Final Thoughts Before Graduation

Going to college was an easy choice for me, I knew that I wanted to extend my education. I decided that going to the local community college was a good place for me to start, seeing as I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in my future. After two years at Madison College(MATC), I knew I was ready for a university and I choose to apply to UW Whitewater. MATC for me was a baby step outside of high school, it had a different feel but yet not a college experience, I was ready to take on UW Whitewater for a real college experience.

After being accepted to UW Whitewater with a  the broadcast journalism major, I was ready to tackle my future. I knew going into UW Whitewater that I wanted to become a sports broadcaster, and then choose management as my minor, kinda on a whim. I decided on journalism one night while I was watching a UW football game on TV. I saw a sports castor on the field and thought “hey, I could do that” so I choose broadcast journalism. After completing a year at UW Whitewater I knew that I had made the right choice to transfer, and was loving the real college feel. Going into journalism I knew that it was going to be hard to get a job, and my dream job of working for ESPN was a long shot, but that was a choice I choose to make anyway.

Choosing journalism was my dream, and management was something to fall back on if the journalism thing didn’t pan out. After a year and a half of classes, I realized that management was actually the direction that I wanted to go, seeing as I didn’t enjoy the broadcast journalism as much as I thought. I wish I would have reversed my major an minor, as I enjoy both, but I see journalism as more of a hobby and management as a career.

I have learned a lot in my time at UW Whitewater, I can make a video package, I can write a lot better than before, I know a lot more information and I grew as a person. People say college changes you, and its a time to grow up, I will agree to this statement. When I first started at MATC I was a baby, fresh out of high school, I thought the world was my playground and I was ready to be an adult. I enjoyed learning but I just wanted to get college over with and start my life. When I started UW Whitewater, I saw the world a little different. I enjoyed being in class and learning, taking my time to graduate. Being in college is almost like a safety bubble for me, its all I have known for the past five and a half years, and I am comfortable. I know that I will have class, and homework, and as much as I complain I enjoy that life.

I know that I have problems with change, I don’t enjoy it too much. I am ready to take the plunge off the cliff and graduate though, the real world might be a scary place but I am ready to take on that challenge. I am not sure yet what the future holds for me, I am not exactly sure what job I will have, or where I am going. I know that I am ready for this leap, whether I think I am or not.  College has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and see what the world has to offer me. Taking risks is not something that I would have done five years ago, but growing up and learning new things has taught me that you will never get to where you want to be while taking the easy way.

Graduating is a scary thing for me to think about, I would be lying if I said otherwise, but I am ready. If I could go back to the very begging would I do things differently? I think I would. I would still go to MATC, but only for two years instead of three. I would work harder and take more credits so I could have gotten my associates degree. If I would have worked harder and gotten the degree, I could have finished UW Whitewater faster, and not have had to take general eductions classes. Being in college for five and a half years was not something that I had planned on, but with transferring it messed up a few things. I had to take classes that I needed to graduate but that really didn’t have to do with my major or minor. In the end I feel that everything happens for a reason, and that I was meant to take five and a half years to finish. I think that after four years I would not have been ready for the real world, but I am now. I am hoppy wit the decisions I have made toward my future, and I think great things lie ahead for me.

What is the Fraud in the Food Stamp System?

What is the Fraud in the Food Stamp System?

Food Stamps, Snap, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). All are names of the program created for people who cannot afford enough food to support their families. When someone is given money for food by the government, you would think that they would treat it like gold, but that is not always the case. What is the fraud that is happening in the food tamp system in Wisconsin? Is there a way to prevent this fraud from happening, and why are people abusing this privilege?

According to  Wisconsin  Department of Health and Services 803,791 people in 2015 have been given food stamps. In order to receive food stamps a person needs to apply online at access.wisconsin.gov and fill out the application. Applicants need to know their social security number and, provide their name and contact information, information on the individuals living in the same household, and income information. After submitting the application there is  a meeting with a caseworker, in which applicants need to give information about their income, citizenship, household expenses, and number of people living in the household.Meeting with a caseworker is necessary because every situation is different.

The main reason people are denied food stamps is their income. If an applicant makes more than 2,000 a month and has a household of 4 or less, they will have less of receiving any assistance. Once someone has qualified for food stamps they are able to use it like a credit card. The card is has the holder’s personal food stamp member number on in, just like a credit card. The card is not good for any non-food related items such as magazines, paper products, shampoo, hot and ready to eat deli items, some energy drinks, and items containing alcohol or tobacco. The card is only meant to help families provide food when otherwise they would struggle to come up with the money.

