So, here we go . . . mostly live blogged . . .
A. ROLL CALL Notified Absent: None
One person is missing, I missed who it was, was busy looking something up.
1. Prayer/Inspirational Message – Supervisor McCarville (Supervisor Miles next)
2. Pledge of Allegiance – Supervisor McCarville
She read a series of quotes about doing the right thing, by people from all over the political spectrum.
B. SPECIAL MATTERS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. Res. 109, 2012-2013 – Congratulating the Madison West Girls Soccer Team on Their Division I
Carousel Bayrd did not read it because they were not here because they decided if they could not all be there, none would be here. But she talked about their season.
2. Res. 110, 2012-2013 – Congratulating the Sun Prairie Cardinals Baseball Team on Their 2012
Division 1 State Championship
Clausius read the resolution and their coach said a few words
McDonell says the mic button works the same as before and don’t mess with the channel button.
Al Matano talks about the budget process and Chief Tubbs – announces that he has a resolution to speak against the recent action at the Capital.
Jenny Dye talks about the coordinated campaign to raise funds for area non-profits where the county board members can pledge part of their checks to go to the non-profits. She was going to promise a pie, but is sick, so promised something else I didn’t hear.
Bob Salov says the new system and room is great but he is introducing a resolution for $3500 to have electronic voting. This could be a change order, but the committee wanted the whole county board to see it and vote on it since they are using the system.
C. APPROVAL OF BILLS & ACCOUNTS
1. Claims Recommended for Approval
Schlicht/Salov – passes by voice vote seemingly unanimous.
E. CONSENT CALENDAR
1. Res. 89, 12-13 – Authorizing the Purchase of Land at Capital Springs Recreation Area (Adopt)
Passes on voice vote, sounded like one no
G. REPORTS ON ZONING PETITIONS
a. Map of Dane County
1. Petition 10408 – Town of Burke – Mart Enterprises, LLC (Grant as Modified)
2. Petition 10462 – Town of Windsor – Brad A Madigan (Grant)
3. Petition 10463 – Town of Madison – Aaron F. Martinek (Grant as Modified)
Passes on voice vote, one correction – 2 is in the town of Dane not Windsor.
I. AWARD OF CONTRACTS
1. Res. 90, 12-13 – Authorizing the Purchase of Land for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (Adopt)
Passes on a voice vote, a few nos.
2. *Res. 111, 12-13 – Resolution Awarding the Sale of General Obligation Promissory Notes Series
2012B ( )
Roll call vote required. Farrell asks Chuck Hicklin a question – McDonell asks for a brief description. Says finance recommended sub 1. Term of 10 years, letter at the desk with details of the bids. They are pleased with the number of bids, that is a sign of success on the bond sale. There were 5 bids and they were close. Interest rate is 1.3244% interest. Lowest ever seen. That is a result of the market. Ronn Farrell asks about the notes are available today even tho it is 7:20. Hicklin says that they have a sealed bid and it is advertised and the bid and a good faith deposit and the bid is in the form of the interest rate, so financial advisor collects them and ranks them and the bid is brought to board and they award it today. There are times where you might reject the bids and we wouldn’t do that unless there is a compelling reason. A new debt table will be at the next county board meeting.
Roll call vote: No’s are Schlicht, Wiganowski, Farrell – everyone is here now. Passes 34 – 3.
3. *Res. 120, 12-13 – Resolution Awarding the Sale of General Obligation Promissory Notes, Series
2012C ( )
No discussion. Roll call vote required. No’s are: Schlicht, Wiganowski, Farrell. Passes 34-3.
4. *Res. 121, 12-13 – Awarding 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreements ( )
Supplemental agenda item. McDonell explains there are two podiums on each side, they have 5 minutes to speak, will let them know when one minute left. They are strict on that. They ask for no demonstrations. Reminds people to put cell phones on silent or vibrate.
Andy Heidt – Thanks county board supervisors for their support. Taxes work to respect employees and county tax payers and he is happy to support them.
Jeff Wakesman – not here
Kent Fritz – Senior citizen with concerns and retired union member. Concerned that his state pension was cut and is under tremendous financial pressures when you add inflation and extra costs. He says his dollars have been cut 45%. He says if this is so important – it should be put to referendum. It could be on the November ballot. That is what they should do if you believe in open government. He says it should include specific information about costs.
Todd Osbourne – wait to enter into these contracts until the legal battles are over. If you rush into this you are disregarding the interests of your constituents. He thinks that they should tell the constituents how much they will lose as a result of these contracts.
