Monday, April 1, 2013

What You May Not Know: Week of April 1 - GO VOTE!

Before we get into this week's council activity, here's one more reminder that Tuesday, April 2 is Election Day, so get out and vote and make your voice heard. If you live in the 13th district your polling place is Faith Lutheran Church on Evergreen, and the polls are open from 7 am-8 pm. I've very much enjoyed providing you these updates on the Council over the last few months, and if you've enjoyed reading them I'd ask that you consider voting for me on Tuesday.

Once we get past the election, the full council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, and here are the highlights from their agenda:

Municipal Services:

The Municipal Services committee will actually meet in a special session Tuesday at 4 pm to address three items, all of which are of interest:
  • First, the proposal to install bike lanes and eliminate parking on Mason Street was referred back to this committee to discuss the possibility of adding indented street-side parking in some high-demand areas, like next to churches or schools.
  • Second, the committee will take up Alderman Croatt's resolution asking the city to look for opportunities to offer alternatives to the new 96-gallon recycling bins.
  • Finally, the committee will consider a proposal to change the yield signs at 16 different intersections along Pershing Street to stop signs. I've already heard concerns from at least one neighbor that these intersections are not currently safe.
Any actions taken at this meeting will move along to the full council meeting on Wednesday.

City Plan Commission:

Last week the commission voted in a split 5-2 decision to recommend approval of a special use permit for a gas station and car wash for a Kwik Trip on Highway JJ. Since I mentioned this last week I've learned that the plan calls for the new gas station to be built immediately adjacent to the Citgo that currently sits at Ballard and JJ.

There will probably be an interesting conversation about this station on Wednesday night, because building one station right next to another creates a strong possibility that one of them will fail. The city wants to be "open for business" and doesn't want to stand in the way of development, but I think there is some question about what the best course of action is here. 


Last Wednesday the Finance Committee voted in a split decision (3-1, with Alderman Stueck as the opposition) on a recommendation for a new plan to establish the interest rates charged to home owners who pay for their special assessments in installments. This proposed plan, as it turns out, would push the interest rate from the current 6% back up to around 9% if applied today.

While I do agree with the need to tie this interest rate to some measurable rate that will allow it to change over time based on market factors, I think the current proposal calls for rates to be set too high.

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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