August 19, 2010

City Notes: Closed session to discuss joint dispatch; Habitat gets some land

City officials met in closed session Tuesday to discuss a joint dispatch agreement with Racine County communities.

The city's Executive Committee, which is led by Mayor John Dickert, held the secret session to discuss bargaining issues related to joint dispatch. No action was taken out of the meeting, which lasted about an hour. (See the minutes here.)

The committee also discussed "strategy with respect to litigation in which the City of Racine is or is likely to become involved." Last time they used this description they were talking about a settlement with former employee Sandra Tingle. We have no idea what potential lawsuit they were meeting on this week.

The Executive Committee includes: Mayor John T. Dickert, Alderman Jeff Coe, Alderman Ron Hart, Alderman James T. Spangenberg, Alderman Gregory Helding and Alderman Aron Wisneski.

Also present at the meeting: Aldermen Ray DeHahn, Jim Kaplan, David Maack, Bob Mozol, Michael Shields, Dennis Wiser, and Q.A. Shakoor II.

STICKY RICE/GINGERS: The city will move ahead with its efforts to revoke Downtown's Sticky Rice and Gingers liquor license. The council voted 11-1 to proceed with the due process hearing based on the number of police calls to Gingers, underage drinking tickets, capacity issues and large crowds. The hearing will cost the city about $8,000.

FALL FUN FEST: St. Edward Parish, 1401 Grove Ave., is asking the city to shut down 15th Street and alleys from West Boulevard to Grove Avenue on Sept. 25. The weekend festival starts at 11 a.m. on the 25th and runs through 11 p.m. The street would reopen at midnight. The church's request was referred to the Public Works Committee for consideration.

CHURCH BLOCK PARTY: Jerome Boulevard from Coolidge Avenue to Case Avenue will be closed on Saturday for Pentecost Lutheran Church's block party.

HABITAT: City committees will consider Coe's proposal to place a moratorium on giving land to Habitat for Humanity and on in-fill construction in the city. Coe had tried to introduce these resolutions two weeks ago, but had to wait two weeks to determine the proper committee assignments for the proposals. His Habitat proposal was sent to the Plan Commission and the Redevelopment Authority, and the in-fill moratorium went to the Plan Commission.

HABITAT II: The city voted to transfer a former park to Habitat for Humanity for conversion to two residential properties. The land is the former Highland Park at 1221 Highland Ave. There's no cost to Habitat or the city.

LOAN BOARD: Two elected officials may soon serve on the city's Loan Board of Review. Alds. Coe, Marcus and Weidner want to see that happen, and they'll make their case at a Committee of the Whole meeting. The Loan Board is composed of department heads from the City of Racine. The proposal is to add two City Council members to the board, and have the entire City Council review the board's actions.

BIKE JAM: The City Council voted to waive the rental fee for Kuko Padilla's annual Bike Jam on Sept. 4 from noon to 10 p.m. The fee would have been $318, but was waived because Padilla has maintained the city's skateboard park for the past 13 years.

BANNER POLES: The City Council approved the installation of dedicated banner poles as part of the reconstruction of Douglas Avenue from Goold Street to 3 Mile Road. The approval was based on the feasibility of installation per Wisconsin Department of Transportation design standards.

KOBYLKA: Mayor Dickert appointed new RAMAC Executive Director Michael Kobylka to the Racine Economic Development Committee.

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  1. Tim the Shrubber8/19/2010 9:15 AM

    "...held the secret session..."

    If it were a 'secret session' you would not know about it, now would you?

    Please report accurately, and call a closed session a closed session. When it is actually a secret meeting, then you can use secret session.

  2. Nope. They're conducting business out of the public's eye, so that's in secret. And I'm not making any judgments on "secret." Sometimes governments have to do it, like when negotiating contracts or receiving legal advice. But it's a drastic step that should be limited in its use.

    "Closed session" is a nice way of saying they talked without telling the public what they talked about. I'm not interested in being nice when it comes to open government and accountability.

  3. Tim the Shrubber8/19/2010 9:49 AM

    "I'm not interested in being nice when it comes to open government and accountability."

    It is not about being nice, it is about being an accurate reporter.

  4. "I'm not interested in being nice when it comes to open government and accountability."

    Then why the love to Mayor John "The Unethical" Dickert

  5. Oh ... Come on! What does Tim the Shrubber know about accurate reporting?