Lafayette County and the city of Darlington collaborated to organize a town hall meeting on Wednesday, June 17 where members of the public were able to attend and comment and ask questions about current topics and decisions coming from local government.
Speakers during the meeting included: Darlington mayor, Dave Breunig; director of Lafayette Development corporation, Luis Lopez; Lafayette County sheriff, Reg Gill; director of Lafayette county Health Department, Sue Matye; hospital and manor administrator, Julie Chikowski; Lafayette County Finance Director, Nicola Maurer; director of Lafayette County Human Services, Shane Schuhmacher and county board chairman, Jack Sauer.
Each speaker discussed certain topics for approximately 10 minutes each, and then a public comment period, also 10 minutes, was opened to attendees so they could ask questions and make comments.
Many citizens took advantage of the time to comment and ask questions about many of the topics that were discussed, which included: property maintenance and rental maintenance ordinances as well as the idea of licensing rental properties for the city of Darlington; the proposed affordable housing project for agriculture workers; a communication tower for county law enforcement and first responders; replacing software for dispatch at the sheriff’s department; current status and possible future of the home care program; an update on the birthing unit at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County as well as Lafayette Manor; reasoning behind the county’s purchase of the County K building and the relocation of the human services department there.
There were comments of support and concern for many of the topics, as well as many questions. Overall, the general opinion of the crowd seemed to be that citizens wished to be more informed of big decisions, such as many of the topics discussed during the meeting, and the reasoning behind those decisions before it was over and done with.
It was also mentioned that the county and the city should endeavor to work together for the overall betterment of the area and be open with each other moving forward.