Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What you may not know: Week of April 15

My apologies for the late post: It's been a remarkably busy week or so. Without further delay, here's what I'm watching this week:

Library Board, Tuesday, 4:30 pm

After years of study and careful consideration, on Tuesday afternoon the ten members of the Library Board are expected to make a decision today that will shape the future of the facility. After consideration of over a dozen sites across the city, the board has received a recommendation calling for a new library to be constructed on "site 3C," a pair of parcels of E Lawrence Street currently occupied by Trinity Lutheran Church and Fox Banquets & Rivertyme Catering.

As you might expect, this recommendation is the result of years of work. I've been fortunate to be a small part of that work as part of the library's Community Conversation focus groups and tours of other community libraries, both new and reconstructed. Any space will bring its challenges and this one is no exception, but I'm confident in the process that led us to this potential choice.

I'm looking forward to the conversation today and hopefully a vote that will allow the plans to move forward.

Organizational Meeting, Wednesday, 7 pm

Later tonight the Appleton Common Council will meet informally to swear in our two new members and start a conversation on the council rules going forward. We do this once annually and, while it's probably not a big deal to most observers, the review of our rules is very important to maintaining a functioning council and improving our processes going forward.

Following the informal gathering, council will reconvene at 6 pm Wednesday to vote on potential rule changes and propose amendments to the rules. It's a tedious process at times but it's a great reminder of our expectations from each other and our constituents.

Common Council, Wednesday, 7 pm (or shortly after the Organizational Meeting)

Once we get past all of that, the council does have some city business to take up at our scheduled full council meeting. One of the items on our agenda is one I discussed last week: an amendment to our 2014 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocations.

The city received slightly more money than expected from the federal government to fund this program, leaving slightly more than $25,000 extra available to be allocated to applicants. Because of limits on how this money can be spent, $3,280 was available for groups labeled as "public service," with the remainder available to be split between three applicants whose focus was housing.

After some debate the committee voted 4-1 to allocate an addition $7,306.66 each to the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities, Greater Fox Cities Habitat for Humanity and Appleton Housing Authority, and to give $3,280 (the maximum available) to NAMI to help fill part of the gap between their original request and previous award. The council will get the opportunity to amend or approve this decision.

You can see agendas for all of this week's meetings and the full schedule at the city's Legistar page.

Keeping you informed on issues that may impact you around the city is one of my primary goals as an alderman. 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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