While discussing a motion reported in minutes of another recent meeting, the New Holstein Common Council last Tuesday found itself embroiled in another situation involving a motion.
At the annual organizational meeting of the council, Alderperson Rich Snelson moved and new Aldperson Becca Mosier seconded to amend the minutes of a recent special meeting of the council.
At that April 1 meeting, Alderperson Bob Bosma moved to have the city enter into a short-term agreement with the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office to assist with law enforcement coverage in the city, and also begin discussions on a possible “Plan B” for a long-term agreement.
The minutes of that meeting stated that the motion was “to agree to the proposed Intergovernmental Jurisdictional Agreement for Shared Services between the City of New Holstein and Calumet County’s Sheriff’s Office and to have Jeff Roemer work with the County to develop a long-term agreement for shared police services between the City of New Holstein and Calumet County.”
Mosier said she does not feel the minutes clearly reflect the motion, adding that Roemer—who works for a consulting firm which has been assisting the city and its Police Department—was not mentioned in Bosma’s original motion. “I have a very big problem approving those minutes as a member of this body when that didn’t happen,” she said.
A vote was then taken Tuesday which apparently approved the minutes, but Snelson’s motion to amend was still on the floor. At the April 1 meeting, a motion made by Snelson to amend Bosma’s motion and remove the part about discussing a long-term agreement was not considered, with city officials later pointing out that it was incorrectly made prior to Bosma’s motion being seconded.
Confusion followed at last Tuesday’s meeting over what happened to the motion to amend made by Snelson and seconded by Mosier.
The council proceeded to the public input portion of the meeting, but the first speaker—Steve Abrams—said he was at a loss for words as to what just happened to the motion to amend. Abrams used words including “incompetence,” “corruption” and “unethical.” “I don’t understand what’s going on here,” he said. “What in the world is going on? This is an embarrassment.... This is supposed to be lawful.”
Sue Niesen followed by saying volunteers knocked on doors of city residents last weekend and of 102 people polled found 95 who wanted to retain the city’s Police Department. She said she would like to see a three- to five-year contract offered to officers to provide them with some long-term stability.
Former mayor Dianne Reese said she was reading a note from citizen Mary Growe saying meetings should be livestreamed on Facebook.
Reese then spoke for herself when she said she spoke with city leaders in Chilton and Kiel who are either recording or livestreaming meetings, adding that it would take less than $500 in equipment to make that happen.
Alderperson Gene Woelfel then read a statement in which he said he was expressing disappointment in the actions of Mayor Jeff Hebl over the past year including leading up to the recent April election. Woelfel alleged that Hebl made an endorsement prior to the election. “You made a non-political election political,” Woelfel said. Hebl said he made no such endorsement. “You got your facts wrong,” Hebl said to Woelfel.
After those interactions, the council returned to the question of the April 1 minutes and decided to table action on them until the next meeting.
(For more from the council meeting please see the April 29 issue of the Tri-County News.)