The Appleton Common Council will meet on Wednesday at 7 pm to take up items that mostly appeared before committees last week, so it's time for updates on items I've covered recently:
Parking for Mile of Music 2:
Last Tuesday the Municipal Services Committee voted 3-2 to recommend denial of a resolution calling for parking meter enforcement to cease for four days during Mile of Music in August. Concerns expressed included the challenges of getting parking spaces to turn over and be available without meter enforcement, the relative unfairness of waiving parking meters for this event but not others, challenges involved in making people aware of the lack of need to plug meters and more. That resolution will come before council Wednesday night.
Special Assessments, New Subdivision Portion:
Last Wednesday the Finance Committee again voted 3-1 to recommend approval of a modified version of the New Subdivision portion of the city's Special Assessment policy. The changes would move the responsibility for paying for the installation of permanent streets in a new subdivision from the developers (who had been either tacking it onto the price of new lots or charging property owners later) to the property owners themselves. The proposed new policy mirrors one the city had up until 2004.
This is the only part of the special assessment policy we'll be addressing at council on Wednesday. Assuming we reach a final resolution on this, we'll be taking up the utilities portion of the policy at Finance next Wednesday.
Last week the Finance Committee voted to hold a proposal calling for Appleton to institute a "Wheel Tax" as a potential funding source for street repairs. That item will be revisited when the committee discusses the street reconstruction portion of the special assessment policy, likely in a month or so.
Finally, we do have one piece of new business on our agenda this week:
Minimum Wage Referendum:
The City Clerk's office recently received a petition with well over 4700 signatures calling for yet another advisory referendum in this fall's election. This one asks whether voters would be in favor of raising Wisconsin's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. This would be the second advisory referendum added to Appleton's ballot, and a third has been added by Outagamie County.
Advisory referendums do not change policy in any way, but they are one way to measure and document voter support (or lack of support) for an issue or proposed policy change. Out of respect to the work that went into collecting all of these petition signatures, I plan on supporting their desire to have this question appear on the ballot.
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.