With so many people using food stamps in Wisconsin, there is likely be be some fraud. Some instances of fraudulent use of food stamps include applicants lying about their income or rearranging their lives so they qualify for food stamps. Current cardholders not reporting a change in income that would result in them ceasing to qualify for the government aid, or people trying to sell their own food stamp card on social media. Governor Scott Walker has taken an interest in those who have been abusing the food share system. Walker has made an effort with money and other resources to crack down with new strategies and a new system for people to report fraud and abuse within the food share program. There is now a hotline that can be called and a web portal that may be used to report any abuse anyone may have seen or suspected. In Walkers first year in office, 102 people were suspended for violating the program rules. This number increased to 1,184 in 2014.

Advocates for the food share system say that the state is being too harsh and people who desperately need the help are being punished. “There’s a lot of judgement going on by white, middle-class people and a lot of assumptions and disqualifications based on these assumptions,” said Pat DeLessio, an attorney with the Milwaukee Office of Legal Action Of Wisconsin. His office has helped those who receive aid fight against efforts to suspend their food share benefits. Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director of Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force, thinks the state’s crackdown is bad “Its silly, it’s stupid, and its a way of manipulating public opinion. Everybody needs a scapegoat and it seems like the poor are the scapegoat in Wisconsin.”

Investigations into the food share program have grown since Walker has been in office. The office now has 107 employees and an annual budget of $12.6 million. In 2014 $1.1 million was found in fraudulent food share overpayments, and $675,448 in overpaid benefits. Governor Walker proposed in the 2015-2017 budget that food share recipients should be required to take a drug test before receiving benefits. It was also suggested that if a recipient be charged a $3.50 replacement fee when reporting a lost or stolen card. This was proposed because lost or stolen cards are reported about 130,000 times a year. The lawmakers also introduced a bill to speak a federal wavier that would require photos on the food stamp cards. Adding the photos would cost about $2 million dollars a year, but would help reduce the risk of fraudulent usage.In order to identify fraud, the state looks for putsches that are an even number or large purchases that are not made close to where the cardholder lives. If someone is accused of fraud and they go to court, the court needs to supply evidence of fraud for the recipient to lose their food card. The knows that the system for finding fraud is not always reliable, and the 2015-2017 budget requests to “expand and improve” the fraud fighting efforts.

Hal Menendez, an attorney with Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Madison office said most of the fraud that happens is only a mistake on the part of the person receiving food stamps. “Sometimes people forget to report a change in their income or are late in reporting,” Menendez said. If someone lies or is late to inform the government about a change in income they become are subject to suspension. Everyone who is subject to suspension has a right for a hearing before a judge. In most cases those who have a hearing are confused about what is happening end up signing a form to waive the hearing. This means that some people lose their benefits due only to confusion.

Fox 6 News, a local Milwaukee TV station did a news report on people  selling and buying other peoples food stamp cards that belong to others. These people will usually post on local Facebook pages designed for buying and selling and ask for food stamps. Most people will pay 50 cents on the dollar for a food stamp card. One woman posted to No rule first/come first/online Racine/Kenosha Rummage sale Facebook page “Any body selling food stamps? Ill so $100 for $200” and she received responses from multiple people who were willing to sell their food stamp cards. Fox 6 found dozens of people who had posted similar things as Zetina.

“I think it is incredibly rampant. One of the frustrating things is that it’s so accepted. Everybody buys them and everybody sells them. No one stops to think that it’s wrong and that it is really taking food out of people’s mouths,” Assistant Milwaukee County District Attorney David Feiss, however, said. Feiss doesn’t think that its worth the time to go after the people committing the fraud. He thinks it would have more of an impact to go after the store owners that are letting people cash in their food cards. Some stores allow for customers to charge in their $100-$200 WIC checks (these are typically meant for formula, fruits and veggies, or other specifically named healthy food items for moms with young children) for $20-$50 cash and- some will throw in a pack of cigarettes. “It is a very easy crime to commit and it’s a very high-profit crime and the consequences to date have not been all that severe,” Feiss said.

