Posted by: Alec Ploszaj | 9th Apr, 2013

Move To Amend

An overwhelming vote of “yes” to the Move to Amend referendum in the cities of Whitewater and Fort Atkinson on the April 2 ballot showed the support that local residents want the return of democracy.

The issue was presented on the April 2 ballot after a petition resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision from the 2010 case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. 

Dan Fary, of the Town of Oakland said, “It just shows the overwhelming support that citizens have for a constitutional amendment to return control of the democracy to the citizens.”

The results from the April 2 ballot showed 76 percent of voters in Fort Atkinson supported the referendum totaling 1,312 “yes” votes and 325 “no” votes.  While in Whitewater the results showed 84 percent of the voters showing their support to the Move to Amend with 1,013 “yes” votes and 198 “no” votes.

James Hartwick of Whitewater said, “I am surprised and pleased by the outpouring of the average person saying enough is enough.”

The purpose of the Move to Amend referendum was to repeal the Supreme Court’s decision that granted corporations the same rights as individual citizens that allowed funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections.

“The election result showed strong bipartisan support to get big money out of elections,” Hartwick said.

The results of the Citizens United ruling have been very controversial.  President Barack Obama supported the Move to Amend movement, which came into play during the previous presidential election.

Groups that have shown overwhelming support to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Citizens United case argue that the court upheld First Amendment rights by allowing corporations to participate in political processes.

Citizen’s united goal is to restore the American life the founding father foreseen to a free nation, through honesty and common sense.

While Citizen’s united goal is to restore the nation to democracy, it is very difficult to amend the constitution of the United States of America.  The process in order to accomplish such a task, which hasn’t been done in over 200 years, must first be proposed by two-thirds of the members of the House or Representatives and Congress then the amendment must be ratified by 75 percent of the state legislatures.




Posted by: Alec Ploszaj | 19th Mar, 2013

Jefferson Council Meeting

Plans for a Wisconsin College of Osteopathic Medicine continued to evolve during the Jefferson County Council Meeting, Tuesday.  Dr. Gregg Silberg came before the council to present the importance of the college.

Silberg said the importance of the college would be due to the fact that the number of elderly citizens would nearly double by 2030 and that there would be a significant shortage of approximately 160,000 physicians in Wisconsin by 2025.

Wisconsin is currently in need of about 850 to 900 new positions in medicine.  Having Osteopathic physicians who are fully licensed in all aspects of medicine would better serve the state.

Statistics show, according to Silberg, that about 69 percent of graduates go directly into primary care after exiting school.  The Osteopathic College in Jefferson will accept 85 percent of applicants from Wisconsin, thereby estimating that 90 percent of the students will remain in the local area fulfill their residency.

The campus for the college will be located at Sanctuary Ridge, the former the St. Coletta property.  Silberg said the campus would be completely electronic with the use of broadband and offer about 200 more contact hours of training than other medical positions.

“We are currently about 20 percent into the process, but it takes about two to three years to get our first class into session,” Silberg said.

The County’s Highway and Infrastructure committees proposed that the highway department be able to contract with Barrientos Design of Milwaukee to complete the last remaining work on a new satellite highway shop in Lake Mills.

The design plan for the Lake mills site near the intersection of Interstate 94 and State Highway 89 will cost about $77,000.

The board disagreed during Tuesday’s meeting and many of the supervisors felt that the project should go to some of the local businesses in Jefferson County.  County board Chairman John Molinaro said many interpretations played a role the confusion at the board meeting.

In another development, the Jefferson County Council Board has appointed Kathi Cauley as the interim administrator.  Cauley will take the place of retiring County Administrator Gary Petre.  Petre is set to retire March 31 after serving eight years.

Cauley will continue her current position as Director of Human Services while covering the County Administrator duties and responsibilities while Jefferson County looks to hire a new County Administrator.  County Board Chairman John Molinaro said it will be a 60 to 90 day period until the County Administrator Search Committee will fill the vacancy.

Cauley becoming the County Administrator means she will be responsible for implementing the policies adopted by the board of supervisors and submitting the annual budget to the board of supervisors.

In other action, the county board:

  • Plans to purchase the Countryside Home Site were not approved due to the asbestos in the building.  The Jefferson County board of supervisors have stated that there is asbestos in the building and it has to be removed before demolition begins on the Countryside Home Site.  The total construction amount for the project is estimated at $15 million.
  • Has officially declared the month of April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.  Human Services brought this awareness to the supervisor’s attention by making the claim that this is an ongoing issue and that it affects many of the young citizens in Jefferson County and the surrounding area.
Posted by: Alec Ploszaj | 12th Feb, 2013

Whitewater Common Council Meeting

The Treyton Kilar Field of Dreams was among the top issues at the Whitewater Common Council Meeting Tuesday, February 5.

County board members along with Parks and Recreation Director Matt Amundson discussed how construction plans for the ball field are progressing and how the idea for the ball field will soon come to fruition.

“We are very close on the field getting constructed and the key is we are dedicated on the plan,” Amundson said.

The field plans are still in the planning phase and will be set for an approval for the site plan as well as an award for the site work pending meetings held on Feb. 19 and 21 to start construction in the fall.

Amundson said the allowable costs for the field project consist of: fencing, batting cages, bullpens, entrance sign, and landscaping.

Once completed the plan for this field is to be the signature field and to have another 3 fields to be able to hold tournaments.  With adding the extra fields it allows for 16 teams to be able to compete, which would consist of 96 athletes and add over 400 fans to be able to come and watch the games.

Amundson said the funding for this project has mostly derived from local businesses around the whitewater and surrounding area.  Amundson said recently a donation of  $75,000 dollars was given to the field project and more donations have already be given toward the baseball field to help keep the potential of ball field a reality.

In other action Tuesday:

  • Chief of Police Lisa Otterbacher brought to the board’s attention the possibility of purchasing a less expensive squad car more suitable for maintaining the winter conditions.
  • Otterbacher said this past winter a lot of emergencies weren’t answered to the quickest of the police department’s ability and proposed the idea of a new dodge brand vehicle that would better suit the police officers in the winter conditions.
  • The dodge vehicle would be less expensive than what the police officers are using presently and could add more to a quicker response rate in the winter months.
  • Finally, to go along with quicker responses, Otterbacher said the vehicles would give an assist to the emergency staff in answering 911 calls.  Otterbacher said the winter months have been the decreasing in dispatching from the emergency staff to quickly get assistance out to an emergency setting.
Posted by: Alec Ploszaj | 30th Jan, 2013

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