At tonight’s special meeting of the Common Council, the resolution by the committee on Finance to approve the 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan was approved unanimously.
Alderperson David Bogdala proposed yet a third amendment to the mayor’s operating budget in a final attempt to provide the taxpayers with a 0% increase to the levy. “People expect us to fight for zero,” he said. This amendment put the position of the Director of Public Works back in the budget, as well as created a new position, a political appointee, called the chief of staff.
Bradford High School’s Quanzell Murphy made history this weekend when he received the annual Alan Ameche Award for Football Excellence at the Italian-American Club in Kenosha.
The history part was that for the first time in the history of the award, there was a tie. Murphy and Wilmot Union High School’s Chris Nelson shared the award.
At tonight’s special meeting of the Common Council, the mayor’s proposed budget was passed, after much deliberation, by a vote of 9 to 8. Those in opposition were Alderpersons Theodore Ruffalo, G. John Ruffolo, Lawrence Green, Anthony Nudo, Steve Bostrom, Ray Misner, Jesse Downing, and David Bogdala.
At the outset, a public hearing was held, first on the 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), and then on the 2012 City of Kenosha Budget. John Fox was the only citizen who spoke regarding the CIP; he was against the spending of $6 million on the Simmons Island development. Several citizens thanked the Common Council for restoring the Saturday bus service and for listening to the needs of the community, including Ron Frederick, Sandy Milligan, Pauline Waara, and Robert Christiansen. Bob Danbeck’s comments had to do with not raising his taxes. Michael Maki, one of the city’s four community development specialists, spoke in favor of retaining the four specialists. Ray Forgianni spoke in favor of a council that works with the mayor. And, David Molinaro, a 27-year Kenosha Police Department sergeant and brother of Mark Molinaro, spoke in favor of not raising the health care deductibles of supervisors.
The Southeastern WI Polar Plunge (formerly known as the Pleasant Prairie Plunge) will be held at The Brat Stop, in Kenosha.
A giant pool will be set up in The Brat Stop’s parking lot. Now all of the fun at this family-friendly event will take place in one location.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department issued the following holiday weekend statement:
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is warning citizens to make sure they buckle their seat belts over the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend or run the risk of getting a ticket.
“Whether you’re going across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, make sure you and everyone riding with you is wearing their seat belts,” said Sheriff David Beth. “You may be enjoying the Holiday, but be aware that deputies will be out in force as part of this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign, making sure your road trip is as safe as it can be.”
- During the Citizen’s Comments portion of the meeting, Al Mammon urged the Council to use natural gas for the city buses. Natural gas costs $1.28/gallon. “Sixty percent of the budget is fuel costs,” he said. He also thanked the Council for retaining two people in the 2012 budget. Lou Rugani spoke in favor of the streetcars.
- The following were approved: Sixteen operator’s (bartender’s) licenses; one transfer of agent status of beer and/or liquor licenses; two special Class “B” beer and/or special “Class B” wine licenses; and one taxi driver license. These were all of the applications per list on file in the Office of the City Clerk.
The Finance Committee met this past Monday night. Below are the highlights of that meeting:
- The proposed ordinance by Alderperson Steve Bostrom to repeal Chapter 28 of the Code of General Ordinances entitled “Vacant Building Code” was deferred for 30 days.
- The proposed ordinance by Alderperson Patrick Juliana to create a new section of the Code of General Ordinances entitled “Ethics Board,” and to repeal and recreate various sections of Chapter 30 of the Code of General Ordinances entitled “Code of Ethics” was also deferred for 30 days, as was the proposed ordinance by Alderpersons David Bogdala and Anthony Nudo on the same subject.
At 9:41 a.m., Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a crash in the 400 block of Highway G, Somers.
Dispatch reports that the one involved vehicle is rolled over. Occupant was able to get out of the vehicle, but may have a head injury.
UPDATE 9:50 a.m. — Tow truck being called. Vehicle is on its side up against a tree, deputy reports.