An audit in 2012 showed that prisoners were receiving food stamps and people were spending them in states other than the one in which they should be receiving the aid. Additionally over 1,000 people ask for new food stamp cards every year. This is a red flag showing that someone may have sold their card to someone else for cash. Wisconsin is trying to crack down on people who have asked for more than six replacement cards in a year, suspecting fraud. 1,739 letters were sent, and 56 households have still continued to ask for replacement cards. The majority of people do not try and sell their food card for money or cigarettes, but the ones who do are creating difficulties for everyone else who is receiving help from the government. “No one minds giving out a helping hand — but we don’t want to be abused,” Feiss said.

Along with people selling their food card, a lot of people are upset about how people are using their food stamps. Usage of food stamps limits what recipients can, and cannot buy. Only food products can be purchased,meaning toilet paper, and other household items must be paid for using another method such as cash or credit. Cooking wine, energy drinks and hot, and ready-to-eat food items from the deli are also not covered with food stamps. I spoke with  to Katy Von Der Heide, who has been a cashier at multiple grocery stores about how she has seen people spend their food stamps. “People use their food stamps to buy junk food, they think its cheeper. If they would plan their meals before shopping, they could plan meals that would be cheap as well as healthy.” Von Der Heide told me about people purchasing massive amounts of chips and soda, and very few fruit and veggies. This is not to say that everyone spends their food stamps like this, some people do buy healthy food, but that is overwhelming not the norm. Along with buying junk food, people also spend their food stamps on expensive fish and meat. Some people are upset that the government’s money is being spent on lobster and other expensive even luxury items. This brought about a bill that, if passed into a law, would limit what items can be bought with food stamps. Such limitations items include, shellfish, and spending more than on third of their food stamp allowance on items such as non-white potatoes and ketchup. Assembly bill 177 reads

The statutes; relating to: limiting the foods that may be purchased under

FoodShare; requiring a report on the cost to implement and comply with the

food limitations; requiring review, updating, and publication of the list of

authorized foods; providing an exemption from rule−making procedures; and

making an appropriation.

Under the law, the Department of Health Service (DHS) would require that no less than 67 percent the persons food stamp budget be used in a month be used to purchase any of the foods that are authorized by certified nutritionists. Some of these foods include fresh, frozen, or canned veggies; beef; pork; and chicken. This law would also not allow  food stamp recipients to purchase lobster, shrimp, or other shellfish. Under the bill, DHS would be required to reimburse retailers and warehouse suppliers for the cost of the new requirements. The bill requires DHS to annually review and update if needed, to the food stamps site. A list of acceptable foods that could make up 67% of the recipients aid would also need to be made available on the food stamps website.  If this law were to pass it would help recipients of food stamps make healthier choices when it comes to meals for themselves and their families.

Debra Camp, a front end lead at McFarland Pick N Save, has seen an increase in better spending, “Mostly good food products recently, a lot of meat products, and there are some people getting ready for the holidays.” Not all have been spending so wisely, though:  “We have a couple of people who come in and fill their cart with junk food, meaning candies and potato chips.” Debra believes that there should be a stricter policy on the type of food that people can buy with food stamps, She also believes that toilet paper and diapers should be allowed to be purchased with food stamps, as they are a household necessity- unlike chips and candy. Camp sees a lot of the same people use food stamps, because Pick N Save is such a small store. She gets to know the customers and their normal spending habits.

Getting the perspective from someone on the outside is always easy, but it might be different from the inside. Stacey Engelke receives food stamps, and without them she wouldn’t know how to support her family. Engelke was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at the beginning of the year and has since had to take time off of work. She is a single mother of three and currently  receives $654.00 each month in food stamps. When she is working she receives $350.00 each month. Engelke likes to spend $300 every two weeks to try and balance out the money. Having kids, she spend the money on lunch meat, bread, milk, breakfast food, everyday family food. Engelke has had problems in the past with the money not resetting at the beginning of the month, but without EBT, she doesn’t know how she would feed her family. Every little bit helps, but when she is working she only gets $350.00 each month, not nearly enough to feed the family. She believes that she should receive more. Food stamps help Engelke as well as many other families, and its easy to judge how people are spending the money when you do not need assistance.

Rebecca Grailer, a social worker for the state of Wisconsin has had clients trade their food stamp card for drugs. Some would use their WIC products to trade for food stamps, bus tickets, or other services. Some of her clients would falsely claim more people lived in the house, in order to receive more money on their EBT card. Grailer also sees her clients use their food stamps at the closest corner store, for chips candy, and beverages.  People use the closest and most convenient store, which might not be an actual grocery store, leading them to buy the not so healthy food at what may be a much higher price. Grailer has heard about the debate to have stricter limitations on what you can buy with EBT. She argues that “by limiting what food can be bought takes away people’s self-worth and dignity by not allowing people to make choices for themselves.”

