County Board – Is the Jail Derailed?

Posted November 21st, 2017 @ 10:50 AM by

So, I started blogging and it wasn’t going well because I missed a few things . . . but turns out, no matter how hard I tried, I would have missed that last hour of the meeting because it was shouted down. The board kept going, voting with a thumbs up or thumbs down with staff yelling to them what they were voting on. Conservative superiors were upset they didn’t get to debate and in the end were threatening to look into legal ways to declare the meeting invalid . . . and in effect, derail the jail.

So, the meeting started out like this . . .

There were several interruptions and from time to time some chanting with repimands from County Board Chair Corrigan. After the vote on cutting the $76 million dollar jail from the budget, where only 4 county board supervisors – Heidi Wegleitner, Richard Kilmer, John Hendrick and Al Matano – voted against the budget – its devolved into chaos.

There were three more amendments to the capital budget before the vote on the capital budget – I’m not sure if there would have been more – but this is what happened for the next hour . . . lots of confusion and side conversations and a total mess.

At first they stopped and took a 10 minute break, that didn’t really do anything, because as soon as the meeting started, the chanting began.

I’m quite certain this is where they voted on the capital budget . ..

And I’m quite certain this is where they voted for the wheel tax . . .

You may see some people indicate thumbs up or thumbs down, but then walk up to the clerk and change their votes, most likely due to the confusion about what they were voting on.

In the end, I was able to get what we think were the votes on the items and here is what I think I can tell you . . .

Initially they had to vote on if they would pass the ordinances that were required to have the income in the budget. Patrick Downing wanted them to vote on that first so they knew if they had to make any cuts to the budget. Chair Corrigan said they could reconsider the budget if they didn’t pass at the end of the meeting. Downing had to fight to get his motion to suspend considered. Those voting with Downing were as follows:
Heidi Wegleitner, Mike Willett, Carl Chenoweth, Patrick Downing, Nikki Jones, Richard Kilmer, Dave Ripp. It failed 7 – 28 Hendrick and Salov were absent.

Three people voted against the operating budget – Willett, Farrell and Ripp. It passed 32 – 3 – Hendrick and Salov were absent.

Weglietner’s motion to cut the jail from the budget failed 4 – 32 with Salov being absent and 4 of the 6 Progressive Dane Supervisors voting for the amendment – Wegleitner, hendrick, Matano and Kilmer. Dorothy Krause and Michele Ritt voted for the jail.

The rest was inaudible . . . but here’s what I think happened:
Willetts first capital budget amendment got 6 votes – Willett, Bill Clausius, Ferrell, Tim Kiefer, Dennis O’Loughlin and Ripp.

Willett’s second capital budget amendment got 4 votes – Willett, Ferrell, Kiefer and Ripp.

I believe he had a 3rd one that failed on a voice vote?

Then the capital budget had only 4 people vote against it – Wegleitner, Ferrell, Kilmer and Matano.

Vehicle registration fee – or the wheel tax had 7 votes against it – Willett, Williams, Downing, Ferrell, Jones, Kiefer and Ripp.

Everything else passed on a voice vote.

It’ll be curious to see if Ferrell finds a way to declare the meeting invalid. I think Chair Corrigan could have handled it much differently. But I’m also sure after the Fitchburg incident they didn’t want to throw people out either. The Sargent at Arms – Nick Zweifel and Maureen McCarville were seen consulting with the chair multiple times, but did nothing. I wonder how the public will know what was being said by those elected officials while in open session up there. I wish I were a better lip reader!!!!

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