THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Special Peshtigo Town Meet On Water Survey Not Held
Issue Date: May 13, 2020
Due to of lack of a quorum, a Special Town of Peshtigo board meeting called by newly seated Town Supervisor Kristen Edgar to meet at noon on Tuesday, May 12 was not held. The only supervisors present were Edgar and Supervisor Kayla Furton, also a new town board member seated after the elections on Tuesday, April 7.
Furton had called the meeting to discuss details and finalize a Town Community Survey regarding long term water options for citizens in the town.
She had attempted to raise the issue previously and was told by Town Chair Herman Pottratz that the issue could be put on the agenda for the regular Town Board meeting that will immediately follow the Town's Annual meeting on Tuesday, May 19. She said after the May 12 meeting was not held that she will attempt to get the resident survey issue settled at the Annual Meeting.
There is a notice posted on the town website that effective Wednesday, April 8 the town hall will be closed until further notice and anyone with Tyco water issues should call 800-314-1381.
Edgar had called the meeting and posted notices as required by the Open Meetings law, in accord with "authority granted to me in the Town of Peshtigo ordinance 2-130(part b).
In addition to Edgar and Furton, those present at the Town Hall for the non-meeting on May 12 were Town Attorney David Spangenberg, newly elected County Board Supervisor Karl Jaeger (who is also an announced candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly seat currently held by John Nygren of Marinette), and about half a dozen town residents.
Town Clerk Clarence Coble was in his office and stepped in and out of the meeting room to find out if he would be needed to take minutes.
Furton said Supervisor Dan Staudenmaier had told her he would attend, as had Supervisor John Drees. At the town hall on Tuesday she said Drees had called and told her he had been called to deal with a power outage and would be late but did plan to attend. At 12:30 p.m. he still was not present. She called Staudenmaier's home and was told he had been called to deal with something on their farm.
"We feel we need resident's input before we move forward with this questionnaire, and to get that we need to have an open meeting," Furton declared.
Edgar said she had been told by Spangenberg that she could call this meeting.
In response to questions, Furton said the town's Citizen's Advisory Committee had done an informal survey last fall, and found the main thing citizens wanted was more information. She and Edgar had prepared tentative survey questionnaires and wanted to get them finalized and out so they can get and tabulate responses. She said they want firm data on which to base decisions.
Coble noted the town board was to meet with legal counsel in closed session at noon on Wednesday, May 13 to obtain written or oral advice "concerning strategy to be adopted by the board with respect to litigation in which it is or is likely to become involved. There was no provision for action or discussion in open session at that meeting.
Edgar said she feels the town needs to move quickly on the survey because Tyco "is powering through with the Marinette City Council."
Coble reminded her Pottratz had told her they would address the survey at the May 19 meeting, and noted for over 40 years the Town Board had always set up these special meetings at the previous board meeting.
"Tyco is speeding ahead and we feel we need to do something to move it forward quickly," Furton told him.
Coble said Pottratz had been planning to wait until after the governor's "Safer At Home" orders expired, but the last legal day for towns to hold annual meetings in May 19. It will be held with social distancing in place and people out in the hallway if necessary. If too many people show up it would be possible to call the annual meeting to order and then adjourn to a later date.
Coble also noted the Safer At Home coronavirus resolution had given the town chair or vice chair authority to override other ordinances in case of an emergency.