Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monona City Council Report - April 18, 2011

A brief report of the Monona City Council meeting of last evening. The meeting was especially noteworthy because it marked Robb Kahl's last meeting as Mayor of Monona. Around 5:45 PM this afternoon, Robb goes into emeritus status when Bob Miller is sworn in (swearing at to follow) as the city's new Mayor.

The council passed several measures, but tabled and referred to committee the 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan as discussed in my preview.

Two of the items approved by the council reflected one of Robb's major initiatives and accomplishments. During his 8 years on the council, the Mayor proposed and the council approved and adhered to policies that tripled the city's cash reserve. As I recall it, in Robb's first budget he proposed and the council adopted a policy to retain cash reserves at 15%-20%. I believe it took two or three years to reach 15% because we started with cash reserves at about 7%.

So what? The council approved the Issuance and Sale of $1,785,000 General Obligation Promissory Notes. The city received (maintained) its AA bond rating, which I believe is the highest in the state for a small city. This kind of rating is just about a 180 degree turnaround from the way the city's finances were seen by outside rating agencies in 2003. The high rating saves us large dollars by lowering the interest rate we pay to attract buyers (who benefit by taking on less risk).

The second most surprising moment of the evening occurred during the clsoing remarks of the members. Council President Jeff Wiswell, Sr. announced that he would put my name in nomination for council president at today's organizational meeting. It appears that we will avoid last year's brief tied votes. I am grateful to Jeff for this statement of public support.

The evening's most surprising moment happened just moments later when alder Dennis Kugle told us that Alderman Wiswell had indicated to him that he would support Kugle for council president. I think he was kidding, but that wasn't entirely apparent at the time. Anyway, Dennis was smiling when he said it.

The council heard a report from Darren Marsh regarding the Dane County Open Space Plan and Yahara Recreational Trail. Good news for us dog owners: among other things, the County plans to establish a new dog park near Lake Farm Park in the Capitol Springs Recreation area.

The new proposed plan: http://www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/parks/open_space_plan.aspx

The council approved a Compensating Non-Represented Employees for 2011 Wisconsin Retirement System Contributions. The resolution was revised after our previous meeting and was tweaked last night. It will not go into effect until and unless the "Collective Bargaining Kill Bill"is approved.
The council also approved Consideration of Resolution 11-04-1769 Capital Transfer Request for 2011 Winnequah Firemen’s Park Shelter Restroom. Alder Veserat made a valiant last stand, so to speak, and vigorously set forth his opposition but the vote carried 5-1.

Also approved: Consideration of Resolution 11-04-1756 Approval to Purchase Flatbed Truck with Dump Body (Public Works Committee) and Consideration of Resolution 11-04-1773 Amending the Capital Budget for Additional Construction Engineering and Administration Services for 2011 Street and Utility Improvements Project (Public Works Committee).

Closing out the council. Last night was also alder Veserat's last meeting after his electoral defeat this Spring. I did not agree with Mike on many of his more controversial positions, but I enjoyed working with him in committee and (usually) at the council. Lest you think this mere political eyewash, I'm putting my head where my mouth is. Mike's bike shop will be prepping my bike for the season and I'm pretty sure he won't fiddle the brakes (Joke alert). 

Finally, I made my last chicken joke last night by suggesting Robb could now get cracking on that spiffy chicken coop he secretly wanted, but couldn't openly support (Ditto on the joke alert). Alder Munson offered to lend Robb some blueprints.

If you see Robb today, bow down. It's his day. Really. The Governor has declared today Robb B. Kahl Day in the state of Wisconsin. And really, when you see him around, say "Thanks."


  1. Thanks for the report. Did you guys approve the solar powered outhouse?

  2. A Solar Powered Bathroom-I saw that in Sunny's column. Why would the city build a bathroom with solarpower? I am assuming that the return is within a payback of 10 years or less.