SHULLSBURG – Mayor Emmet Reilly conducted the City of Shullsburg meeting via phone on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
The council discussed reducing city council meetings from two meetings per month to one meeting per month.
Alder Verne Jackson said, “I’ve looked into this. Several city councils around us only meet once a month including Cuba City, Lancaster, Benton and Mineral Point. I think it’s a way to simplify things and give Marsha Einsweiler (clerk) more time to work on other stuff. A lot of times we have things on the agenda that we can wait to have at our next meeting. Other communities are doing it and it works for them. There will be bumps at first.”
Alder Pat Heim said, “We will be having special meetings all the time.”
Jackson said, “No we won’t. I’ve done my research. It will put less pressure on us, it may extend meetings a little bit. Committees will stay the same. Marsha has the right to pay bills now. I’ve talked with other council people (from other communities) and they have had no problems.”
Heim said, “I’ve talked to some people and they asked if the wages for council members would be cut in half, since we would only have one meeting.”
Jackson: “I would doubt that.”
Heim, “I think council members should have a raise, but I don’t like the idea of going to one meeting a month. I think there is too much stuff that’s going to be gone for too long with one meeting per month.”
Jackson: “We put too many items on two agendas now that can be condensed into one. Almost everything on tonight’s agenda could have waited for next Wednesdays meeting. Why wouldn’t it work for us, when it works for all these other communities? Just because we’ve had two for years, doesn’t mean that can’t change.”
Heim: “Oh, I agree, you can change anything. I don’t think it’s a good move to change to one meeting. I think it will be too long between meetings. Some issues need to be addressed and you’ll be calling special meeting all the time.”
Jackson: “Other communities don’t do that.”
Alder Jason Weiskircher agreed with Jackson. “I think we should try to condense. If we did a months worth in one meeting and had a secondary meeting for what ever pops up. I do believe we have way too many meetings and that’s caused by a lack of organization. I think we’d have a hard time going to one meeting without a major overhaul of the entire system.”
Reilly said, “It sounds like you’re mixed on this.”
Jackson suggested the council members discuss it with other communities and it will be put on a future agenda.
No action was taken.
An item that proposed purchasing a new commercial dishwasher, in the amount of $8,000 (of which the city would chip-in $3,000) for the kitchen area in the Townsend Building was brought up.
Weiskircher said, “I didn’t know we were taking action on this. I didn’t do any more research. Last I heard the SUN Program was buying the dishwasher.”
Jackson said, “At the last meeting, I thought we were in favor of the $8,000.”
Alder Gloria Swenson said, “I’m not in favor of the $8,000. I looked up the best commercial dishwashers and there are several on the list that were a lot less then $8,000.”
Heim said, “Why do we want to argue with the SUN Program, when they want to spend $5,000?”
Weiskircher said, “They want to spend $8,000, but they only have $5,000.”
Heim said, “We were going to take $1,500 out of the Senior Center account, so it would only cost the city $1,500.”
Swenson said, “What if something else comes up that we need money for?”
Weiskircher said, “If the SUN Program has $5,000 to spend on a dishwasher, they could buy a model for that amount, including installation and be done with it. I don’t like the idea of spending $3,000 when we have other expenses in the Senior Center, including furniture. I don’t think it’s necessary to buy the top-of-the-line model. I don’t think the difference between a $4,000 and $8,000 dishwasher will pay for it during the life of it.”
Heim said, “I thought the SUN Program wasn’t going to contribute towards a $4,000 dishwasher.”
Weiskircher said, “Well just leave the one that’s in there then.”
No action was taken and this item will come back to a meeting in March.
Later in the meeting it was established that the current dishwasher is working fine.
In other business:
•Approved bills in the amount of $38,829.
•Townsend Center opening is going as planned. Approved keeping the building open in the current configuration for another month. Einsweiler point out that a decision will need to be made regarding opening the whole building at some point.
•Approved an application for a special event - Sips & Sweets will be held Saturday, March 6 from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Cassidy Reilly representing Advance Shullsburg said, “We have eight businesses interested in participating. Each participating business will receive wine and a chocolate treat.”
•Approved a temporary beer & wine license for Advance Shullsburg for the event - Sips & Sweets (wine walk) on March 6.
•Approved an operator license for Stephanie Morrissey.
•Approved an annual permit for Badger Mobile Home Park at a cost is $2 per lot.
•Approved a $1,000 contribution to Beautify Shullsburg for Water Street flowers.•After some discussion the council approved a contribution