Government

Wed
27
Feb
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Police Release Addition Suspect Photos

The man in this surveillance picture is a suspect in several vehicle theft and forgery cases in the City of Middleton, according to Sgt. Troy Hellenbrand.

Anyone with information about his is asked to contact the Middleton Police Department at 608-824-7300 or leave a message on the department tipster line at 608-824-7304. 
 

Tue
26
Feb
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As Usual, City Goes Left, Town Goes Right in Election

State Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack and Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone earned the number one and two spots in a three-way primary last week, setting them up to face off in the April 2 general election. 

Eliminated from the contest was consumer attorney Vince Megna, who finished a distant third.

While statewide Roggensack earned more than twice as many votes as Fallone, local results once again illustrated that the City of Middleton leans far more heavily to the left than the neighboring Town of Middleton.

In the city, Fallone, who is viewed as the more liberal candidate, received 1,001 votes. Roggensack, who has the backing of many Republicans, got 478. In the town, Roggensack defeated Fallone 259 to 230.

 

 

 

Tue
26
Feb
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Middleton City Council and Local 427 Police Union Agree to 3-Year Contract

The Middleton Common Council last week unanimously approved a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA) Local 427. The deal covers 2013 through 2015.


The agreement between the city and WPPA calls for increases in pay of 1 percent in 2013, 2 percent in 2014 and 3 percent in 2015. The new contract maintains continuous longevity pay increases, and in 2015 police officers will make between $55,247.98 and $66,273.48 annually in salary. (Officers will make anywhere from the mid-$60,000s to the low $90,000s in total annual compensation.)

While Act 10 stripped most public employee unions of many of their bargaining powers, the legislation did not do the same for police unions.

Tue
26
Feb
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School Board Ratifies New MEA Contract

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Board of Education on Monday night approved a new contract for fulltime teachers. The deal, which was hammered out amidst the fallout from Act 10 and a cloud of lingering uncertainty about the state of collective bargaining for public employees, covers the 2013-2014 year.

The Middleton Education Association (MEA) teachers’ union ratified the contract on Valentine’s Day. Following the school board’s vote, MEA president Chris Bauman said she was “proud” the two sides came to an agreement.

Under the new deal, salary increases will be determined at the school board’s discretion, after the district receives pertinent information about state aid levels.

Teachers who take part in a Health Risk Assessment will maintain their current 12 percent contribution toward their annual health insurance premiums. Those not completing the assessment will contribute 15 percent.

Tue
19
Feb
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No 'Fair Share' in Contract Ratified by Teachers' Union

The Middleton Education Association (MEA) teachers’ union on Valentine’s Day ratified a new contract proposal for the 2013-2014 year. Despite the romantic date on which the vote occurred, emails obtained by the Times-Tribune show there was no love lost between the two parties while they hashed out the deal.

The contract will go before the Middleton-Cross Plains Area Board of Education for a vote on Monday night.

Under the new deal, salary increases would be determined at the school board’s discretion. Teachers who took part in a Health Risk Assessment would maintain their current 12 percent contribution toward health insurance. (Those not completing the assessment would contribute 15 percent toward the annual insurance premium.)

Mon
18
Feb
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GAB: Getting Rid of Same Day Registration Would Cost More Than $13 Million

MADISON, WI – Eliminating Election Day voter registration in Wisconsin would cost taxpayers between $13.1 million and $14.5 million, according to a staff report released Monday by the Government Accountability Board.

 The Final Report on the Impacts and Costs of Eliminating Election Day Registration in Wisconsin is being released well in advance of the G.A.B.’s next meeting on March 20 to give the public and legislature ample time to read it before the Board considers it, said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel.

Sun
17
Feb
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City Talks With New Developer About Blackhawk Land

Is a parcel of city-owned land on the edge of Pleasant View Golf course worth a million dollars, or is it’s fair market value closer to $200,000? The answer depends on whom you ask.

The City of Middleton and multiple local developers remain far apart on the true value of the roughly three-acre parcel on Blackhawk Road. However, the city is currently in what one source called “deep negotiations” with two people who wish to build there.

Don Michelson, a commercial real estate advisor, and Bob Harriman, of R.G. Harriman General Contractors, wish to buy the land and build seven three- and four-unit buildings, for a total of 25 units. Michelson and Harriman gave a presentation to the Middleton City Council on Feb. 5, laying out the reasons they believe a purchase price of $208,000 would be reasonable. 

They hope to acquire the land, build the structures and begin leasing them out by the end of this year.

Wed
13
Feb
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Fighting Town Board No Walk in the Park For Dog Lovers

As the snow fell last week and cars slipped and slid on Summerfield Drive, Troy Alton’s 14-year old daughter Arria had to keep one eye on “Tanner,” the family dog, and the other on the road—with no sidewalks or curb between them. But Arria’s father, oral surgeon Troy Alton got little sympathy at the Middleton Town Board meeting last week when his request to schedule additional public input on Middleton’s dog walking restrictions was turned down. “We won’t go that way,” declared board chairman Milo Breunig, “We’ve asked the Parks [Dept.] to look at it and we’ll wait for them to get back to us.”

Fri
08
Feb
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City Council Increases Penalties for Adults Who Allow Minors to Drink at Parties

The Middleton Common Council on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to, and significantly increased local penalties levied against, adults who help minors gain access to alcohol.

District 1 alderman Paul Kinne said the ordinance, which was approved unanimously, was designed to counter a “disturbing trend” in which adults believe they are preventing drunk driving and other dangerous activities by allowing minors to drink in a safe setting.

“[P]eople assume that if teenagers aren’t driving … there’s no harm,  no foul,” Kinne stated.

Tuesday’s vote to impose fines of up to $5,000 for repeat offenders showed the Middleton Common Council disagrees with parents who feel that way. The ordinance says it is intended to “clearly address the problem of adult-hosted underage drinking parties, and to discourage underage possession and consumption of alcohol, regardless of the location within the City of Middleton.”

Thu
07
Feb
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Mayor Gives State of the City Speech

Much of this year’s State of the City Address was similar to what was presented in recent years: the mayor touched on property values, development, employment, sustainability, taxes, public safety and growth.

Some wasn’t: this was the first time a member of the state legislature made an impromptu appearance to let the audience know local schools were closed due to a nasty ice storm. (It was Rep. Dianne Hesselbein.) 

On the surface it was a minor change, but perhaps the most significant aspect of Mayor Kurt Sonnentag’s speech Thursday morning at the Marriott was that he altered the way he presented information about the local tax rate – opting to delve deeper into the data in order to preemptively address accusations the city’s low tax rate is merely the result of high property values. 

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