Monday, March 4, 2013

What You May Not Know: Week Of March 4

The Appleton Common Council will meet on Wednesday night at 7 pm to discuss issues including the following:

Appointment of a new IT Director

After a very long and drawn-out hiring process, on Wednesday Mayor Tim Hanna will present Dean Fox as a candidate for the city's vacant IT Director position. Mr. Fox has been serving as interim director of the department since 2011.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, sticking points in the effort to hire a new IT Director has been the city's requirement that all city directors live in Appleton. Mr. Fox currently lives outside the city, but Wednesday's proposal calls for him to receive $25,000 in relocation expenses, and also calls for him to get 24 months instead of the usual 12 to move into the city limits.

I've previously spoken out against residency requirements for city directors, and to me this proposal feels like a slap at council members who have refused to waive them. Paying someone $25,000 to move into the city seems excessive, especially when paired with a two-year relocation period.

I've heard nothing but complimentary things about Mr. Fox's work as interim director, but I expect the terms of his agreement to move to the permanent position to be a pretty heavy topic of debate on Wednesday.

Street Repairs

The council will hold a public hearing Wednesday night regarding plans for street repairs, sidewalk additions and driveway aprons for projects to be completed in 2013, including the following streets in District 13:
  • Applecart Drive
  • Appleview Drive
  • Ashbury Drive, from French Road to Cherryvale Avenue
  • Benvally Drive
  • Cherryvale Avenue
  • Sourapple Drive
All of these repairs will be levied as special assessments onto property owners on those streets.

Human Resources

The HR committee is once again one of this week's top stories as last Monday they (by a 3-2 vote) approved a new proposal for the city's non-union compensation plan that calls for a review of all city worker classifications before the end of April and a new city classification compensation study team.

You can read the full amendment on pages 51-52 of this week's Alderpersons Weekly Packet.

This plan does represent a step forward towards achieving a new plan, but also a step away from previous proposals presented by Carlson Consulting, which have been controversial to say the least. This new proposal calls for much more employee involvement in the process and will hopefully produce a fair solution.

Keeping you informed on issues that may impact you around the city is one of my primary goals as a candidate for and a potential member of Appleton's City Council. Making the council's activity as accessible as possible to as many people as are interested is part of my goal to make it easier for more people to get involved with issues that matter to them.

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