sauce and a beer. I had the same. It was delicious! After lunch, the waiter offered us coffee or dessert. That’s when I learned lesson number one: According to Boris, no self-respecting Sicilian ever orders cappuccino after the noon hour. It is strictly a morning drink. Then he suggested caffe crema. I said if he has one, I’ll have one, and Erin did, too. Served in a small cup, caffe crema is a soft gelato - cold, creamy, silky-smooth, sweet, and coffee-flavored, and it is fabulous! I have been searching for it elsewhere ever since. Part of the problem is the name. I looked up caffe crema on Wikipedia and found something entirely different. I did learn, however, that Sicily is famous for great gelato, and I saw references to coffee-flavored gelato that sounded like caffe crema. So, if you ever get the chance, try this delicious gelato, by whatever name you find it. And remember, no cappuccino after noon – it ain’t Sicilian! I thought it was appropriate to pick up the lunch tab. Three entrees, two beers (or was it four?), a soda, and three caffe cremas, all for 15 euros (about $20). I love Sicily! I’ll see you soon, Dennis
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 3:41 PM
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Friday, November 09, 2012
Common Council Regular Meeting Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI MINUTES 1. Call to order. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Sandy Decker. 2. Roll Call. Members present: Mayor Sandy Decker, Alderpersons Mason Braunschweig, Jim Brooks, Cheryl Fuchs, Floyd Hayes, Barb Jacobson, Ben Ladick, Josh Manring, and Jon Senn. Others present: City Clerk Judy Walton, City Administrator Dan Wietecha, City Attorney Mark Kopp, Library Director Megan Becker, Library Board Wally Shannon, and members of the public. 3. Approval of Agenda. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Hayes to approve the agenda. Motion approved 8-0. 4. Approval of Minutes. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Fuchs to waive the reading of the minutes of the September 11, 2012, regular meeting and the September 15 and September 26 special meetings and to approve them as presented. Motion approved 8-0. 5. Civility reminder. Decker stated that this item is a regular reminder that Council has committed to civility during meetings. 6. Citizen appearances A. Public Hearing on Class A Liquor License Quota. Wietecha explained that the proposed amendment would increase the number of Class A liquor licenses that may be issued. There was no initial discussion by Council for clarification and Decker opened the public hearing at 6:34 p.m. Wally Shannon, 131 S Third Street, Evansville asked what other communities our size have for a quota. Decker responded that it varies greatly with some communities allowing none, some with 1 per 1,200 population, and some with a certain number that could not be exceeded. The following people spoke in favor of the amendment: Lee Dammen, Cenex Convenience Store, 9 Lindemann Drive, Evansville Edward Hall, 15837 West Highway C, Evansville Duane & Sue Nettum, 16 W Main Street, Evansville Kolleen Onsrud, 409 S 1st Street, Evansville Michelle Peck, 260 S 6th Street, Evansville Sue Farnsworth, 125 Garfield Street, Evansville Braunschweig presented the second reading and made a motion, seconded by Manring to adopt Ordinance 2012-11, Amending Chapter 6 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Class A Liquor License Quota. [Sponsors Braunschweig and Manring]. Motion approved 8-0 on a roll call vote. B. Pam Ascencio, 441 Almeron Street, stated that she still has a commercial boarding kennel next door to her home and she hears dogs barking all day. 7. Reports of Committees A. Library Board Report. Wally Shannon informed the Council that Rebecca Smith contacted him and could not follow through as Library Director. He stated the board then selected Assistant Library Director Megan Becker as the new Director. Becker reported that the Library is seeing a lot of traffic and computer use. Approximately 45 people attended the presentation by Author John Olson. B. Youth Center Advisory Board Report. Ladick reported that things are going great at the center. They are enjoying their new kitchen; attendance of girls is now outnumbering the guys; and the kids did a good job decorating the downtown windows for homecoming. Senn added that his daughter and her friends enjoy the center a great deal. C. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Report (1). Brooks made a motion, seconded by Hayes to accept the City and Water & Light bills as presented in the amount of $1,006,003.52. Motion approved 8-0 on a roll call vote. (2). Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Brooks to approve advertising to hire the Community Development Director. Jacobson stated she was not in favor of this because there were no checks and balances in place. Motion approved 6-2 on a roll call vote with Hayes and Jacobson opposing. (3). US Cellular Contract. a. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Brooks to approve Cellular Service Agreement with US Cellular through October 2014. Wietecha stated this is a renewal of our business account for 2 years. Ladick recused himself from voting stating he has a conflict of interest. Motion approved 7-0 on a roll call vote. b. