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Open Government

In Whitewater, Three Recent Trespasses Against Public Comment

Whitewater’s public comment periods are lawful rights worth defending, and there has never been a time when respecting public comment – humbly and gratefully – has been more important for the city. Since June, there have been three meetings during which Whitewater’s current council president has deprecated public comment, or wrongly set the order of…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 9.15.20: 4 Points

Updated 9.16.20 with meeting video. Last night, among other items, Whitewater Common Council’s met and considered municipal actions in response to the pandemic, heard presentations from Downtown Whitewater, Inc. and Discover Whitewater, and appointed a resident to fill a council vacancy in AD 5. A few remarks —  1. Pandemic Responses. Whitewater’s council last week declined, on…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 9.9.20: 5 Points

Evening of 9.10.20: Updated with full session video. As always, the best record is a recording. Original post follows — Last night, at a special meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, that public body voted 5-1 against consideration of a municipal ordinance to regulate mass gatherings during the pandemic. (The agenda packet, with the ordinance…

Whitewater Common Council Meeting, 8.4.20: 6 Points

At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, among other items — the council slightly modified its mask ordinance, discussed (but took no action on) a racial justice initiative that would create an Equal Opportunities Committee, voted unanimously to extend the lake drawdown project for approximately another year, and voted to continue virtual public…

Whitewater School Board Meeting, 8.3.20: 6 Points

At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Unified School District’s board, the board heard a presentation from the district about fall instruction for the first two weeks of school, and the metrics the district is considering when deciding schools’ status after those initial weeks. The meeting was informational only, so the board took no action.…

The Whitewater School Board’s Decision on Early Fall Instruction: 4 Points

Updates, afternoon of 7.28.20: (1) I’ve added a recording of the 7.27.20 meeting. The best record is a recording. (2) A reader emailed to ask where I stand on recent pandemic-related public actions. On masks, I supported the city’s ordinance (to take effect 8.1) as an unfortunate necessity to preserve safe mobility in the marketplace.…

The Whitewater Unified School District’s Proposed Fall Instructional Plans

Last night (7.22), the Whitewater Unified School District held a virtual meeting to describe a fall instructional proposal to be presented to the district’s school board on 7.27.20. The meeting was interrupted, and so the district published today (7.23) a video describing the proposal. Embedded above is that video presentation. (There was an earlier, recorded…

Whitewater, Wisconsin’s Temporary Mask Ordinance: 7 Points

Updated evening of 7.22.20 with meeting video. (The discussion on Whitewater’s mask ordinance runs from 31:09 to 3:37:50.) At last night’s meeting of the Whitewater Common Council, the seven-member council voted unanimously for a temporary mask ordinance, taking effect 8.1.20 and running through 12.31.20, requiring masks in parts of buildings open to the public, and…

About That Proposed, Temporary Mask Ordinance for Whitewater, Wisconsin

So, there’s a proposed, temporary mask ordinance before the Whitewater Common Council tonight. Needless to say, there’s been a lot of talk about the measure (and so a lot of emails sent my way – thanks much for these messages). Readers have asked what I think of the proposal. I’ve offered a simple answer: I’d…

Cameras, Not Committees

Recent protests across America against excessive and biased use of police force began after ordinary people in those communities recorded official (to the point of murderous) actions, and then shared their recordings with others. It was not government – local, state, or federal – that promptly shared these recordings of excessive force; it was ordinary…

Whitewater Schools: Meeting, Survey, Timeline for the Next District Administrator

There are important steps ahead in the Whitewater Schools’ search for a new district administrator. (A link on the district webpage  has information about the process. I’ve reproduced key information below.) Tonight, at 6:30 PM in the Whitewater High School library, there will be an open forum where residents can share their views on what…

Whitewater Schools: Paltry “Community Input”

Update, 2.10.20 – Since this post, the location has now been changed to Whitewater High School’s more spacious and inviting library. There’s a story in a local newspaper about a public forum for community input on the search for a permanent Whitewater school district administrator. Here’s the beginning of the newspaper’s account of the district’s efforts:…

Who Implied That Toppers Might Move Its Headquarters? Whitewater’s City Manager, That’s Who

In a Janesville Gazette story from 12.5, Whitewater’s city manager, Cameron Clapper, is reported as saying that another paper’s coverage incorrectly implied that Toppers Pizza might move its Whitewater headquarters. In fact, the video of a recent Community Development Authority (CDA) meeting from 11.21.19 reveals that it was Clapper, himself, who implied that Toppers might move.…