Government

Wed
08
May
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Alder Walks Out Of Meeting

Ald. Jim Wexler (Dist. 4) walked out of Tuesday night’s Middleton Finance Committee meeting after losing his chairmanship, choosing not to return for the Middleton Common Council meeting that followed. It was the first time he missed a regular meeting of the common council in more than two decades.

The finance committee voted to make District 8 Ald. Mark Sullivan, a Certified Public Accountant, its new chairman.

Wexler said he was dismayed by the committee’s “lack of integrity,” calling District 5 Ald. Howard Teal, who nominated Sullivan, a “bully” for his handling of the process.

Wexler said Teal worked behind the scenes to oust him from the seat at the head of the finance committee in retaliation for Wexler’s support of Ald. Susan West (Dist. 6), who was voted president of the common council in April. West replaced Teal, who had served as council president for five years.

Thu
02
May
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Developer Unveils 'New Ruralist' Proposal

The Middleton City Council last week got its first glimpse of a development proposal that would transform 162 acres of rural land between U.S. Highway 14 and Pleasant View Golf Course into an assortment of residential neighborhoods situated around a working farm.

Erdman Holdings, Inc. submitted early-stage conceptual plans for the project, which is being called Pleasant View Ridge. The developer indicated it needs feedback from city leaders before returning with a more refined proposal.

Planning documents show Pleasant View Ridge containing 104 home sites on lots both large and small.

About half of the homes would be on parcels of about 6,500 square feet and would utilize community septic.  The larger home sites, occupying about 20,000 square feet, would use individual septic systems. 

Proponents of community and individual septic systems (as opposed to urban utilities) say are environmentally friendly because they help recharge groundwater.

Wed
24
Apr
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City Council Changes Course On Terrace Avenue Redevelopment Project

Plans to redevelop Terrace Avenue and North High Point Road were turned on their head last week when the Middleton Common Council abruptly decided to proceed with phase two of the project before it tackles phase one.

The new plan is markedly different than any of the three options recommended by the Middleton Plan Commission seven says earlier.

Phase two involves rebuilding Terrace Avenue between Parmenter Street and North High Point Road.

The project, which would be funded using Tax Increment Financing and cost an estimated $2.8 million, includes new sewer and water utilities and a new streetscape using decorative bricks to match pedestrian friendly areas elsewhere in the downtown. Construction is slated to begin in 2014.

Wed
24
Apr
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Facing Loss Of 160 Acres To The City, The Town Will Look Into Incorporation

The Middleton Town Board will look into its options for incorporation or taking steps to otherwise block Erdman Holdings, Inc’s plans to annex 160 acres from the town into the City of Middleton.

On Monday, the board agreed to place hiring an attorney on its May 6 meeting agenda, at the suggestion of town attorney Tom Voss. Erdman is proposing a development called "Prairie View Ridge."

The town and the city have a border agreement reached in 1994 but it doesn’t explicitly cover the Erdman property, which is located just north of the Pleasant View Golf Course, said town administrator David Shaw.

The town hired attorney Richard Nordeng when it signed a border agreement with the City of Madison in 2003 and he likely would be used again, Shaw said.

Board supervisor Timothy Roehl urged getting legal background on the town’s options because state law on incorporation has changed since the town last looked into it a few years ago.

Wed
17
Apr
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Share Joins Middleton Common Council

Miriam Share used to spend her Tuesday evenings singing in the Madison Symphony Chorus. As the newest member of the Middleton Common Council, she’ll now occupy those nights using her alto/soprano to vote “yay” or “nay” on policy decisions that shape the city’s future.

Share ran unopposed for the council’s District 1 seat after incumbent Paul Kinne chose not to seek another term in the Spring Election. She was sworn in by assistant city administrator John Lehman on Tuesday night.

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has lived in the Good Neighbor City since 2007. She works as an account executive for Clear Channel, Madison

While she’s a freshman councilor, Share is no stranger to the inner workings of city hall. She served as a citizen member on Middleton’s sustainability and arts committees, as well as running an unsuccessful campaign for the District 4 common council seat back in 2010.

Mon
15
Apr
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Court Sides With Erpenbach In Open Records Case

The Grant County Circuit Court has issued a decision in the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy’s case against Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton).

The court sided with the senator, declining to compel him to make public unredacted versions of emails he received during the political battle over Act 10.

The MacIver Institute sought the information, claiming public employees using government computers to contact Erpenbach on the legislation may have violated the law preventing the use of public resources for a political purpose. Erpenbach had redacted names and email addresses before turning them over.

Thu
11
Apr
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Hearing On Storm Water Utility Tuesday

When it rains, impervious surfaces – primarily pavement and rooftops - prevent water from soaking into the ground naturally. The result is a massive exodus of H2O.

The water runs roughshod over the environment in its search for a place to go. It ends up in streams and lakes, but it causes extensive environmental damage on its journey, picking up sediment and pollutants along the way.

On that much, at least, the Middleton Common Council is in agreement.

But the council has been unable to reach a consensus about how to remedy the problem. Specifically, the council hasn’t yet come to terms with how to fund the confluence ponds and other features that help mitigate storm water damage.

Mon
08
Apr
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Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District To Take Part in Wednesday Press Conference on Governor Walker's Budget

The Dane County School Board Consortium and the Dane County Superintendent Consortium will hold a news conference at noon on Wednesday, April 10 at the State Capitol in Room 411 South, the Senate’s large meeting room.

School board members, superintendents, parents, and business representatives will address the impact of the governor’s proposed budget on our public schools and communities. At least 15 Dane County school districts will be represented. These representatives will be available for questions after the news conference.

Located in south central Wisconsin, the Dane County Consortiums were formed to improve educational opportunities for public schools across the Dane County area. The collaboration and partnering of school boards and superintendents allows for an opportunity to share resources, build partnerships and advocate on educational issues.

Thu
04
Apr
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Middleton Celebrates 50 Years of City Status

1963 was a busy year in the United States. Within the span of 12 months, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech, John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Iron Man made his debut in Marvel Comics, and Beatlemania took off.

It’s also the year Middleton, which had already been a community for more than a century, officially became a city. It happened on Tuesday, April 9 at 3 p.m., according to that week’s Middleton Times-Tribune. City clerk August Dahlk and new Mayor A.M. McDermid, D.V.M, looked on as Wisconsin Secretary of State Robert C. Zimmerman signed the document changing Middleton from a village to a city.

McDermid had won election as Middleton’s first mayor one week earlier, receiving a minority vote of 680 out of 1,636 total votes cast for the office. His nearest opponent, Bruce Bennett, earned 565 votes. Leonard Bruce and Ben Denson came in third and fourth, respectively.

Thu
04
Apr
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Oberle Accuses Incumbent Town Board Candidates of Breaking Law

Town of Middleton Board Supervisor Richard Oberle alleged that Town Chair Milo Breunig and supervisors Bill Kolar and Tim Roehl may have violated state open meetings law by taking out a group advertisement in the March 28 Times-Tribune.

Oberle contends that the ad copy may show that the three board incumbents discussed town business and “met” to approve it before it was published with their consent.

Oberle said Monday that he has asked the Wisconsin Towns Association to look into his allegation.

“The three are collaborating on issues not properly noticed,” said Oberle. “That shows me they’re talking to each other outside of town meetings.”

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