With the Christmas holiday rapidly approaching and a likely light schedule for the Appleton Common Council for the committee week between Christmas and New Year's Day, this is likely my last update of 2016. Let's start off with a couple of updates on items from last week:
Police Union Contract
Last week the Human Resources and Information Technology Department voted unanimously to approve a new three-year labor contract with the Police Professional Association calling for 2.5% in total raises in 2017 and 2018 (with each year's increase broken into two parts) and 2% in 2019. Assuming council approves this measure, the city should be done negotiating labor contracts for a couple of years.
Updated Towing Ordinance
Last week the Safety & Licensing Committee voted 5-0 to recommend approval of changes to the city's ordinances regarding the "next wrecker up" list used to select towing companies called when a vehicle needs to be towed and the owner either expresses no company preference or is unable to express a preference.
The updated ordinance contains language setting maximum fees that can be charged for towing services, with the goal of creating some level of uniformity in fees among city-generated towing calls. It also establishes a consistent set of office hours for owners of towed vehicles to retrieve their vehicles and/or belongings, and provides a better set of procedures for the city in the event a towing company has to be suspended and/or removed from the list.
Parks and Recreation Reciprocity Agreements
This item is unlikely to be controversial, but I wanted to highlight another extension to a longstanding cooperation agreement with our neighboring communities that helps us all serve our constituents better.
For over 15 years now the City of Appleton has had reciprocity agreements with the cities of Menasha and Neenah regarding our Parks and Recreation programming. This allows residents of all three cities to use each other's pools, recreation programming and boat launches and reserve park pavilions for events at the resident fee. Last week Appleton's Parks and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to extend both of these agreements for five more years, ensuring cooperation through 2021.
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. Good governance happens in the open, and I remain committed to raising awareness on the issues coming before us.