WHITEWATER — The Whitewater Common Council held its annual organizational meeting Tuesday, and for the 12th year in a row, Patrick Singer was elected president by his colleagues.
The meeting started with the re-elected and newly-elected council members from the April s election — Singer, Carol McCormick, McKinley Palmer and Brienne Diebolt-Brown — being sworn in to their new terms. They joined the other four council members — Jim Allen, Lynn Binnie and Jimmy Schulgit — in electing council officers and choosing which committees on which they would serve.
T Singer was unanimously reappointed by his fellow council members; he himself abstained from the vote. Binnie also was reappointed unanimously, with Binnie abstaining, as the council’s president pro tem.
“I always appreciate the support of my colleagues, and I always try to make sure their voices are heard, as well as the community members and citizens who come to speak at the meetings,” Singer said after the meeting. “I have done that for the past several years, and I plan on doing that moving forward.”
The council then made its committee assignments for the upcoming year: Palmer, Shulgit and McCormick to the Alcohol Licensing Committee; Allen, Schulgit, Binnie and Palmer to the Board of Review; Singer, Binnie and Palmer to the Finance Committee; McCormick, Shulgit and Allen to the Public Works Committee; Singer and Allen to the Community Development Authority.
Also, Allen to the Birge Fountain Committee; Schulgit to the Landmarks Commission; Diebolt-Brown to the Community Involvement and Cable Television Commission; Binnie to the Board of Directors of Whitewater Fire Department Inc.; Diebolt-Brown to the Library Board; McCormick to the Parks and Recreation Board; Allen to Police and Fire Commission; Singer to the Technology Park Board; and Binnie as a regular member, and Diebolt-Brown as alternate member, to the Plan and Architectural Review Commission.
The council also made multiple citizen appointments to some of the committees, as well.
In other formalities, the council named PremierBank, First Citizens State Bank, Associated Bank, American Deposit Management LLC, and the State of Wisconsin-Local Government Investment Pool as official city depositories, and the Whitewater Register as its official newspaper.
The council moved on to its regular meeting, which was relatively short. There were only two items on the regular agenda; however, there were several on the consent agenda.
The council approved a new agreement with the Twin Oaks mobile home park on the city’s north side. Under the new agreement, the park management will collect all yearly mobile home fees “to make the city whole each year.” The payment to the city will include any past due fees; for 2018, that amount is $1,002.85
According to city attorney Wally McDonell, the new agreement will prevent the city from sending collection notices to residents, as well as no longer writing off debt that is not collected.
Also, at the request of Police Chief Aaron Raap, the council approved the purchase of a used, but fully-equipped, 2015 Ford Police SUV for $14,230.
According to Raap, the vehicle, which has 45,000 miles on it, will replace a 2013 Ford sedan in the department’s fleet. Raap said the that, for the 2019 city budget, the council had planned to spend $90,000 for two new police vehicles; however, those purchases came in under budget, so the $14,230 was available to buy the 2015 vehicle.
The department previously purchased two 2018 Ford police SUVs.
City Manager Cameron Clapper said Ford is making changes to the SUVs that will make it, in the future, more expensive to equip the SUV with police technology. Raap said that roughly, it takes about $5,000 to $8,000 to equip a police vehicle.
Also Tuesday, the council approved resolutions “expressing support for” several issues under consideration for the state’s biennium budget. Copies of the resolutions will be sent to all of the state legislators representing the City of Whitewater, Governor Tony Evers and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.
In summary, the council approved resolutions in support for shared revenue funding increases, increases in levy limit flexibility, fixing the state’s transportation funding shortfall along with increasing local transportation aids, and for closing the dark store and Walgreen’s property tax loopholes to “stop the tax shift to homeowners and small businesses by either passing SB 130/AB 146 or adopting a state budget that includes language accomplishing that goal.”
Under the public comment portion of the meeting, Pat Blackmer, speaking on behalf of the Landmarks Commission, announced that the Main Street Historic District lamp post banners will be installed soon. She thanked everyone who donated to the project.
Blackmer invited the public to attend a dedication event on Sunday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ticket proceeds will go to rehabilitate the Bassett House.