Arlen Holverson – President of on of the locals (missed which one), says that he is concerned about the public services and this allows us to do it. He says it was quick, but it is simple. It is consistent with other employee groups, there is cost containment and a plan. There are cost saving measures that they might find – its good to ask the grassroots. Volunteer time away is good for the budget. We have to do our jobs, but we can do this with supervisors approval. He talks about how this is fair for retirement. He talks about the vacation bank and how they are short staffed. This is a plan for success if there are issues, he wants to work together, this is about us working with you and for you. Please approve it.
Rachel Friedman – Echos previous speaker, tough process. Our jobs are not easy but rewarding. It was a long three days of give an take. Last year we came up with a plan for 2013 that saved 700K in voluntary time away. She appreciates what the administration has done, the county executive and support of county board members. Says it is respectful of employees and good for the taxpayer.
Ken Steele – Says he appreciates county workers, doesn’t appreciate Scott McDonell sneaking this through. He has taken a pay cut cuz plows snow and it didn’t snow last year and cuts grass and the grass didn’t grow. Not many people are getting a raise. Did see this would be null and void if act 10 is upheld. Remember that Scott Walker got elected and not recalled. No need to sneak this through, not a good idea.
Joseph Aleva – Not a 99%er, hes a 93%er, a state employee, got knee capped by the governor. He says that act 10 will ultimatly succeed otherwise you would not be sneaking this through. Think of constituents as a whole. If there was a pac for the citizenry, he would donate. He got socked by act 10 and will get socked again by your action tonight.
Kristin Lumbard – Concerned, works in private sector, renter, we pay taxes in rent to landlords, not wealthy and working to pay off student loan. Each month she pays 1/4 for rent and large amount for school loans, many like me making sacrifices to meet bills. Can’t take vacation or get a new car, she is buried in debt, can’t by a home. She is challenged and if you vote for this she will have to struggle more. How is my struggle to survived, to pay rent, buy food, etc is less important than someone else’s ability to do that. By raising spending, why shouldn’t I flee across the county line, how will this keep businesses here, how will our revenues not spiral downward. Passing this might feel like a a victory and get union support at the ballot box but it will hurt more than it helps and when the consequences are felt, then you will feel the results. I love Dane County and Madison and I don’t want to leave, but you are leaving me little choice. You will be held responsible for the downward spiral. Missed the end
RuthAnn Whitehorse-Burns – she lists off what she pays for her groceries, she paid $8 for 6 apples (?), and goes on with various prices and how they have gone up. Cheese $4.69 a pound. Costs are high. Can’t afford more taxes. Gas is $4.85 a gallon (?). She talks about taxes going up 6% and 4% in recent years. She says there is a time for sacrificing, talks about parents growing up in Great Depression and rationing necessities. Do we know how to sacrifice and do we teach our children that. Do we need ipod, big screen tv etc, we need to look at it, I like to have them, but don’t need them. Given the economy it is time for sacrificing, the taxpayers are doing it, time for county employees to do it as well. Says she was a state employee and has many years when she got no increases. She says if they stopped buying property all the time so you have extra money.
John Regavitz – 48th district state assembly candidate. What makes Dane County the right to go against the governor or those who voted for him. He doesn’t think that Dane County circuit court judge the right to be able to overrule the supreme court and the governor?
42.43 – David Blaska – says no demonstrations, wouldn’t want what happens at capitol to happen here. He has never seen a government trying so hard to keep a union alive. Except that so many of you are on the payroll, he reads off many names of people who receive donations from the unions. Reads off what Parisi got from various unions. He says that this contract has been said to be revenue neutral. The legislature will remain in republicans hands, you won’t get the money form the state, Nass will assure that, so people will give 40 hours of personal time. This is a win for the county workers, not the taxpayers. We are counting on unions good will. What is the purpose of a union? He says he never tried to put the screws to the union, he argue for more deputies. The purpose of the union is to fight the employer. The employer is the people of the county, the county board is the board of directors. Are they going to be mean to the unions, no. This is slipping under the wire to gain brownie points with major funders.
Leo Bredth (sp?) – He works in financial services, helped many people. No one is getting the deal that public employees get. Its awful today, its hard for people to get ahead. The fact that this body, under the cloak of darkness will pass this resolution, maybe you think it is an act of fairness. But it is unfair to spend other people’s money, this county had the highest increase in taxes in the state. Slow down, people need relief, to pass this is appalling. No one is getting the deal the state workers and teachers are getting. (Um, does he know where he is) He talks about golfing – not sure why. Says not fair to taxpayers. They start clapping. Sc
Shannon Meyer (Local 720 president) – They have been working together for good services, where workers have a voice and taxpayers are treated well. THere is nothing in 2013, 2014 or 2015 that assures an increase in wages. The county might be able to take $5M if needed. Consider the successful relationship, furloughs, paycuts and costs saving measures have been sacrificed. We keep hearing about Scott Walkers tools. Do the right thing, for the right reason. More clapping. McDonell admonishes them.
