DON’T WORRY, IT’S NOT A “DONE DEAL”......yet
Last night’s discussion started with Alderman Blackburn asking that Item 24 be sent to the public hearing along with the other items identified by the Master Plan Task Force. Originally, the Master Plan said, support the efforts to locate an interchange. Blackburn pointed out that the Task Force took a step back from that original language and now recommends to gather sufficient information to see if the city should locate one... Blackburn also reminded the Council that both mayoral candidates said they did not favor the interchange prior to the election. The mayor then said, If the council wants to add this (interchange) and send to the public hearing, we can.
Alderman Mahkorn did not think it appropriate to send the interchange Item 24 to the public hearing and asked the council to reject it. If it is not included in the public hearing, you are denying the public the opportunity to weigh in, Blackburn reminded. Alderman Lisa Mellone added, by not allowing this amendment to go through public hearing, you are in affect making the decision now. You are denying their chance for due process!
(Nelson?) added, The Task Force was charged to study the Master Plan, not change it. There will be a time and place where this issue will be discussed at length, this is not the time. Lisa did not concur, I cannot think of a better time and place—when would there be a better time? Blackburn pointed out that what had changed in the past 7 years was that people see what has happened so far in the plan...they are seeing it may not be what they want.
The vote: 6 yes (Sutton, Carnell, Berg, Blackburn, Mellone, Mellone), send it to public hearing to 8 no, do not send.
Alderman Berg went on to ask, Does the vote mean that the interchange is not subject to a hearing? I want a public debate, but now that the vote is NO, it won’t be discussed? If a person would get up and want to talk about the interchange, would they be ruled out of order? The city attorney said, yes.
So, do you feel assured that this is not a done deal? The majority of aldermen do not want to let you weigh in on the issue of an additional interchange! The Task Force spent countless hours going over the Master Plan and making their recommendations, yet it is pretty clear the majority of our aldermen do not want to heed their council.
If this goes the usual way, the city will continue to study the issue, spending money on the studies, then by virtue of time and money invested in the issue, use that as grounds to justify the issue. Still, we are assured, it is not a “done deal”.
Item 24 was not the focus of the meeting; Alderman Jerry Mellone’s referral was, but that will have to wait for another posting. (It was defeated 11 to 3.)
There has been a real lack of news coverage from our local papers. Only the Brookfield News reporter was at the Council Meeting last night. (Good thing it is on cable.) I had not known about Item 24 being on the agenda (due to city website problems), but Jerry Mellone’s referral to stick to the Master Plan and stop planning Calhoun Road at its present 130/100foot widths seems to me to be very newsworthy. It was an important enough issue for the city to shop for an additional legal opinion to the tune of "less than $500". Both the Brookfield News and Journal reporter were aware of his referral at the Sept. 19 meeting, yet nothing appeared in either paper. How are people to know what is going on? Both Item 24’s defeat and the vote to not follow the Master Plan are very important issues.