Monday, August 24, 2015

What you may not know: Week of August 24

With my apologies, this is going to be a short update. It's a committee week for the Appleton Common Council, but most of the items worth discussing have been discussed in this space before. As such, here are some updates on items I've written about recently:

Human Resources, Monday, 5 pm

Back in March the Human Resources committee was asked to recommend a salary structure for the mayor for the office's next term, from April of 2016 through April of 2020. That item was held in March and again in May, June and July while council debated, voted down, reconsidered and again voted down consideration of possible changes to the city's governmental structure.

With that debate behind us, on Monday the HR committee will again be asked to make a recommendation. Back in May I outlined the challenges inherent in doing so, noting that differences in mayoral duties across municipalities make it hard to compare apples to apples when setting a salary. I'll be interested to see how the committee opts to proceed here.

Finance, Tuesday, 4:30 pm

The city continues to wade through some challenges with a relatively new ordinance dealing with licenses issued (or not issued) to properties where a landlord has fallen behind on his or her property taxes. Last week a resolution calling for the city to create provisional licenses to deal with these cases was referred back to the Finance Committee, where it again appears on the agenda this week.

The issues we've experienced with this ordinance, however, will likely lead to a broader review than what's called for here. As one of the three co-sponsors of the resolution, I'm interested in withdrawing it to make way for that larger conversation.

Additionally, at Finance this week the committee will also be asked to again review an ordinance we've been discussing since June that would open the door for members of the council to participate remotely when they're unable to attend a meeting. I remain in favor of the spirit of what we're trying to do here, but voted against the final product at committee two weeks ago because I remain concerned about the details of the procedure used to determine who can participate and our ability to successfully allow it with our existing setup.

Finally, these items remain in process but will not be voted on this week:

  • The Appleton Police Department and Parks & Recreation Department are continuing to work on language for a change to the park ordinances regarding alcohol. Council will likely take action on a proposal to limit alcohol to those with a permit sometime in September.
  • A resolution calling for the city to expand the urban beekeeping permit process is also on hold, having been referred back to the Board of Health. That board's next scheduled meeting is September 9 at 7 am.
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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