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Brooks to approve Partner Employee Discount Program with US Cellular. Motion approved 8-0 on a roll call vote. (4). Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Brooks to approve Business Banking Agreement with Union Bank & Trust Company. Wietecha stated this is essentially for the online banking system which allows us to perform our own wire transfers for debt payments and uploading our payroll file. Motion approved 8-0 on a roll call vote. D. Plan Commission Report. No report. E. Public Safety Committee Report. Jacobson reported that the EMS had 87 calls in September; the Police Department is checking out new cameras for the squad cars, working through digital issues, and now have an ATM in their lobby. She added that Justin Schott is interested in having a 5K run on Thanksgiving. F. Public Works Committee Report. No report. G. Water & Light Committee Report. Brooks reported that the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) application has been submitted by Mark Sendelbach and there is an upcoming MEUW dinner on October 18th. H. Economic Development Committee Report. Brooks reported that the 2 customer service sessions held on October 3rd were good sessions. He reported that Brandon Rutz has joined the committee. I. Redevelopment Authority Report. No report. J. Parks and Recreation Board Report. Fuchs reported that work continues on the creek walls; plantings are being done on the lake shore; piers will be coming out this week; Westside Park bathrooms are coming along with help from the Building Trades class; and disc golf continues to be discussed. K. Historic Preservation Commission Report. Ladick reported that they had an application for a side deck replacement and another for a roof replacement. Decker added that Leonard Leota Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District. L. Fire District Report. Jacobson reported that upcoming fundraising includes the spaghetti dinner. They passed their budget with an increase of 2.1%. Manring asked if there was anything in particular that was causing the budget increase and she responded that they are increasing the amount they set aside for truck rotations and they need to purchase more pagers. M. Police Commission Report. No report. N. Energy Independence Team Report. No report. O. Board of Appeals Report. No report. 8. Unfinished Business A. Braunschweig presented the second reading and made a motion, seconded by Brooks to adopt Ordinance 2012-10, Amending Chapter 2 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Appointed Officials. [Sponsors Brooks and Braunschweig]. Motion approved 8-0. B. Jacobson presented the second reading and made a motion, seconded by Hayes to adopt Ordinance 2012-12, Amending Chapter 122 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Parking Restrictions for Camping Trailers, Recreational Vehicles, Trailers, and Certain Other Vehicles on Public Streets. [Sponsors Jacobson and Fuchs]. Braunschweig questioned why this amendment was presented. Jacobson stated a citizen expressed concern that these types of vehicles cause safety concerns when parked on the street for a long time and make it difficult for snow removal. Braunschweig stated that out of town relatives would not be allowed to keep their recreational vehicle on the street and there were no exceptions for that. Hayes made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig to table this item so the Public Safety Committee could add stipulations. Motion approved 7-1 with Brooks opposing. 9. Communications and Recommendations from the Mayor A. Decker asked Council to forward her any comments on the 2012 Annual Conference Proposed Resolutions. B. Decker asked that anyone planning to attend the WPPI Executive Breakfast at the League Conference to let her know by tomorrow. C. Decker informed the Council that she attended the Lean Government Conference a couple weeks ago and an article on that will be in the newspaper and on the city website. 10. Communications from the City Administrator A. Brooks made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig to approve Resolution 2012-15, Designating Authorized Parties to Sign for Transactions Involving City Bank Accounts and Investments. Motion approved 8-0. B. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Hayes to approve Assessment Agreement with Associated Appraisal Consultants (three year contract renewal). Motion approved 8-0 on a roll call vote. C. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Brooks to approve Revaluation Agreement with Associated Appraisal Consultants (commercial properties). Motion approved 8-0 on a roll call vote. D. Wietecha explained that US Cellular is requesting changes to their antenna equipment at the water tower. The current lease allows for changes, subject to city approval. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Hayes to approve amending the lease agreement, contingent on it being brought back for review by Council. Motion approved 8-0 on a roll call vote. E. An update on the railroad crossing was requested by Hayes and Wietecha responded that the work would be done in late October. 