Common Council approves beach house resolution
At Monday night’s Common Council meeting, the Council approved, by a vote of 13 to 1, the beach house resolution proposed by Alderperson Steve Bostrom requesting the allocation of funds for the purpose of saving and renovating the Southport Beach House. Several changes were proposed, but the same resolution that was approved by the Parks Commission, was also approved on the Council floor.
Alderperson David Bogdala wanted to add back in a date that was removed having to do with the deadline for the request for proposals (RFP’s). Alderperson Michael Orth, chairman of the Parks Commission, reiterated what he had said at the committee meeting, and that was that, “At this point in time, we are not sure what the plan will take. It could be a phased-in approach, or one full project.” He stated that that was the logic behind not adding a date. Bogdala questioned Mayor Keith Bosman about the $100,000 that was in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2013 for unforeseen maintenance. The mayor said that that amount could be adjusted. Bogdala said that the goal of the master plan is to have it completed by December 21st. He stated that he hasn’t seen the five-year CIP, nor had he been in attendance at the Parks Commission meeting. “I’m operating in a vacuum here.” Bosman stated that the money was for unforeseen maintenance. In 2014, serious spending would begin. Bosman also urged the council to wait until the planning process is done, then move forward.
Bogdala was willing to delay it a month, from March 1, 2013, to April 1, 2013. Alderperson G. John Ruffolo agreed. “The date is really a goal. It provides a timeframe and a goal. It’s what the public is looking for. Past mayors and councils have neglected this building.”
Alderperson Anthony Kennedy said that, had Bogdala attended the committee meeting or observed the video, he would have witnessed a back-and-forth between Bostrom and Orth, whereby a compromise was reached. Since Bostrom agreed to it, he urged Bogdala and the others to also agree to it. Bostrom was not in attendance at Monday night’s Common Council meeting. To read the report on the Parks Commission meeting, click here: Resolution Passes Committee With Changes.
One date that was changed was the original date of December 31, 2012, to January 31, 2013, for the date of the completion of the master plan. Kennedy said, “It’s been said that, if no date is entered, nothing will happen. That is not true. There was a compromise. If you’re stuck on the date, hit the “no” button. But, I’m urging you to use the “yes” button. Let’s get the Common Council’s opinion of who supports this, and fix the grand old lady.”
Alderperson Keith Rosenberg wanted to know how much it would cost the taxpayers. “If the master plan says it will cost $7 million, do it. I can’t support that. I want to make sure that we do it right and do it smart. The way it’s written now, I can’t approve it. It’s a blank check.”
Alderperson Kevin Mathewson said that the date was one of the most important things, and he said that he would tell everyone why. “Yes, we are paying $40,000 for the study. But, we are not at the mercy of the study. The group that did the study shouldn’t have Kenosha’s destiny in their hands. Adding a date for the RFP’s makes the resolution hold water. There needs to be a date so we provide confidence in the system,” he said. The amendment changing the date for the RFP’s to April 1, 2013, failed by a vote of 5 to 9.
Bogdala said that the vote was not unexpected, and he hoped that the voting would be for the resolution at the end of the day. He stated that he “didn’t understand why someone would be afraid to add a hard date, position, on something. We set goals and expectations in the real world. I agree with the gentleman from the 9th (Rosenberg). The money is in the 2013 budget. If we wait until later, it won’t get done. People need to know that a firm date has been set.”
Kennedy then made a motion to defer for two weeks, so that Bostrom “could chime in on it.” Alderperson Scott Gordon agreed with Kennedy’s motion. “With the resolution maker not here, the last thing I want is that we push through something.” The mayor asked the council to “pass it tonight. I don’t want to keep playing around with it.” Juliana didn’t understand why we would want to send it back to the committee. “Because new alderpersons don’t understand the budget? That’s digging deep in the bucket.” He urged the council to vote down the deferral and vote for the resolution.
The deferral was voted down in a voice vote, and the resolution was approved, as amended by the Parks Commission, by a vote of 13 to 1. Rosenberg was the sole dissenting voter.