In April, after the Wisconsin state law requiring participants that are in the food stamp program to look for work in order to stay in the program, took effect, 15,000 recipients were kicked out of the program. The law requires those who are in the program and are able to work and do not have children, to work at least 80 hours a month or look for work in order to stay in the program. According to The Wisconsin State Journal, about 25 percent of the 60,000 recipients who were eligible to work, were dropped from the program between July and September. Tussler, remarked that now people will have to rely on the food banks for food. “They will bankrupt our food banks,” said Tussler. Those people who have been kicked out of the program did have the training program for food stamp recipients available to them. 4,500 people took advantage of the program and found work, allowing them to keep receiving benefits. Milwaukee County houses about half of the able bodied participants without children. Data shows that seven percent of them found jobs with the FoodShare Employment and Training program the data shows.  Beaver Dam Representative Mark Born, chairman of the Assembly’s committee on public reform, stated,

“The FSET program was created to help guide able-bodied adults back into the workforce, or put them on the path to gainful employment while remaining on FoodShare. So far we have seen thousands of individuals follow the FSET program and secure employment as a result. It is important we continue to enact reforms and transition people from reliance on government to independence.” A spokesperson for Governor Walker, Laurel Patrick, said “No one will be kicked off the FoodShare program if they are actively participating in the training program or meeting the work requirement.” The law was placed to help people find jobs, not to force them out of the program. As long as the participants are going along with the new rules, they will not lose their food stamp allowance. This is meant to benefit the economy as well as the recipient of the food stamps.

Food stamps have made families and individuals  able to afford food, but that has come with a price. As with any government program, there have been some who have taken advantage of the program and some who have used the program for its true purpose. The Food Share program is continually changing and trying to improve, but the changes have not always been for the best in everyone’s eyes. The recent change that Governor Walker has made, will possibly cause food banks to possibly run out of food, leaving them dry during the busiest holiday times. The new program designed to help those on food stamps get jobs, is a good plan in theory, but there still are the people who don’t want to try. The government needs to find a better way to detect fraud in the food stamp program. Lying about how many people live in a household in order to receive more money is easy to do. Selling food stamps for drugs, alcohol, or other goods is also easy for any recipient.Does all the grade in the food stamp program outweigh the good that the program does?

 

Bibliography

 

Beck, Molly. “Benefit Program Looses 15k so Far.” Wisconsin State Journal [Madison] 29 Nov. 2015: n. pag. Print.

Camp, Debra. Personal interview. 10 Nov. 2015.

Davis, Stephen, and Meghan Dwyer. “Food Stamp and WIC Fraud Still “rampant” in Wisconsin despite State’s Efforts to Crack down.” FOX6Nowcom N.p., 16 Nov. 2014. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.

Engelke, Stacey. E-mail interview. 23 Nov. 2015.

Grailer, Rebecca. “How Have You Seen EBT Used?” E-mail interview. 7 Dec. 2015.

Lueders, Bill. “Wisconsin FoodShare Fraud Crackdown Questioned.” WisconsinWatchorg. N.p., 03 May 2015. Web. 04 Nov. 2015.

“Qualify for Food Stamps.” Qualify for Food Stamps. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.

State of Wisconsin. 2015 ASSEMBLY BILL 177 (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Von Der Heide, Katy. Personal interview. 10 Oct. 2015.

Berbee Derby

When most people think of Thanksgiving they think of food, family, and maybe shopping. I bet most people do not think of running a 5K or 10K bright and early. There are a lot of races on Thanksgiving day, some are called the turkey trot, but a local Fitchburg race is called the Berbee Derby. 2015 marks the 12th year for the Berbee Derby, which benefits the Technology Education Foundation. The Technology Education Foundation has given more than $688,000 in education grants in its ten years in existence.

Turkey hats, tutus and other costumes are encouraged for the race, which is family friendly. They have two options when singing up, either a 5K run/walk or a 10K run. Participants all receive a long-sleeve T-shirt, and are given a race bib with a chip timer on the back. Thanksgiving in Wisconsin can either be freezing cold, or feel like a fall day. I have participated in the Berbee Derby for the past four years and I have experienced a wide range in the weather.

