A Bit More on Examples

I’ve written about Milton as a bad example for Whitewater, and I’ve written about Jefferson this way, too. See Sunshine Week 2018 (The Bad Example Nearby), Attack of the Dirty Dogs, and Thanks, City of Jefferson!. The Milton-related post prompted two readers to ask about my connections to that troubled school district’s politics. I’ve replied to […]

4 Points About the Work Ahead

  Whitewater’s in a time of transition. Those who have been here, who are here, and who are yet to arrive will face this truism: people make history, but not in conditions of their own choosing. Three key points stand out: ➤ The past sets the conditions from which one chooses in the present. Serial […]

Sunshine Week 2018 (A Methodical Approach)

Writing about a topic is a deliberate, often slow, process. Something happens – perhaps of concern – but one may not address it immediately. A bit of waiting can be a sound response. Along the way, an original perspective may change, and a project grow larger (or smaller). See Steps for Blogging on a Policy or Proposal. […]

Sunshine Week 2018 (City, District, and State)

Local readers may have heard, as I have heard, that area officials know that there are ways around municipal ordinances and school district policies on open government. There’s no surprise in hearing this: there is no human construct that cannot be circumvented; there are few professing a public interest who do not simultaneously feel the […]

Sunshine Week 2018 (Some Years Ago, in Whitewater)

In 2010, the City of Whitewater considered an ordinance to publish video recordings of principal public meetings. The first reading of the proposal was in August, and a second reading led to its approval in September. One may find the ordinance at Whitewater, Wisconsin, Municipal Code, Chapter 2.62 (Whitewater Transparency Enhancement Ordinance). This ordinance did not […]

Film: Tuesday, March 13th, 12:30 PM @ Seniors in the Park, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This Tuesday, March 13th at 12:30 PM, there will be a showing of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin community building. Martin McDonagh directs the one-hour, fifty-five minute film. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a crime drama about a mother who personally challenges the local authorities to solve her […]

The Seats in the House

At public meetings, people who are hard of hearing or weak of eyesight should receive preference to sit close to the meeting’s speakers. People who have difficulty walking should receive a preference to sit near an exit. Otherwise, in a well-ordered environment, leaders will sit in the back, allowing non-leader residents to sit closer to […]

As We Are

One begins – with optimism – from where one is. A community is much more than demographics, of course, but we are much less than we could be if we do not consider our circumstances using the best available measurements. Acting by and for a part, rather than the whole, is a common-yet-debilitating policy mistake. […]

Hey, CDA: What About the Existing Marketing Plan?

At tonight’s Community Development Authority meeting, agenda item number 14 surprisingly calls for “Discussion and Possible Action on Community Collaborative Marketing.” Perhaps this means a change to Whitewater’s existing community collaborative marketing plan. Our city leaders have been clear, for many years, about how to market the community. Indeed, other parts of the municipal government […]

Film: Tuesday, February 27th, 12:30 PM @ Seniors in the Park, The Florida Project

This Tuesday, February 27th at 12:30 PM, there will be a showing of The Florida Project @ Seniors in the Park, in the Starin community building. Sean Baker directs the one-hour, fifty-one minute film. The Florida Project is a drama “set over one summer, [as] the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and […]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Primary, Whitewater Results

Wisconsin’s spring primary in Whitewater saw three candidates vie for two spots on the April ballot for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Statewide in preliminary numbers, conservative Michael Screnock had a plurality, followed by liberals Rebecca Dallet and Tim Burns. (It’s Screnock v. Dallet in April.) Look, however, at how different the statewide, Jefferson County & Walworth […]

A Job in a College Town

Whitewater’s looking for a new police chief, and our small city has two candidates from which to choose. There’s a time to consider all this in greater detail; for today, two simple observations are enough. 1. Competency, Not Ideology, Has Always Been Key. Whitewater’s policing challenges have not been between left and right, or between […]

The Limits of Community Surveys

It’s expensive to survey opinion, scientifically, using standard statistical principles. Whitewater, like many small places, understandably relies on community surveys (for the city proper, for her school district). Surveys of this kind are an approximation of overall sentiment. One wouldn’t expect an end to these surveys, but they have obvious, significant limitations. (This is true of […]