Monday, November 24, 2014

What you may not know: Week of November 24

As you might expect, this is an abbreviated week for the Appleton Common Council as we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and Tuesday night's parade. We do have some business to attend to on Monday night, however, before we go:

City Plan Commission, Monday, 4 pm

As you may have seen in Monday's Post Crescent, on Monday afternoon the City Plan Commission will review a proposal to rezone the former site of the Woolen Mills on the riverfront into a new apartment complex. The renovated facility is expected to house 60 apartments, and would be the fourth major residential project on the riverfront in recent years.

Creating a new vision for and redeveloping vacant sites is one of the critical challenges involved in maintaining a vibrant community, and being able to do so while also retaining some of the historic value of the existing structure is an added bonus. Projects like this sometimes create infrastructure challenges that we'll have to work through, but I'm glad to see progress being made to enhance our riverfront.

At this meeting the commission will also hear a resolution I submitted last week asking the commission and council to review and possibly revise zoning code language regarding lighting on canopies over gas pumps. This resolution stems from a recent ruling by the Board of Zoning Appeals that found our existing ordinances to be somewhat unclear on this issue. The resolution is simply a call for a review, so any final action on this matter will happen at a later date.

Human Resources Committee, Monday, 5:15 pm

Once the City Plan Commission has wrapped up, the Human Resources Committee will come together to consider several organizational shifts within the city, including the following:

  • Restructuring the organizational layout of the Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department to eliminate our Parks Planner/Liaison position when the employee retires and create a Deputy Director position.
  • Reclassify two seasonal positions in our Recreation division as .67 FTE (full time equivalent) to better reflect the actual workload of these positions and allow them to receive the benefits that come with their work level.
  • Reorganizing the supervisor structure at the Police Department to allow an employee that works primarily with handling electronic evidence to be supervised by the Lieutenant in charge of investigations.
  • Eliminating an Operations Supervisor and part-time bus operator position at Valley Transit and replacing it with two road supervisors to respond to concerns in a more efficient fashion.
None of these four changes are likely to have any financial impact (no impact is budgeted at this point), but the four changes allow city departments to be better prepared for unforeseen circumstances in the future, appropriately compensate and classify existing employees and provide a higher level of service on a more responsive timeframe. As an alderman I'm happy to see departments constantly striving to make internal improvements that will enhance operations going forward.

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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