- The board voted to discontinue the reimbursement of the $25 advanced placement examination fees to students. School board member Pam Stevens had first made a motion to table the issue until she got clarification that the gifted and talented program is not a “special program,” but that motion failed. Vickie Brown-Gurley, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, assured Pam Stevens that she would provide her with a written response to that effect. School board member Carl Bryan thought that the discontinuance of the reimbursement would remove the incentive for the students to take the test. “Where’s the students’ skin in the game?” Bob Nuzzo commented that, when the students pass the advanced placement test with a three, four, or five score, that gives them college credit. “That’s a 10 to 1 return on their investment. It’s a simple decision. That’s their skin in the game.”
At last night’s Common Council meeting, Mayor Keith Bosman introduced Todd Battle, president of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA), who gave the Council information on the formation of a Steering Committee that will update the master plan to guide downtown investment and development. Battle said, “We know how important it is to build a great community.” He gave an overview of the project, and he asked for the Council’s involvement, and in-kind support. “Working through the process is as valuable as the product. We are here to build consensus,” he continued.
A discussion item on tonight’s Finance Committee agenda had to do with the NSI investigation follow-up. Mayor Keith Bosman gave the details of the print out that was discussed at the last meeting. A person started work on his garage, putting in a window, without a building permit. He also needed a zoning review. Therefore, he had to pay for the building permit, $60, for the zoning review, $60, plus a $60 penalty on each for a total of $240. Both he and Frank Pacetti, city administrator, conferred with each other. Bosman stated that the two of them thought that they should deal with the situation “in a common sense way.” They both decided to rescind the zoning review and penalty. The person paid for the building permit and its associated penalty. Bosman stated that “decisions like this are made on a regular basis by city inspectors and, if he had to go back, he would handle it the same way.”
The Pleasant Prairie Police Department is making notification of the release of two convicted sex offenders — Dennis M. Knippe and Michael L. Romack — into the village.
There will be no curbside garbage, recycling, brush, yardwaste, tire, or bulk collection Thursday, Nov. 24.
Garbage, recycling, brush, yardwaste, tire, and bulk collection will be delayed one day for Thursday’s and Friday’s routes only. Thursday’s route will be collected on Friday, and Friday’s route will be collected on Saturday. Regular collection schedules will resume the week of Monday, Nov. 28th.
If you have brush, tires, or bulk garbage that needs to be picked up, please call the Public Works Department at 653-4050 a minimum of one working day before your regular collection day.
Other garbage and waste related announcements are:
Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene of a crash on I-94 Friday night.
The crash occurred by the off ramp for Highway 158. Firefighters worked to treat at least one occupant of the vehicle who was carried to an ambulance.
Last night, the Finance Committee reconvened its meeting from Wednesday night to review the 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Mayor Keith Bosman stated that other committees have reviewed and approved the plan. The following represent the highlights of the budget reviews:
Administration – Chairman David Bogdala asked about the status of the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software project. Finance director Carol Stancato responded that employees in the Finance, Storm Water Utility, and Information Technology Departments met with the consultant. A draft copy of the consultant’s report was presented, but Stancato has not had a chance to review it yet. A meeting is planned for mid-December with the steering team, then a request for proposal (RFP) will be prepared.
“We are looking for images that highlight and characterize all of the wonderful things that make Kenosha County a great place to live, work, play and raise a family,” County Executive Jim Kreuser said.
Kreuser said the county is looking for photos that embrace Kenosha County’s architecture, landscapes and cityscapes, people and activities, nature and animals, culture and art.
Last night, the Finance Committee spent about three hours reviewing the 2012 Executive Budget. The room was filled to capacity; there were many city staff present. Two citizens spoke at the beginning of the meeting. Nasser Museitif, a city employee, and owner of Our Kenosha Tap, objected to the $5,000 deductible on health care. He stated that he had no problem paying his fair share, but he thought that there should be other ways that the city could generate savings. Secondly, he spoke in favor of keeping the position of the nurse practitioner. “Even if we have to pay a $20 co-pay,” he stated, “it would be worth it.” Mary Durkee, another city employee, echoed Museitif’s comments regarding the nurse practitioner. “I had a stye, and I went to the nurse practitioner. She gave me the medicine I needed, and I went back to work, with no loss of work. With this high deductible, instead of going to the doctor, employees will now wait until they are really, really sick to go to the doctor. I felt comfortable seeing the nurse practitioner. It’s beneficial to the employees and to the city itself to keep her.”
