I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and is back to work refreshed this week. The Appleton Common Council will get back to work on Wednesday with our regularly scheduled full council meeting. Here are some of the highlights:
The council will come together a little early this week, meeting at 6 pm on Wednesday for a special workshop on the library. No official action will be taken on the library as part of this meeting, but it's another opportunity for my colleagues and I and members of the general public to hear more about the process that has led us to this point and the next steps ahead.
One of the challenges of this process at this point is educating members of the public who did not participate in the multiple years of meetings and studies that have led us to this juncture. Hopefully this presentation will give us another opportunity to help people understand why it's important we continue to work towards a new facility.
Once we get to the actual meeting, the big story is likely to be the council's vote on a Finance Committee recommendation to implement a $20/vehicle "wheel tax" to replace revenue lost when the city would eliminate its longstanding special assessment policy for street reconstruction. The wheel tax resolution was approved by a 4-1 vote at committee on August 13, was referred back to committee at our August 20 council meeting and was reaffirmed by a 4-1 vote at the committee level again on August 27.
I've written about the wheel tax proposal on several occasions, including devoting my entire post to answering frequently asked questions about it two weeks ago. It's not a perfect system but it's markedly better than the special assessment system it will replace if approved. And while I recognize that creating a new tax or fee is never popular, I hope everyone will recognize that the city is simply not in a position to give up special assessment revenue without replacing it in some way.
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.