11. New Business. None 12. Introduction of New Ordinances A. Braunschweig presented the First Reading of Ordinance 2012-13, Adopting 2013 Operating and Capital Budgets and Setting Tax Levies. B. Braunschweig presented the First Reading of Ordinance 2012-14, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to Handicapped Parking Requirements and Parking for Combined Uses. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. C. Braunschweig presented the First Reading of Ordinance 2012-15, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to Definitions for Zoning. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. D. Braunschweig presented the First Reading of Ordinance 2012-16, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to the Requirements for All Uses in the LL-R12, LL-R15, R-1, R-2, and R-3 Districts. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. E. Braunschweig presented the First Reading of Ordinance 2012-17, Relating to Hosting Gatherings Involving Underage Possession and Consumption of Alcohol. [Sponsors Brooks and Hayes]. 13. Meeting Reminder A. Budget Hearing and next Regular Meeting, Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. 14. Adjournment. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Hayes to adjourn at 7:29 p.m. Motion approved 8-0. Prepared by Judy Walton, City Clerk The minutes are not official until approved by the Common Council at their next regular meeting.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 10:33 PM
Common Council Regular Meeting Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, WI Agenda 1. Call to order 2. Roll Call 3. Approval of Agenda 4. Motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the October 9, 2012, regular meeting and to approve them as presented. 5. Civility reminder. 6. Citizen appearances A. Public Hearing: 2013 Operating Budget. (1). Staff report. (2). Initial discussion by Council for clarification. (3). Public hearing. (4). Final discussion by Council. (Any changes to the budget must be included in the motion. Changes to the levy will affect the tax rate and that rate will be recalculated by the Finance Department) (5). Second reading and motion to approve Ordinance 2012-13, Adopting 2013 Operating and Capital Budgets and Setting Tax Levies. 7. Reports of Committees A. Library Board Report B. Youth Center Advisory Board Report (1). Motion to allow Boy Scouts to hold an overnight event at 209 S. First St. (Youth Center) in January 2013 with a $100 security deposit. C. Finance and Labor Relations Committee Report (1). Motion to accept the City and Water & Light bills as presented. (2). Discussion: Administration Office. a. Draft: City Administrator / Finance Director position description. b. Draft: Changes to City Code. c. Draft: organization chart update. d. Community Development Director hiring process. (3). Motion to approve Resolution 2012-18, Approving Amendments to 2012 Budget. (4). Motion to approve Addendum #1, Electronic Data Compliance, to Agreement for Maintenance Assessment Services with Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc. D. Plan Commission Report E. Public Safety Committee Report (1). Motion to approve Purchase of Services Agreement with Rock County Humane Society for 2013. (2). Motion to approve the Original Alcohol Beverage License Application for a Class “A” Beer/“Class A” Liquor License for Susan L. Nettum, 118 Teddy Street, Brooklyn, Wisconsin 53521, dba The Artful Gourmet, 16 West Main Street, Evansville, Wisconsin 53536. F. Public Works Committee Report G. Water & Light Committee Report (1). Motion to approve Resolution 2012-16, In Support of the Preservation of Municipal Utility PILOTs. (2). Fact Sheet: Advanced Metering. H. Economic Development Committee Report (1). Tourism Advisory Committee Update. (2). Ice Age Trail Update I. Redevelopment Authority Report J. Parks and Recreation Board Report K. Historic Preservation Commission Report L. Fire District Report M. Police Commission Report N. Energy Independence Team Report O. Board of Appeals Report 8. Unfinished Business A. Motion to remove from the table Ordinance 2012-12, Amending Chapter 122 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Parking Restrictions for Camping Trailers, Recreational Vehicles, Trailers, and Certain Other Vehicles on Public Streets. [Sponsors Jacobson and Fuchs]. (1). Motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-12, Amending Chapter 122 of the Municipal Code, Relative to Parking Restrictions for Camping Trailers, Recreational Vehicles, Trailers, and Certain Other Vehicles on Public Streets. [Sponsors Jacobson and Fuchs]. B. Second Reading and motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-14, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to Handicapped Parking Requirements and Parking for Combined Uses. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. C. Second Reading and motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-15, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to Definitions for Zoning. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. D. Second Reading and motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-16, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to the Requirements for All Uses in the LL-R12, LL-R15, R-1, R-2, and R-3 Districts. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. E. Second Reading and motion to adopt Ordinance 2012-17, Relating to Hosting Gatherings Involving Underage Possession and Consumption of Alcohol. [Sponsors Brooks and Hayes]. F. Report: League of Wisconsin Municipalities Annual Conference. G. Update: US Cellular antenna equipment at water tower. 9. Communications and Recommendations from the Mayor A. Motion to approve mayoral appointment of Judy Walton as City Treasurer. B. Motion to approve mayoral appointment of Jeff Vrstal, 284 Franklin Street, as alternate to the Board of Appeals for an unexpired term ending in April 2013. C. Motion to approve mayoral appointment of Jeff Vrstal, 284 Franklin Street, as First Alternate to the Board of Appeals for 2012. D. Mayoral Proclamation In Recognition of Veterans Day, 2012 10. Communications from the City Administrator A. Motion to approve Final Agreement with Every Survivor Trust. B. Motion to approve 2013 membership renewal in Evansville Chamber of Commerce. C. Discussion: City Hall exterior project. D. Discussion: Capstone Ridge monument sign. 11. New Business 12. Introduction of New Ordinances A. First Reading of Ordinance 2012-18, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to Agricultural Zoning. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. B. First Reading of Ordinance 2012-19, Amending Chapter 130 of the Municipal Code Relative to Annexation. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. C. First Reading of Ordinance 2012-20, Amending Chapter 16 of the Municipal Code Relative to Annexation. [Recommended by Plan Commission]. 13. Meeting Reminder: A. Regular Meeting: Tuesday, December 11, 6:30 pm, City Hall. 14. Adjournment Sandra J. Decker, Mayor Requests for persons with disabilities who need assistance to participate in this meeting should be made to the Clerk’s office by calling 882-2266 with as much advance notice as possible. Please turn off all cell phones while the meeting is in session. Thank you.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 10:25 PM
City of Evansville, Wisconsin Park & Recreation Board Regular Monthly Meeting Evansville, City Hall Monday, October 8th, 2012 – 6:00pm Minutes 1. Call to Order & Roll Call @ 6:03pm. Missing, Fuson & Withrow 2. Motion by Courtier, 2nd by Krueger to approve agenda. 3. Motion by Krueger, 2nd by Merrit to waive reading of September minutes. 4. Citizen Appearances. Todd Campbell appeared to further discuss Disc Golf @ park. Discussed costs/fundraising, advertising, involving the schools, leagues & tournaments. Decided on 9 holes to start with, can add 2nd nine at later date. 5. Creek wall restoration continues, another $20,000 is set aside for next year, Kendall Wethal in charge of labor. He has picked out stone by hand to match. 6. West Side Park Bathroom walls up, Ray provided a picture of progress. 7. Discussed future needs of pool. 0-Depth pool does not comply with ADA standards. Need more info from Witecha. 8. New Business: Extension being added to handicap pier. Kyle Allen doing cement work. Piers coming out end of October for season. Discussed resurface of BB & tennis courts. They need it badly, but would cost $25,000. Play structure needs repair at Countryside park. Ray will check it out. Bathrooms being closed up next week. 9. Motion to adjourn, 7:02 by Courtier, 2nd by Merrit.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 3:17 PM
City of Evansville, Wisconsin Park & Recreation Board Regular Monthly Meeting Evansville, City Hall Monday, November 12 th, 2012 – 6:00pm AGENDA 1. Call to Order & Roll Call 2. Motion to approve Agenda as printed 3. Motion to waive the reading of the October 8th, 2012 minutes & approve them as printed 4. Citizen appearances, relating to Park & Recreation, not listed agenda items a. denise Eager : Discussion and possible motion on Peace Park Project b. Discussion and possible motion on disc golf 5. Lakeshore Restoration Progress 6. West Side Park, bathroom Update 7. Aquatic Report a. Discussion on future needs relating to budget b. 0-Depth Pool 9. Chair's report from other Committees/Common Council a. Discussion on 2013 Budget 10. Reports/Updates on projects or Maintenance 11. Old Business 12. New Business 13. Motion to adjourn Next meeting Monday, Dec 10th, 2012 - 6:00 pm, City Hall
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 3:11 PM
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Recently Dean Foods launched WWAV, or Whitewave Foods as a separate company---you may know this company as the one that has the non-milk milk in the milk section....and I heard the President of Dean say on the business channel that all of the growth of Dean over the past year has been in this segment--in short...consumers are moving to a more healthy option... And he also mentioned that "Morningstar" or more possibly known for the Morningstar Veggie patties for breakfast, or the Spicy Black Bean burgers, will possibly be spun off or sold in the future also. These have been identified as very popular areas for future growth. Make a note of it.