The feel on race day is an overwhelming sense of community, Starbucks gives out free coffee for the participants and spectators. Everyone feels like a big family, coming together to get a little exercise before going to stuff their faces with their friends and family later in the day. Some of the spectators hold up sings for those running, one of the sings had a picture of Ryan Gosling and said “Run like Ryan is waiting for you at the finish” another read “Go mom go.”

The most exciting part of the Berbee Derby is seeing all the people come together to run, the sound after the gun goes off and all you hear is feet on the concrete. Running is a great way for athletes and  just everyday people to come together for a good cause. The Technology Education Foundation receives 100% of the registration fee, which is uncommon for most races.  The Technology Education Foundation helps a wide range of people, from helping give classrooms new computers, to making senior citizens more familiar with technology. All of the funding for the company comes from sponsors and participants form the Berbee Derby, making the Berbee Derby a very important community event.

This years Berbee Derby went off without a hitch.  Although the weather was rainy and cloudy, the rain held off for the majority of the race and the temperature was in the 50’s leading a lot of the hard core runners to wear shorts and t-shirts. It is always easy to see who is an avid runner, and who only runs a few times. The hard core runners wear clothes for the run, knowing that being cold before the race is a little price to pay for being comfortable during the actual run. The people who do not run often but like to partake in races, dress for temperature, normally causing them to be very hot when they are actually running. It is a runners rule that you do not  dress for the outside temperature, but dress 10-15 above the actual outside temperature. Here’s to hoping that there are many more successful Berbee Derby’s in the future.

Jefferson County Board

Jefferson County Board

The Jefferson County Board met last Tuesday night, for their board meeting. The main topics on the agenda included public comment on the budget, and the rezoning of Phillip and Sandra Bittorfs 40 acer parcel.

This board meeting had a few more fireworks then normal, as people from the community had strong feelings about the rezoning. The Bittorfs had filed a request to rezone 3.2 acres of their 40 acres of land on N7103 Stoney Creek Road. The Bittorfs  own and operate Mid-State Traffic Control, which supplies traffic signals, highways signs, and other supplies that are used for road construction. The company is only seasonal and only runs during construction season, March-November.

The business has two employees and five during the summer, the employees park their vehicles out of site in the morning and take work trucks during the day. The Bittorfs live on the property, which included three sheds and they allow farmers to farm on the rest of the property. The Bittorfs want want the property to be rezoned to an A-2 property. An A-2 property would be a storage of non-farm equipment and/or storage of contractors equipment and materials.

Stoney Creek Road is a quite place, and some residents are concerned that the rezoning will change this. Some residents are concerned that trucks will speed down the road, and worry for their children’s safety. Others are worried about the flashing lights of the signs, and the loud noises that will happen early in the morning and late at night.

On the other side, others are for the rezoning and are happy with the Bittorfs business. They said the business is run well and are not worried about the change. Both sides of the party got up to speak to the board as well as the fellow community members in the room.

The rezoning first went through the Town of Lake Mills and then went to the county level. After the rezoning was first passed  a lot of new information seemed to come out of the woodwork. There was no problems at first, but then community members stayed to complain. Committee member Steve Nass seemed to be a little irritated that this was coming back to the committee for a second look. He felt that this should have been taken care of the first time it came to the boards attention.

The board voted in favor of the rezoning, while John Phillips was the one committee member who voted in opposition. The rezoning is what took up most of the meeting on Tuesday, but a few other important matters took place.

The first graduate of the Alcohol Treatment Court, Henry Gibbemeyer spoke.  Gibbemeyer had four OWI’s and was facing jail time, but instead went through the Alcohol Treatment Center. This treatment center included counseling, an alcohol monitoring bracelet that had to be worn, AA meetings and numerous drug tests. Gibbemeyer completed the course in exactly one year, and said it saved his live. Before completing the course he thought he was above the law, and driving while intoxicated was an okay thing to do. After completing this course Gibbemeyer now understands right from wrong, and lives a healthy sober life.