Terry Larson – not here. (here for another item)
Brent ??? – $9200 tax bill, nice home, the rest of the picture is that 4 generations living in it, 4 adults living in it, none could afford it on our own. We can’t afford to stay in our home because of the property taxes, it might cost $10,000. Every thing you do that puts us in debt makes that number go higher and our only option will be to leave and spend the money in gas money.
Sandy Bach – 47th assembly candidate. Concerned about decision they are making. The county board is working solely for the unions and not all the tax payers. This is irresponsible use of abundant tax resources you have. No amount of taxes will support the plans you have. People will leave the county, this is creating chaos and causing fights between families and friends and there will be no good result.
Jeff Waxman – degrees in physics, he does science for a living, wants to get rid of the fluff. A judge overturned Act 10, you only have few weeks to shove this through. The people in green shirts just want more money. That’s alright, we are all greedy. Someone asked me why I was coming tonight, you are trying to shove this through in the middle of the and I’m not going to let you get away with it.
Missed name – talking about buying a home, property tax increases over the years that are not keeping up with wage increases. Says that neighborhood crime, safety and quality of life is going down. Paying more money and getting less service and now Act 10 can save money and we can work on neighborhood safety instead. Now people are trying to lock in a 3 year contract, wouldn’t want to do that with unknown consequences, there are other high priority issues to address. He loves Dane County, but he cannot afford it.
Dan Skelton – The money you are spending is my money, and others. You are spending it irresponsibly. He has a house in Vrigina, two houses, the taxes are the same and the value of the other home is 10 times the amount of this one. The state voted twice supporting act 10, governor did extremely well in the recall. This is a rogue judge to override this, you a pushing this through to crap all over the taxpayers. At least give us a chance to review what you are doing. You could do this as a referendum. You could wait for judiciary issues to be settled, your credit rating will drop and the taxpayers will get screwed twice. More clapping.
Ed Kuharski – missed it, had to take a break. Talks about austerity.
Registered in support – 35 people approximately
Registered in opposition – 4
Travis Miron explains the agreement, its a 1 year agreement for 2015 payroll years. Cost containment agreements – a consistency agreement or “me too” agreement. If changes are made in other units would be applied to these units as well – even if imposed by the county. Cost containment is if the levy limit is not enough to pay for cost to continue (step and longevity increases) the county can impose a 1.9% salary reduction to fund the costs. In exchange for that, non-essential county emoplyees would have 5 closure days and would get leave time which can be banked in the future. Also a provision that county will seek possible cuts from county employees. Voluntary time away program – without pay – the most that could be saved in these cost containment is the cost to continue. There are additional issues for retirement – can’t hear because the press folks are being noisy! Two other provisions about the legal uncertainties of the agreement, if act 10 or 32 are repealed or unconstitutional the agreement is null and this agreement would trigger the nullification of the current agreement, this will be null and void. Nothing would prohibit layoffs if necessary.
Corrigan starts discussion, Farrell asks for questions of staff, McDonell says that they can always do that. Corrigan talks about the agreement being respectful of employees and taxpayers, this was expedited,but it is good for county and employees, we had a limited time to reach this agreement. 68% of our voters respect collective bargaining per the last referendum. People talked about struggling and our employees have produced saving and sacrificed. There are other opportunities for savings – urges support, gives management flexibility and supports employees.
Carousel Bayrd also says that 67% of voters supported collective bargaining when they were elected, this was a DAne County vote, not just Madison. Some people think we are doing the bidding of the unions, no, we are doing the bidding of the voters. Erupts in clapping. McDonell threatens to clear the room if they keep up the demonstrations.
Ronn Farrell asks when the bargaining began. Travis Miron says Finance met Tuesday and parameters were discussed for Wednesday.
Farrell asks about last time. Miron doesn’t remember when it started.
Ferrell asks about the language in the contract about if act 10 is found unconsitutional – does that need to be in the entirety. Miron says that was the intent. Corporation Council says that was the intent.
Ripp asks about the pay reductions, do they only kick in if levy limit is not sufficient. Miron re-explains and says yes.
