City of Whitewater’s Proposed 2016 Budget

Embedded below readers will find the City of Whitewater’s proposed 2016 budget. An open and confident government would embed the budget on the city’s main webpage; an inquisitive and worthy press would embed (or at least link) to the budget file. For the city there’s still a long way to go; for the print press there’s […]

The Public Records Law Still Stands

After a push to alter Wisconsin’s Public Records Law (Wis. Stat. §§ 19.31-19.39), we’re now secure with the original law intact.   Below one will find a recording of Wisconsin A.G. Brad Schimel’s Open Government Summit, held earlier this week at the Concourse in Madison.   J.B. Hollen, Schimel’s immediate predecessor, started strongly in favor of the […]

The City of Whitewater Digester Clarification That Could Use a Clarification

There’s a paragraph from Whitewater’s City Manager Update for 3.20.15 that proposes a clarification about the digester project proposed as part of an overall, $20.7 million-dollar upgrade to the city’s wastewater treatment facilities. First, the city’s clarification (my emphasis added): Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade Clarification When an issue as complex and technically detailed as the […]

Former Coach Fader Vindicated Five Times Over

It’s been over nine months since Chancellor Richard Telfer suspended former UW-Whitewater wrestling coach Tim Fader, and later effectively fired him (Fader’s contract was not renewed).  In April 2014, a woman alleged that a wrestling recruit assaulted her, and Fader has consistently said that he contacted the Whitewater Police Department about the incident, and that […]

Support the Campus Accountability and Safety Act

Discussion is better than silence; knowledge trumps ignorance. Thousands of universities receive federal funds, including our own campus. Under the law, those universities are required, since the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), 34 C.F.R. 668.46 to record and report instances of crime on and near their campuses. (UW-System schools publish that information in compliance […]

A Municipal Building’s No Proof of a Progressive, Modern Outlook

A public building doesn’t make a city respectable – a city’s respectable, high standards and open government make a public building worthy.  It’s more than odd that, literacy notwithstanding, an editorial board would contend – as one did recently about Milton, Wisconsin – that Milton’s new [city] offices suggest professional, progressive city (subscription req’d): Milton […]

Shhh….Milton’s City Planning is a Big Secret

Over in Milton, with a ‘development professional’ for a mayor and a city administrator who’s quitting for a job where he can spend more time with his family, there’s a new municipal development: MILTON—A proposed restaurant and convenience store at the corner of Sunnyside Drive and Highway 59 is “somewhat monumental” in that it kicks […]

Show Your Work

#172284535 / We’re in a new round of big-project proposals for Whitewater. Here’s a suggestion, that this municipal administration would do well to follow, for any large-scale proposal: (1) Release any feasibility study, analysis, or performance contract on the city’s website a month (thirty calendar days) before Council consideration. (2) Hold a public hearing […]

Janesville Doubles Down

There’s an update about Janesville’s fire station debacle: Janesville’s city attorney reportedly contends that Wisconsin law does not allow a petition to overturn what the City of Janesville contends is an administrative decision.  See, City attorney: Fire station question not for voters to decide.  For now, consider the politics of this position.  (Here, I mean […]

How the Local Press Fails

There’s a story at Channel 3000 (the website for WISC-TV) entitled, Janesville resident to petition council’s decision to build a new fire station. The story says much about (1) government spending, (2) unlawful use of closed sessions to conceal projects, and (3) press competition.  Here’s the cause of residents’ ire: Janesville resident Billy McCoy is […]

Confronting Bad News

There are always a number of accidents, crimes, or tragedies in a community.  One hopes for as few as possible.  The best way for government to address those misfortunes is to act quickly and openly to take whatever actions law and charity require. Along the way, however, it might be useful for big talking officials […]

The Whitewater Schools’ Recent Budget Cuts

I wrote last week about proposed budget cuts in the Whitewater Unified School District.  (See, The Whitewater Schools’ Budget Cuts.) Since that post, the WUSD School Board met Monday, and following that contentious meeting made modifications to proposed cuts on Wednesday afternoon.  (At each stage of this process, proposed cuts have been in the aggregate […]