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New Town of Waukesha board could vote on changes

Members could alter videoconferencing rule, salt storage facility

April 21, 2014

It doesn't appear the new Waukesha Town Board is going to wait or take its time on making changes.

One includes the long battle on whether it's necessary for town supervisors to be physically present during board meetings.

The town board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at Waukesha Town Hall, W250 S3567 Center Road.

Skyping restriction

According to Thursday's agenda, the town board could direct the town attorney to prepare a draft of a new ordinance or a draft of a revision to an existing ordinance that requires board members to be physically present at regular meetings, special meetings and committee meetings in the room in which the meeting is being held.

Currently, if supervisors can't be at Town Hall, they have the option to tune into the meetings through the videoconferencing method Skype.

Since his election as town chairman in April 2013, John Marek has been adamant against supervisors using this technology to attend meetings. But Marek previously did not have the support to overturn the ordinance when the board voted on this issue during a meeting last June.

However, with the April 1 general election giving the town board two new members who are in agreement with Marek on this issue, along with Supervisor Brian Fischer, a change on this ordinance is likely. An ordinance change requires a vote from four of the five board members.

While supervisors have had the option of using Skype, only former supervisor Mike Laska used it regularly. He used the technology when he was in Texas during the winter months.

Former Supervisor Joe Banske, who supported the use of videoconferencing, had looked at limiting the amount of times supervisors could attend meetings in this fashion as a way to find "a middle ground" in February. But because he didn't have the support from at least four of the board members his request was dropped.

Salt supply

The town board could also vote on having the town store its salt at the county's facility at Highway I and Racine Avenue. The town has utilized Wolf Paving in the village of Dousman, about 15 miles away from the town, for the past two winters.

But Marek has repeatedly said that he wants the salt supply closer to the town, calling it "crazy" the town does otherwise.

He said the former board has voted down his requests on this issue. But, once again, with new board members (Supervisor Jim Radke stated during his campaign he is in agreement with Marek), this change could also likely happen on Thursday night.

Septic system

The town board could also give permission for the clerk-treasurer to send out a request for proposal for repairing the town hall septic system.

Marek has been a strong advocate to fix the building's on-site septic system and repeatedly got into verbal arguments at town board meetings with Laska, who was assigned to lead this project.

Since last summer, Marek hasn't been pleased with the town's progress on this issue, especially after the city of Waukesha's Common Council approved allowing town hall to connect to its sanitary sewer system.

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