Ripp says that if supplies go up, we have to spend less and the money goes first to the wages? Can’t be used for other expenses. Miron says it is the trigger, if the cost to continue current employees that would be looked at – that is what they would measure to determine it would apply.
Ripp says sounds like money has to be spent for benies and increases, if total cost of government goes up it wouldn’t effect it. (Sorry, a little lost) He says he supports the agreements, but doesn’t support the speed. Never seen the 24 horu rule invoked, introduced last night, didn’t see anything til I got here. That is not open government. That isn’t the way government should operate. He is having trouble with that, there is no time to figure out if this is good.
Melissa Sargent – says that we voted this spring to support collective bargaining, her district voted for this, and against the governor, for those who have said I should look at how my constituents voted – I am voting the way they want.
Mcdonell asks Sheriff and Sargent at Arms to clear the next people who can’t control themselves.
Dianne Hesselbein says this was an open process, they discussed it on Tuesday and any board member could be there. Also talks about the referendum. Says the answer was loud and clear about collective bargaining, her district said yes, collective bargaining has a history of working, proud of our workers and their ideas. Talks about weapons screening.
Wiganowski asks Corrigan to talk about what it meant when she said that they had a limited amount of time to get this done, what does that mean.
?? – Asks if this is AFSCME union only? McDonell says it is for all county employees. But this is AFSCME only. Is this a one year extension. Yes, for 2015. Question for Travis, can this result in a raise for members. Miron says that the only way to get an increase is if they negotiate with another unit but the cost containment feature will kick in. Is that a no? What is the fiscal impact. Will a raise be possible. Not realistically says Miron. Could it be a negative fiscal impact, will the taxpayer get a savings, yes. Could this impact our Moody’s rating. Miron says that its is important that we maintain flexibility and this will do that. That would help our rating.
Jenny Dye – ask Miron when the last time was that they got an increase. Miron says at the end of 2009 or 2010. Dye says that shows that our public employees have made sacrifices, they are our partners, they provide services, pay taxes and help us find cost savings. The deal could save us money and doesn’t promise a dime in wages or other compensation. Her district voted to support collective bargaining and to recall Walker.
John Hendrick also in favor, a number of us wrote a letter in support of collective bargaining. We are in a situation where we need flexibility and sacrifice from employees and they have stepped up to this. He says many said that they oppose this that because their taxes will go up. Miron explained that cannot happen, our levy is frozen, it can only be raised for new construction. If we reach that limit, the cost containment provision kicks in and this cannot raise your taxes. There is no raise in here, nothing resembling that. If you are not working and not getting paid, that is not a financial upper. He regrets the use of the word tools. IN the 2013 contracts, employees are contributing to their contracts by the so-called Walker tool. Health insurance contributions also have saved $300K in previous years and Millions in recent years – we are using them tools, but in the context of collective bargaining. WE use these tools but by sitting down and talking to our employees. The “me too” clause is that if someone else gets something better, they want it too. This is the first time we have seen a “me too” clause that if someone gets cut, they will get cut too. They don’t know what that sacrifice will be, they already agree to it. Those changes, regardless of the levy limit, will be imposed. He also speaks to the role of judges, we have three branches of government – they are set up to be a check on each other. The judicial branch is set up to check the governor, that is the way we set up our government, that would be an incorrect civics lesson. If the court of appeals overturns Colas, then that is also part of the checks and balances. He says his grandfather and father were carpenters, and they taught me a respect for tools, they would say that “that is not how you use that hammer” – the word tools has been denigrated, tools are used for a specific purpose – I resent the way that tools have been used. I know some people want to dismantle county government – missed the rest.
Cynda Solberg – asked about the levy limit, laughter that we couldn’t increase the levy limit and taxes. How close were we to the limit and what could we raise the limit. Miron says $50 – that is what we can raise. Can we only raise for capital costs – like land – is there any possible way to take a settlement or salary increases and call those capital. No. Ok, so all this hype about taxes going up – we will not have taxes go up – she took no money from the unions, she is a state employee and took it in the shorts and she still supports this. Being on personnel and finance, she says this is identical to what we did before, it is an extension essentially, no raises, this is a way for us to work with the union another years.
Corrigan answers Wiganowski’s question. We had this opportunity to negotiate because of Colas ruling, we know our voters support collective bargaining and we wanted to take the opportunity to respect our employees and do what our employees want.