After consuming excessive amounts of rum, vodka, and beer at an underage drinking party, a 16-year-old Pennsylvania girl died, and the “social host” will spend up to 23 months in jail. The teenager’s blood alcohol content was 0.44, five times the legal driving limit for an adult motorist. The “social host” did not provide the alcohol; however, she was home when the incident occurred. “Adults have the responsibility to supervise and oversee to make sure minors aren’t consuming alcohol because it can have dire consequences, like it did in this case,” said Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.
According to the HOPE Council Underage Drinking Accountability Program Survey, Kenosha youth who currently consume alcohol were likely to have had their first drink between the ages of 13 and 17. “Town hall meetings, focus group interviews, and day-to-day conversations with teenagers tell us that our kids are acquiring alcohol predominantly in social settings, from older siblings, older friends, friends’ parents, and their own parents,” said Steve Fredriksson, Process Director for “Stand Tall Against Alcohol,” a project of the Concerned Citizens Coalition on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse for Greater Kenosha. “Statistics overwhelmingly show that today’s drunk driver was yesterday’s underage drinker.”
A Kenosha man faces charges after being arrested as part of a Kenosha Drug Operations Group (KDOG) and Kenosha Police Department-Gang Unit operation Wednesday.
From a statement released by the Sheriff’s Department:
On Nov. 16 at approximately 9:40 a.m. members of the Kenosha Drug Operations Group, with the assistance of the Kenosha Police Dept-Gang Unit conducted a search warrant at 9002 Sheridan Rd lot#103. A 25-year-old suspect was taken into custody on five counts of delivery of cocaine, keeper of a drug house, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, and possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Seized from the residence was 116.6 grams of cocaine, 31.5 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, digital scale, packaging materials, two computers, $972.88 in U.S. currency and components for an indoor grow operation, including grow lamps, electrical ballast, flexible ducting, vent fan, plant starter box, water filter and grow tent. The drugs seized are valued at approximately $9300. The suspect is currently custody in the county jail.
Tremper High School in Kenosha was evacuated today.
Various media reports say it was for a bomb threat. Fire and police responded a little before 8 a.m.
While the incident was being investigated, 85th Street by the school, and 30th Avenue from 85th to 87th Streets, was blocked off.
Students were eventually let back in the building to continue their school day. There was considerable fire and police presence at the school.
Kenosha Fire Department firefighters responded to a call at about 5:30 a.m. Monday at a business near 60th Street and 14th Avenue.
They found a fire at the back of the business, a gas station, which they extinguished.
At tonight’s Public Safety & Welfare (PS & W) Committee meeting, the last agenda item up for discussion was the proposed resolution to reorganize certain operations of the city with respect to the Departments of City Development and Neighborhood Services and Inspections (NSI) and to subsequently create the Department of Community Development and Inspections. This item was deferred from two prior PS & W meetings (those held on October 25th and October 10th). Click here to review reports from these prior meetings: “Temporary Structures Will Need to Apply for a Permit” and “Paula Blise, Zoning Coordinator, Addresses Public Safety & Welfare Committee.” The committee did not go into closed session, as was its option pursuant to State statute.
At this morning’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, Chairman Ray Misner stated that, “rather than focusing on fighting, he’d rather focus on little things until April (until after the mayoral election).” This has to do with Mayor Keith Bosman’s vetoing the Common Council’s vote on reorganizing the structure of the Licensing & Permit Committee into a commission. To read more background on this issue, click here: Common Council Upholds Mayor’s Veto.
His intent, he said, has always been to “try to make it better for licensed businesses. But, it doesn’t seem that we are in a position for reform. There is a difference of leadership, the third floor (of the Kenosha Municipal Building) and the aldermanic level. There is not a relationship there. So, in the best interests of the community, I have been thinking about this over the last week, and I’ve decided to back off a bit.”