Monday, June 12, 2017

What you may not know: Week of June 12

The Appleton Common Council has a busy committee week scheduled, and here are some of the highlights:

Finance Committee, Monday, 5:30 pm

Earlier this year the council was asked to react to an unusual situation regarding our special assessment policy, where a collection of single-family homes on commercially-zoned property received assessments much higher than they expected because their property's zoning did not match its use. Following that action, Alderman Bill Siebers introduced a resolution to amend our special assessment policy to eliminate this issue. That resolution has been held for a few months but will be back before the committee tonight.

In addition, tonight's Finance Committee agenda includes an information item (for discussion only) on the process involved in moving forward with plans for a new Appleton Public Library. During previous efforts to move forward on this issue there have been some philosophical differences between the Library Board, a body independent from council charged with oversight of the library and its operation, and the Common Council, who controls the library's budget. Tonight's information item is expected to be a discussion on those two roles and how they interact in the process of considering a large capital project.

Library Board Planning Committee, Tuesday, 4 pm

In a related note to the prior item, on Tuesday one of the Library Board's committees has an action item calling for consideration of three options that could help shape the conversation going forward:

  • Refreshing the existing site selection matrix used when the board recommended the "bluff site" in 2015.
  • Re-making the site selection matrix.
  • Soliciting proposals for a mixed use library within a geographical range of the existing library site.
All three options would include consideration of the current site as an option within the re-evaluation of potential sites. And, of course, none of this represents a final decision: Any action taken at this meeting is a committee recommendation to the full library board on priorities to consider when or if proceeding with the decision-making process.

City Plan Commission, Tuesday, 4 pm

At the same time as the aforementioned Library committee meeting, the City Plan Commission will be asked to make a recommendation on a zoning change for another expansion of a subdivision north of County Highway JJ.

This time the specific request calls for 15 more single-family residential lots to be added to the Emerald Valley subdivision, which is located north and west of the intersection of Highway JJ and French Road. This follows closely on the heels of the most recent approved addition to the same subdivision, which council approved in April.

I do not intend to oppose this rezoning but I do continue to mention them as they come up because, as I've noted previously, continued expansion on the north side does carry some hidden costs in our road, utility, fire protection and school infrastructure.

Community and Economic Development Committee, Wednesday, 4:30 pm

Finally, on Wednesday the Community and Economic Development Committee has a scheduled appearance and presentation that may interest many residents of the city's north side. Representatives from ThedaCare will be present at the meeting for a discussion on their process related to a proposed regional hospital and its impact on the city. Public conversation on this topic has been quiet for some time now, so I'm looking forward to an opportunity to hear the latest on what's happening.

You can see all of this week's meeting agendas 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.