Other things that happened during the meeting included:

  • No one made a comment on the budget hearing, and nobody showed up to the meeting about the budget.
  • “Get Connected” a new website for volunteering  was revealed unitedway-jc.org

Election Coverage

Election Coverage 

On Tuesday the Democratic Club at UW Whitewater held a viewing party for the democratic presidential debate that aired on CNN, and streamed online at CNN.com. The debate consisted of five candidates, front runners Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, along with Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee. A extra podium was set up in case Joe Biden decided to join, as he is speculated to be doing the race. The event was held in Hyland Hall, and included pizza and soda for the viewers. The feel of the room was very chill, everyone that came to watch was relaxed and excited to see what was going to unfold. Before the debate began a girl asked her friend for an iPhone charger, she didn’t have one but another viewer did and was willing to share. Someone else in the room said “look at that democratic sharing going on” which I thought fit the mood of the room well.

Bernie Sanders was the favorite among the room, with people saying and tweeting things like “feel the bern” and even a few Bernie Sanders T-shirts were spotted. The leader of the Democratic Club Tim Hanks had nothing but good things to say about Sanders “He wants to make college free or affordable by taking money from Wall Street, and put it towards higher education.” This is one of the reason why young people like Sanders so much. Hanks was asked if it made him mad that this was happening after he has already paid for college and he said “No, I think thats what being a democrat is all about, caring for people other then yourself and other generations.”

As it got to be closer to 7:30 p.m, the room really started to fill up, making the club have to oder more pizza as the first round went quickly. The debate started and began with introduction of the candidates. Clinton was a favorite going into the debate, seeing as most people know who she is. Clinton has been a New York Senator, Secretary of State, and has been in the news about Emails that were classified. Clinton is 67 years old, but that does not seem to effect her at all. Sanders, another front runner, is considered a socialist but is running as as democrat. He has been governor of Maryland, and has been on the Baltimore city council. O’Malley who is mostly unknown is from Virginia, has a law degree and has been married twice. Chafee is a US senator, and has a lot of republican ideas but is running democrat.

Clinton appeared to win the debate, and that shows when looking at the final talking time according to CNN. Clinton came in with 31:05, while Sanders was right behind her at 28:05. Rounding up the bottom was Chafee clocked in at 9:11. This election seems to be Clintons or Sanders to loose, but if it were up to the UWW Democrat club, Sanders would win by a landslide.

City Council Story

On Tuesday the Whitewater Common Council passed the 2016 annual city budget by a unanimous vote. The proposed 2016 budget is 9,77,798, a 3.12% increase from the 2015 budget.

The Money comes from a verify of places including, intergovernmental revenue, property tax levy, property tax, inter fund transfers, public fees for service, water utility payment, and others. There is no fund balance in the 2016 budget, a fund balance is assets divided by liabilities.

The expenditures is mainly going to the general government, public safety, and debt services & sinking funds. The money is also going to DPW/ solid waste/ recycling, community development, and curatorial/ recreation/ education. Public safety was increased the most, an increase of $188,476, while contingencies had the most decrease by $94,543.

The highest budget changes of 2016 are solid waste and recycling, fire department operational costs, and the Whitewater Aquatic Center capital funding. The Whitewater Aquatic Center was also a topic of discussion Tuesday night, deciding the capital funding. The Whitewater Aquatic enter is located in the Whitewater High school, and is open to the public. The Aquatic center is joint operated by the school districted and the city. A member of the school board is also on the committee for the Aquatic Center. Whitewater ranks at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to financial standings, compared to other towns around the same size.  With municipal tax rate, Whitewater compares about the median, while being compared to other cities its size.

This years budget has increased largely from last year, and  Whitewater City Mayor, Cameron Clapper knows that people will not be happy about this. Clapper stated after the meeting on Tuesday night “We need to look at ways to fund things, which is always a big issue every year since costs go up and levies stay the same,” he said. “We are bumping up against a ceiling that will require changes to how we fund things if we want to be successful in the future.” Clapper knows that people will be questioning the budget, but he is doing the best he can from what he is given.

The city budget needs to be approved by the Whitewater City Council in order to be passed. The meeting are open to the public and are held every other Tuesday of the month. The meeting notes are available online to the public.

In other action Tuesday, the council:

  • The water sample the EPA requires came back high in florida, but that was because of where the sample was taken. The drinking water is safe for the public
  • The Aquatic Center broke even, the contract expires December 31, and will need to be reevaluated.
  • The Whitewater City Market is having a public meeting on October 22, to discuss downtown Whitewater. This meeting is open to the public.
  • Approval of towing company Feros Automotive has been approved, with Miles Automotive as a second.
  • Agreement with police chief for a three year team was passed