Monday, May 19, 2014

What you may not know: Week of May 19

As the weather gets warmer, it's only natural for all of us to want to get outside a little more often. The Appleton Common Council will meet at 7 pm on Wednesday night, and one potential new outdoor activity is on our agenda.

Pedal pubs

I wrote pretty extensively about pedal pubs in last week's update, but here's an update on where the issue stands: Three alderpersons from the Safety & Licensing Committee recently proposed a resolution that would ban alcohol on quadricycles in Appleton, and the committee recommended the resolution for approval by a 3-1 vote (I was the lone nay vote).

That recommendation comes before the full council this week, and I'm hopeful we can overturn it. As I mentioned last week, there are dozens of examples across the Midwest and the US of pedal pubs operating harmlessly, being regulated but not banned. Relatively local examples exist in Milwaukee and Madison, the Twin Cities and more.

I think this could be a fun addition and draw to our downtown, and other communities have pretty clearly demonstrated that it can be done safely. I see no reason why Appleton should be different from the other places where this is allowed.

Special assessments

One of Wednesday's most newsworthy events may actually happen before the scheduled council meeting, as we have a 6 pm informational presentation scheduled on the city's special assessment policy. The policy has drawn a lot of attention in recent months as an increasing number of our constituents have asked us to look at eliminating the process which is currently used to pay for street and sewer construction, improvement and reconstruction.

I'm very interested to see if we can find another way to finance our ongoing work without having to lean so heavily on abutting property owners. This is a complex issue with a lot of moving parts, though, so we're going to need multiple conversations like this one to really get a grasp of the situation.

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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