Town Meeting Minutes April 9, 2018

MONTHLY MEETING         APRIL 9, 2018       The Town Board of the Town of Cedar Lake met at the Cedar Lake Town Hall in Mikana on Monday, April 9, 2018 at 6:30 PM. Present was Ken Leners, Chairman, Supervisors Kory Weiss and Tony Wolff, Clerk Maryhelen Drew and Gladys Roux, Treasurer.  Also, present were 41 other persons. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.     The minutes were read from last month.  Tony made the motion to accept these minutes as presented.  Kory seconded and all approved.     Under public input, Lloyd Mjlenek commented that he had seen two snow plows go by his house on Sat.  Todd Hogan commented that he had not been plowed out at all. Comments are that there was a lot of drifting, too soft to plow gravel roads as you would do more damage to roads.  There followed a discussion with Kory pointing out that the State Statutes say that the Town Board has up to three weeks to clear snow. Ken also talked about control of overtime expenses.      Ken announced that the Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, April 21,2018 at 10:00 AM at the Town Hall.       Ken asked if there were any questions regarding the financial reports?  He then went onto explain the first fiscal quarter, saying that he would like to do this on a quarterly basis.  There are two goals for the budget in that we need to pay for repair of town hall stairs at approximately $25,000 and creating a 10% contingency fund.     Scott Roux asked about police protection.  Ken explained the RJ Severude had resigned on Feb. 16th.  The Board will discuss law enforcement questions next month.     Ron Richlick asked if other than the Board members, does someone look at the accounting books.  Ken explained that the Town has an outside auditor who does an annual audit and compiles the annual report.     Mike Gallo then gave the road report for past month as snow plowing, a few breakdowns.     Ken mentioned that Louie Okey had gotten re-elected to the Barron County Board of Supervisors.  Also mentioned at this time that the county ordinance regarding crossing the bridge n Hwy. 48 in Mikana had gotten passed.  It will not be legal to use until it is signed.    Kory reminded the Board that they need to set a date for the spring road evaluation.  This is done annually.     The Birchwood Four Corners Emergency Services Dist. will meet on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at the Cedar Lake Town Hall at 6:30 PM.  The plans for the new fire hall will be presented at this time.     Tony then addressed the Board about his concerns regarding police coverage. (see attached statement) Ken stated that options will be presented at the board meeting in May. Much discussion followed.     The next discussion was the title for the BFCESD trailer which the Town has helped with over the years.  Don Brunclik gave the title to Ken. Ken made the motion to transfer the title as well as the checking account in the amount of $908.41 to the BFCESD.  Kory seconded and all approved. It will continue at this time to be stored with the fire truck in our shop.     The next item that was discussed was the police fund of $1,266.79.  At this time, we are going to wait to make sure that all bills are in before making a decision regarding these funds.     Kory proposed that we request bids for the front town hall stairs by May 14th.  This will be discussed at that meeting. This will also be on the website.     The item listed under new business for Gary Trainor is a non-issue at this point.     Kory then talked about lawn mowing for the town.  At this point, we really don’t have a contract. He would like to finalize a map to show all areas to be mowed and ask for bids again. The Board than discussed public accesses around town.     The Board is reminder that there is a meeting at the Barron Co. Hwy. Dept.on April 12th.     Kory made the motion to adjourn the meeting.  This was seconded by Ken and approved by all. (7:45 PM)   Attached statement made by Supervisor Wolff for meeting 4-9-2018 Under agenda item, Additional police coverage update   I would like to formally address the other members of this board to express my final position on funding of a Police Department and or having additional police coverage going forward. And how I came to the conclusions I have. It has been about a year now that we set out to address every item in the budget so that we could assure the taxpayers that their money was being spent properly, and to also prepare for the future expenses of a new fire hall and fire truck. When it came to the line item concerning Police coverage, my initial concern was that we were paying more for a police department that should have been partially funded by other towns in the BFCESD. I thought that if the town wanted additional police coverage, there had to be a less expensive way to do it—That is until I started to look into it. At some point twenty years ago the town board decided to do away with the position of town constable and add additional police coverage because it received complaints that the Sheriff was not providing adequate coverage or response times.  Over time, this escalated from contracting a policeman a few hours a week to funding our own full time police department. During my research on this issue, I have found the best resource for information are other town supervisors, Chairman, and clerks. Talking to a number of these folks, they have one thing in common. They don’t understand how this board can justify spending tax money on replicating what is provided for with county tax funds through the sheriff department.  Especially when it comes at the expense of road maintenance. These officials provided me with a wealth of knowledge on a number of issues backed up by years of experience as to how to best conduct town business. One of these officials pointed out a section of Chapter 25 of the Wisconsin Town Officers Handbook. It clearly states that the town board is not required to provide law enforcement. In the meeting last month I was asked if I planned to honor the result of the referendum.  I stated then and I will repeat my position that the referendum was non-binding and only an advisory tool used to give the board information as to what kind of interest there was in the town on the police issue. Although 26 more voters wanted additional police coverage than didn’t, the ones that did were only 24% of the registered voters. As a result, I believe the results of the referendum coupled with low turnout in an August information meeting have validated to this board a larger lack of interest within the community in having additional police coverage. We now have available statistics from the Sheriff department that demonstrate the response times were similar whether a Sheriff deputy who is on duty 24/7, or our policeman who was on duty 40 hours a week responded. We know that Sheriff deputies on duty have doubled from twenty years ago and technology allows more detailed patrol coverage and response times. It also helps that we have a few deputies who live on the East side of the lake.   As a Board we can’t lose sight of the only fact before us that matters right now, Ken, I have heard you ask voters “what is the problem we are trying to solve here?” I have yet to hear the answer to that question.   Going forward, unless and until someone can articulate a valid reason this board should provide additional police coverage, I will not vote in favor of additional police coverage. This decision comes down to our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of this town.  In fact, with what we now know, I believe it would be irresponsible for this board to approve future funding for additional police coverage.   Anthony J. Wolff Town Supervisor]]>

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