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 11:38 AM
New Report Cards Grade Local Schools Every student received a report card at the end of the first quarter. This fall every school also received a report card. The Department of Public Instruction recently released report cards on almost all of Wisconsin’s over 2,000 schools. High schools, middle schools, elementary schools and charter schools are all rated. The report card gives a grade from 0 to 100. The grade is based on four priority areas: student achievement, student growth, on-track and post secondary readiness including attendance, ACT participation and graduation rates, and closing gaps among disadvantaged and disabled students. Most of our area schools scored average or above average; an exception was the Whitehall Middle School where over half of the students are economically disadvantaged. Digging deeper into a school’s numbers shows the changing face of our communities. The first real public look we have of a changing community is in the elementary school. Look at Arcadia: one third of the high school students and over half of the elementary students are economically disadvantaged. Only 14 percent of high schoolers are Hispanic but one third of the elementary students are Hispanic. The changing make-up of students creates challenges for schools. Disadvantaged students learn best with one-on-one education. In schools with tight resources, teachers often don’t even have a classroom aide, let alone staff for one-on-one education. Increasing poverty across the state and declining enrollment in many of our schools only exacerbates an already broken school funding formula. Recently the Senate Education Committee met in Madison to discuss the problems facing schools. One of those to testify was Todd Berry, President of Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. Mr. Berry spoke of the problems facing schools with declining enrollment. School aid is based on the number of students. As schools lose students, aid drops. The drop in state aid is faster than schools can cut costs. The effect is a dramatically lower budget for smaller schools. One remedy for this problem is funding known as “sparsity “- money for schools that serve a sparsely populated area. In 2007 I amended the state budget to create this change in the school formula. Unfortunately the Governor cut “sparsity” aid by ten percent in the current school budget. Increasing money for “sparsity” is one of the changes proposed by State Superintendent Tony Evers in his Fair Funding for Schools plan. Another change is additional money for schools serving a large number of disabled or economically disadvantaged students. Our local schools face challenges much greater than those in years past. More students come from poor homes, more students speak English as their second language and more students come to school with significant disabilities. The state aid payments to schools must recognize these students cost more to educate. Grading schools on their performance is only part of the answer to solving the challenges. The other part is making sure the money going to schools flows in a way that makes the most sense. Measuring the needs and basic costs to open the school doors must be part of the formula for success. There’s a vigorous discussion about changing the formula, but it has been tough for me to pigeon hole my colleagues into committing their vote for a change. It’s going to take committed communities to back real change in our school formula to make elected officials respond to local needs. Meanwhile many are taking a look at the school report cards and comparing schools. One of the local superintendents reminded me the report card is a year-to-year comparison of the same school; not a one-year comparison across schools. But of course everyone did compare across schools this year. “The real test,” the superintendent told me, “is how well the kids do when they graduate. I took a break one day from my budget numbers and walked down the hall. I looked at each class photo from years passed and knew what happened to each student. Did they graduate from college; did they get a job? Where did they go to work?” “This is the real life test on how well a school did; and frankly, how well a community did at raising their children.” If you know someone who would like to be added to this distribution list, please let us know. If you wish to unsubscribe from this newsletter, reply with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 316 South - P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882 Toll Free: (877) 763-6636 or (608) 267-2871
Posted by Richard Woulfe at 11:12 AM