Fox Park name

I, Maureen Giese, requested a Legislative Review of 68.14 Wis. Statues regarding the naming rights of 720 W. Madison St. for the July 11 Waterloo City Council meeting. This action involved parks commission meetings and parliamentary procedures from 2017 — 2018.

Having noticed 720 W. Madison St. naming rights printed in parks commission proceedings and in the local newspaper, I entered this discussion on April 12, 2017. I suggested the names Fox Park, Maunesha Park, etc. relating to the area. Early settlers gathered together in 1889 to form the Waterloo Canning Factory. “Butch” Fox was with the factory for some 35 years. He also shared his hobby of flying kites with over 1,000 children.

On Oct. 11, 2017, Craig Wilson, kite enthusiast, appeared before the commission to suggest some names for the 720 W. Madison St. area; Fox Park, Cannery Park, etc.

On Dec. 13, 2017, school district Administrator Brian Henning spoke about a collaboration with the school district where students during a community and character event would suggest names for the area mentioned. They eventually came up with three names.

On May 9, 2018, 26 names submitted, no action taken.

On Aug. 8, 2018 the parks commission decided to submit the top three names to the public via The Courier to be voted on. Fox Park received the most votes.

On Nov. 14, 2018, motion made to “tentatively” accept Fox Park, as there was no money to support the park. Motion passed but never went to the city council.

On Feb. 1, I suggested to the commission that I would help raise funds for a sign on a plaque/boulder. No action taken.

On May 8, again, I asked to place a Fox Park sign and the park coordinator replied “waiting for a big donor to help fund the cost of the park and the donor would probably like his name on a sign.”

On June 12, the coordinator was absent from the parks commission meeting. Before the vote, I was allowed five minutes to express my dismay at all that had been taken place.

The commission chair read a letter from the coordinator reviewing the naming rights, and encouraged a no vote. The vote was 4 to 1 for a “no” Fox Park sign.

At the July 11 city council meeting, the mayor directed discussion of the legislative review and I was only allowed five minutes for my response which was interrupted twice by the mayor. I also quoted “the municipality shall provide an impartial decision maker…” Mayor Jeni Quimby was on the parks commission in 2017 and 2018. In conclusion, my request was denied.

If this city council promotes clarity, citizen’s agenda, and courtesy it certainly does not show it.

I will again appear at the city council meeting on July 18, please join me if you desire.

Maureen Giese


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