Pertl – missed a bunch . . . he talks about state imposed revenue limits, we face many challenges, property taxes for the county are 12% of his bill, that isn’t a lot in that context, but we bring in a lot of federal money and we do it in a respectful way. Missed a bunch more, sorry. He also talks about the recall, talks about him winning instead of Imhoff. That they voted for collective bargaining. They want a fair deal for the tax payers and to protect the county workers. He doesn’t represent Platteville or Waukesha
Ferrell points out how he disagrees with minor points made by various supervisors which I couldn’t catch. Again, sorry, its been almost two hours and I am trying to keep up! He says he is not sure what is in this for the union. Anyone is talking about sacrifice, why would they have negotiated this, what am I missing, I don’t understand what they are getting out of this. Certainty of a job? No, we can lay people off. What is the hurry? The ruling might be overturned, I might vote for this, they are giving us everything they want. It is wrong to rush this through. There is no certainty in 2015.
Leland Pan says that speakers covered the policy and fiscal issues and thanks everyone who came out. He supports this agreement is the moral reason, why collective bargaining is representative of Dane County values. In February last year we saw the state government values, that refuses to provide us funds and force us to raise taxes and that is not on the table. The point of a union is to expand democracy in the economic realm, that they have a say in the workplace. These are values Dane County and my district supports. His district showed up in the 1000s and I was voted in on that platform. He was elected to defend labor rights. He won’t have a job when he graduates if we don’t defend this now. Services will be cut, we should pay living wages and we should vote for this.
Kyle Richmond says everything has been covered, he says this vote is about process, not balancing the budget or the levy limit or priorities, its about the process of collective bargaining and letting people have a voice in the work place, letting them be at the table, even in tough times. County employees are interested in what is good for Dane County, stability in the workplace is good for everyone in Dane County, most people I know have suffered in this economy and collective bargaining is the right principal to uphold. We are saying that we will negotiate and decide togehter.
Wiggie says this is about procedure, after the public hearing last night there was a supplemental calendar but no resolution, he had to call staff to get a resolution this morning. He got called by a reporter and asked about what was going on and what county board chair McDonell was doing. 22 people signed a letter, I had to have it forwarded to me, don’t know how people got notified of that, was it callers, emails, were there quorums, I wasn’t invited to sign it. There were 22 signers, so we know what the vote will be and we wasted taxpayers time. They did this in record speed that usually takes longer. He talks about politics and the procedure of groups supporting candidates. He says that he is concerned about the votes in his districts. Worried that someone said we don’t need to worry about taxes going up – but we need to worry. He talks about burying expenses in the capital budget. He says there are 22 votes, he is voting no on the procedure, when he gets called by the reporters and then has to call staff for information, that is not an open process, that is the north end of south bound bull. Clapping.
McDonell says he will let it go. Its rude to ignore rules of our chamber.
Patrick Miles talks about a comment about talks with unions should be confrontational. He has been on negotiating teams where that is how it was done, but in contrast our talks with the bargaining units at the county two been much better. He also talks about this being rushed, he is uncomfortable with the speed, but the process has been open and we have debated it, and that is different than how act 10 was enacted. His district voted for collective bargaining. He also says that he got $200 form SfSCME PEOPLE, that doesn’t cover a printing for the campaign, that doesn’t buy me.
Dennis O’Loughlin, he says that process and procedure have been talked about. He learned about this when a television reporter told him about it at 11. The bargaining group agreed to this, but the union hasn’t voted on it yet, they might not vote for it based on doubt caused here. He didn’t know about personnel and finance meeting on Tuesday until Tuesday afternoon. He is concerned about process and procedure. He has voted for contracts done in timely, considerate way. This was done in 52 hours and hasn’t been radified yet. He is concerned about that, it should have been vetted longer.
DeFelice says it is important for people to leave the meeting about what we can and can not accomplish. The issue of binding referendum, could we do that on this issue. Marcia says no. Ask the clerk if we could get an advisory referendum on the ballot. Clerk says not. Good idea but we can’t do it. What does the union get out of this? To remain a union, to have collective bargaining. Lets remember where this all started. THe governor and his party want to build in a permanent advantage for their party. Wouldn’t you be upset if the Democrats did it. As far as campaign contributions, two words, Koch brothers. The process at the capital was much worse, without notice. Under the circumstances, we have been forced to act like this.
Schmidt says that we get a lot form our employees and their positive work with us. They do that because they feel listened to and are valued and are part of the process – she thanks them for their hard work.
Heidi Weglietner says there was a lot of testimony and one of the issues she takes exception to is that many are struggling and that the solution is not less collective bargaining, but more.
Roll call vote. No’s are: OLoughlin, Ripp, Wiganowski, Boleg, ?, Ferrell, 29 – 8 . . . that sucked, the press needs to shut up back here.
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